2012 Post-season / 2012 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

NLDS Titanic Struggle Recap: Bronson Arroyo pitches the Reds to a 2-0 lead

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

National League Division Series, Game Two
FINAL
Cincinnati 9
San Francisco 0

W: B. Arroyo (1-0)
L: M. Bumgarner (0-1)
BOX SCORE

Reds lead series, 2-0

POSITIVES
–Bronson Arroyo was simply spectacular: seven shutout innings, allowing only two baserunners (one hit, one walk). Masterful. He was changing speeds and changing arm angles and making the Giants look silly. Vintage Bronson.

–On the offensive side of the ledger, where do we start? Well, Joey Votto was 3-4 with two runs scored.

Brandon Phillips had two doubles and an RBI.
Ryan Hanigan was 2-4 with three RBI and a run scored.
Ryan Ludwick was 2-3 with a walk, two runs scored, and an RBI on a solo homer in the second inning.
Jay Bruce doubled in two runs.
Drew Stubbs tripled in a run.

Good night for the offense. (Yes, that was an understatement.) Nine runs on thirteen hits.

–JJ Hoover and Jose Arredondo closed out the game with two shutout innings. In all, Reds pitchers held San Francisco to two hits.

NEGATIVES
–None. Absolutely none whatsoever.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–Are you kidding me? Cincinnati puts together a dominant performance to take a 2-0 lead in the NLDS. What a fun, fun night. No reason to over-analyze it.

–I just can’t praise Bronson’s performance enough. He retired the first fourteen San Francisco hitters. He retired 21 of the 23 batters he faced, only threw 91 pitches, and he had hitters baffled all evening long. It was a pitching clinic. I told you Dusty was right when he decided to pitch Arroyo in Game 2 (no, I didn’t really tell you that, I must admit).

–We’ve all been banking on this (because of the miserable September the Reds offense suffered through), but there’s a reason that every study confirms that a team’s performance in September bears no causal relationship to how they will perform in the postseason. We haven’t seen offense like this in Cincinnati in a while, but the club has certainly gotten hot at the perfect time.

–I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something about this Reds postseason that’s different from 2010.

–These TBS announcers keep talking about how Joey Votto is so injured that he can barely walk, and certainly can’t hit. I dunno, he looked pretty darn good to me tonight.

–The Giants hitters were 0-2 with runners in scoring position. Clearly, that’s why they lost. Gotta do better with RISP.

–So, as you know, they had to move the game to TNT, because of the ALDS rain delay. The funniest part of the evening was the reaction on Twitter from all the people watching Law & Order, when TNT cut in and started showing the baseball game. People were freaking out over a repeat of a program from 1995. It was great.

–Some interesting points from tonight’s Twitter feed:

–I meant that last tweet above. Every string Baker has pulled has worked out perfectly. Credit where credit is due.

–Listen closely: the Reds will go for the sweep of this NLDS series on Tuesday at Great American Ballpark. If you have a chance to attend the game, you have to go. What a fun time to be a Reds fan.

As for me, I can’t make it to Game 3, though I do have tickets for Game 4. It would not hurt my feelings at all if Game 4 was unnecessary.

Woooo!

133 thoughts on “NLDS Titanic Struggle Recap: Bronson Arroyo pitches the Reds to a 2-0 lead

  1. @Hank Aarons Teammate: @Matt WI: Agree that Leake is in and Simon is out for the NLCS, if the Reds make it. And that’s a good thing.

    Simon would be out instead of Arredondo because of roles. Dusty even said that a tough decision for the NLDS came down to Leake vs. Simon, who would be the long man. Arredondo is tough on lefties and could be used as a LOOGY.

  2. @pinson343: Fair enough. I think I’m letting Marty’s only bitterness (he was pretty critical of Arredondo both last night and as of late) last night seep into my brain.

    • @pinson343: Fair enough. I think I’m letting Marty’s only bitterness (he was pretty critical of Arredondo both last night and as of late) last night seep into my brain.

      Somehow I feel that if the Reds are up 12-0 in game 7 of the world series, and Bruce strikes out with a guy on 2nd in the bottom of the 8th, Marty will be all over him.

  3. The fourth inning last night was key. Does anyone know the last time we scored three runs on four singles? Overall, the at-bats have been great. Even Stubbs has looked like a completely different player.

  4. @Matt WI: But you (and Marty) have a point. Arredondo pitched poorly down the stretch and last nite, even with a 9 run lead, it was agonizing to watch him pitch. His command is poor, both in terms of walks and leaving his split up, where it gets crushed. Right now I have more confidence in Simon. But WJ and Dusty go by roles, which in this case is OK with me. WJ will bump Simon because Leake will take his role.

  5. @Eric the Red: Yeh the 4th inning was the big one. I gave credit to Rolen above for his single, which resulted in runners on 2nd ad 3rd when Pence’s throw sailed over the cutoff guy. Hanigan’s single then made it 4-0.

    Stubbs has looked good, he feels less pressure as not much is expected from the 8 spot. You could sense the triple was coming.

  6. @Hank Aarons Teammate: Marty was all over Bruce in the final game of the regular season. In the 9th inning, when Bruce was up in the 9th with a runner on 2nd, Marty said that Bruce has had many chances for his 100th RBI. Odd because he got his 99th RBI the nite before. Then when Bruce grounded out, there was disgust in his voice.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Marty was all over Bruce in the final game of the regular season. In the 9th inning, when Bruce was up in the 9th with a runner on 2nd, Marty said that Bruce has had many chances for his 100th RBI. Odd because he got his 99th RBI the nite before. Then when Bruce grounded out, there was disgust in his voice.

      Because as we know, good players drive in 100 runs, and not good players drive in 99 runs. Right, Marty?

      As to Arredondo, yes, it was painful to watch him yesterday, but that was mainly because it was late and I was tired. I think I can handle a bit of a struggle when we’re up 9-0.

  7. @Hank Aarons Teammate: OK but Dusty was getting fidgety too when Arredondo was taking so long to get that last out. One of the broadcasters captured his facial expression and body language well: “PLEASE don’t make me bring in another reliever.”

  8. Yes, Rolen’s hit was key (as was Pence missing the cutoff man. One of those little things that don’t show up in the box score.) I meant my question literally: anyone know the last time we scored multiple runs by stringing together singles like that? It seems the only way we’ve scored recently is with a HR or with the other team helping with errors/walks.

  9. If the Reds carry this over to tomorrow night, the Giants should just pack up and go.

    The crowd will be electric and we will have our big guns in the bullpen on two day rest. Isn’t it nice to know that Bailey should only have to go 6 innings with the lead?

  10. MLB has to somehow come up with a way of redoing the season schedule and playoff schedule. I know it won’t happen, but there needs to be a shorter regular season in days played. If each team played 1 D/N DH each month they could start the playoffs the final week of Sept. They need to play all weekend playoff games at 1pm and 4pm no matter where the game is beign played and during the week all games start no later then 7pm local time.

  11. @dn4192: They may shorten the schedule one day, but I can’t see them ever adding double headers back into the schedule. Not in today’s age of pitch counts and innings limits…at least not without building additional off-days into the calendar, which would defeat the purpose.

    I don’t recall that in seasons past that they spaced the LDS round of games out like they did this past weekend. I think they could play games at 1, 4, & 7pm and let two games play at the same time at 4pm.

    It is ridiculous that they aren’t releasing a tenative schedule for Wednesday’s games. They could schedule two games in each of two time slots, and if either of the Giants@Reds (earlier game) or Tigers@A’s (later game) series ended on Tuesday, they’d reduce the schedule for that time slot.

  12. We really got the good Bronson last night. It looks to me like a Reds-Tigers world series coming up; a redo of the 1940 series. Those announcers on MLB.com were obviously Giant fans and as the game progressed they became more crestfallen. The Reds are in win-mode.

  13. @redsfanman: More likely, they won’t know what to expect with Cueto.

    In terms of removing a pitcher, I also think that probably Arredondo is the guy to remove. But Simon will be the one removed. I think the way Baker thinks about it, he needs to have one more guy on his staff who lefties won’t hit. Of course, they will very likely walk, but I don’t think that’s going into the calculation. As for Leake, if they need someone to make a start, who’s it going to be? They aren’t going to do a bullpen (Dick Wholestaff) start. That’s not the way teams think.

    The Reds really could use one more lefty specialist. As in, an actual lefty. If they were to play the Nats, they have Harper and LaRoche. Against the Giants it is not as critical. It’s not a huge deal, just would be nice.

    • The Reds really could use one more lefty specialist. As in, an actual lefty. If they were to play the Nats, they have Harper and LaRoche. P>

      My preference all along was for Cingrani to take Arredondo or Ondrusek’s spot. Arredondo’s min-meltdown wasn’t enough to get him booted off the roster for the next round, and yet to me it was. His appearance last night and most of the 2nd half told me he can’t be counted on to get out of a high leverage situation w/o first giving up a hit or a walk. If that’s the case, he becomes unuseable, right? Give me a second true lefty any day.

    • I love the single elimination game – huge, in fact OUTRAGEOUS penalty for not winning your division.You only have four other teams to beat, fer criminey’s sake!(Well, or three, or five…)If you can’t do that, you’d better be ready to bring it, and then turn around and face the best team in your league…

      I think a penalty is a good thing to call the Wild Card elimination game – it’s a risk you take for winning the Wild Card that doesn’t put you on equal footing with the first place teams. Finish in first place and you’re safe, win the Wild Card and your season can end in one day. It forces teams like Atlanta to keep fighting for first place.

      Given how we can rap it up on Tuesday night and have a pretty rested bullpen, how short of a leash will/should Homer have in the game?

      I think Homer Bailey will have a very short leash – Latos and Arroyo were both pulled relatively quickly, as were Cain, Bumgarner, and Lincecum (albeit under a wide variety of different circumstances). If the Reds win in game 3 they have several days off to rest the bullpen so everybody should be available.

      The Reds really could use one more lefty specialist.As in, an actual lefty.If they were to play the Nats, they have Harper and LaRoche.Against the Giants it is not as critical.It’s not a huge deal, just would be nice.

      I’m not sure how helpful another lefty would be – Adam LaRoche is hitting .268 against LHPs and .273 against RHPs, almost the same. Bringing in a lefty to face him sounds good but it doesn’t necessarily help. Bryce Harper is a little more susceptible, hitting .240 against LHPs and .286 against RHPs. Harper and LaRoche hit 2nd and 4th in the Nationals’ order but do the Reds really need an extra pitcher just to face to them? Should Tony Cingrani get a bullpen spot just to face Harper?

      I think Marshall and Chapman can handle them.

      Harper hits second and LaRoche 4th. Against the Nationals I assume Marshall will be used in late innings when the 2 through 4 spots are up while Chapman pitches the 9th.

  14. I can’t see them adding double headers either. I wish they’d shorted the season to 154 or, better yet, go back to two divisions and eliminate the wild card**. But, I know, neither will EVER happen.

    **Yes, I know. This sounds like an old fogey statement. But, I miss the days where the best of the best made the playoffs; the 162 game slog had a lot more meaning (as it should; baseball requires that to separate wheat from chaff); you could have great (and meaningful) pennant races between two legitimately great teams where the losing team didn’t make the playoffs; and the playoffs were doing in a timely manner.

    • per14
      10/8/2012 at 3:14 pm

      I can’t see them adding double headers either. I wish they’d shorted the season to 154 or, better yet, go back to two divisions and eliminate the wild card**. But, I know, neither will EVER happen.

      **Yes, I know. This sounds like an old fogey statement. But, I miss the days where the best of the best made the playoffs; the 162 game slog had a lot more meaning (as it should; baseball requires that to separate wheat from chaff); you could have great (and meaningful) pennant races between two legitimately great teams where the losing team didn’t make the playoffs; and the playoffs were doing in a timely manner.

      I agree. I’m not old (only 29 going on 30 in a few months), but it’s absolutely ridiculous what the game has become. The Cardinals have got to be the absolute luckiest team on the face of the planet. They wouldn’t even be sniffing the playoffs if it weren’t for the new format and then on top of that they go forward because of Atlanta’s defensive collapse in a single game.

      I admit that I’m probably a little more upset about the whole situation because I live in St. Louis and have to deal with the fans, but that doesn’t make the complaint any less valid. If you are going to have 2 wild card teams, shorten the season and have the 2 wild card teams play a 3 game series or something, but a single elimination game?

  15. I love the single elimination game – huge, in fact OUTRAGEOUS penalty for not winning your division. You only have four other teams to beat, fer criminey’s sake! (Well, or three, or five…) If you can’t do that, you’d better be ready to bring it, and then turn around and face the best team in your league…

  16. Given how we can rap it up on Tuesday night and have a pretty rested bullpen, how short of a leash will/should Homer have in the game?

  17. Maybe they should make it that a wildcard never gets to play at home. “I’m sorry, homefields are for winners only.” :D

    • Maybe they should make it that a wildcard never gets to play at home. “I’m sorry, homefields are for winners only.”

      Ha! Brilliance!

    • The Reds unnecessary Wednesday, Game 4 start time has been announced today – 4pm.

      It’s about freaking time! I seriously doubt there were any stadium availability issues to work around. I am surprised they’re showing two 7:30 games though.

      Thanks for the link.

      • I am surprised they’re showing two 7:30 games though.

        Well, the main scoreboard page says 7:30 TBS and 9:30 TNT for the late games, even though the link from Greg shows both at 7:30.

        MLB needs to get their crap together.

    • The Reds unnecessary Wednesday, Game 4 start time has been announced today – 4pm.

      http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/schedule/ps.jsp?y=12

      Isn’t it bad enough that Reds fans were forced to risk only having one home game, the league now tells FANS WITH JOBS that they can’t do both.

      Hopefully, as Greg points out, Game Four will be unnecessary, but I’d be extremely upset if I were a fan who had paid for the tickets and were now unable to attend because the game was scheduled like this.

      Major League Baseball just doesn’t care about the average fan when it comes to the postseason.

      • Isn’t it bad enough that Reds fans were forced to risk only having one home game, the league now tells FANS WITH JOBS that they can’t do both to attend the game.

        Hopefully, as Greg points out, Game Four will be unnecessary, but I’d be extremely upset if I were a fan who had paid for the tickets and were now unable to attend because the game was scheduled like this.

        Major League Baseball just doesn’t care about the average fan when it comes to the postseason.

        Actually, fans who buy tickets should know that MLB plays several day games during the division series.

        I was aware of the possibility when I bought my tickets. It actually works well for me, as I have a two-hour-plus drive home after the game.

        Yes, I have a job, but I am taking the day off.

      • Isn’t it bad enough that Reds fans were forced to risk only having one home game, the league now tells FANS WITH JOBS that they can’t do both. Hopefully, as Greg points out, Game Four will be unnecessary, but I’d be extremely upset if I were a fan who had paid for the tickets and were now unable to attend because the game was scheduled like this. Major League Baseball just doesn’t care about the average fan when it comes to the postseason.

        Lets see…so far they have had the two Reds games on go past the midnight hour, the game 2 of the Tigers/A’s game was shown on the MLB network which is seen by how many homes? MLB doesn’t care about the fans, it’s all about the TV revenue.

  18. And yet, headlines would look something like: “Yankees drop WS” or “Harper and Nationals Going Home”

    Sad, but very very true.

  19. “Now we just need the Cards and Nats to go 5 games, with each one being a 15 inning affair.”

    Of course I understand the logic, but I cannot get my mind around rooting for the Cardinals to win anything. Ever. How about the Nats win every game, and each is a 20 inning affair?

  20. @preach: What if we think about the extra pain of going five games and being so close, but then getting stomped on. I could root for that. I wouldn’t want the last one to be a close game because then they’d whine about something that didn’t go their way that made them lose a close one.

    • Did anyone see that the game last night got a .9 rating?

      Er…help me out – is that good? Or bad? I don’t know what a .9 means…

  21. I don’t like that the game is starting to early, but imagine how the SF fans feel. At least many Reds fans can be home from work in time to see the end of the game.

  22. Cards up early on Nationals…could this series go the full 5 and if so isn’t that good for the Reds? I am guessing the NLCS is scheduled to start on Sunday the 14th?

  23. Is anyone watching the Yankees-Orioles ? Jeter has made 3 misplays in the 3rd & 4th innings. Only one was scored an error. Why is Eduardo Nunez the Yankees DH tonite ? I know the Orioles are pitching a lefty, but just the same. He batted with the bases loaded and 1 out, and after getting a break on a dropped foul tip that would have been strike 3 he fisted a little pop up to SS.

    When running Texeira looks a whole lot worse than Joey.

    There, a few positive comments about my favorite (not) team.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s