by Steve Mancuso

RC+ Recap: Braves 5, Reds 4 – Dumb, dumb, dumb loss

1. The decision by the Reds third base coach J.R. House to send Jesse Winker in the top of the 9th inning was dumb. Super dumb. If Winker and House played it safe, the Reds would have had runners at first and third with one out. Their run expectancy in that situation is 1.22. As a result of the out, run expectancy dropped to 0.30. That means House had to believe Winker had more than a 90% chance of scoring for it to make sense to send him. (h/t to Matt Wilkes for digging up those stats)

And that’s in a normal circumstance. Set aside Winker’s lack of speed. In the 9th inning, Atlanta pulls the infield in with one out, greatly increasing the Reds odds of scoring. I’ve been satisfied with House as the 3B coach. They all make mistakes, but the key is avoiding chronic misjudgment and he’s been fine.

A segment of fans were expressing the opinion on Twitter that it was a good chance to take, make the Braves make a play. That’s supposed to be the difference between fans and professional coaches. Coaches aren’t supposed to led their emotions enter into decision-making. The Atlanta Braves left fielder tonight was Adam Duvall. Reds fans should remember that he won a Gold Glove in LF a few years ago and has a terrific, accurate arm. J.R. House should know that, too. Duvall made a major league play because he’s a major leaguer in LF. Winker was out by a mile.

2. The Braves hits and runs were dumb. The first run scored on a walk and wild pitch. The second and third runs scored on a triple with a 3% hit probability, a double with a 6% hit probability, a single with 19% hit probability and a double that, like the two previous hits, was such a bad hit, it hit the dirt first in the small circle around home plate. The run in the 8th scored without the Braves putting the ball in play. The game winning run was scored on two walks and a single with 29% hit probability, that, you guessed it, hit the dirt around home plate first before evading Eugenio Suarez. There are nights where teams don’t get any hits at all on balls with hit probabilities lower than 40%. Tonight, that was the entire Atlanta offense.

3. Reds pitchers were dumb for walking eleventy million batters. Well, 9. Michael Lorenzen walked three batters. Jared Hughes (I have no idea why he’s still in the Reds bullpen) walked two. Amir Garrett walked a left-handed batter who doesn’t start against LHP. Brian McCann is hitting .200/.222/.242 against lefties and Amir Garrett walked him. Reds starter Trevor Bauer walked three in 4+ innings, running his pitch count up early. I don’t know how one of the coaches doesn’t go into the clubhouse after the game and shout at the top of his lungs, YOU’VE GOT TO THROW STRIKES!! Maybe someone did.

A few things happened that weren’t dumb. Aristides Aquino not only singled for his first major league hit, but also smashed a dramatic 3-run homer to tie the game in the 7th inning. Lucas Sims powered through 1.1 innings of relief with 3 strikeouts and NO walks. Raisel Iglesias pitched a clean 9th inning in a non-save situation. (Take that, dumb media narrative based on small sample sizes.)

Reds Most Valuable Players

  • Aristides Aquino (.359 WPA) win probability added
  • Jesse Winker (.164 WPA)
  • Raisel Iglesias (.137 WPA)

Reds Least Valuable Players

  • Jared Hughes (-.207 WPA)
  • Nick Senzel (-.197 WPA)
  • Michael Lorenzen (-.168 WPA)

Plays of the Game

  • Aristides Aquino (.310 WPA) home run, 7th inning

Hardest-Hit Balls

  • Nick Senzel (104.3 mph) lineout, 1st inning
  • Jesse Winker (102.0 mph) single, 9th inning
  • Phil Ervin (100.6 mph) groundout, 2nd inning

Luckiest Reds Hit of the Day

  • Tucker Barnhart (7% hit probability), single, 9th inning, 71.6 mph

Unluckiest Reds Out of the Day

  • Nick Senzel (66% hit probability) lineout, 1st inning, 104.3 mph

Highest Pitch Velocities by Pitcher

  • Michael Lorenzen (98.6 mph)
  • Trevor Bauer (97.3 mph)
  • Raisel Iglesias (96.7 mph)
  • Lucas Sims (95.8 mph)
  • Amir Garrett (95.3 mph)
  • Jared Hughes (92.4 mph)

File this under “Velocity Isn’t Everything” — 87 pitches of 94+ mph were thrown in this game. The Reds threw 82 of them.


Steve Mancuso is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up during the Big Red Machine era. He’s been writing about the Reds for more than ten years. Steve’s fondest memories about the Reds include attending a couple 1975 World Series games, being at Homer Bailey’s second no-hitter and going nuts for Jay Bruce at Clinchmas. Steve was also at all three games of the 2012 NLDS, but it’s too soon to talk about that.

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1 year ago

I feel your frustration. That many walks is unacceptable.