Nick Castellanos capped a five-run fifth inning comeback with a three-run home run, his fifth, to lead the Cincinnati Reds (29-27) to a 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates (24-32) in the rubber game of a three-game series 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!
Pittsburgh jumped on sim Reds starter and winner Trevor Bauer for three runs before most of the sim fans had settled into their sim seats. After recording the first two outs, Bauer surrendered a double to Brian Reynolds, a single to Josh Bell and a three-run homer to Gregory Polanco to give the visitors the early 3-0 lead.
Bauer and the sim Reds relief staff held Pittsburgh to no runs and five hits for the remainder of the game. Pirates starting pitcher Mitch Keller held the Reds in check until the wheels fell off for him in the fifth. Bauer led off that inning with a single and advanced to second on an error by Bell. After striking out Mark Payton and retiring Jesse Winker on a fly out, Keller would not retire another batter. The big two-out rally started with Phillip Ervin singling, advancing Bauer to third. Eugenio Suarez then singled, scoring Bauer, and steady Freddy Galvis doubled to score Ervin and send Suarez to third.
Castellanos, who entered the game as a pinch-runner for Joey Votto after he was hit by a Keller pitch in the second inning, then stepped in and launched his fifth homer over the GABP fence to give Cincinnati a lead it would not relinquish. Votto’s injury was not serious, and he will be available for Friday’s game.
Bauer, followed by Robert Stephenson, Matt Bowman and Pedro Strop, held the Pirates in check the rest of the way. Strop surrendered a two-out double to Reynolds in the top of the ninth, bringing Bell to the plate representing the tying run. Strop struck Bell out to earn his first save as a sim Red.
After the sim Reds players celebrated the win on the field, they shunned Redleg Nation commenter/manager Melvin, who recorded his first win in that role. But after a few seconds, it became clear that it was an organized joke or hazing, and team prankster Derek Dietrich rushed up behind him and poured the contents of a Gatorade container over his head.
With the win, the sim Reds have won nine of their past 12 and 12 of their last 16 games. They completed a seven-game homestand with a 4-3 record.
Here is the sim Reds box score, as provided by Strat-O-Matic:
B-Pinch Hit For Brault In 6th Inning
D-Pinch Hit For Stratton In 8th Inning
A-Pinch Ran For Votto In 2nd Inning
C-Pinch Hit For Bauer In 6th Inning
E-Pinch Hit For Bowman In 8th Inning
Standings following the May 28 games:
The NL Central-leading Cardinals were off today, meaning that the Reds pulled to within two and a half games with the win. Milwaukee and Chicago both won their games to maintain their second-place tie and one-half game edge over the Reds.
The 2020 schedule as currently constituted has the Reds hitting the road Friday for the first of an important four-game series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Anthony DeSclafani will pitch for the sim Reds, while right-hander Kyle Hendricks pitches for the Cubs.
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 Reds will release some minor league players
Jon Heyman is reporting that the Reds are among teams that are going to be releasing minor leaguers today. No, not all of them. The exact number is not yet known, but other teams have already done so and the numbers are between 13-37 players. It may depend on whether the team had already made some cuts in March or not.
Mets, Reds and other teams are releasing minor leaguers today. “Literally a war zone out there,” one agent called it. @ByRobertMurray 1st mentioned mets releases
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) May 28, 2020
Happy Birthday Gary Nolan…. a day late
Speaking of minor league things – Gary Nolan was tabbed for his 1966 season with the Reds farm system season of the decade of the 1960’s over at RedsMinorLeagues.com. His birthday was yesterday, so this is a terrible gift to give him – especially since it’s a day late – but here ya go. Happy Birthday, Gary.
Texas to allow fans at pro sporting events at 25% capacity
The Associated Press is reporting that in the state of Texas that pro sports that take place outdoors will be allowed to have up to 25% of the seating capacity beginning in June. Organizations will need to apply to the health officials and must follow all guidelines set forth by the state.
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.
Winning commenter/manager Melvin has priority for the Friday lineup due to his victory 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.