2016-09-26T14:00:57-04:00The last Monday of baseball. Today is a Monday. There's Cincinnati Reds baseball tonight, as they will tangle with the St. Louis Cardinals in #Bush Stadium, with hopes that they can string together a few victories and knock the Filthy Cards out of the playoff race altogether. It'll be Monday again in seven days. On that Monday, however, there will be no Reds baseball, just like there won't be for some 22 consecutive Mondays after that. We've somehow managed to wince, grumble, and cheer our way through 155 games of this 2016 baseball season, watched as the team's pitching staff broke unsightly records, and grimaced at the absurdity that was the bullpen in May. We again saw Devin Mesoraco's season end before it ever had a chance to start, again saw Homer Bailey appear more as myth than reality, and openly wondered if another coaching and managerial change will hit the reset button for the franchise yet again. We watched the Cincinnati Reds lose 90 games (again) and reach the cellar of the NL Central (again). This we cannot deny. That'll be the takeaway of the 2016 season when the Winter Meetings roll around in December, when Dick Williams finally gets to make the calls his own way, and when Spring Training finally picks back up when pitchers and catchers report to Goodyear in late February. And rightly so. But there'll be plenty of dark, cold, baseball-less days in the coming months, and even the worst of baseball seasons provides ample ability to pull the corners of your mouth into a smile during that part of the year. In many ways, that's the perfect argument for why the baseball season - which is admittedly long - is precisely as long as it is. It was long enough for this Reds team to win 65 games to date, which is a lot of times for fans to exit the turnstiles high-fiving with a great beer buzz. It provides a ton of chances for fans of even the worst teams to type exclamation points on the regular, to enjoy the game even if you're more a fan of "winning" than you are of "watching baseball." It provided the platform for Eugenio Suarez's walk-off over the Cardinals, allowed us to marvel at the time Billy Hamilton covered a nautical mile to make one of the most absurd catches I've ever seen, and led us to say "this guy may be an ace in the making" when Anthony DeSclafani fired his first complete game shutout. This awful baseball season provided us the chance to watch greatness for months-long stretches, as Joey Votto is attempting to become the first big-leaguer in a dozen years to hit over .400 during the second half of a season. Through the torrential losing and dinger-manufacturing of the pitching staff, we witnessed Dan Straily emerge from the scrap-heap to have a season that will forever etch his name next to Pete Schourek's on the "Holy Hell, When Did That Guy Do That for the Reds?" trophy. This awful baseball season had Adam Duvall - Adam Duvall - hit 32 dingers and represent the Reds in the All Star Game. It gave us Jose Peraza hitting .326, playing four different positions, and out-slugging both Suarez and Brandon Phillips. In fact, it gave us the chance to watch a damn fine, damn enjoyable game be played day after day for some seven consecutive months, and we've now got just seven days to enjoy the last of the current crop while we still can. It's easy to miss winning baseball when your favorite team is in the gutter of the standings, the bottom flag flying above Wrigley Field on a windy day. It's also easy to get so caught up in wanting your team to win that you lose track of watching them play at all. Yes, the 2016 Cincinnati Reds will be nothing more than a footnote in the franchise's long and storied history, but if there's anything life has taught us through baseball in the last two days, it's that we should all soak up the joy presented to us while the opportunity is there. For the Reds, that opportunity is there for seven more days, and I'll sure as hell be watching with a smile. [...]
Finny. Wily. It’s the last Reds vs. Brewers game you’re going to have to sit through all season.
2016-09-24T22:31:38-04:00Peraza hit. Schebler hit. Votto hit. Straily pitched. Lorenzen pitched. Iglesias pitched. I like all of these names. The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game I don’t know if I am supposed to do this, but I’m giving this damn thing to the entire top of the lineup. We’re not all that far removed from #DustyLineups and the argument that the reason that Votto doesn’t have the RBI numbers is because no one can get on base in front of him, goddamnit Marty, would you shut up about it? The lineup in front of Votto tonight produced in a big way, though, and it came from two people that Reds fans hope will be big, big parts of the next squad that Makes the Reds Great Again. Jose Peraza hit twice and walked once. Scott Schebler hit three times. They both scored two runs, because of a Joey Votto dinger and an Adam Duvall double (allowing those two 2 RBI a piece). That’s how an offense is supposed to work. So why don’t you all take a trophy? Honorable mention to Eugenio Suarez’s 2 hit night with a walk and an RBI, Dan Straily for being The Guy for this staff who certainly needed a The Guy (6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 5 K, 2 BB), and Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias for being the dominant part of this bullpen that we’re accustomed to. Key Plays The Reds wasted no time jumping upon the young man named Jungmann. Jose Peraza led the inning off with an out, but Schebler bopped a bloop just in front of Ryan Braun in left. Joey Votto then smacked the requisite blast to the batter’s eye in center field, his 26th dinger; his 88th and 89th RBI. Adam Duvall walked, but Brandon Phillips lined out before Eugenio Suarez ended the inning with a fly out. Reds, 2-0. In the bottom of the 2nd, Chris Carter started things off with a ground out, but then Domingo Santana took a letter high fastball just beyond the wall in left to cut the Reds lead in half. Dan Straily retired the next two, but the Brewers claw within one, 2-1. In the top of the 6th, Adam Duvall led off with a double. After a BP strike out, Duvall swiped third, and then he crossed the plate on a Suarez single to Villar. Hernan Iribarren singled, but was then erased on a Tucker Barnhart GIDP. Reds extend the lead, 3-1. After a Straily ground out (drink), Peraza singled to center (drink). Schebler smoked a liner for a single to left before Votto worked an eight pitch walk (drink). Adam Duvall grounded softly to the pitcher, but it was enough to score Peraza from third. BP popped out to end the inning but man, we’re all drunk now, huh? Reds, 4-1. In the top of the 9th, Ivan De Jesus, Jr. lined out for the first out of the inning, before Peraza walked (you should probably drink everything in your collection for that). Schebler doubled, putting runners on the corners, which prompted the Brew Crew to walk Votto intentionally. Duvall grounded into what should’ve been a double play, but it was bungled by the Brewers infield, allowing Peraza to score and no outs recorded. BP then lifted a sac fly to right, scoring Schebler. Suarez popped out to end the inning, but the Reds did their best to put nails in the Milwaukee cofin, lead 6-1. Raisel Iglesias shut it down. Reds win, 6-1. Tony Graphanino src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=1316199&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2016-09-24&team=Brewers&dh=0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width="450" style="border:1px solid black;">Source: FanGraphs Other Notes Remember how we talked about Cingrani being all aboard the struggle bus last night? Well, this little piece from Mark Sheldon might explain it a little bit. Whatever it is, Cinnerman needs to get it figured out if he intends on being a part of this Reds bullpen, long term. This has absolutely nothing to do with the Reds but, good Lord if this isn’t hilarious/sad/#UmpShow at it’s worst especially since it coaxed an ejection. In the bottom of the 3rd, Jonathan Villar stole his 59th base of the season, passing Billy Hamilton fo[...]
We’re so close to the finish line, and after nights like last night, it can’t come soon enough. The Reds will have Dan Straily on the mound, though, which is cause for celebration. Hopefully he can hold the Brewers offense and allow the Reds to get an unblowable lead by the bullpen.
He’ll face Taylor Jungmann, I said, Jungmann, who pitches in Major League Baseball and not at your local YMCA.
2016-09-23T23:19:46-04:00The Brewers weren’t good in this one. Not even a little. Alas, the Reds bullpen rescued them. The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game In some ways, we’re living in the future. We haven’t been graced this September to see all of the exciting top youngsters we’ve longed to see. Cody Reed had been here, been bad, and is now hurt. Ditto for John Lamb. Dilson Herrera is nursing a sore shoulder and it’s not like BP would give way to him, anyway. And Jesse Winker is... I don’t know. In witness protection? But one guy has gotten a chance to play everyday in the waning month of the season, even if it had more to do with ailing veterans and less to do with expanded rosters. But it doesn’t matter, Jose Peraza has dazzled, regardless of being asked to play both center field and shortstop on any given day of the week. Jose Peraza collected two hits in this one, including a golfed dinger, his third of the year. Don’t expect that particularly often, but even if his results have been fueled by an outrageous BABIP (.365), Peraza’s been better than anyone could have reasonably expected since getting regular time in the lineup. Tonight included that dinger and those two hits, three RBI, and one run scored. So, have a trophy, youngblood. And keep on keepin on. If you keep doing things like this, the future is a lot closer than we realized. Honorable mention to Brandon Phillips for two hits, Eugenio Suarez for two hits and a run scored, and Jumbo Diaz for striking out the side in a flawless eigth inning. Key Plays The Brewers opened the scoring in the bottom of the second when Milwaukee 1B Chris Carter walloped a letters-high 92mph DeSclafani offering over the fence in left field. Brewers take the lead, 1-0. The Reds climbed on top of the Brewers in the first part of the fifth frame. Steve Selsky was too... uh he hit a single. Tucker Barnhart hit a single before Anthony DeSclafani moved them over on a sac bunt. No need, really, because Jose Peraza scooped a dinger to left center field. Scott Schebler and Joey Votto followed with back to back outs. Reds take the lead, 3-1. Ryan Braun opened the bottom of the sixth with a single and then stole second base, and then moved to third base on a DeSclafani wild pitch. Carter grounded out to Eugenio Suarez but scored Braun. Domingo Santana flied out before Hernan Perez reached on a fielding error by BP. Perez stole second base during Orlando Arcia’s at bat, but Arcia struck out swinging to end the inning. Reds still lead, 3-2. Andrew Susac doubled to begin the bottom of the seventh. Disco promptly walked Josmil Pinto and Villar to load the bases and end his night. Tony Cingrani was brought in to face the left handed hitting Scooter Gennett. The handedness didn’t matter much, as Cingrani walked him on four pitches, forcing home Susac and tying the game. That ended the night for Cingrani and gave way to Blake Wood to face Braun. Yeah. That ended predictably, as Braun singled off of Wood to score two more. Carter lined into a double play to end the frame but. Damnit. Brewers, 5-3. The Reds tried to crawl back in the top of the 9th. Suarez led off the inning with a double. Selsky moved him to third on a fly out, and Barnhart scored him on a ground out. Hernan Iribarren pinched hit for Jumbo Diaz, but he struck out swinging to end the game. Brewers win, 5-4. Tony Graphanino src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=1316083&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2016-09-23&team=Brewers&dh=0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width="450" style="border:1px solid black;">Source: FanGraphs Other Notes It didn’t take long for the Reds to get 2016’d in this one: with nobody out in the top of the 1st inning and runners on first and second, Joey Votto smacked a screaming liner to the first base side with the runners going. It was caught, and Brewers tagged first and second to complete the tr[...]
The Reds take on the Brewers this weekend. Anthony DeSclafani will start the first game. He’ll face the surprisingly decent Zach Davies for Milwaukee.
2016-09-23T13:00:11-04:00A look at several people who’ve weighed in on the Reds season. Baseball can be viewed through many different prisms, impacted differently by a particular viewer’s attitude or expectations for what “good” and “bad” baseball actually means. For Reds fans, there is no need to look far for the most stark example of that: the play of Joey Votto. Obviously for the lot of us here, watching Votto work the zone and take two, three, or four walks in a game is like watching a piece of art be creative. It’s masterful. Beautiful, even. Not everyone in the stadium would agree with that assessment, of course. Most notably: the voices that describe Reds baseball to us on the broadcast game-in and game-out. “Expand the zone,” they might say. Multiply the grumbling and groaning by 10 if said walk comes with men on base. And there are a lot of points to be made about who is “right” and who is “wrong” in these situations (it’s “us” and “them,” respectively, by the way, but that’s not a horse corpse I’m willing to strike today). Baseball is a game with a standard scoring system and a written set of rules where there is, definitively at the end of the day, one winner and one loser. Hearing the differing opinions of the best way to arrive at one outcome or another varies widely depending on what comment section hell hole you might find yourself in. All of this is likely to come to life over the next several weeks when “The Writers” start to wax-poetic on the merits of what “Most Valuable Player” means, as the BBWAA finds a new way to snub Mike Trout (also keeping away from that particular point for the time being). This differing of viewpoints was particularly striking to me today as I started looking around the world wide web at several different takes on the Reds season. As we roll toward October, several writers have began chronicling the MLB season and the Reds (having been eliminated from any type of postseason consideration since, what, April?) come up early and often. What they all agreed on (the Reds stink, Joey Votto is bueno, the pitching is horseshit, etc.) wasn’t particularly shocking. What they disagreed on is what I found interesting. Everyone here in the Red Reporter family has a blisteringly hot take on the current Reds second baseman, and on several different matters. I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that people who don’t watch Brandon Phillips everyday wouldn’t be able to come to a consensus on his play this season, either. Over at Yahoo, their Game Over feature from Big League Stew described 2016 as a “great year” for Brandon Phillips. However, at MLB Daily Dish, Mike Bates’s take wasn’t so flattering, stating, “the club never got acceptable performance at either second or third base.” Ian Casselberry at The Comeback is even harsher, calling BP the Reds most disappointing player. Presumably, all three of these folks (plus a few, as Big League Stew was a group effort) looked at the data and at at least a few Reds games this season to come to these conclusions. They’re all looking at the same thing, but the three opinions hit three different points of the good, middling, bad spectrum. The objective truth about Phillips is certainly something of a blend of the three opinions (he was dreadful in the first half and 2011 BP in the second while playing good-to-acceptable defense even if it isn’t as other worldly as we’re accustomed), but seeing the stark differences in opinion laid right before our very eye is, to me, rather interesting. Red Reporter can be a bit of an echo chamber at times, save for the bad food takes you guys are blabbering on about on any given day (and hey, that’s the way we like it, damnit). So, I encourage you to take a second and read those three obituaries on the Reds season. But make sure to comeback and comment on how wrong and stupid they are, yeah? In [...]
2016-09-23T08:00:09-04:00Welcome back to This Week in JPEGs. This week on This Week in JPEGs, there will be JPEGs. This Week in JPEGs is sponsored in part by small mammals. They are cute, usually. This Week in JPEGs is also sponsored by picture frames. Usually, it’s cute when a small mammal is gnawing on the edge of a picture frame. Usually. Last week on This Week in JPEGs, you voted for The Piranha Has Wheels as your This Week in JPEGs JPEG of the Week. Are you still reading? Firemen Earlier this week, I wrote a bit about the possibility of both Rasiel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen becoming old-fashioned bullpen firemen. So here is a picture of them as literal actual firemen. Bear Attack This season, the Reds are 3-13 against the world-leading Cubs. The Cubs are pretty much the best team in baseball this season and though the Reds aren’t exactly the worst, they’re probably like fourth-worst. So here is a picture of some bears mauling some Reds’ baseball players and there’s blood pretty much all over the place. The Scream There is only one full week of baseball left this season for the Reds. This kinda hit me all of the sudden. While I have stayed up to date with the season pretty well, I have watched or listened to far fewer games than I had in recent years. There’s a number of reasons for that, but I still really regret not seeing as much Joey Votto as possible this summer. And then I look forward and despair the winter is fast approaching and it will be a long one. Between regret and despair, I scream into the nothingness. Poll Which JPEGs from This Week in JPEGs this week in your JPEG of the week? Firemen Bear Attack The Scream 78 votes | Results [...]