2012 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: How does the magic number thing work now?

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Milwaukee 2
Cincinnati 4

W: J. Cueto (19-9)
L: M. Fiers (9-9)
S: A. Chapman (36)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Good outing by Johnny Cueto, although he acted like he wasn’t feeling right all night long. He pitched seven strong innings, giving up two runs on five hits and no walks, striking out five. Good to see Cueto pitch well and get that 19th victory.

–Jonathan Broxton struck out the side in the eighth, and Aroldis Chapman pitched a perfect ninth. Although Chapman didn’t strike out anyone, he did hit triple digits on the radar gun once again. That’s good to see.

–Dioner Navarro had the big hit, a bases-loaded single in the second that plated two runners. Navarro was 2-3 on the night.

–Jay Bruce was 2-4 with a run scoring double (he also scored a run). Joey Votto also had an RBI double (and a walk).

NEGATIVES
–None.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–The Reds keep winning. That’s 93 victories, and the Reds are tied for the top seed in the National League playoff structure. Plus, as Joel noted, only eleven teams in Cincinnati franchise history have had more than 93 wins, and seven of those teams went to the World Series.

–I really hope Dusty Baker gets better soon. Yes, I want the big guy back in the dugout. As soon as possible.

62 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: How does the magic number thing work now?

  1. We owe nothing more than to ourselves, and that is to rack up as many WINS as possible. Awesome season. GO REDS!

  2. Nats play cards and phils rest of way and Giants have dbacks, padres and Dodgers….gotta think we have the eaisest schedule…

    • Nats play cards and phils rest of way and Giants have dbacks, padres and Dodgers….gotta think we have the eaisest schedule…

      Didn’t you just say a few days ago the Reds were going to definitely get the #2 seed?

      • Didn’t you just say a few days ago the Reds were going to definitely get the #2 seed?

        I still think we will, I was just speaking of strenght of schedule left.

    • Nats play cards and phils rest of way and Giants have dbacks, padres and Dodgers….gotta think we have the eaisest schedule…

      They need the #1 seed and they will win the first round no matter where they play. Anyone would be nuts to say having the home field advantage in the NLCS is not important. I see no advantage playing SF as opposed to the wildcard, so I hope they put priority on winning all the remaining games. I still have hopes of 100 wins…

  3. Davey Johnson vs Dusty Baker for Manager of the Year is getting more complicated as the two teams are tied for the best record in baseball, and as the more popular person recovers from a minor stroke.

  4. Not sure if you were serious about the magic number thing Chad, but its technically 9 with Washington and 6 with San Francisco for the best record in the National League and the Number 1 seed.

  5. Nevermind, I think I get what you were joking about, but as far as the 1 seed goes, those numbers still apply haha.

  6. Realistically it is hard to see how the Cards don’t get the second Wild Card after tonight’s action.

    They only have seven games to go and will be at least 3.5 up even if the Dodgers come back from a 2 run deficit to beat the Pads. Otherwise, the Cards lead will be 4.5 with 7 games to go for them.

    Let’s say the Astro’s manage to beat the Cards tomorrow and the Brewers and/ or Dodgers manage to make up the maximum possible 1.5 games before the final 6 for everybody start on Friday night. If my quick math is accurate, that would mean even if either or the trailing teams won out, the Cards would have to get swept by either the Reds or Nats and drop two of three to the other in order to lose the last wild card. I just don’t see that happening.

    Actually I think the more intriguing possibility would be that the Braves who play the Fish, Metz, and Pirates for the balance of the season could win out and make up 4 games on the Nats and steal the East from them, pushing the Nats down into a WC spot.

    • @OhioJim: It is an interesting dynamic. Everyone still has something significant to play for but the Reds’ quest for the #1 seed is certainly the least “daunting” of all the respective teams’ goals.

      The Pirates went from a big series on the calendar (it still was a month ago) to being as meaningless and ‘soft’ as one with the Cubs or Stros.

      I would like to see a NC ‘lead’ over the Nats going into the Cards series so only a single win locks up that #1 seed.

  7. Cueto back in a groove is just what I wanted to see. He said he noticed some problems watching video. Every “expert” I’ve heard has limited the Cy Young conversation to Dickey and Gio. If he wins 20, seems like he has to be back in the conversation.

  8. Watched Chapman in the 9th, another step forward for him, velocity reaching triple digits. He was way getting some of his fastballs way up. Next steps are throwing his slider again, and better command of his fastball. Plenty of time for that.

  9. Why on earth did Aoki, leading off and 2 down in the 9th, swing at the 2nd pitch after Chapman threw the first one way over everyone’s head ? A walk was by far his best chance to get on.

    And how did Weeks pull a line drive to 3rd on a 100 mph fast ball ?

  10. @vicferrari: I’m with you, I can’t help but want the Reds to win as many games as they can.

    Speier said they’ll be resting people but also going for Ws. In the pregame interview with Marty, he gave a surprising answer when asked what seed he would like the Reds to have. Without hesitation he says “3″, because he wants to start the postseason at home.

  11. George Kotteras hits a game winning HR to win it in extras for the A’s. I’m rooting for them to make it to the playoffs. I like Kotteras, he’a walk machine with pop.

    And who could forget his two walk off hits against CoCo in s single series last year ?

  12. That 93 win thing is a fun fact but a little misleading. Up until 1963 the leagues usually played around a 154 games instead of the present day 162. In fact the 1961 Reds won 93 but that was out of 154. On the other hand, of course, this years Reds have won 93 out of their first 154 and will very likely win a few more before they are done. The 1919 Reds won 96 out of 140 games for a .686 winning pct. That’s the best ever for a Reds team (except for the Red Stockings, obviously)and not attainable for this Reds team or any other team this year. The 1927 Yankees were .714. Wow.

  13. I swear I heard JBrantley say that BPrice thought AChapman had better control if he kept his pitches below triple digits. Did anyone else?

    • seat101: I swear I heard JBrantley say that BPrice thoughtAChapman had better control if he kept his pitches below triple digits. Did anyone else?

      I didn’t hear that but there’s often a velocity vs. control tradeoff with Chapman. (When he’s fatigued he loses both velocity and control, I’m leaving that out of the discussion.)

      When Chapman has his rhythm he can consistently throw strikes at 100-101, so if Brantley is saying he shouldn’t throw that hard, I disagree.
      BUT … When Chapman is having a little trouble throwing strikes, let’s say goes 3-0 on a hitter, he backs off to the 96-97 range. So he feels that with a little less velocity he can gain or regain control.

      Also Chapman threw in the 101-103 range consistently a couple of years ago, and his control would drop off over 101 or so, as his pitches would sail.
      He admitted that he’d gotten carried away with the radar gun.

  14. @vicferrari: I’m with you, I can’t help but want the Reds to win as many games as they can.

    Speier said they’ll be resting people but also going for Ws. In the pregame interview with Marty, he gave a surprising answer when asked what seed he would like the Reds to have. Without hesitation he says “3″, because he wants to start the postseason at home.

    That’s exactly why I suggested in the game thread that MLB should have given the higher seeded teams the choice: open at home for 2 and then go on the road for 3, or open on the road for 2 and then come home for the rest. The 2-3 format is protected, and the better teams get to choose how they manage the situation.

  15. Eric – I have thought about the logistical downside to your idea. Such as staffing vendors, ushers, and such-not a big deal, I think.

    It would add to the gamesmanship…. Road? Home? Against which opponent? I don’t see much of a downside.

  16. It’s all over but the crying now. The wildcards will be Atlanta and St. Louis. Both teams are red hot and St. Louis is up by 4.5 games with +/-8 games to go. The only challenge to that will be if Washington loses 5 or 6 of the remaining games allowing Atlanta to win the division.

    Personally, I’d love to see the Reds go in to St. Louis next Sunday.

  17. Seat, the logistics are no different than if the seeds aren’t decided until the last day or two on the field. In fact, it might improve things: the #1 seed could declare their intention to open at home, and not wait for the wild card game to be played. I doubt any team would take the last three games at home and the first two on the road if given a choice, which shows how silly the whole thing is. But MLB obviously couldn’t FORCE the higher seed to give up home field advantage by deciding it would be 2 at home for the higher seed and then 3 on the road, so the only way to achieve that outcome would have been to give the higher seeds the choice. Rant over :-)

  18. I think it’s crazy and very shortsighted to want the 3 seed. You definitely want the #1. Having the homefield for the NLCS is way more important in a 7 game series than the borderline advantage you might want for the NLDS.

  19. The Reds could easily put MIL away this series. I wouldn’t mind them getting the wildcard and sneaking in though. The Reds seem to play well against them.

    • rafy00: The Reds could easily put MIL away this series. I wouldn’t mind them getting the wildcard and sneaking in though. The Reds seem to play well against them.

      I’ve noticed that too. I think it’s partly because the Brewers are so RHed dominant, and of course the Reds starters are all RHed.

  20. Looking at the standings, it is interesting to look at the NL vs. AL standings. Four teams in the NL have already clinched playoff spots and 2 have already clinched their division. No AL team has clinched a playoff spot, though Texas is very close.

  21. I have in my tiny way participated in criticism of Dusty Baker, but stepping back realize that this guy is the glue that holds 25 guys together, minimizes internal dissension, keeps them all on the same page. Castellini wants Dusty around as long as Dusty wants to be around, and I understand why now.

    • I have in my tiny way participated in criticism of Dusty Baker, but stepping backrealize that this guy is the glue that holds 25 guys together, minimizes internal dissension, keeps them all on the same page. Castellini wants Dusty around as long as Dusty wants to be around, and I understand why now.

      I love this comment.

  22. Does anyone know what the tie-breaker is if there is a tie for the #1 seed? If the Harpers & our boys end up with identical records, I assume #1 will be the team that won the most of the head-to-head games, correct? I can’t imagine that there would have to be an extra game played to determine #1. (Oh, that’s right – this is Bud Selig’s MLB. So it turns out I CAN imagine it.)

    • Does anyone know what the tie-breaker is if there is a tie for the #1 seed? If the Harpers & our boys end up with identical records, I assume #1 will be the team that won the most of the head-to-head games, correct? I can’t imagine that there would have to be an extra game played to determine #1. (Oh, that’s right – this is Bud Selig’s MLB. So it turns out I CAN imagine it.)

      The tiebreaker is the head-to-head games record. Washington has that. I think they were 5-4 against the Reds this year.

  23. Cardinals pitching is lined up so that their #1, Lohse gets the start in the wildcard. If the Reds play the Cardinals they are likely to get Lynn and Garcia at Busch, followed by Carp, Wainwright, Lohse at GABP. It is conceivable the Cards could use 5 pitchers in the NLDS to get Lohse reloaded for the top of the NLCS if they have 2 wins. He can also go on short rest and play him in game 3 to try to pull out a win if they are down 0-2 in the series. It is also conceivable (but unlikely) Wainwright could get left off the postseason roster depending on how Carp looks tonight. Wainwright’s season has been woeful (comparatively speaking of course).

    The Reds and Cardinals’ starters are pretty evenly matched, as are the Reds and Giants. The Reds starters are actually better than the Braves statistically speaking. The Nations, even without their #3 Strasburg are statistically better. But the Reds relieving core is better than anyone of them by a lot.

  24. @rightsaidred: I don’t know. I guess because I think the Cardinals will beat the Braves. I’d just prefer to see the Reds with the #1 seed and go to St. Louis where the team knows the pitching staff and the ballpark, than go out to the West Coast.

    • @rightsaidred: I don’t know.I guess because I think the Cardinals will beat the Braves.I’d just prefer to see the Reds with the #1 seed and go to St. Louis where the team knows the pitching staff and the ballpark, than go out to the West Coast.

      I like that you have a reasoning for this (along with your previous post), unlike many others who apparently think that someone is an idiot for thinking the Reds might be better off with the #2 seed. I disagree with your post, but not strongly:

      1. The HFA in the NLCS is nice, but not *that* large.

      2. Are we really going to be duped into thinking that the Cardinals aren’t that good, kind of like the Phils seemed to think last year?

      3. If the Reds get the #1, they might play ATL, which has a huge gap between their #1 and rest. And I have to believe Medlen will face Lohse in the play-in game. The Braves have won *22* games in a row started by Medlen. Sheesh.

      I’d rather play SF than STL, but it’s not a huge gap. Perhaps I just do not want to risk losing to STL. But really, the Cards are a formidable NLDS opponent for anyone.

      • Hank’s teammate: 3. If the Reds get the #1, they might play ATL, which has a huge gap between their #1 and rest.And I have to believe Medlen will face Lohse in the play-in game.The Braves have won *22* games in a row started by Medlen.Sheesh.

        I think the ideal scenario is for the Reds to get the number 1 seed and then the Braves beat the Cards with Medlen, using him up.
        Number 1 seed vs. number 2 has pros and cons, either is OK with me.

        No disrespect for the Braves from me. They’re a very good team this year, and seem to be on a mission after what happened last year.
        Braves-Nats-Giants-Cards are all strong, I think about equally strong.
        The Cards didn’t play as well as the others in the regular season but that means zip in the playoffs, as everyone here obviously knows.

    • @TC:

      Regular season wins, with the Nats would win. If the Reds and Nats are tied with the same record, the tie breaker goes to the Nats.

      Thanks – that’s what I guessed, but I wasn’t sure. Considering the mess that is the post-season schedule, it could have been anything.

  25. I personally don’t see any positive in having to play the Cards in the NLDS especially with them getting games 1 and 2 at home. If we some how end up with the No. 1 see we need to be seeing the Braves in the NLDS, cause a matchup wit the Cards does not favor us at all in my opinion.

  26. @TC: Are the Reds coming apart at the seams w/o Dusty and I’m just not seeing it? Seems like business as usual.

    Once Ludwick returns, I hope Heisey gets the starts in CF vs. righties. I’d prefer to see Stubbs used only vs. lefties and as a late inning defender/pinch runner/PH. His struggles vs. RH pitching are just too obvious.

    Any word on how long Hanigan will be out?

    • @TC: Are the Reds coming apart at the seams w/o Dusty and I’m just not seeing it?Seems like business as usual.

      Once Ludwick returns, I hope Heisey gets the starts in CF vs. righties.I’d prefer to see Stubbs used only vs. lefties and as a late inning defender/pinch runner/PH.His struggles vs. RH pitching are just too obvious.

      Any word on how long Hanigan will be out?

      They’re not coming apart at the seams without Dusty but everyone in the organization is implying that they want Dusty to return… rather than celebrating his absence as might happen in some other cities with other managers (particularly Boston and Miami). Dusty being unavailable is a distraction rather than a blessing.

      They’ve said that Hanigan should be back in the lineup on Wednesday.

    • Are the Reds coming apart at the seams w/o Dusty and I’m just not seeing it? Seems like business as usual.

      I agree.

  27. I asked above about is Cueto back in the Cy Young discussion. Fay makes his case today. He shows that Cueto’s stats are competitive against the other 3 candidates, and argues that home park factor should be taken into account.

    • I asked above about is Cueto back in the Cy Young discussion. Fay makes his case today. He shows that Cueto’s stats are competitive against the other 3 candidates, and argues that home park factor should be taken into account.

      Cueto is a very distant third at this point. Gio with the Nationals will win it in a close race with Dickey from the Mets with Cueto a very distant 3rd. Frazier will be a distant 2nd in ROY and Dusty will be a distant 2nd in MOTY behind Davey Johnson.

      I think Votto will get some MVP votes but see Posey winning it with SF with Braun finishing second.

      • Cueto is a very distant third at this point.

        Looking at baseball-reference, Cueto has the highest ERA+ (which is parked adjusted) and WAR of any NL starting pitchers. Why is he a distant 3rd?

        • Looking at baseball-reference, Cueto has the highest ERA+ (which is parked adjusted) and WAR of any NL starting pitchers. Why is he a distant 3rd?

          He had a mini slump towards the end of the season, he doesn’t play in NY or DC and he doesn’t have the wins the other two does and there has not been much press about him. Now is it fair, not at all, but these awards are not always awarded on fairness or key numbers. For Cueto to have won it he would have had to outshine both other two which he didn’t do. No different then when Votto didn’t win ROY or Frazier won’t this year. Remember who votes on this award.

  28. @TC: I don’t know if I would say that the Cardinals are red hot. They were struggling until the last 4 games, which they won against the Cubs and Astros. I’m not minimizing those wins, as the Cubs played them tough at home (as always) and the Astros have been good at home in September. If the Cards beat up on the Nats, then yes I’d say they’re red hot.

    In the first of those 4 wins, they were about to lose to the Cubs for the 2nd game in a row, and then Beltran ties it in the 9th with that HR off Marmol. That was big.

  29. @Kaleb: I can see that. Having seen a few games on tv now since it started, I do tend to agree with Steve Mancuso’s previous post point about the randomness of it. I love the idea of the woo, but it’s so random and disconnected from what goes on in the game that I can see where it would get on players’ nerves. To them it might sound like the crowd has Tourette’s over time. “Noonan! Noonan!” :D

  30. @Matt WI: Yeh the woo is beginning to wear on me. The randomness is a problem.

    When I turn on the Reds radio now and hear woos, it’s no indicator of whether the Reds are playing well or not.

  31. How is it fair that there is a good chance the No. 1 WC team can make it to the NLCS with only playing 1 road game?

  32. Reds not showing signs of backing down yet. Tonight’s lineup:

    Phillips
    Cozart
    Votto
    Rolen
    Bruce
    Heisey
    Paul
    Hanigan
    Arroyo

    • Reds not showing signs of backing down yet. Tonight’s lineup:PhillipsCozartVottoRolenBruceHeiseyPaulHaniganArroyo

      Can anyone explain what happen to Devin M.?

    • Reds not showing signs of backing down yet. Tonight’s lineup:

      Phillips
      Cozart
      Votto
      Rolen
      Bruce
      Heisey
      Paul
      Hanigan
      Arroyo

      I’ll be honest, thats a good looking lineup. Slide Ludwick in there for Paul and that looks like a serious threat in the postseason. I think no matter who we play, we will be a tough out and will prove it come October.

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