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. “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.”

    Me too, exactly. I’ll take one for the team if it means a Reds sweep.

  2. Not Reds related, but I’m still in shock that Davey Johnson called for a sac bunt from Danny Espinosa when the Nats were down 2-1, Boggs on the mound, 1st and 3rd, zero outs, 8th inning, and a very weak hitter on deck (Kurt Suzuki) who he was not going to pinch hit for.

    I do not remember the last time a position player sacrificed with 1st and 3rd and no outs. To my knowledge, I’ve never seen it.

    My advice to Johnson would be to find a new second baseman, if you feel he needs to bunt in that situation.

    Of course, it “worked” because they got a 2 run single from a rookie on a blooper with 2 outs. I certainly love it, but it was really surprising to see a manager who disdains the bunt call for one in a situation where you absolutely should never bunt.

  3. Arroyo was brilliant tonight (obvious); maybe a couple hard hit balls (2 in the first, and I think 1 thereafter). Lots, lots, lots of very easy outs.

    Good game by the Reds leadoff hitter. (Joey Votto, that is!)

    That park is so big that for a moment I thought Stubbs could get an inside the park home run there.
    Stubbs is so fast that that play where he beat out the relay throw on the would-be DP, I think Hanigan wouldn’t have even been halfway to first yet.

  4. It’s not a negative, only a concern. What is up with our 9th inning pitching issues? Are the Giants just that hard to put away? Or will this come back to bite us in a close game? I’d love a 1-2-3 ninth inning on Tuesday please!

    • It’s not a negative, only a concern. What is up with our 9th inning pitching issues? Are the Giants just that hard to put away? Or will this come back to bite us in a close game? I’d love a 1-2-3 ninth inning on Tuesday please!

      Yeah, I was surprised that didn’t get mentioned in the negatives either. If the Reds hadn’t blown the doors off in their 5 run inning, the 9th would have been cardiac arrest inducing.

  5. So in the end, all that hand wringing about Arroyo being the game 2 starter was for….

    What?

    Just trust Dusty, guys, he knows what he’s doing.

    • So in the end, all that hand wringing about Arroyo being the game 2 starter was for….

      What?

      Just trust Dusty, guys, he knows what he’s doing.

      I hope everyone stays positive and do not do the “I told you so’s.” and fire Dusty rantsif Bailey pitches to his 5+ ERA at GABP. People complaining about Arroyo were just irrational, the legit complaints were about not starting Bailey on the road. It is pretty easy to manage when everyone produces. Mike Leake and Todd Redmond could have started and they would still be up 2-0, no matter who the Giants threw the Reds pounded them and if someone told you Latos and Chapman would have the team high in ERA over the 2 games what would have thought?

      • I hope everyone stays positive and do not do the “I told you so’s.” and fire Dusty rantsif Bailey pitches to his 5+ ERA at GABP. People complaining about Arroyo were just irrational, the legit complaints were about not starting Bailey on the road. It is pretty easy to manage when everyone produces. Mike Leake and Todd Redmond could have started and they would still be up 2-0, no matter who the Giants threw the Reds pounded them and if someone told you Latos and Chapman would have the team high in ERA over the 2 games what would have thought?

        I think as long as the Reds offense keeps going like it is, Bailey would have to completely implode to not at least keep the Reds in the game on Tuesday. Personally, I think the whole road/home split is a bit over-stated. Basically, if you were to set up the rotation for the best chance of success, you would pitch Bailey and Arroyo on the road (especially in the bigger parks) and Cueto and Latos at home.

        Bailey is going to be fine on Tuesday. If the Reds keep hitting, they have a sweep on their hands.

    • So in the end, all that hand wringing about Arroyo being the game 2 starter was for….

      What?

      Just trust Dusty, guys, he knows what he’s doing.

      At least from my point of view, the hand wringing was less about Arroyo pitching game 2 than Bailey NOT pitching game two which means he’ll be forced to pitch at home with those awful home/away splits. I’ll be very happy to eat my words on Tuesday, however.

      I also heard some grumbling about the hard thrower-soft thrower strategy that some think in nonsense.

      • At least from my point of view, the hand wringing was less about Arroyo pitching game 2 than Bailey NOT pitching game two which means he’ll be forced to pitch at home with those awful home/away splits.I’ll be very happy to eat my words on Tuesday, however.

        I also heard some grumbling about the hard thrower-soft thrower strategy that some think in nonsense.

        Most of the hand wringing was based on Baker forgetting how many off days there were and implying they’d go with 3 starters—and Latos starting game 3. Once he remembered they needed a 4-man rotation, I think there was a preference, slightly, for Latos or Bailey to start game 2. I personally liked Bailey slightly over Arroyo, but not enough to be unhappy about it. They (were, until Cueto’s injury) all going to pitch exactly once anyways, and someone has to pitch at GABP.

        I still like Bailey as the #3 starter and Arroyo as the #4 starter in the NLCS, if the Reds make it, and if Cueto is healthy of course.

  6. SF fans are complaining about their manager’s decision to throw two hard-throwers back to back in the first two games. FWIW I thought that would be appropriate here

    • SF fans are complaining about their manager’s decision to throw two hard-throwers back to back in the first two games. FWIW I thought that would be appropriate here

      But Cal Ripkin disagrees, so you know that’s just sour grapes. Cal Ripkin’s word is law!

  7. Time to lay it all out there: The Reds will win the 2012 World Series. Take it to the bank.

    • Time to lay it all out there: The Reds will win the 2012 World Series. Take it to the bank.

      One step at a time. I’ll settle for a sweep and a chance to rest some guys as (hopefully) the Cards and Nats go 5 games.

      Hoping the Cards win the next one to at least guarantee 4.

  8. @CI3J: If the Reds hadn’t opened up the big lead in the 8th, Arredondo would not have been out there pitching the 9th. I agree what watching Arredondo can be nerve wracking, even with a 9 run lead in the 9th.

  9. I’m a big fan of Bronson, and now, like Chad, I too can say I told you so (except like Chad, I didn’t either). Oh well, opportunity lost.

    In a park like SF, he gives up a blast to RF in the first inning, it’s only a long out. He settles in, gets his rhythm, and frustrates them into submission. Watching him pitch when he’s on is as much fun as watching anyone pitch. The artist at work.

    One of the TBS guys (probably Ron Darling) finally said something intelligent. After Bronson’s 5 pitches were listed, he said: “That’s not all of them, he makes up pitches as he goes along.”

    • I’m a big fan of Bronson, and now, like Chad, I too can say I told you so (except like Chad, I didn’t either).Oh well, opportunity lost.

      In a park like SF, he gives up a blast to RF in the first inning, it’s only a long out. He settles in, gets his rhythm, and frustrates them into submission. Watching him pitch when he’s on is as much fun as watching anyone pitch. The artist at work.

      One of the TBS guys (probably Ron Darling) finally said something intelligent. After Bronson’s 5 pitches were listed, he said: “That’s not all of them, he makes up pitches as he goes along.”

      I’m a big fan of Bronson, and now, like Chad, I too can say I told you so (except unlike Chad, I actually did).

      Arroyo is a veteran who has had a good year. He’s a guy who relies on his defense, perfect for a big park like San Francisco. He deserved to be the #2 starter.

      Plus, despite what Cal Ripkin may think, there are enough managers and players out there who think mixing up different pitchers with different pitching styles messes with batters’ minds, so I’m inclined to believe there is something to it.

      • Plus, despite what Cal Ripkin may think, there are enough managers and players out there who think mixing up different pitchers with different pitching styles messes with batters’ minds, so I’m inclined to believe there is something to it.

        A few months ago the Reds had to face RA Dickey and had to change how they prepared for the game, in that case by getting some trainer or somebody to throw knuckleballs for batting practice. Arroyo isn’t quite as different from Cueto, Latos, and Bailey as RA Dickey but he’s still somebody teams have to approach in a different way. Maybe after spending a day focusing on their struggles to deal with Arroyo they’ll be surprised by Bailey’s different approach. Maybe hitters like Votto, Posey, or Cal Ripkin can adjust but that doesn’t mean everyone can. I think the Reds’ coaching staff knows what they’re doing.

      • I’m a big fan of Bronson, and now, like Chad, I too can say I told you so (except unlike Chad, I actually did).

        CI3G: Cool. And maybe Bronson’s final big contract deal is with SD or SF.

        • CI3G: Cool. And maybe Bronson’s final big contract deal is with SD or SF.

          I’m pretty sure he’ll be with us next year. After that, who knows.

      • I’m a big fan of Bronson, and now, like Chad, I too can say I told you so (except unlike Chad, I actually did).

        Arroyo is a veteran who has had a good year. He’s a guy who relies on his defense, perfect for a big park like San Francisco. He deserved to be the #2 starter.

        Plus, despite what Cal Ripkin may think, there are enough managers and players out there who think mixing up different pitchers with different pitching styles messes with batters’ minds, so I’m inclined to believe there is something to it.

        You are perfect in the prediction arena. You are never, ever wrong. You are the smartest person on this site, by far. And just to make sure we remember this, you tell us this about three times per week.

        Good thing the Reds finished as a top 5 offense this year.

  10. After two games I’m wondering if Dusty Baker, Bryan Price, Chris Speier, and Walt Jocketty have access to some sort of postseason crystal ball. Several ‘if Dusty makes THIS decision he needs to be fired’ choices, like starting Arroyo in game 2, have looked brilliant. The use of LeCure, Latos, Cueto, Rolen, and Stubbs has also been controversial despite, so far, being great decisions.

    Great job by the Reds as far as positioning the defensive players. I believe that’s Chris Speier’s job but it seemed like all the balls hit off Arroyo were routinely hit right to a fielder, wherever that guy may be positioned. Might be kinda selfish but I hope Speier stays with the Reds rather than gets a managerial job elsewhere. Also it seems like Brooks Jacoby might have reinforced his job as the hitting coach with this big offensive series – he’s definitely got the hitters ready to face the Giants. With a repeat of the 2010 NLDS Jacoby’s job might have been in jeapardy.

    I was hoping to not see Valdez, Cairo, or Arredondo in the series but you know what, I was happy to see the B team enter as the Giants’ fans left.

    Homer Bailey is scheduled to start game 3 and I think everybody everywhere is suddenly fine with that decision. How wonderful and how convenient after weeks of debate and controversy amongst fans. It just took a few wins for Reds fans to trust Dusty and the coaching staff’s judgment.

    Through two games is there a top candidate for a series MVP? Arroyo for his great performance? LeCure for his brief but impressive performance to replace Cueto? Latos for heroically volunteering to do whatever he could to beat the Giants? Phillips for his hitting and fielding? Jay Bruce maybe? So far my pick would be Arroyo.

    • Great job by the Reds as far as positioning the defensive players.I believe that’s Chris Speier’s job but it seemed like all the balls hit off Arroyo were routinely hit right to a fielder, wherever that guy may be positioned.Might be kinda selfish but I hope Speier stays with the Reds rather than gets a managerial job elsewhere.Also it seems like Brooks Jacoby might have reinforced his job as the hitting coach with this big offensive series – he’s definitely got the hitters ready to face the Giants.With a repeat of the 2010 NLDS Jacoby’s job might have been in jeopardy.

      This is exactly where I was headed, very, very noticeable last night and I think a big “atta boy” has to go to the advance scouts, who I believe put this information together. I don’t know how many times a ball came off the bat last night and I’d go “uh-oh” only to see the Red fielder standing exactly where the ball was hit.

      Two other things I noticed, the Reds hitters REALLY seemed to me to work the count and stay away from swinging at bad pitches. The other being I was surprised that the Giant hitters were not aggressive, continuing to allow Arroyo to get ahead in the count, rather than swinging earlier in the count before Bronson could expand the strike zone. (Not sure it would have made much difference last night as Bronson seemed to be able to really hit his spots whenever and whereever he wanted.)

      • This is exactly where I was headed, very, very noticeable last night and I think a big “atta boy” has to go to the advance scouts, who I believe put this information together. I don’t know how many times a ball came off the bat last night and I’d go “uh-oh” only to see the Red fielder standing exactly where the ball was hit.

        Two other things I noticed, the Reds hitters REALLY seemed to me to work the count and stay away from swinging at bad pitches. The other being I was surprised that the Giant hitters were not aggressive, continuing to allow Arroyo to get ahead in the count, rather than swinging earlier in the count before Bronson could expand the strike zone. (Not sure it would have made much difference last night as Bronson seemed to be able to really hit his spots whenever and whereever he wanted.)

        On Arroyo, I agree. I don’t think there was much the Giants could do last night, because he was on his game.

        On the advance scouts, that may not be it. I don’t know what the Reds organization does, but this may well be technology based. For example, the Rays have all the data for each game and Maddon reads it every day over breakfast. It’s quite interesting, actually.

        • I imagine when people give credit to advance scouting they are also giving credit to the numbers crunchers. Advance scouting does not give Maddon (or whoever) raw data. They have to compile it and put it into a format that is easily analyzed and digested by the manager.

          On the advance scouts, that may not be it.I don’t know what the Reds organization does, but this may well be technology based.For example, the Rays have all the data for each game and Maddon reads it every day over breakfast.It’s quite interesting, actually.

  11. To quote Chad: “These TBS announcers keep talking about how Joey Votto is so injured that he can barely walk, and certainly can’t hit.” Even after talking about his OBP, one of them registered surprise (as in, What the … ?) when he lined a bullet up the middle in the 4th. Did they think the .495 OBP was based only on walks and bloops ?

  12. @redsfanman: Great post. Very tough MVP choice so far, so many strong candidates. I’m not nominating until it’s over.

    I do want it over in game 3. Then it’s definite that Cueto rests until the NLCS.

  13. Coming into the postseason the Reds were 76-16 when scoring 4 or more runs. They also were 70-25 when they hit a HR. So far those trends are continuing.

    I hope their reluctance to start Frazier and their insistance on using Arredondo/Cairo/Valdez doesn’t come back to hurt us later in the postseason. Either way, things are working for now.

  14. @redsfanman: I was happy to see Valdez and Cairo too. They are part of the bench, so let them get some work in. And Arredondo drives me a little crazy, but he was the right choice for the 9th. He needs some work, and he might face a LHed bat in a significant situation down the road.

  15. @redsfanman: I think the coaches know what they’re doing too. Knuckleballers are a whole different thing. They’ve been known to put batters into slumps.

    I’ve grown to have a lot of confidence in Price.

  16. Another positive: After drawing a walk his first time up, Rolen drives in a run with a line drive single. It was significant at the time, putting the Reds up by 2-0.

    • Another positive: After drawing a walk his first time up, Rolen drives in a run with a line drive single. It was significant at the time, putting the Reds up by 2-0.

      It set the tone and without it who knows if more guys start pressing and its 1-0 in the late innings and one of the bullpen guys has an off night. The Giants and the rest of the league know they cannot pitch around anyone, …well except Homer Bailey.

  17. I really enjoyed the Nats win over the Cardinals. Have been rooting for a Reds-Nats NLCS for months.

    BTW the Vegas odds makers said the most likely WS is Reds-Yankees. Whoever they are, how do they know more than the “baseball analysts” ?

    • I really enjoyed the Nats win over the Cardinals. Have been rooting for a Reds-Nats NLCS for months.

      BTW the Vegas odds makers said the most likely WS is Reds-Yankees. Whoever they are, how do they know more than the “baseball analysts” ?

      That’s not really how it works. Odds just reflect where the bets are being made. So if lots of people are wanting to bet on those two teams, their odds will be naturally lower.

      • Odds just reflect where the bets are being made.So if lots of people are wanting to bet on those two teams, their odds will be naturally lower.

        Bearcats 2004: You’re right of course. And I haven’t studied the success of the Vegas odds, they just have a strong reputation. It’s interesting though how the “market” of people betting their money can lead to accurate assessments. There’s a theory about that (now being questioned) for the stock market.

  18. The whole Reds lineup was taking good swings, including Stubbs. I think he likes batting 8th. Maybe he figures it means he’s mainly a defensive guy, and not much is expected from him on offense, so just relax.
    I’ve been an advocate of his playing regularly (given the current roster) and batting 8th.

  19. “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.”

    That’s hilarious. There was a Law & Order marathon going on. Seems like they shouldn’t have started the 9 PM episode. I turn it on at about 9:20, and the episode is going and going (I’m even getting interested !) and without warning, suddenly at 9:30 the game is on. You’ve got to warn people !

    Kind of the reverse of Heidi cutting off the end of that football game.

  20. Sorry to veer off topic here, but does anyone have any idea when they might announce the Game 4 start time? I’d be fine getting a refund on those tickets due to a sweep but I’d hate for them to go to waste because I don’t know when the game is! Is it possible that they won’t announce it until Tuesday night after the game?

    • Sorry to veer off topic here, but does anyone have any idea when they might announce the Game 4 start time?I’d be fine getting a refund on those tickets due to a sweep but I’d hate for them to go to waste because I don’t know when the game is!Is it possible that they won’t announce it until Tuesday night after the game?

      I’m right there with you. I recall in years past they would release a contingent schedule that shows game times assuming all four series are still going on, perhaps with alternate start times if other series are over.

      As it is, if the Reds are still playing Wednesday, only one other series could be complete by then. There’s no reason they shouldn’t tell us a tentative Reds game time for Wednesday, even if there’s a scenario by which it might change if OAK/DET is completed.

      I emailed MLB, but I didn’t really expect a response.

  21. Both wildcard teams are down 1-0 in their home park. The #3 seed Tigers are up 2-0 against the A’s, but have to travel to Oakland for the remainder of their series. The #2 Reds are up 2-0 against the Giants after sweeping the two road games in AT&T Park and return home to GABP for any remaining games in their series.

    If Homer comes through tomorrow, the Reds can avoid a big bullet and let Cueto rest until the NLCS starts and the pitching rotation would also be set up to start the NLCS. This is by far the biggest game of Homer’s young career. He has the physical tools and he has Bryan Price in his back pocket, so hopefully he is ready.

  22. NEGATIVES –None. Absolutely none whatsoever.

    100% agreement! Chris Wilson’s comment about the Reds defensive positioning being remarkable is spot on. Never seen so many line drvies…right at ‘um! High praise all around so let’s finish the deal on Tuesday. Many were saying Rolen and Votto didn’t look good in Game 1. How’d they look in Game 2?

  23. @redsfanman: In the 2010 NLDS the Reds faced Halladay and Hamels. In the 2012 NLDS they faced Cain and Bumgarner. There’s really no comparison. In the one game in 2010 in which they faced a not elite starter, Oswalt at that time, they hit him.

    If the Reds are deciding Brook Jacoby’s job based on a 5 game series, one way or the other, I’d be rather disappointed.

  24. @renbutler: @reagansdaddy: Yeah. I’m planning to drive from a significant distance for game 4, stay in a hotel, and everything. Whether my wife can make it or not depends on the timing, as do my travel and lodging arrangements. It’s pretty annoying that they haven’t announced the timing of the game yet.

  25. 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.

    TBS. Very funny.

  26. Love that this team is getting all of this playoff experience. 2010 they just got their feet wet. This year they should get the experience necessary to be a contender year after year.

    It’s what makes the WLB’s so dangerous, even in years when they have no business being in the playoffs. The same could be said for the Phillies and Yankees.

    • 2010 they just got their feet wet.

      In 2010 they had their heads held underwater. This is much better experience :)

  27. I don’t want to put too fine of a point on it or anything, but this team is freaking awesome. And yes, props to Dusty. For the playoffs, I’m willing to take sabbatical from being a process focused person to results focused. Rest up, boys, and bring your brooms to the park tomorrow. That must have been a great plane ride home.

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

    Bochy’s bullpen the last two days was a blessing, especially last night. With the game on the line in the 8th and his team on the ropes, he chooses his lesser relievers over Romo, who ended pitching a meaningless inning. That sort of regular season mindset has no place in the playoffs. Oh well, we’ll take it. For me, the key has been to contain Posey and Belt. Those two are the lynchpins of their offense. It also doesn’t hurt that Pence looked lost.

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

      Bochy’s bullpen the last two days was a blessing, especially last night.With the game on the line in the 8th and his team on the ropes, he chooses his lesser relievers over Romo, who ended pitching a meaningless inning.That sort of regular season mindset has no place in the playoffs.Oh well, we’ll take it.For me, the key has been to contain Posey and Belt.Those two are the lynchpins of their offense.It also doesn’t hurt that Pence looked lost.

      I was really confused by what Bochy was doing out there. He brings in Mijares who gives up single, walk, double. OK, whatever. But what I didn’t get was that then, at 6-0 and the game basically over (and he’d just brought in his last man out of the bullpen), he brings in Casilla. Casilla is one of his late inning relievers for tight situations. Casilla gets Rolen out, then he takes him out and brings in his worst right-handed reliever, Mota, to face Hanigan. I could see bringing in Mota after Mijares, or even bringing in Casilla for the inning, but I really didn’t get pitching Casilla to one batter. It did not really make sense.

  29. Game 3 will be the biggest start of Homer’s career, no doubt. A win would not only secure the series victory, but save the Reds from having to make an uncomfortable choice between Latos and Cueto for game 4. A win would also allow us to line those two up for 2 starts each in the NLCS. How huge would that be?

    • Game 3 will be the biggest start of Homer’s career, no doubt.A win would not only secure the series victory, but save the Reds from having to make an uncomfortable choice between Latos and Cueto for game 4.A win would also allow us to line those two up for 2 starts each in the NLCS.How huge would that be?

      I’m still not sure Dusty intends to pitch Cueto/Latos 1-2. He might still go with Cueto-Arroyo-Latos-Homer. This means, if the series goes 7, Cueto and Latos would still get to pitch twice and so would Arroyo. Again, if you don’t buy what Cal Ripkin was saying, I think Dusty is right to break up pitching styles by putting Arroyo #2.

      • I’m still not sure Dusty intends to pitch Cueto/Latos 1-2. He might still go with Cueto-Arroyo-Latos-Homer. This means, if the series goes 7, Cueto and Latos would still get to pitch twice and so would Arroyo. Again, if you don’t buy what Cal Ripkin was saying, I think Dusty is right to break up pitching styles by putting Arroyo #2.

        I’m not sure if Dusty is able to have any plan at the moment for the NLCS rotation, and I think it would be wrong of him to propose anything. We still don’t know if Cueto will be back, if the Reds will play an NLDS game 4, or if the NLCS will be against the Cardinals (who have a history of beating up Mat Latos) or Nationals.

        If the NLCS goes 7 games I want Mat Latos facing the Nationals twice, but I’m not so sure about sending him out twice against the Cardinals. I think Arroyo would be more successful against the aggressive young hitters of the Nationals than the guys on the Cardinals. If all goes perfectly I’d go back to the Cueto-Arroyo-Latos-Bailey rotation against the Cardinals. I’m fine with whatever Dusty and Bryan Price decide.

    • Game 3 will be the biggest start of Homer’s career, no doubt.A win would not only secure the series victory, but save the Reds from having to make an uncomfortable choice between Latos and Cueto for game 4.A win would also allow us to line those two up for 2 starts each in the NLCS.How huge would that be?

      Sultan: It would be very huge. I’m very eager for a win in game 3, it’s important for many reasons. The biggest reason of course is that the series has not been won yet.

    • What’s truly amazing is that anyone who watches Law and Order knows what Twitter is.

      Hey, I still like the old L&O reruns, but I wasn’t upset last night when they got pre-empted.

  30. Also, re: Dusty isn’t making mistakes:

    Last night I thought for sure bringing Bronson back in for the 7th was going to be a mistake. There was a lot going on and I didn’t know his pitch count was so low, but I was getting uncomfortable.

    But who would have thought we’d see Dusty making such UNCONVENTIONAL decisions? Bringing Latos in to game 1 is the last thing I would have ever expected from Dusty. Except maybe pinch hitting Homer Bailey. One worked out and one didn’t, but where did these moves actually come from?!

    • Also, re: Dusty isn’t making mistakes:

      Last night I thought for sure bringing Bronson back in for the 7th was going to be a mistake.

      But who would have thought we’d see Dusty making such UNCONVENTIONAL decisions? Bringing Latos in to game 1 is the last thing I would have ever expected from Dusty.

      I do not find the Latos thing that unconventional, when your starter goes out in the 1st and all your picthers are rested, it would have been incredibly dumb not to use a starter. They could have went with Arroyo or Bailey as well and the way the Giants hit it probably would not have mattered. Using Lecure was a good decision as he had pretty good chance to be successful coming in with 0-2 count and 1 out. It is all working out and its a good thing, go Homer!

    • @redsfanman:
      If the Reds are deciding Brook Jacoby’s job based on a 5 game series, one way or the other, I’d be rather disappointed.

      When the Reds decide whether or not to extend Jacoby I think they’ll factor in the hitters’ performance in the postseason, which so far has been stellar. I doubt the Reds organization was as critical of his performance in the regular season as the fans were.

      Most of the hand wringing was based on Baker forgetting how many off days there were and implying they’d go with 3 starters—and Latos starting game 3.Once he remembered they needed a 4-man rotation, I think there was a preference, slightly, for Latos or Bailey to start game 2.I personally liked Bailey slightly over Arroyo, but not enough to be unhappy about it.They (were, until Cueto’s injury) all going to pitch exactly once anyways, and someone has to pitch at GABP.

      I still like Bailey as the #3 starter and Arroyo as the #4 starter in the NLCS, if the Reds make it, and if Cueto is healthy of course.

      Dusty Baker never said he would go with three starters, he said that usually teams use three starters but that he hadn’t made up his mind and that they’d decide when they knew where (SF, Atlanta, St Louis) they were going. Many people interpreted that however they want, and assumed that he would make whatever they believed to be the worst possible decision. Well, before game one he made up his mind and wrote Bailey into the 4th rotation spot, which later had to be revised. Similarly Lincecum was going to start on Tuesday until pitching in yesterday’s game.

      I’m fine with whatever order Dusty and Price choose for the NLCS. If Arroyo pitches game 2 again, fine. If it’s Cueto followed by Latos, fine. If Cueto starts NLCS game 4, fine.

      Game 3 will be the biggest start of Homer’s career, no doubt.A win would not only secure the series victory, but save the Reds from having to make an uncomfortable choice between Latos and Cueto for game 4.A win would also allow us to line those two up for 2 starts each in the NLCS.How huge would that be?

      In retrospect probably not as huge as his no-hitter. I think Bailey now faces a lot of pressure as fans expect him to clinch the NLDS while repeating his no-hitter and outperforming the (supposedly) less-talented Bronson Arroyo. If Homer Bailey gives up a run he probably immediately becomes the most disappointing Reds pitcher of the series.

      Also, re: Dusty isn’t making mistakes:

      Last night I thought for sure bringing Bronson back in for the 7th was going to be a mistake. There was a lot going on and I didn’t know his pitch count was so low, but I was getting uncomfortable.

      But who would have thought we’d see Dusty making such UNCONVENTIONAL decisions? Bringing Latos in to game 1 is the last thing I would have ever expected from Dusty. Except maybe pinch hitting Homer Bailey. One worked out and one didn’t, but where did these moves actually come from?!

      People always question Bronson Arroyo but he’s always been willing to remove himself from games if he’s not feeling his best (or for that matter a willingness to stay in and get beat up to eat innings). I was somewhat disappointed to see him removed so early… but whateva. Postseason games are managed differently.

      Using Latos and pinch hitting with Bailey in game one, I think both moves showed a need to keep the team in the game without using late inning guys too early. It’s something they can afford to do in the postseason with off days and we haven’t been able to see Dusty manage many postseason games.

      I wouldn’t say that Bailey didn’t work out – he didn’t get the bunt down but he kept Xavier Paul available to get a big hit later. Similarly Latos let Marshall, Broxton, and Chapman be important later in the game. It’s not a race to get the best pinch hitters (in this case Paul, Frazier, and Navarro) and pitchers into the game.

    • Also, re: Dusty isn’t making mistakes:

      Last night I thought for sure bringing Bronson back in for the 7th was going to be a mistake. There was a lot going on and I didn’t know his pitch count was so low, but I was getting uncomfortable.

      But who would have thought we’d see Dusty making such UNCONVENTIONAL decisions? Bringing Latos in to game 1 is the last thing I would have ever expected from Dusty. Except maybe pinch hitting Homer Bailey. One worked out and one didn’t, but where did these moves actually come from?!

      I would have left Arroyo in indefinitely. He was in a zone.

      He was only taken out to get other guys some work. If the Reds don’t score runs there, he’s back out there (I would guess, anyways).

      • I would have left Arroyo in indefinitely.He was in a zone.

        He was only taken out to get other guys some work.If the Reds don’t score runs there, he’s back out there (I would guess, anyways).

        Hank’s teammate: From shots of the dugout, you could see Bronson was going back out there in the 8th, then the plan was changed when the Reds scored 5 runs. The TBS guys were right this time I think when they said it wasn’t just the larger lead, it was a long inning and it was tough for Bronson to stay warm. You could see Bronson trying to keep his arms warm in the dugout, and at one point Dusty spoke with him and he gave it up.

        • I’ll predict this: if the Reds make the NLCS, Leake is in and Simon is out.

          I can’t see the Reds not backing themselves up in case Cueto has a reocurrence, even if Cueto is completely healthy and say pitches great in game 4.

          If they expect Cueto to have a reocurrence of the back problem I think they’d put him on the DL (which includes the NLCS). If he says he’s going to be okay I don’t necessarily see a need to make a move for a contingency plan – in LeCure and Simon they’re already carrying two long relievers… and Hoover has pitched 2 innings several times.

          @Hank Aarons Teammate: You think Simon is out over Arredondo? My gut says take Arredondo out.

          I agree that Arredondo should be the first person removed from the pitching staff. He is the least consistent or predictable pitcher and a guy who rarely gets asked to pitch more than an inning, and the whole point of adding Leake is to add an inning eater. I don’t see how replacing Simon with Leake helps.

          How has Arredondo been used this year? Like with Logan Ondrusek I think the role has changed, except Ondrusek got demoted to AAA. Arredondo didn’t get demoted but I think he’s just as deserving of a demotion. Maybe he’s been switched to a lefty specialist but I tend to expect him to walk everyone he faces – I don’t know why opponents swing. Yesterday they used Arredondo in a blowout and brought him in with the scrubs (Heisey, Cairo, Valdez, Frazier) – although he didn’t give up any runs, he didn’t impress anybody or generate any confidence. Being able to make a game with a 9 run lead interesting isn’t exactly good. Again, I think he’s the top candidate to be sent out.

          Hank’s teammate: From shots of the dugout, you could see Bronson was going back out there in the 8th, then the plan was changed when the Reds scored 5 runs. The TBS guys were right this time I think when they said it wasn’t just the larger lead, it was a long inning and it was tough for Bronson to stay warm. You could see Bronson trying to keep his arms warm in the dugout, and at one point Dusty spoke with him and he gave it up.

          I thought that was funny – Arroyo wasn’t removed because he was struggling or a high pitch count but because the team was too far ahead and had taken too much time in a big productive inning – gotta give other guys a chance to pitch.

      • @doctor: And the Giants not only hit well on the road, they have a strong road record. This series is not over. The Reds want to win game 3, otherwise things could get too interesting.

        • @doctor: And the Giants not only hit well on the road, they have a strong road record. This series is not over. The Reds want to win game 3, otherwise things could get too interesting.

          Yes. It is never over till it is over was never truer than in a situation like this. The Reds need to jump all over them and not let them catch their breath. Otherwise they could end up in a fight for their lives with a pitching match up that favors the Giants….

          I thought it was a big step in keeping the train rolling that for all his issues Arrendondo got out of the 9th without giving them a run

  31. I like the reasoning behind pitching Arroyo in Game 2 at AT&T. He gives up alot of domers, and AT&T had the lowest numbers of homers hit in MLB this year (at approx. .5/game). GABP was second in MLB, behind Miller, with an average of approx. 1.6 homers/game.

    Also like that Dusty pulled Arroyo after the Reds had that long rally, scoring 5 runs. It was a proactive move.

    Great, great game by the “Wily” Bronson Arroyo.

  32. I know it is stating the obvious but you’ve got to love ESPN/SportsCenter. Which of yesterday’s baseball playoff games would the majority of people probably know the least about? I would guess the one that started at 9:37. So, let’s open SportsCenter this morning with Yankees/Orioles highlights, then go basically all football. I know it’s all about ratings and that game also had a delayed start. Still it gets old though. Surprised they didn’t go from Yankees highlights to an update on the Boston managerial search.

    • @vared:

      I know it is stating the obvious but you’ve got to love ESPN/SportsCenter. Which of yesterday’s baseball playoff games would the majority of people probably know the least about? I would guess the one that started at 9:37. So, let’s open SportsCenter this morning with Yankees/Orioles highlights, then go basically all football. I know it’s all about ratings and that game also had a delayed start. Still it gets old though. Surprised they didn’t go from Yankees highlights to an update on the Boston managerial search.

      ESPN/Sportscenter has gotten to be unwatchable.

      • @vared: ESPN/Sportscenter has gotten to be unwatchable.

        The only way for the Reds to get their due from ESPN this season and not be treated as an afterthought (i.e. Detroit/Cincy WS) would be for this Big Red Machine to plow thru the Nationals and the Yankees. Heads would explode, wouldn’t they?!?

        • The only way for the Reds to get their due from ESPN this season and not be treated as an afterthought (i.e. Detroit/Cincy WS) would be for this Big Red Machine to plow thru the Nationals and the Yankees. Heads would explode, wouldn’t they?!?

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

  33. Hard to believe that only one Giants player hit more than 12 homers this year (Posey with 24).

    Yeah, they play alot of their games at AT&T and Petco, but that still bodes well for the games at GABP.

  34. I would like to say I watched the entire game, but didn’t, since MLB seems to feel that starting a game at like 9:30pm ECT is okay I wonder how many other folks missed the last few innings. Then you have to ask how do Tiger and A’s fans feel if they don’t have the MLB network and didn’t get to see game 2. It seems that MLB is doing it’s best to make it very difficult to watch games this year..

  35. I think Bronson goes on some kind of cycle where he will pitch one game totally out of his mind, then over a course of 5 games slowly lose the ability to throw all over the place and still get calls, and then rediscover himself and make the strikezone graphics look like a Jackson Pollack painting.

    People don’t discuss enough how pitchers should be watching guys like Dickey and Arroyo to extend their careers. Instead of humming it across the plate every time, they’ve mastered finesse pitching (Dickey more so) which is rare in MLB and therefore incredibly effective, especially against young or aggressive lineups.

    While I think facing the Cards in the NLCS would be more satisfying, I am equidistant between DC and Cincinnati, so if I really hate money and want an NLCS ticket on Stubhub, I get more options. Also, thank God these West Coast games are over.

    • I think Bronson goes on some kind of cycle where he will pitch one game totally out of his mind, then over a course of 5 games slowly lose the ability to throw all over the place and still get calls, and then rediscover himself and make the strikezone graphics look like a Jackson Pollack painting.

      That’s the other thing I was thinking last night (I swear, I need to write these things down at the time), I thought as the game went on and Arroyo was able to throw the ball whereever/whenever he wanted, the ump started buying into it and really expanded the strikezone for him…he got a lot of calls (as the game wore on) that by the graph, were outside of the strike zone.

  36. Chad .. I’ve got tickets to game#4 too. I agree, I would not mind if that game was not played at all . Go Homer!

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

    I’m sure you were just being subtle and understated. But I can put my finger on it: this Reds team is better than in 2010. Votto Philips and Cueto are now seasone vets. The bullpen is ridiculously good. Chapman now plays a crucial role. When Jay Bruce is hot (which happens with greater frequency this year), he’s about as good as Votto. No more Volquez (all due respect) as an ace, and instead we have Latos. Homer has grown up. We have young stars who are just beginning to play well (cozart Frazier heisey xpaul etc). And it’s possible that only Reds fan truly understand what Ryan Hannigan means to this team. Special indeed, and there will be more seasons like this.

  38. Ok so I don’t want to get too cocky, but we basically have this series in the bag and I’m thinking ahead. I know the common opinion on here is that we do not want to face the Cardinals in the NLCS so people are rooting for the Nats…I’m not so sure. First of all, getting the Cards would give us home field advantage. Granted, we just showed this weekend we might not need that, but still it is a plus. Also, regardless of the fact that we think the Cards are the Boogie Man, the fact of the matter is they were not nearly as good of a team throughout the regular season as the Nats. Their pitching, in particular, is a far cry from the Nats’ staff even without Strasburg. Playing in GABP, if our offense stays hot, we could easily put up big numbers on them. We also went 2-5 against the Nats this season and haven’t seen them since May, I believe. We are much more familiar with the Cards and played them well all year, including a sweep in the last series against them that mattered at the beginning of September (we were playing our JV squad in the last regular season series).

    You can make arguments either way. The Cards are a good team and a powerhouse of an offensive team when they get rolling. Plus they just seem to have that “It” factor that makes everyone nervous. Either way, I’m rooting for a long 5-game series between them and the Nats with some extra innings nail biters that require a whole heap of relief pitching. Because regardless of who wins, the Reds look to me like far and away the best team in baseball right now and I think we can beat anyone.

  39. @redsfanman: Yeah, I think most fans expect a repeat of a no hitter. That’s the measuring stick for Homer Bailey tomorrow.

    If he gives up ONE run, he’s a villain. Yep.

    Sheesh.

    • @eric nyc: I think the Nationals have better pitching but the Cardinals have much better hitters, and the Cardinals team is loaded with veterans who know what they’re doing. One is a respectable and dangerous contender that expects to win (like the 2010 Phillies), the other is a bunch of young guys trying to get their feet wet in postseason play (like the 2010 Reds).

      If anybody expects Bronson Arroyo to be important in the NLCS I think the Nationals play a lot better into his skill set for helping aggressive hitters to get themselves out. Mat Latos pitched well in his final start against the Cardinals but got beat up by them a few times in the past.

      As far as being more familiar with the Cardinals than the Nationals, it works the other way around – the Cardinals have seen the Reds pitchers and hitters a lot also. The Reds have now had a lot of success against the Giants this season, who they rarely face, likely due to good advanced scouting. Hopefully the advanced scouting can similarly help the Reds with the Nationals.

      @redsfanman: Yeah, I think most fans expect a repeat of a no hitter.That’s the measuring stick for Homer Bailey tomorrow.

      If he gives up ONE run, he’s a villain.Yep.

      Sheesh.

      I think the Reds fans have really high expectations for Homer Bailey and it will be a high-pressure game. Pressure for him to live up to (or surpass) the performance of Latos (albeit not a starter) and Arroyo will be huge. If he gives up 2 runs arguably Bailey underperformed.

      When Bailey first joined the Reds he saw the silly ‘He’s Here’ billboards (with his photo) on the highway and heard how he was the can’t-miss ace and savior of this pitching staff. Now, NLDS Game 3, you previously pitched a no-hitter this season, your team has so far shut down the Giants’ offense, and Bronson Arroyo pitched like an ace – no pressure, right? This is yet another time where fans are placing really high expectations for Bailey to live up to him, and in previous cases public opinion has been known to turn against him pretty quickly.

  40. It’s eery, the similarity to 1990. The Reds are one win from a sweep, and they are likely to win the series, but there’s that one nagging question because Cueto is questionable. Reminds me of how I really felt the Reds needed to win game 4 in 1990 because big E wasn’t going to play the rest of the series.

    I suppose 1990 is a very good thing to be similar to!

  41. @renbutler: I share the same sentiments about TBS lack of any scheduling communication. The only clue I have relied on so far is that the TBS schedule for Wednesday has 6pm and 9:30pm listed as “MLB Division Series.” If the Detroit/Oakland series is still happening, I would assume that it would be the 9:30pm game.

    • @renbutler: I share the same sentiments about TBS lack of any scheduling communication. The only clue I have relied on so far is that the TBS schedule for Wednesday has 6pm and 9:30pm listed as “MLB Division Series.” If the Detroit/Oakland series is still happening, I would assume that it would be the 9:30pm game.

      I agree that the Reds probably won’t play the latest slot on Wednesday (thank goodness, as I have to drive home to Indianapolis afterwards!).

      MLB Network has a 12:00 slot reserved that day too. The fourth slot (if necessary) would probably be around 3:00 on TBS, although sitcom re-runs are currently scheduled there.

      The Yankees would probably get the other primetime slot, if not the 9:30 slot. But that’s still a guess.

      So, the Reds Game #4 could start anywhere from 12 noon to 6:00. That’s still way too much uncertainty. I really hope it’s a day game.

  42. @earmbrister:

    quote: “Hard to believe that only one Giants player hit more than 12 homers this year (Posey with 24).

    Yeah, they play alot of their games at AT&T and Petco, but that still bodes well for the games at GABP.” endquote

    ***
    Don’t discount Giants hitters. The Giants had the best Road offense in the NL, so they can hit. Giants hit 72 of 103 team HR on the road(Cincy had 69 road HR). and don’t forget Pence had a combined 24 HR with phils/giants.

    Giants Away: 410R, .271/.327/.415
    Reds Home: 352R, .256/.325/.436

    Bailey will need to be on his game to keep Giants in check, which he can do. Go Reds!!!!!

  43. @redsfanman: I agree on the Nats, I think it’s a better matchup for the Reds, despite the fact that the Nats were the clear better team than the Cards during the season.

    I completely disagree on Bailey though. I think he’ll just do whatever he does, and prior performance is not going to matter. If he goes 6-7 IP, 2 ER, I will be thrilled. The Reds should win the game if he does that. Obviously you never know though.

  44. I’ll predict this: if the Reds make the NLCS, Leake is in and Simon is out.

    I can’t see the Reds not backing themselves up in case Cueto has a reocurrence, even if Cueto is completely healthy and say pitches great in game 4.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: You think Simon is out over Arredondo? My gut says take Arredondo out.

      I do. Just based on the way they’ve been used this year. What would I do? I think it’s a tough call.

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