2012 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Wait…what?

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Houston 5
Cincinnati 3

W: H. Ambriz (1-0)
L: A. Chapman (5-5)
S: W. Lopez (3)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Nice start by Homer Bailey: 6.2 innings, two runs allowed on five hits. Homer struck out nine and walked just one. Good stuff.

–Chris Heisey has really started to pour it on lately. Tonight, he was 3-5 with a triple, two singles, and two runs scored.

–Brandon Phillips returned to the leadoff spot and had a couple of hits.

NEGATIVES
–Aroldis Chapman blew this game. Can you believe it? With the Reds holding a 3-2 lead in the ninth, Chapman surrendered two bloop hits, then gave up a three-run homer that provided Houston’s winning margin.

What’s up with that?

–Wilson Valdez was 0-3. He’s now “hitting” .192/.217/.212. Why is this guy still in the big leagues?

–Miguel Cairo actually got a hit tonight, but he’s “hitting” .178/.206/.274. Two worst bench players in the majors? You make the call.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–That was a gut punch of a loss. Fortunately, it only counts as one loss in the standings. They’ll play another one tomorrow, I’m told.

–Y’know, Heisey is now hitting .294/.330/.441. That ain’t bad. Should the Reds give him a shot at the center field spot?

–Chapman had converted a club-record 27 consecutive saves before tonight’s disaster.

–Good grief. If you are freaking out over this loss, please just go away. You are irrational.

Go read this. Some guy said that Joey Votto’s return sucked the fun out of the clubhouse, so the Reds aren’t playing loose.

I really need to just delete my twitter account. Too many nutjobs.

–If you were wondering, the Reds are still my favorite team.

Source: FanGraphs

113 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Wait…what?

  1. The Brewers win !!! Magic number at 16. Now that they’ve gotten some help, time for the Reds to beat up on the Astros.

  2. yeah, still 8.5, and lets the pirates hang close to the Cardinals, too. I’d rather the Redbirds not play in the postseason!

  3. Four facts about the game:

    1 – Chapman is human after all (who’d a thunk it?)
    2 – We still struggle to hit with runners in on base (but Harrell is a decent pitcher)
    3 – Dirty Birds lost as did the Pie-Rats
    4 – “Magic Number” is down to 16 which is the lowest of any division leader

    Shake it off and take the next two.

  4. I hope the Reds do give Heisey an extended run in CF. Stubbs has not hit well this year and really struggled lately. Stubbs is a good fielder, but Heisey is no slouch, so not much difference in the field. The Reds can use September to figure out who’s playing in the playoffs.

  5. I wonder how menu fans still at cards game when it ended near 3 am…

    Giants beat LA again..looks like it will be us vs SF in the LDCS, with first two games where?

    What happen to having Bridging close some games?

  6. This team continues to struggle offensively….I like the lineup construction (other than Valdez being in it)…

    And they said on the broadcast last night that Rolen has 2 bulging discs in his back….how much he’ll be available (and how effective) from here on out, we’ll have to see…

    • This team continues to struggle offensively….I like the lineup construction (other than Valdez being in it)…

      And they said on the broadcast last night that Rolen has 2 bulging discs in his back….how much he’ll be available (and how effective) from here on out, we’ll have to see…

      Well, that’ll solve the problem of getting Frazier in.

  7. Heisey goes 3 for 5 & scores two runs. Oh yeah, also makes a nice diving catch in CF. Probably not good enough though so I fully expect to see Stubbs in CF tonight. Unless Toothpick gives struggling Ludwick a rest & lets Heisey play LF? Probably wisful thinking but there’s no doubt Heisey should be in the lineup everyday.

    • I fully expect to see Stubbs in CF tonight.Unless Toothpick gives struggling Ludwick a rest & lets Heisey play LF?Probably wisful thinking but there’s no doubt Heisey should be in the lineup everyday.

      By Dusty’s usual pattern, Ludwick will get either tonite or tomorrow off. If Stubbs only plays in one of the two games, Heisey can play in both.

  8. Baker thought asking about Chapman’s velocity was ridiculous. “Down from 100 to 98?”

    It’s true that velocity varies, of course. My question is why his velocity always is down to the first batter or two.

    • Baker thought asking about Chapman’s velocity was ridiculous.“Down from 100 to 98?”

      It’s true that velocity varies, of course.My question is why his velocity always is down to the first batter or two.

      There is such a thing as a “live” 98 and a “dead” 98 though. I thought some of the slo-mo on Fox showed that his fastball was finishing early and going straight through the hitting zone with no run or tail or vertical action at all

    • Baker thought asking about Chapman’s velocity was ridiculous.“Down from 100 to 98?”

      Typical defensive Dusty answer. Also defending his player, but does Chapman need that kind of defense ?
      He was throwing 96-98 before the HR and 93-94 after. That’s not close to his usual. Dusty also made a sensible statement: “The ball doesn’t come out of your hand the same way every night.” As has been mentioned above, Chapman’s fastball did not have its usual movement, for sure not on the pitch to Matt Dominquez.

  9. Why Stubbs plays CF over Heisey should be obvious from this quote from Dusty Baker:

    “I need Stubbs in center field,” Dusty Baker said. “He’s the center fielder. We’re giving him a couple of days to try to make some changes in his approach. Lack of ability is not the issue here. He has more ability than damn near anybody in the league.

    It’s not just that Dusty Baker thinks his defense is better (though he certainly does). It’s that he is convinced that Stubbs is going to be a superstar. He compared Stubbs to Encarnacion, saying it takes guys different amounts of time.

    I don’t share Dusty Baker’s view about Stubbs ability, but if one really believed this about Stubbs ability, you’d have to play him.

    • Why Stubbs plays CF over Heisey should be obvious from this quote from Dusty Baker:

      “I need Stubbs in center field,” Dusty Baker said. “He’s the center fielder. We’re giving him a couple of days to try to make some changes in his approach. Lack of ability is not the issue here. He has more ability than damn near anybody in the league.

      It’s not just that Dusty Baker thinks his defense is better (though he certainly does). It’s that he is convinced that Stubbs is going to be a superstar.He compared Stubbs to Encarnacion, saying it takes guys different amounts of time.

      I don’t share Dusty Baker’s view about Stubbs ability, but if one really believed this about Stubbs ability, you’d have to play him.

      And, that shows a flaw with Baker. That may be why players love to play for him so much. But, that can also be to the detriment to the team’s success. Baker thought the same about Gomes, “He’s got a bat that can carry a team.” Why? Because he can hit a HR? There are several people who can do that. There are 4 other tools that make a total baseball player, one that should be playing everyday. With Stubbs, 2 of the 5 directly involve swinging a bat, and he can’t do that well. I do think Stubbs is a good defender, but some consider him some god out there. He’s far from that. I do think he’s the better defender than Heisey, but Heisey isn’t any slouch out there, not by a long shot. Like with Tavaras and Patterson, I think Baker is blinded by Stubbs speed, wrongfully.

  10. @steveschoen: Agree with your comments on Mesoraco. I thought (and said here) that once it was apparent he was not going to displace Hanigan as the 60 or 80% starter and that Navarro seemed to be back on his game that it only made sense to switch the two so Meso could play every day (at AAA) and (theoretically) be ready to start every day at the MLB level should Hanigan go down.

    I guess my question last night really was why after they resisted making this move all season, why did they essentially dump Meso with a week left in August and now treat him like the red headed step child in September.

  11. Pinson
    The only time people find Molina likable is after they have just spoken to Carpenter. Concerning Mesorosco, i believe, fwiw, this is a ‘tough love’ approach by Dusty. Maybe the concussion plays a part, it is an interesting thought, but that is above my pay grade.

    The bulging disc problem is like any other back problem, entirely idiosyncratic.

  12. @Hank Aarons Teammate: On the catching situation…..

    I also believe that Meso is long shot to make the MLB team out of spring training next year. If Cotts is accurate, Navarro is beyond arbitration. So they’ll probably be looking to sign 2 free agent catchers (one may be Navarro) to vie for the back up spot on the MLB roster. Nice spot to have because history says Hanigan needs two days off a week to remain effective.

    I guess the other question is do they dump Meso as the heir apparent and move on to Tucker Barnhart or leave Barnhart at AA and Meso at AAA.

  13. @Hank Aarons Teammate: Chapman’s velocity is down for the first batter or two I think because he’s not fully warmed up and he’s concentrating at first on throwing strikes. Last season he’d sometimes come in throwing hard (100+) to the first batter and throw a 4 pitch walk and get into trouble from there.

    Velocity picking up as he goes along is something that I see with a lot of flame-throwing relievers.

  14. @steveschoen: Stubbs’ speed is a very big factor to Dusty. In his pregame interview last nite he said that Stubbs is still the regular CFer. “He’s our CFer. We need his defense. We need his speed on the bases.”

    Heisey is just too hot to bench right now, he’s 12 for his last 25. Hopefully Dusty continues to play him, this weekend at the very least, putting him in LF to give Ludwick a breather when Stubbs returns to CF.

  15. I resarched Matt Dominguez. His only 2 major league HRs are against the Reds. He has no history of power hitting his entire minor league career. This past season at AAA his slugging pct. was below .400.
    But he sure took a good swing on Chapman last nite.

  16. @OhioJim: You and I discussed it last nite. Dusty and the powers that be decided that Meso needs a wakeup call. Also are betting that Navarro’s hitting better than Meso will more than compensate for the downgrade in defense.

  17. This comparison to Grandal is silly. Grandal is getting consistent at bats. Mes isn’t, and never really was. The fact that Grandal started the season in the minors, spent a decent amount of time on the DL, and has just about the same number of at bats as Mes is pretty darn telling.

    Also, I guess everyone here forgot Dusty placing so much importance on defense, making numerous comments that Mes had to develop relationships with the pitchers, learn the scouting reports, before he could be the major league catcher. But then Navarro comes along, with his extensive knowledge of NL hitters that he picked up playing 64 games in the NL during the preceding 5 years of his career, and having developed excellent relationships with the Reds’ staff while catching a few games during spring training in Goodyear.

    Of course Dusty couldn’t be overweighting 31 at bats, could he? I mean, Mes hit .300/.389/.433 in his first 30 at bats too. But I guess Mes doesn’t have Navarro’s career OPS of 0.662 to fall back on.

    • This comparison to Grandal is silly.Grandal is getting consistent at bats.Mes isn’t, and never really was.The fact that Grandal started the season in the minors, spent a decent amount of time on the DL, and has just about the same number of at bats as Mes is pretty darn telling.

      Also, I guess everyone here forgot Dusty placing so much importance on defense, making numerous comments that Mes had to develop relationships with the pitchers, learn the scouting reports, before he could be the major league catcher.But then Navarro comes along, with his extensive knowledge of NL hitters that he picked up playing 64 games in the NL during the preceding 5 years of his career, and having developed excellent relationships with the Reds’ staff while catching a few games during spring training in Goodyear.

      Of course Dusty couldn’t be overweighting 31 at bats, could he? I mean, Mes hit .300/.389/.433 in his first 30 at bats too.But I guess Mes doesn’t have Navarro’s career OPS of 0.662 to fall back on.

      “Mes had to develop relationships with the pitchers”

      How is he suppose to do this if he doesn’t catch the pitchers? I can understand the thinking. But, in order to do that, he needs to be playing a lot more that 2 out of 5 games. As well as, it is a 2 way street. The pitchers need to develop a relationship with him. Hanigan isn’t going to be there forever. They need to know that and be able to step up themselves.

    • This comparison to Grandal is silly.Grandal is getting consistent at bats.Mes isn’t, and never really was.The fact that Grandal started the season in the minors, spent a decent amount of time on the DL, and has just about the same number of at bats as Mes is pretty darn telling.

      Also, I guess everyone here forgot Dusty placing so much importance on defense, making numerous comments that Mes had to develop relationships with the pitchers, learn the scouting reports, before he could be the major league catcher.But then Navarro comes along, with his extensive knowledge of NL hitters that he picked up playing 64 games in the NL during the preceding 5 years of his career, and having developed excellent relationships with the Reds’ staff while catching a few games during spring training in Goodyear.

      Of course Dusty couldn’t be overweighting 31 at bats, could he? I mean, Mes hit .300/.389/.433 in his first 30 at bats too.But I guess Mes doesn’t have Navarro’s career OPS of 0.662 to fall back on.

      @CP: I realize you are a big Mes backer and I understand that but I have had many opportunities to watch Grandal play and I believe he is for real. Great bat speed with power, nice eye at the plate, better than average base runner (great for a C), and a better than I was led to believe, defensive catcher. In short, a very impressive young ball player. I have not seen that out of Mes yet but I still am hopeful, if not optimistic. But for right now: Grandal > Mes by quite a distance, IMO.

  18. @CP: One area where I do believe Mes has a big edge: pure strength. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the strongest guy on the Reds. Also, Grandal is probably not going to stay a catcher for long with his speed and value with the bat. Gonna want to save those knees.

    I’m not a Saber guy, like a lot of guys here, so I go mainly on what I observe and I feel much more comfortable with Navarro’s hitting than Mes. Mes is obviously far superior behind the plate. But if it came down to only two catchers on the postseason roster, I would go with Navarro. But three would make the most sense as it would allow Navarro to pinch-hit without hesitation. They could could leave one pitcher at home and right now that should be Ondru.

  19. @CharlotteNCRedsFan: I won’t be surprised one iota if Grandal is a better hitter in the majors. He’s an excellent hitter and has everything you look for in, hits for average, power, a great approach, etc. His defense has always been a question mark, however. I’m not sure where you’re getting your scouting report there. He’s not as bad as Jesus Montero defensively, but his defense has never been considered above average. The best I’ve seen his defense described is “solid” by Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus.

    All of this is kind of besides the point though, comparing Grandal and Mes on 150ish at bats is pretty meaningless, even more so when they accumulated the at bats in a completely different manner. These guys will be linked together by Reds fans for years, but for all we know, the Latos deal couldn’t have been completed with Mes. It is a little curious whether the Reds apparently kept Mes because he was closer to the majors, only to treat him like a backup catcher who never gets to catch the better pitchers, and rarely gets to play in consecutive games. In that case, it makes way more sense to trade the older prospect and sign a cheap backup.

    • comparing Grandal and Mes on 150ish at bats is pretty meaningless,

      @CP: Isn’t this what we do though. Nonetheless, I’m going by what I see. Just my opinion and could be wrong just as well as right. I think the Pads probably insisted on Grandal so I’m not downing the trade, in general, I just think Grandal is likely to be a superior major league player, “at this point in time.”

      Your points are all well made and I do respect them.

    • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Re:leaving a pitcher at home.Does that include Leake?Because there is absolutely no need for Mike Leake to be on the post season roster.

      @CP: I considered that but I would go with Leake becuase:
      1) In a blow-out, he could pitch many innings and he can hit
      2) Pinch-hitter
      3) Pinch-runner

      I am also assuming that Cueto & Mat get the majority of the starts, especially if the Reds go deep, with off days, and I would like generally they go 7+ innings. Are we going to need as many short men?

    • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Re:leaving a pitcher at home.Does that include Leake?Because there is absolutely no need for Mike Leake to be on the post season roster.

      I hate to say it, but pinch hitter?

    • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: There’s Saber, and then there is judging a career very bad hitter (Navarro) based on 30 at bats.Not the same thing.

      @Hank Aarons Teammate: Again, basing my opinion on the eyeball test and Navarro has been a very good hitter this year. Maybe he started to shorten his stroke because he has an impressive approach at the dish. This is based on my opinion and I don’t expect anyone else to share it. If they do, fine. If not, oh well, it won’t change mine until I “see” it differently.

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