The simulated Cincinnati Reds offense awoke from its season-long slumber Thursday.
A seven-run first inning explosion made the rest of the game a relative cakewalk, as the Reds (5-7) toppled the Philadelphia Phillies (5-8) by a score of 14-6 in the opener of a four-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.
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!
Seven of the first eight Cincinnati batters in the first inning reached base safely in an apparently brilliant bit of lineup creation by Redleg Nation sim Reds manager of the day Peter Onte. Shogo Akiyama led off with a double, then Nick Senzel, Nick Castellanos and Eugenio Suarez each followed with singles off Phillies starter Vince Velasquez. Mike Moustakas then cleared the bases with his third homer of the young season.
After singles by Tucker Barnhart (the first of his three hits) and Freddy Galvis, and a sacrifice bunt by winning pitcher Trevor Bauer, Akiyama hit a slow roller to second baseman Nick Walker which went as an infield hit — his second hit of the first inning. When Walker mishandled the grounder and it squirted away from him, that allowed Galvis to score as well on the error.
The Phillies closed to within 10-6 after scoring four in the top of the eighth off Tyler Mahle, but the Reds sealed things in the bottom of the same inning with two-run homers by Suarez and Galvis.
Moustakas was hit by a pitch in the seventh inning and was removed for pinch-runner Josh VanMeter, but his injury will not force him to miss any additional game action.
Bauer went six innings, allowing only four hits and a walk while striking out six. Mahle’s ugly outing was the only blemish on the bullpen’s performance on this day.
The Reds’ stand three and a half games behind the first-place Cubs in the NL Central, and are tied with the Brewers in the division basement.
Here is the box score, as provided by Strat-O-Matic:
A-Pinch Hit For Arano In 5th Inning
C-Pinch Hit For Liriano In 7th Inning
F-Pinch Hit For Guerra In 8th Inning
B-Pinch Hit For Bauer In 6th Inning
D-Pinch Ran For Moustakas In 7th Inning
E-Pinch Hit For Stephenson In 7th Inning
Standings following the April 9 games:
The 2020 schedule as currently constituted has the Reds and Phillies playing game two of the four-game series Friday. Anthony DeSclafani pitches for the home team, and righthander Aaron Nola goes for the Phillies.
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. Here are the “managerial records” of our Redleg Nation participants to date:
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.
Today was supposed to be the start of the minor league baseball season. Over at RedsMinorLeagues.com Doug Gray looked at three players who won’t be starting play today that could (and still may) have seen 2020 be quite important ones for them.
Craig Edwards of Fangraphs wrote about what is happening in South Korea right now with their professional baseball league, how they are hoping to open their season in early May, and what the country has done that could lead to that happening. He also notes how, at least right now, following that model in the US seems a bit further down the road – but that there is a bit of a road map to seeing it happen.
Despite the tough times many of us seem to be going through with regards to our current, or perhaps concerns over our future income – that may not be the case for everyone. Tom VanHaareen of ESPN reported yesterday that a game used bat of Lou Gehrig sold for $1,025,000 last week. [Editor’s Note from Doug] I wonder what I could get for my cracked, but autographed Jose Guillen bat these days? Maybe the non-autographed Homer Bailey cracked bat I’ve got could get half of that cool million?