2012 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: The Magic Number is FOUR

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 3
Chicago (NL) 1

W: H. Bailey (12-9)
L: J. Germano (2-8)
S: J. Broxton (3)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Ryan Hanigan is a beast. Scoreless game, sixth inning, bases loaded. Hanigan comes through with a clutch, bases-clearing double. He also walked. Hanigan, Joey Votto (double), and Jay Bruce were all 1-3 with a walk.

–Another outstanding performance by Homer Bailey: 7.1 innings, four hits, one run allowed. He’s now 12-9 with a 3.82 ERA. Bailey is going to be the number four starter in the playoffs, methinks.

–Nice work by Sean Marshall and Jonathan Broxton to close out the game.

NEGATIVES
–None. Well, the good guys only had four hits, but they did walk five times. That’s something.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–Nice win against the stupid Cubs. Reds move back to 30 games over .500, and drop their magic number to four; St. Louis is currently winning in the ninth, so it looks like it will stay at four until tomorrow.

–What a fun, fun, fun season.

–Tonight was Dusty Baker’s 3000th game as a manager in the big leagues.

–In four September starts, Homer is 2-0 with a 1.55 ERA.

–Best part of tonight’s game? Guess what we heard in the stands at Wrigley Field:

That’s just awesome.

–I agree:

–Magic Number:

Wooooo!

45 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: The Magic Number is FOUR

  1. Apparently JVotto is hesitant to slide feet first. I don’t blame him much, but it does cause a trickle of concern.

  2. The statement was made (by Brantley) on the Reds radio tonight that 6 times this year Bailey has left a game in the 7th inning later with the Reds leading but not gotten a win for his efforts.

    I realize that in some quarters wins by pitchers are not viewed as a really accurate bellweather stat; and. I understand that point of view. However, given the way the win totals are bandied about in most media, what might be being said about Bailey’s season if the pen had held even 3 of those leads for him?

    Also before anyone goes to very seriously devaluing Bailey’s latest run because of the apparently weak opposition it has come against, recall that Cueto’s been roughed up pretty good by last place teams in his previous two starts. It seems to me that right now in a snapshot of the present, Latos and Bailey are the Reds top two starters.

  3. Not sure if this was discussed in the game thread, but was today the highest in the batting order that Hanigan has been in this season? Seems like Navarro is allowed to bat 7th regularly, but Hanigan is usually stuck in the 8 hole (or 9th in interleague play). Bumping him up in the order has to be a positive for tonight’s game.

    Pitching has been lights-out lately, here’s to hoping that holds up for another 6 weeks. WHOOOOOO!

  4. Considering the other teams, only 3 teams have a chance to keep us out of the playoffs right now, Pittsburgh, the Dodgers, and the Brewers, only talking record-wise. Teams with worse records can’t catch us. I like that.

    What I don’t like is, this is the time of season where we should be in cruise control, essentially. Everything should pretty much be set, no problems anywhere. But, Cueto struggling. Votto still no RBI’s since he’s been back. Stubbs is Stubbs. Team offense struggling some. Chapman out. Cozart out. Not dire concerns, granted. But, not where you want your team come this time in the season.

    • Votto still no RBI’s since he’s been back.

      As already noted, you’ve got to be pitched to with guys on base in front of you to collect RBI’s. Phillips getting nailed at third on a stolen base attempt erased a base runner in front of Votto’s double. It seems that Votto has been hitting the ball well, so I don’t think there’s reason to list this as a concern.

    • Was BP’s steal attempt his own idea? What was he thinking?

      That is one thing with BP. If he is going to leadoff, he has to realize, he doesn’t have the speed he once had any longer to be stealing bases as easily.

      • The statement was made (by Brantley) onthe Reds radio tonight that 6 times this year Bailey has left a game in the 7th inning later with the Reds leading but not gotten a win for his efforts.

        I realize that in some quarters wins by pitchers are not viewed as a really accuratebellweather stat; and. I understand that point of view. However, given the way the win totals are bandied about in most media, what might be being said about Bailey’s season if the pen had held even 3 of those leads for him?

        Also before anyone goes to very seriously devaluing Bailey’s latest run because of the apparently weak opposition it has come against, recall that Cueto’s been roughed up pretty good by last place teams in his previous two starts. It seems to me that right now in a snapshot of the present, Latos and Bailey are the Reds top two starters.

        It’s strange that wins are often called one of the worst ways to measure a pitcher’s performance but at the same time pitchers are expected to win lots of games. You’re nothing until you’ve won 20 games, but wins don’t matter.

        Bailey is now on pace for 206.1 innings with 160 strikeouts and a 3.82 ERA. It’s unfortunate that he’s faced so many blown saves because more wins, although meaningless, would probably increase his value in eyes of many fans.

        From Dusty’s perspective, Dusty gets accused of leaving in Homer Bailey for too long but turning to the bullpen in Bailey’s starts often seems to result in blown saves. Tough no-win situation.

        That is one thing with BP.If he is going to leadoff, he has to realize, he doesn’t have the speed he once had any longer to be stealing bases as easily.

        Brandon Phillips isn’t a good leadoff hitter or a good base stealer but stealing bases is a stereotypical requirement of being a good leadoff hitter. As long as he is asked to lead off I think Brandon Phillips will do his best to adjust to that role, which means stealing – he’s a proud guy who wants to do everything to do his best. Does that help the team? I don’t think so, I think the offense has really dried up since Phillips started hitting leadoff again. I’m just surprised he hasn’t re-injured his leg yet.

        I said all along that Brandon Phillips’ numbers would drop if he hit leadoff again, but nobody believed me. Now he’s 3/21 over the past week and hitting .190 in September. Phillips has not walked in 8 games. He has two extra base hits since switching roles. He’s scored 1 run in the past 5 games. For the season Phillips is now down to hitting .200 with a .253 OBP in 70 ABs as the leadoff hitter. How long does this leadoff experiment last?

        The leadoff spot for the Reds is a revolving door of disgrace. Cozart and Stubbs have both struggled in that role but we didn’t expect much from those guys to begin with. As a fan favorite I think the Reds should free Phillips from that spot before it’s too late, before he ruins a successful season and his chance to hit .300. Throw somebody – anybody – into the role and bat Phillips second. The shortstop (Cozart, Valdez, or Gregorius), an outfielder (Stubbs, Heisey, Paul), even Jay Bruce – somebody. Don’t keep writing Phillips into the leadoff spot. The Reds do NOT have a good leadoff hitter and I don’t think Brandon Phillips should need to suffer as a result of that – just accept it.

        • It’s strange that wins are often called one of the worst ways to measure a pitcher’s performance but at the same time pitchers are expected to win lots of games.You’re nothing until you’ve won 20 games, but wins don’t matter.

          I thin you’re talking about two different camps of people. The people who expect pitchers to rack up 20+ wins are not the same people who readily that the “win” is a terrible stat. Thankfully, I think most of today’s fans and Cy voters are trending toward the latter camp.

          Poor Clayton Kershaw pitched 7 innings last week, only gave up an unearned run, but took the “L” in a 1-0. Yet another reason why I con’t care one bit about somebody’s W-L record. At the very least, if they’re going to keep wins and losses, they should revamp the way a decision is awarded, to more accurately reflect how well a pitcher performed.

  5. @steveschoen: The magic number for the Reds to clinch a wild card is 3; and, that is against the Dodgers. The Dodgers are playing the Nats while the Reds are at the Cubs and have to play a double header tomorrow because of a rain out tonight. So theoretically by this time tomorrow night the Reds could be officially assured or a playoff spot.

  6. @OhioJim: The very strong probability is that the Reds will be assured no worse than a WC spot before the Reds/ Dodgers series starts on Friday.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cardinales get their backs up and win 4 or 5 or even 6 in a row but I think the Reds will have the division wrapped up by the end of the Dodger series, i.e. will win 4 of the next 5 if need be to do that.

    Tonight was the key for the Reds versus the Cubs. The Cubbies won’t be nearly as stiff spined the next two games as they might have been if they had won tonight.

  7. Homer Bailey has been very good on the road, you wonder with him pitching at GABP if its just a confidence thing with him, there.

    • Homer Bailey has been very good on the road, you wonder with him pitching at GABP if its just a confidence thing with him, there.

      He didn’t have splits like this last year. I think it is just a matter of the splits are only 14-15 starts each at home and on the road.

      Of his three bad starts (3 innings, 6 earned runs allowed), two happened at home and one on the road. All 3 of his starts against St. Louis happened at home. Two of those starts accounted for 9 runs over 12 innings. Then, he had an excellent start midseason against the Cards in GABP, 8 innings, 1 earned run.

      His string of excellent July starts – 2 at home, 3 on the road.
      His string of less-than-stellar August starts – 4 at home, 2 on the road.

      Over a small sample size, all those little differences make it look like a big deal.

      • He didn’t have splits like this last year. I think it is just a matter of the splits are only 14-15 starts each at home and on the road.

        Of his three bad starts (3 innings, 6 earned runs allowed), two happened at home and one on the road. All 3 of his starts against St. Louis happened at home. Two of those starts accounted for 9 runs over 12 innings. Then, he had an excellent start midseason against the Cards in GABP, 8 innings, 1 earned run.

        His string of excellent July starts – 2 at home, 3 on the road.
        His string of less-than-stellar August starts – 4 at home, 2 on the road.

        Over a small sample size, all those little differences make it look like a big deal.

        I don’t care what size the sample is, if given the choice this year its smarter to pitch Homer on the road over at home.

  8. Didn’t know where else to put this
    Steve Berthiaume ‏@SBerthiaumeESPN
    Congratulations to Baseball Tonight & HOFer @BLarkin_ESPN who will manage Brazilian team in World Baseball Classic. #Reds

  9. @steveschoen:

    I agree that the Reds have been struggling on offense recently, but Votto is not part of the problem. HIs lack of RBI’s is more an indictment on the guys hitting ahead of him. Or in tonight’s case, of your leadoff man having a brain fart and trying to steal third base with the league’s top hitter at bat. His baserunning blunder cost Votto a sure RBI.

  10. Magic number down to 4. Let’s win these next two against the Cubs, and head home to clinch in front of the home fans.

  11. @docmike: Plus Votto has been getting walked when he bats with runners in scoring position, often intentionally walked. He was even intentionally walked by the Marlins with runners on 1st and 2nd. It’s good to see him getting on base so often and now hitting doubles again. The HR stroke will come.

  12. I didn’t see the game, BP’s getting caught stealing 3rd sounds like a dumb play. But he’s gotten smarter about when to steal this season, reflected in a much higher SB success ratio than in the past. Prior to last nite’s game he was 15 out of 16 in stolen base attempts. Compare that to 16 out of 28 in 2010 and 14 out of 23 in 2011. Also he was picked off a lot in those years (my understanding is that a pick off counts as a caught stealing if you run to 2nd, but otherwise it doesn’t).

    But I agree with the sentiment that he should not feel he needs to steal a lot now that he’s batting leadoff, that’s a recipe for a lot of outs on the bases.

  13. We’ve been pretty much assuming that the Reds will be the number 2 seed and start the post season in SF. But there’s a good chance they end up as the number 1 seed. They’re only 1 game behind the Nats now (2 in the loss column) and have an easier remaining schedule. Both teams play the Brewers, Cardinals, and Dodgers. Otherwise the Reds are playing the Cubs and Pirates, while the Nats have 2 series against the Phillies. Also of course the Nats have 2 more remaining games than the Reds.

  14. @pinson343: Yeah, with the Nats having a twinbill tomorrow, and it being hard to sweep a twinbill, maybe we pick up a game right there with a win Wednesday!

  15. Please, no more Valdez. Worthless. Any positive he brings to a Playoff roster would be a minor miricle. Go with Didi. Valdez won’t be here next year and Didi most likely will be. Offense is stagnant. Really awful lately. Looks like Frazier will be on the bench at crunch time. If not 3rd or 1st, where?

  16. It is being reported Cozart had a set back Sunday, I am concerned it may be a while before he returns.

    • ?? He took infield and BP yesterday…

      It is being reported Cozart had a set back Sunday, I am concerned it may be a while before he returns.

    • Don’t look now but Giants only 4 games back of the Reds…

      Given that Bailey IS going to be the 4th starter, regardless of ballpark, don’t you want the Reds to be the 3-seed? The only impact 2 vs 3 has on the schedule is the NLDS round.

    • Don’t look now but Giants only 4 games back of the Reds…

      I originally thought that only the #1 seed had to start the DS on the road, but now that I see that the #2 does as well, I’m pretty indifferent to whether we’re the 2 or 3. However, now, I much prefer to be the 1. The only down side I see to be the #3 seed is that it means we haven’t been playing well down the home stretch.

    • @dn4192: Last year it wouldn’t have mattered if Bailey pitched at home or on the road, but this year it does?

      Sorry but I put more stock in what a player is doing now (this season) over previous seasons. If I can maximize my chances of winning by pitching Homer on the road then I will. But then again I would pitch Latos in game 1 if we are playing the Giants over Cuteo.

  17. Falling to the 3 seed could be a real blessing in disguise. I can’t help but think starting the series at home is an advantage. And, no matter what the numbers say, hasn’t Homer said repeatedly that he prefers to pitch on the road? If so, then it is a good thing for him to pitch where he will be the most comfortable. Of course, a Redlegs sweep makes it all irrelevant for the divisional round!

    • Would lose any hope of home field advantage in the NLCS.

      Falling to the 3 seed could be a real blessing in disguise.I can’t help but think starting the series at home is an advantage.And, no matter what the numbers say, hasn’t Homer said repeatedly that he prefers to pitch on the road?If so, then it is a good thing for him to pitch where he will be the most comfortable.Of course, a Redlegs sweep makes it all irrelevant for the divisional round!

        • True. I’d rather go for the 1 seed and try to guarantee home field. Although I guess the question is whether our pitching is better suited for the road.

          @CaptainTonyKW: How so? The 3 seed has as much of a shot at home field in the NLCS as the 2 seed does.

  18. Just an FYI Chad, your Boxscore link goes to the Marlins game from Sunday. I know you are going to worry about me, but I was able to find the boxscore on my own. Tragedy averted! :D

  19. This team needs a nickname, dammit! 72-76 Big Red Machine. 1990 The Nasty Boys (back end of the bullpen). I fear I’m not clever enough to come up with something good, but I keep thinking of the elements. Earth (Marshall’s slider in the dirt that guys swing at), Wind (Chapman’s 101 MPG fastball), Fire (Bronxton’s heater), Water (LeCure comes in to put out fires the SPs create). It’s not nearly clever enough, but it’s all I can come up with.

    Someone, please help.

  20. First time commenter, although I’ve been reading the site since 2009. Trying to shed some potential light on the wooooooo phenomenon.

    http://deadspin.com/5940688/pnc-park-rings-with-ric-flair-wooos-as-pirates-fans-liven-up-game-with-impromptu-nature-boy-calls?tag=Life.s-rich-pageant

    Apparently, the Ric Flair woooooo has been a staple of Penguins games for a while now, and they are doing it at PNC park too. Unless I’m mistaken, the woooooo first appeared at Reds games during last week’s Pirates series. I’m all for the Nature Boy calls, but if we’re hijacking a Pittsburgh thing, I think it’s gotta go.

    • First time commenter, although I’ve been reading the site since 2009. Trying to shed some potential light on the wooooooo phenomenon.

      http://deadspin.com/5940688/pnc-park-rings-with-ric-flair-wooos-as-pirates-fans-liven-up-game-with-impromptu-nature-boy-calls?tag=Life.s-rich-pageant

      Apparently, the Ric Flair woooooo has been a staple of Penguins games for a while now, and they are doing it at PNC park too. Unless I’m mistaken, the woooooo first appeared at Reds games during last week’s Pirates series. I’m all for the Nature Boy calls, but if we’re hijacking a Pittsburgh thing, I think it’s gotta go.

      An earlier poster’s response to this fact was perfect:

      “History is written by the victors”

      If the Reds take ‘Woooo’ with them into the playoffs then consider it commandeered.

    • First time commenter, although I’ve been reading the site since 2009.Trying to shed some potential light on the wooooooo phenomenon.

      http://deadspin.com/5940688/pnc-park-rings-with-ric-flair-wooos-as-pirates-fans-liven-up-game-with-impromptu-nature-boy-calls?tag=Life.s-rich-pageant

      Apparently, the Ric Flair woooooo has been a staple of Penguins games for a while now, and they are doing it at PNC park too.Unless I’m mistaken, the woooooo first appeared at Reds games during last week’s Pirates series.I’m all for the Nature Boy calls, but if we’re hijacking a Pittsburgh thing, I think it’s gotta go.

      Yeah. We know but we don’t care. The only thing that has irritated me was when an 11 year old, kid took credit for it. He was born on September 11th, 2001 and was celebrating his birthday at the game. So I guess he gets to think he’s special for the rest of his life. It was in the paper so I guess it’s true? Sorry kid, but you DID NOT invent the wooooo.

    • First time commenter, although I’ve been reading the site since 2009.Trying to shed some potential light on the wooooooo phenomenon.

      http://deadspin.com/5940688/pnc-park-rings-with-ric-flair-wooos-as-pirates-fans-liven-up-game-with-impromptu-nature-boy-calls?tag=Life.s-rich-pageant

      Apparently, the Ric Flair woooooo has been a staple of Penguins games for a while now, and they are doing it at PNC park too.Unless I’m mistaken, the woooooo first appeared at Reds games during last week’s Pirates series.I’m all for the Nature Boy calls, but if we’re hijacking a Pittsburgh thing, I think it’s gotta go.

      Doesn’t matter. It’s cool to do because it’s Ric Flair, baby! The Nature Boy is the smoothest wrestler there has ever been. Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, and The Rock can all take a hike, they can’t hold Ric’s bejewelled robe.

      WOOOOOO!

  21. I think you need to give Hanigan’s hit just a little more credit than you did. If he had gotten out without knocking in a run, it would have left the bases loaded, two outs and Exxon Valdez coming to the plate. Enough said.

    • Landed four tickets for NLDS home game #2 (probably game #4 of the series).

      I was able to get 4 for the first 2 games – SRO for the first game, as those were the only ones available at 9:00 when it opened. Seemed kinda weird.

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