Had this game been real instead of a simulation, it might have gone down as one of the more memorable regular-season games in recent Cincinnati Reds history.
The Cincinnati Reds (26-24) combined clutch late-inning hitting, game-saving defense and sterling pitching to record a 5-4 11-inning victory over the San Diego Padres (27-24) 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!
Joey Votto’s two-out double in the bottom of the 11th scored Mark Payton with the game-winner, sending the sim crowd announced by Strat-O-Matic of 38,079 into a frenzy. They had seen a classic game with more twists, turns and heroics than they could have ever expected when they settled into their seats at the outset of the evening.
San Diego led 3-0 after five innings, thanks primarily to a two-run homer by Fernando Tatis off sim Reds starter Sonny Gray in the top of that inning. It would have been worse, had it not been for centerfielder Payton robbing Francisco Mejia of a homerun in the same inning. In seven innings, Gray struck out 10, walked only two and allowed only four hits.
His sim Reds teammates started the road back in the bottom of the sixth on Mike Moustakas’ solo home run off Padres starter Zach Davies to bring Cincinnati within 3-1.
Reds defense again saved Gray in the top of the seventh, when rightfielder Phillip Ervin scaled the fence to rob Jurickson Profar of a homer, keeping the deficit at only two.
Trailing 3-1 headed to the bottom of the ninth, the sim Reds faced the challenge of Padres closer Kirby Yates, probably the most effective closer in the Strat-O-Matic sim universe to date. Prior to this appearance, he had recorded 14 saves and struck out 27 batters in 17.2 innings, while allowing only four hits, two walks and no earned runs. But the sim Reds knew the winning streak of Redleg Nation commenter/manager Jon “Sparky” Davis was on the line, and they proceeded to do what could only be described as the highly improbable.
With one out, Jesse Winker smacked a pinch-hit single, and steady Freddy Galvis followed with a double, putting the tying runners in scoring position. With Shogo Akiyama at the plate, Yates bounced one in front of Mejia that went for a wild pitch, scoring Winker and moving Galvis to third. Akiyama walked, and Payton proved he could be clutch on offense as well as defense with a single off Yates, scoring Galvis to tie the game at 3-3.
Raisel Iglesias came on to pitch the top of the 10th, and surrendered a home run to Tyler France, to put the Padres back ahead 4-3.
But the Reds’ dramatics were not done. With one out and facing lefthander Drew Pomeranz, Moustakas crushed his second home run of the game and eighth of the season to tie the game at 4-4.
In the top of the 11th, Pedro Strop pitched out of big trouble. He walked Manny Machado with one out, and Eric Hosmer followed with a double. But as he has done more often than not this sim season, Strop struck out Trent Grisham and induced a ground ball from Profar to end the threat and keep the Padres off the board. That was followed in the bottom of the 11th by Votto’s game-winning heroics.
The victory put Cincinnati two games over .500 for the first time in the sim season, was the team’s sixth straight under the leadership of commenter/manager Davis, and the team’s ninth win in the past 10 games. The six-game winning streak, for however long it will last, will go down in Strat-O-Matic sim Reds lore as The Jon “Sparky” Davis Experience.
First-place St. Louis won, along with the Reds and Milwaukee. Technically, the Reds are in second place in the NL Central by one percentage point over third-place Milwaukee. (Both teams are two games behind.) Chicago’s freefall continued, as they lost and fell three games behind and into fourth place.
Here is the sim Reds box score, as provided by Strat-O-Matic:
A-Pinch Hit For Davies In 7th Inning
C-Subbed Defensively (RF) For Naylor In 9th Inning
G-Pinch Hit For Yates In 10th Inning
I-Subbed Defensively (2B) For Pomeranz In 11th Inning
B-Pinch Hit For Gray In 7th Inning
D-Pinch Hit For Casali In 9th Inning
E-Pinch Hit For Garrett In 9th Inning
F-Subbed Defensively (C ) For Vanmeter In 10th Inning
H-Pinch Hit For Iglesias In 10th Inning
Standings following the May 22 games:
The 2020 schedule as currently constituted has the Reds playing game two of the four-game series against the Padres Saturday at Great American Ball Park. Trevor Bauer will pitch for the sim Reds, while right-hander Dinelson Lamet 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.
That time Tommy Lasorda wanted to murder the San Diego Chicken
We like to have fun around here at Redleg Nation, and with the walk-off win in the game today, we’re going to keep the fun rolling along. There are two sides to every story, as they say. But the sides of the encounter between Tommy Lasorda and The San Diego Chicken are great. Let’s start with Side A:
And now for Side B (starting at 1:30):
GABP will be a testing site for an aerosol coronavirus viricide
WLWT (NBC in Cincinnati) is reporting that Great American Ballpark will be a testing site for a viricide that supposedly kills airborne coronavirus particles.
The Cincinnati Reds have agreed to be a testing site for Gignard Pure, which claims to have an effective viricide tested by independent labs across the nation.
Essentially, the ballpark will pump the viricide from its HVAC or other air circulation systems. Initial findings show that this particular viricide inactivates coronavirus particles in the air and as they land on hard surfaces.
What an 82-game season will (and won’t) mean
Jayson Stark takes a look at what a shortened season could be this year – if we get one – in his latest piece over at The Athletic. And hey, the editor even chose to go with a photo of today’s hero – Joey Votto. Part of the reason for that is because Votto was asked about what a season like that would be like, feel like, etc.
I feel very strongly that any team that wins the World Series, even in an abbreviated season, will get full credit and will be able to enjoy it,” said Joey Votto, the Reds’ ultra-cerebral first baseman. “And I’ll be honest with you. The more I think about winning the World Series this year, I think it’s freaking worth more. I think it would be even more enjoyable,” he said, “because these championships are associated with cities. … So man oh man, I think it would be fantastic, winning it for your city in a year like this. I think it would be about as good as it gets.
Joey Votto is a man of the people.
Joey Votto is the hero we need, but not necessarily the hero that we deserve.
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 Saturday’s lineup, and he will try to extend the Reds’ win streak to seven. 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.