Phillip Ervin’s 13th-inning walk-off triple scored Eugenio Suarez and triggered pandemonium on the field and in the Great American Ball Park sim seats, as the Cincinnati Reds (11-14) downed the Arizona Diamondbacks (13-13) by a 4-3 score.
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!
Suarez walked against Diamondbacks righty Archie Bradley in the bottom of the 13th, and Ervin followed with his second extra-base, run-scoring hit of the game to end the four-hour, four-minute simulated marathon. Ervin’s earlier hit was nearly as big. Trailing in the bottom of the ninth inning, 3-1, Suarez hit a solo homer, his team-leading eighth of the sim season, against Arizona righty (and former Brewer) Junior Guerra, to pull the sim Reds within 3-2. Then, Ervin sent one over the fence against Guerra to tie the game.
Some unique batting order strategy by today’s Redleg Nation winning manager Gonzo Reds paid off in the bottom of the second. With two outs, Aristides Aquino walked and Curt Casali followed with a single. The number eight position in the batting order was up, and Gonzo Reds inserted starting pitcher Sonny Gray in that spot, instead of the typical ninth for a pitcher. But Gray showed why that was a good move with a single off Arizona lefty Alex Young to score Aquino with the game’s first run.
Gray was absolutely dominant on the mound, pitching the first seven innings while allowing only one hit, two walks and no runs. But the bullpen let him down.
Michael Lorenzen came on in the top of the eighth, and got into trouble of his own doing for the second straight outing. With one out, the Diamondbacks loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. Lorenzen then errored a ball hit by David Peralta, allowing the tying run to score. A wild pitch then allowed run number two to cross, and a Christian Walker sacrifice fly plated the third run of the inning.
But thanks largely to Ervin’s late-inning clutch hitting, the Reds were able to overcome the poor outing by Lorenzen, along with:
- Three errors on defense
- Seven walks issued by the relief staff
- The top three hitters in the batting order going a combined 0-for-17
The Cubs and Brewers both won their games today, and the Reds kept pace with them. Milwaukee’s win was an eye-opening 22-5 win over Colorado at Coors Field. The first eight Brewers batters in the first inning reached, as the visitors scored seven times.
Here is the sim Reds box score, as provided by Strat-O-Matic:
A-Subbed Defensively (2B) For Marte In 6th Inning
D-Pinch Hit For Crichton In 8th Inning
E-Pinch Hit For Chafin In 9th Inning
G-Pinch Hit For Ginkel In 11th Inning
I-Pinch Hit For Kelly In 13th Inning
B-Pinch Hit For Aquino In 7th Inning
C-Pinch Hit For Gray In 7th Inning
F-Pinch Hit For Strop In 9th Inning
H-Pinch Hit For Stephenson In 12th Inning
Standings following the April 24 games:
The 2020 schedule as currently constituted has the Reds hosting Arizona again Saturday in the middle game of the three game series at Great American Ball Park. Trevor Bauer will pitch for Simcinnati, and righthander Luke Weaver toes the rubber for the visitors.
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.
Gonzo Reds will have priority for Saturday since he submitted a winning lineup for Friday. 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.
Getting Ready for the Draft
Over at RedsMinorLeagues.com, Doug Gray began looking at each of the top 30 prospects in the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft. Today he looked at potential top pick Austin Martin – not to be confused with Astin Martin, which is what Youtube believes you want to see when you search for Austin Martin. Before the pandemic began and shut down college baseball he was pounding the ball, with an OPS of 1.168 that included five time as many walks as strikeouts.
Taiwanese Baseball – Now in English!
Over in Taiwan they are playing regular season baseball. And with the now-not-so-surprising popularity of their broadcasts given that it’s about the only sport happening on the planet, you can now watch the games in English. Unfortunately the games are played on the other side of the world, so you’re either going to need to be a morning person or you are just going to need to not sleep to watch them. You can catch the games live on twitter via Eleven Sports Taiwan. You can also browse their feed for the replays of the games, and since you don’t know the outcomes, it’s like watching it for the first time.
Way to go Gonzo Reds. Put another winning lineup together for saturday
In other Simulations, Reds beat Pirates 4 games to 2 in the MLB all time team simulations. Playing Cards in the Final 8 round. Check it out at mlb.com
Good Gonzo. Go Get em again! As far as the Reds Dream Team. I saw those scores. The are unbelievably awesome.
I definitely want Gonzo to submit again, but in the case he does not I would love the opportunity to manage for the first time.
vs. Righty Luke Weaver
CF Shogo Akiyama
RF Jesse Winker
3B Eugenio Suarez
2B Derek Dietrich — why not give him a shot if Moustakas is currently hitting .186? Maybe it will pay off and Dietrich will swat a few dingers.
SS Freddy Galvis
1B Joey Votto
LF Josh VanMeter
C Tucker Barnhart
Oh yeah, I just randomly remembered that last year, Winker-Suarez-Dietrich went back-to-back on HRs on 3 straight pitches vs. a righty, which supports that it is a high upside top of the order in this situation!
For what it’s worth, Dietrich is not on the roster. We could probably request that he be activated, but we’d have to deactivate someone else. And Dietrich’s numbers were so terrible last year that there is nobody currently active that I would want to deactivate and replace Dietrich with. If I don’t see a response from you before submission time, and yours is selected, I’ll put in Moustakas in Dietrich’s place.
Well I’ll offer a lineup as well.
P Whoever Starts that day
I like this lineup since most of the top players have produced fairly well and I like having good on base in front of some hitters. Don’t want to put Votto too low in the order but I don’t really like him in the top 4 anymore based on his performance in the simulator.
Oh Ervin 4th cause I just have this odd gut feeling. He has performed pretty well to date this season.
Gonzo Reds did not submit a lineup by midnight. The other two lineups were submitted by first-timers, and neither of them had endorsements from other people. In this case, the tiebreaker is who submitted first, and that is RedsEuphoria. Good luck!
Been working on it the last half hour. Didn’t know there was a 12 deadline!
Let’s double down behind Bauer…
LF – Van Meter
RF – Winker
CF – Akiyama
3B – Suarez
1B – Votto
2B – Moustakas
C – Barnhart
P – Bauer
SS – Galvis
A lot of that has to do with how well Akiyama has done in this format, who knows what Jap stats they are using for him, as well as how we are set up to rotate OF against LHP/RHP. If I could use him at SS no brainer! I didn’t include him in today’s rightful lineup, although my posting of it apparently as Tom was posting simultaneously that I didn’t post one may not count. I might retire, like my ‘72 Fins, as the only undefeated team of all time!
I understand your question and yes I am enjoying it too especially since there’s no real baseball right now. lol When it comes to the lineups submitted I think it comes down to the players acquired last winter getting most of the playing time and the other spot in the outfield either for Winker or Senzel. Since most of the pitchers we face are right handed Winker gets most of the starts. I wish I could put Senzel at short stop as that would solve a lot of problems but the sim program gives us too much of a liability on defense when I do that since he never played there last year. I am tempted to do it anyway but even if I did I don’t think I would get any endorsements because of that. I think the bigger issue is there being so much talent in the outfield and what to do with it. Some, maybe even many, may think I’m crazy but when it comes right down to it I’d prefer Aquino over Senzel or Winker most of the time. When I saw him play last year I thought to myself he’s a mix of George Foster, Tony Perez, and Eric Davis. That’s a pretty good mix. Don’t get me wrong. I like the other two. It looks like one or two outfielders will be traded eventually though. Again, I’m sure I’m a minority in thinking this but my gut feeling tells me we will regret it more down the road trading Aquino than Winker and or Senzel. I just think Aquino, with what he showed last August, has much more potential to make a bigger impact over time. I know he went into a slump in September but that’s not unusual with a new player in the big leagues. I , like David Bell, think he’s a lot closer to August in talent over the long haul than September. If we are going to trade Winker or Senzel I think sooner is better than later. The reason is their injury history. If they end up being injury prone (which they have been so far) their value will go down as time goes on. Senzel is a five tool player and if we could get a big return I’d do it. Winker is good with the bat and has substantial value because of that alone. He’s a good guy and teammate too as is Senzel but he has virtually no speed in his arm or legs which of course is not good for an outfielder. He certainly is good enough to put out there but he is more suited for the DH (which may be in the NL soon so who knows). I’m also not sure he’d be a good first baseman because of his size. When he stands next to Votto he looks small. Anyway, those are my thoughts for whatever they’re worth.
For me, it comes down to different players having specialties.
For Shogo, he has hit over .360 vs. Right-handed pitchers so far through sims, so he should automatically be in the lineup against right-handed pitchers.
Then you have Winker, another left-handed hitter that can do damage against right-handed pitchers.
Finally, Josh Van Meter is a great option since there is one more left-hander you can insert into the outfield, thus because of the great options Senzel is sometimes left out against right-handers.
Then against left-handers, there is also an issue, given all the talented right handers we have.
Shogo Akiyama still often starts, despite being left-handed, but Phillip Ervin is probably the best right-handed outfielder we have against left-handed pitchers. And yet still there is Nick Castellanos, who should definitely be in the lineup against left-handed pitchers. And Aquino. So given all the right-handed bat options we have, and the balance of left-handers we have, this is why Senzel is often left out.
Thanks for all the comments here, folks. It seems as though the goal of giving Reds enthusiasts something to look forward to each day is being realized, and we are glad for that.
When you’re thinking about lineups, always remember that the simulation is based on 2019 stats. Frankly, I have no idea what they are using for Akiyama, but so far so good. The current Strat-O-Matic simulation has nothing to do with how players might develop and improve in the future. It has everything to do with 2019 performance, and that’s one reason I thought this might be an interesting endeavor. It will allow us to take the 2019 Reds roster and individual performances, and add those of the newly acquired players, and perhaps get some idea as to what sort of difference they might make.
One thing the upcoming season will have that this simulation does not have is players who recover from injuries or bad seasons and improve. One example is Votto. He had probably his worst season in 2019. We all hope that he will return to what he used to be in 2020, but that won’t happen in this simulation, which is based on 2019 stats.