The inability to get key hits with runners in scoring position was the undoing of the Cincinnati Reds (31-31) in a 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates (26-35) at PNC 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!
The sim Reds had 13 hits, but left 10 men on base in scoring only twice against Pirates pitching. Good news for the visitors was the return of Shogo Akiyama to the lineup. He smacked three hits in his return, and almost had a fourth in a key situation in the top of the ninth, but Pirates second baseman Adam Frazier made the “web gem” play of the game. He not only robbed Akiyama of a hit, but turned it into a double play — effectively short-circuiting a Reds rally because Mark Payton followed with a hit. Had Akiyama’s ball gotten through for a hit, Payton’s hit would have scored Derek Dietrich, and Reds would have had two men on base, still nobody out, and the heart of the order coming up.
Pittsburgh broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the fourth against Reds starter and loser Anthony DeSclafani. Catcher Luke Maile — who played high school baseball at Covington Catholic and college ball at the University of Kentucky — along with Frazier had RBI hits in the inning. Pittsburgh’s final run was unearned, assisted by a passed ball by catcher Curt Casali.
Payton, Mike Moustakas and Nick Castellanos joined Akiyama in the multi-hit club for the sim Reds. A key missed opportunity was in the top of the fourth, when Moustakas led off with a double, and Castellanos followed with a single, moving Moustakas to third. But with runners on first and third and nobody out, Freddy Galvis, Casali and DeSclafani took turns failing to drive in runs or even advance the runner from first. Another key opportunity in the eighth — bases loaded on singles by Jesse Winker, Castellanos and Galvis but with two out, Casali struck out against Pirates reliever Richard Rodriguez.
Here is the sim Reds box score, as provided by Strat-O-Matic:
B-Pinch Hit For Lorenzen In 7th Inning
E-Pinch Hit For Reed In 9th Inning
A-Pinch Hit For Stratton In 6th Inning
C-Pinch Hit For Rodriguez In 8th Inning
D-Subbed Defensively (RF) For Polanco In 9th Inning
Standings following the June 3 games:
Division-leading St. Louis was idle, and the Cubs fell for the second straight day to the Baltimore Orioles. Second-place Chicago is now three and a half back of the Cardinals.
The 2020 schedule as currently constituted has the Reds headed home to Great American Ball Park to begin an important and challenging homestand featuring the Cubs and Dodgers. Thursday will mark the first game of a four-game set with Chicago, with Wade Miley pitching for the Reds, and lefthander Jose Quintana pitching for Chicago.
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.
Reds release 48 minor league players
Cincinnati has released 48 players from the minor leagues. There were a few interesting names among the group of players, including two guys who signed 7-figure bonuses.
Shogo Akiyama prepares for season despite unknown factors
Ed Odeven of Japan Forward wrote about Cincinnati’s new outfielder Shogo Akiyama in the latest Japan Sports Notebook. Akiyama talks about how he’s been trying to keep in shape, prepare for the season, what he’s expecting and more. It’s a good read that you should be sure to check out.
Physically, right when spring training was suspended, I started my training schedule just to treat it as if it’s an offseason, and so I’ve been ramping up as I’ve been expecting the season to resume soon
MLB has formally rejected the players 114 game plan
MLB rejected the union’s proposal for a 114-game season and said it would not send a counter, sources tell The Athletic. The league said it has started talks with owners about playing a shorter season without fans, and that it is ready to discuss additional ideas with the union.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 3, 2020
How are the simReds performing?
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.
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.