Shogo Akiyama returned from the 10-day injured list with four hits, including one which sparked a go-ahead four-run rally in the seventh inning, leading the Cincinnati Reds (25-24) to a 9-6 victory over the Cleveland Indians (32-19) at Progressive Field.
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 sim Reds trailed 3-2 after six innings, but Akiyama led off the top of the seventh with a single against Indians lefty Oliver Perez. Akiyama is now leading the Strat-O-Matic universe with a .359 average. One out later, right-hander Adam Cimber was summoned to face right-handed-batting Phillip Ervin, who foiled that strategy with a single. Then, three straight left-handed batters did damage against Cimber.
Jesse Winker doubled, scoring Akiyama to tie the game, but Ervin was thrown out at the plate trying to also score from first base. But with two outs, switch-hitter Freddy Galvis followed with a double to score Winker and put Cincinnati up by a run. Joey Votto capped the inning with a two-run homer, his third of the season, to give the sim Reds a 6-3 lead they would not relinquish.
The victory put Cincinnati over .500 for the first time in the sim season, and allowed the visitors to sweep Cleveland in the brief two-game series. The win is the team’s fifth straight under the leadership of Redleg Nation commenter/manager Jon Davis, and eighth win in the past nine games. Both streaks are season bests.
First-place St. Louis lost to Atlanta, while the Reds and Cubs both won, making the NL Central race even tighter if that was possible. The Reds win and Milwaukee’s loss to the Yankees moved Cincinnati past the Brewers and into third place, only a half-game behind second-place Chicago and one and a half games behind the Cardinals.
Here is the sim Reds box score, as provided by Strat-O-Matic:
B-Subbed Defensively (CF) For Payton In 9th Inning
A-Subbed Defensively (C ) For Leon In 5th Inning
Standings following the May 20 games:
The 2020 schedule as currently constituted has the Reds off Thursday, returning to Great American Ball Park Friday for the first of four against the San Diego Padres. It also starts Cincinnati’s second streak of 17 straight days without a day off this month. Sonny Gray will pitch for the sim Reds, while right-hander Zach Davies pitches for the Padres.
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.
The MLBPA could break the standoff by thinking big picture
Buster Olney has a piece at ESPN (ESPN+ subscription required to read the entire piece) about how the players association could use the leverage that they have right now in negotiations with the owners to take care of some long-term issues now, before the collective bargaining agreement is up after next season.
Minor League Baseball is in a lot of trouble
This morning at RedsMinorLeagues.com Doug Gray wrote about how there are some real problems that minor league baseball is facing and how the landscape for it could change forever.
But shortly after that one was published, JJ Cooper at Baseball America had up another piece that looked at the on-going problems, as well as the negotiations and potential outcomes between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball, essentially describing the way that many teams are acting as “the wild west” as most teams are breaking rules simply trying to survive what everyone believes is coming down the pipe in short order for the minors. Teams are going to be gone, leagues are going to be altered, levels are going to be changed, and Major League Baseball is going to have a lot more control over what’s happening in the minors moving forward.
The collapse and rebound of the sports card industry
Did you collect baseball cards in the 1980’s? If so, you know just how big things were back then. That stretched into the early 90’s, too, before things started to get out of control and the market sort of collapsed on itself. But today things are back to where they once were.
The hobby and the industry have never been so healthy and are in great shape,” said David Leiner, global general manager of The Topps Company, which has MLB’s card license. “We’re seeing a significant spike in interest in trading cards, in baseball cards in particular.
That’s what was told to Bill Shea of The Athletic for a piece he wrote this morning about the resurgence of the sports card industry. It’s an interesting story for those of you who once collected, or still collect cards.
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.
Jon Davis has priority for submitting Thursday’s lineup, and he will try to extend the Reds’ win streak to six. 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.