Nick Senzel broke out of a season-long slump with a bang, leading the Cincinnati Reds (14-19) to an 8-2 victory over the Washington Nationals (22-11) in the nation’s capital.
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!
Senzel went 3-for-4 at the plate, including his first double and second home run of the season, raising his batting average over the .200 mark. It was the second consecutive game for the Reds with 13 hits against a Nationals pitching staff with a reputation for excellence.
An early Washington rally was diffused by starter and winner Wade Miley, and that turned out to be a key turning point. In the bottom of the second inning, five of the first six Nationals batters reached, with two runs scoring. Miley, however, righted the ship by striking out Adam Eaton and inducing Starlin Castro to hit an inning-ending flyout with no additional runs scoring.
The sim Reds struck back in the top of the third on an RBI single by Phillip Ervin, and took the lead for good in the top of the sixth. Nick Castellanos led off the inning with a single, and one out later, Senzel — who winning commenter/manager BK said he inserted in the lineup “to leverage his abilities to hit lefties” — took Nationals starter Patrick Corbin over the fence for a two-run homer.
Cincinnati then scored five insurance runs against former Red Tanner Rainey and Wander Suero over the final three innings to leave no question about the outcome.
The sim Reds victory stopped a four-game losing streak, and allowed the visitors to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the defending world champions.
With the win, the Reds maintained fourth place in the division, as all other NL Central teams besides St. Louis were victorious.
Here is the sim Reds box score, as provided by Strat-O-Matic
A-Pinch Hit For Miley In 6th Inning
C-Pinch Hit For Bowman In 8th Inning
D-Subbed Defensively (2B) For Castellanos In 9th Inning
B-Pinch Hit For Corbin In 6th Inning
E-Pinch Hit For Suero In 9th Inning
Standings following the May 3 games:
The 2020 schedule as currently constituted has the Reds moving on to New York to play the first of a three-game series against the Mets Monday. Luis Castillo will pitch for the sim Reds, while righthander Jacob deGrom will pitch for the Metropolitans.
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.
Strat-O-Matic statistics through today’s games:
BK has priority today if he wishes to submit another lineup, since he was a winning commenter/manager today. 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’ performance based on statistics that their statistical experts project for each player in the 2020 season. 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.
A hiccup to baseball starting up?
Major League Baseball has just one team in Canada – the Toronto Blue Jays. Their Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, was speaking about the NHL attempting to resume their season – and one of the plans the NHL has spoken about is having “hub cities”, which includes two Canadian cities as options – and noted that “at a minimum, players would need to follow quarantine protocols if they were to arrive in Canada while the border remains closed due to the pandemic.”
The NHL is looking to try and get opened back up before Major League Baseball’s proposed “late-June, early-July” timetable, so things could change there. But if Canada is going to keep their borders closed into the baseball season, that would certainly be a major issue for the Toronto Blue Jays if they were to try and operate out of Toronto.
The 10 strangest trades in MLB history
Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com looked at the 10 strangest trades in the history of baseball on Saturday. Some of them I have heard of. A few of them I had not. Some of the trades were for a turkey, a literal bag of baseballs, a fence, some oysters, and even a suit! It’s a fun read, so be sure to go check it out.
A fun piece of trivia
At fangraphs today we got their “Sunday Notes” column from David Laurila and within is an interesting look at three Dodgers pitchers – Clayton Kershaw, Sandy Koufas, and Dazzy Vance. The author goes into the impressive, and probably underrated career of Vance and drops in this awesome stat:
I think it could be argued that Vance had the better career. While Koufax obviously had an iconic six-season stretch, Vance’s seven strikeout titles were consecutive, and in one of those years he had 262 punch outs while the league’s runner up had just 135.
That’s almost as impressive as Pedro Martinez and his 2000 season ERA title, where if you literally doubled his ERA he still would have led the American League in ERA by 0.22 over Roger Clemens.