Javier Baez was nearly a one-man wrecking crew for the Chicago Cubs (35-30) in their 9-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds (31-33) 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!
Baez hit a two-run double in a four-run Cubs fifth inning, and then slammed a three-run home run against Raisel Iglesias in the top of the ninth to give the visitors a four-run cushion.
The Cubs’ four-run fifth was aided by Eugenio Suarez’s team-leading 12th fielding error, leading to three of the four runs in the inning being unearned. It was one of three key turning points in the game.
Chicago had a 6-1 lead after four and a half innings, but the sim Reds fought back. Freddy Galvis hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth to make it 6-2, and Tucker Barnhart and Shogo Akiyama followed with walks. Jesse Winker belted a double, scoring Barnhart, but Akiyama was thrown out at the plate trying to make it a 6-4 game. That was key play number two, because had Akiyama been safe, Winker would have been standing at second with Suarez coming to the plate.
In the bottom of the sixth, Suarez led off with a walk, and the red-hot Mike Moustakas launched his 12th home run to make the score 6-5.
Baez’s three-run, two-out blast in the ninth off Iglesias was key turning point number three. Cincinnati put two runners on in the bottom of the ninth, but Craig Kimbrel struck out Winker to end it.
Winker with three hits, and Akiyama and Galvis with two each led the Cincinnati offense. After another shaky Luis Castillo outing, the sim Reds bullpen shut down Chicago until Baez’s ninth-inning blast.
The defeat was the Reds’ third straight.
Here is the sim Reds box score, as provided by Strat-O-Matic:
C-Pinch Hit For Tepera In 7th Inning
E-Subbed Defensively (CF) For Sadler In 8th Inning
A-Pinch Hit For Castillo In 5th Inning
B-Pinch Hit For Payton In 6th Inning
D-Pinch Hit For Bowman In 7th Inning
F-Pinch Hit For Dietrich In 8th Inning
G-Pinch Hit For Iglesias In 9th Inning
Standings following the June 5 games:
Division-leading St. Louis fell to Pittsburgh, meaning that the Reds remain six games back from the division leaders.
The 2020 schedule as currently constituted has the Reds on Saturday hosting game three of the four-game set with Chicago, with Sonny Gray pitching for the Reds, and right-hander Yu Darvish pitching 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.
How much money do MLB Players actually make?
Over at FiveThirtyEight today, Travis Sawchik looked into just how much money a baseball player makes. With the phrase “billionaires vs millionaires” being thrown around a lot, it’s worth looking at. The Major League Baseball Players Association doesn’t represent just the players on the active 25-man roster. It represents all players on the 40-man roster.
Of the 1,453 players to accrue at least one day of service time last season, 590 (40.6 percent) have made less than $1 million in career earnings, according to the MLBPA’s breakdown. The median career earnings of that group was $357,718.
And as noted later on in the article – that is before taxes or fees (to agents, clubhouse dues, union dues). Of course, the rest of us pay taxes, too – so it’s not entirely fair to bring up that as if it’s something others don’t also have the burden of paying. Still, if you’re going to cite “millionaire”, it’s worth acknowledging how much one is actually bringing in. There are certainly plenty of millionaires among the players. But there’s a very large portion of players in the players association who make less money than people you are probably friends with each year.
MLB announcers will not travel for road games
Baseball certainly isn’t the first sport to do this, as we’ve seen it happen over the last few years for other sports – particularly college sports for non-high profile teams and events – but games will be broadcasted remotely for road teams, who will use a video feed while calling the games. This goes for both television and radio announcers according to Bruce Levin of 670 The Score.
All MLB announcers( TV and radio) have been told they will be doing all 2020 road games from a local broadcast studio or home ballpark with monitors as their guide.
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) June 4, 2020
While there are some things that will certainly be more difficult – observations that can be made at the ballpark in real time that if the camera guy can’t see/isn’t seeing won’t be, by-and-large, the difference in what you are used to hearing and what you will hear, won’t change much. Announcers will adjust, and likely do so very quickly. They’re professionals.
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.