Luis Castillo shut out the Cubs through his first seven innings of work in what might have been his best pitching performance of the sim season to date. Castillo’s flash of his potential was the key to the Cincinnati Reds (39-40) scoring a 3-2 win over the Chicago Cubs (41-38) 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!
The sim Reds got out to a 3-0 lead after six innings, with the runs being delivered on a run-scoring single by centerfielder Michael Lorenzen, and an RBI single and RBI double by Tucker Barnhart.
Before today’s game, winning commenter/manager Don wrote at Redleg Nation, “fingers crossed that Castillo pitches well on 7 days rest.” As it turned out, “La Piedra” rewarded his manager’s finger-crossing. Through the first seven innings, Castillo allowed the Cubs only two hits and two walks. But he appeared to weaken as he started the top of the eighth. Nic Hoerner led off with a walk, and Castillo wild-pitched him to second base. Ian Happ followed with a run-scoring single, and that was it for Castillo. But reliever Pedro Strop got the job done against his former team, inducing pinch-hitter Hernan Perez to ground into a double play and Anthony Rizzo to fly out to prevent further damage.
Raisel Iglesias came on in the top of the ninth, and yielded a leadoff homer to Kris Bryant to pull Chicago within one run. An out later, Iglesias errored a groundball by Middletown native Kyle Schwarber, putting the tying run on base. But Iglesias retired Willson Contreras and Jason Heyward to end the game and earn his 15th sim save.
The victory pulled the Reds within two games of second-place Chicago, and they remain four games behind first-place St. Louis. Cincinnati is 4.5 games behind the second wild-card playoff berth.
Shogo Aikyama’s third-inning double off Cubs starter and loser Jose Quintana extended his hitting streak to 28 games, and he scored the game’s first run on Lorenzen’s RBI hit.
Here is the sim Reds box score, as provided by Strat-O-Matic:
A-Pinch Hit For Quintana In 6th Inning
B-Pinch Hit For Ryan In 8th Inning
D-Pinch Ran For Schwarber In 9th Inning
C-Subbed Defensively (RF) For Castellanos In 9th Inning
Standings following the June 23 games:
The 2020 schedule has the Reds hosting the Cubs again Wednesday. Commenter/manager Don will choose the Reds starting pitcher between Trevor Bauer, scheduled to come off the 15-day injured list Wednesday, and Sonny Gray, who is the Reds starter with four days of rest. Right-hander Yu Darvish will pitch 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.
Where does José De León fit in?
When the Reds picked up the right-hander back in November, the move was seen as a low-risk, potentially high-reward pick up of a former top prospect. In his first season back after both a flexor mass injury and then Tommy John surgery, the fastball velocity wasn’t quite where it used to be. But that velocity is reportedly back now.
Rosenthal: No winners in this negotiaton
Over at The Athletic, Ken Rosenthal wrote about how ugly, and at times silly, the negotiations between MLB and the MLBPA were over the last two months.
Whatever happened, the differences at that point should not have been insurmountable. But as usual, the parties retreated into their bunkers and became more hardened in their positions. The union did not simply respond with a proposal for 70 games. It tacked on a series of additional benefits the league considered excessive, particularly after Manfred thought he had the basis of an agreement. The players also offered the clubs certain enticements, but the league saw little point in countering.
Several Minor League teams suing over coronavirus
According to William Weinbaum of ESPN, 15 teams in Minor League Baseball are reportedly suing five different insurance companies who have rejected insurance claims over “business-interruption” protection claims. One of the teams is the current Reds Double-A affiliate, the Chattanooga Lookouts.
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.