by Steve Mancuso

RC+ Recap: Reds sleep through most of series opener, lose 3-2

A sleepy Monday night game against an out-of-division team with a losing record turned into a sleepy loss against an out-of-division team with a losing record. The Reds were without Joey Votto, Jesse Winker and Nick Senzel in the starting lineup tonight. They did rally in the 9th, scoring a run on a single by Freddy Galvis a double by Tucker Barnhart and a single by Josh VanMeter. But with one out, Nick Senzel pinch hitting grounded softly to third base putting Barnhart into a doomed rundown. Eugenio Suarez struck out to end the game.

Trevor Bauer deserved a better fate. He pitched 7 innings, throwing 102 pitches. He struck out 11 Padres (free pizza!) and walked one. One Padres run came on a solo homer that hit the right field foul pole.

Another of the three San Diego runs was unearned. A slicing fly ball to left field that every outfielder on the Reds roster other than Jose Peraza would have caught unfortunately was hit to Jose Peraza. The ball bounced off his glove for a 2-out, run-scoring error.

It was the second game in a row that an unearned run proved to be the margin of defeat.

Lucas Sims pitched two clean innings of relief, with three Ks.

A couple more words about Jose Peraza. His wRC+ stands at 63. That means he’s produced runs at a rate 37% lower than the average major leaguer. Of the 206 MLB players with at least 320 plate appearances, Peraza ranks #206. Dead last. He’s the worst player at producing runs in the major leagues with that many opportunities.

You can say Peraza hasn’t had a reasonable chance because the Reds have bounced him all over the field with erratic playing time. On the other hand, he sort of earned that fate by being unable to win and sustain a starting job. People will point to Peraza’s 182 hits in 2018. But he was lucky last year with soft-hit balls and unlikely to sustain it. The Reds recent acquisition of Freddy Galvis is best read as a signal they’ve given up on Peraza becoming an everyday player. Yes, Peraza is still relatively young. But as the Reds enter the win-now phase of their cycle in 2020, it’s hard to see Peraza receiving enough playing time to further develop or show off his skills.

Galvis hit his 20th homer of the year for the Reds first run.

Reds Most Valuable Players

  • Josh VanMeter (.145 WPA) Win Probability Added
  • Tucker Barnhart (.118 WPA)
  • Freddy Galvis (.083 WPA)

Reds Least Valuable Players

  • Eugenio Suarez (-.345 WPA)
  • Nick Senzel (-.259 WPA)
  • Aristides Aquino (.065 WPA)

Play of the Game

  • Tucker Barnhart (.183 WPA) double, 9th inning

Hardest-Hit Balls  

  • Jose Peraza (105.9 mph) single
  • Freddy Galvis (101.2 mph) home run

Luckiest Reds Hit of the Day

  • Tucker Barnhart (24% hit probability) single

Unluckiest Reds Out of the Day

  • Jose Peraza (84% hit probability) lineout

Highest Pitch Velocities by Pitcher

  • Trevor Bauer (96.5 mph)
  • Lucas Sims (95.8 mph)

Links

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.