Despite an early home run barrage by the St. Louis Cardinals (13-10) against Anthony DeSclafani, the Cincinnati Reds (9-13) hung tight for most of the game. That is, until a five-run Cardinals eighth inning put things away and led to an 11-4 St. Louis victory in the first game of a three-game series at Busch Stadium.
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!
The Reds got off to a quick start in the top of the first on Shogo Akiyama’s single and Eugenio Suarez’s one-out home run, his team-leading sixth of the season. But the Cardinals struck back quickly, with Matt Carpenter’s three-run home run in the bottom of the first, and Brad Miller’s home run the next inning.
Despite the lopsided score, there was a period of a few minutes late in the game that was pivotal in the outcome. Trailing 6-3 entering the top of the eighth, the sim Reds rallied. Joey Votto led off with a walk, Nick Castellanos singled one out later, and Nick Senzel followed with a pinch-hit single that scored Votto. An error by Miller resulted in Castellanos advancing to third and Senzel to second with only one out and the Reds down by just two. But Cardinals righthander John Brebbia was brought on, and retired pinch-hitter Phillip Ervin and Tucker Barnhart on a pop-up and strikeout, respectively, to end the half-inning.
In the bottom of the eighth, St. Louis unloaded on Robert Stephenson and Cody Reed. With two out and one Cardinal runner on, the next six St. Louis batters reached base on four singles and a walk, with errors by Senzel at second base and Suarez at third mixed in, effectively putting the game away.
The Reds and Cardinals were the only NL Central teams in action Monday, so the Cardinals’ win pulled them within 1.5 of the first-place Cubs, while the Reds fell back into a three-way tie for last.
Here is the box score, as provided by Strat-O-Matic:
B-Pinch Hit For Desclafani In 7th Inning
C-Pinch Hit For Winker In 8th Inning
D-Pinch Hit For VanMeter In 8th Inning
G-Subbed Defensively (2B) For Stephenson In 8th Inning
A-Pinch Hit For Martinez In 6th Inning
E-Subbed Defensively (LF) For Webb In 8th Inning
F-Pinch Ran For Miller In 8th Inning
H-Pinch Hit For Brebbia In 8th Inning
Standings following the April 20 games:
The 2020 schedule as currently constituted has the Reds and Cardinals playing the middle game of their three-game series at Busch Stadium in St. Louis Tuesday. Lefthander Wade Miley pitches for the sim Reds, and righthander Dakota Hudson pitches for the Cardinals.
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.
It’s been a day that we actually published multiple articles already that featured plenty of news and notes because they felt a little more important than just being a footnote in this article. Still, not everyone comes to the site directly through the front page, so we’re going to link to our stories published earlier today below.
Taiwan, Korea are playing – Japan and the US are not
Baseball games have begun in Taiwan for their regular season and we took a look at some real life, actual games that included a 3-homer game featuring a walk-off, and the season’s first bench clearing incident. Korea announced that they will begin their second round of spring training and begin their season on May 5th. But not all is well in the Asian baseball world as Japan delayed and modified their schedule once again.
Adam Dunn’s magical 2001 season
Over at RedsMinorLeagues.com Doug Gray handed out the award for best season of the decade between 2000-2009 on the Cincinnati Reds farm system, giving the nod to Adam Dunn and his 2001 season. In the minors that year he OPS’d over 1.100 while hitting 35 home runs before being called up in late July, where he then hit another 19 home runs in the Major Leagues.
Reds commit to paying operations staff through May
The Cincinnati Reds are now one of seven teams that have committed to paying their baseball operations staff through the end of May. That’s good news for those who will still be getting checks because yesterday Rob Manfred announced the suspension of the Uniform Employee Contracts, which would allow teams to furlough or reduce salaries of employees as of May 1st.