2012 Post-season / 2012 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

NLDS Titanic Struggle Recap: Homer is brilliant, but Reds lose

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

National League Division Series, Game Three
FINAL — 10 innings
San Francisco 2
Cincinnati 1

W: S. Romo (1-0)
L: J. Broxton (0-1)
BOX SCORE

Reds lead series, 2-1

POSITIVES
–Homer Bailey was nothing short of brilliant tonight: 7 innings, one run allowed on one hit. He struck out ten and walked just one. Everyone was on the edge of their seats when Homer took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. Unfortunately, I jinxed it on Twitter and the Giants got a hit.

Still, a spectacular performance by Homer tonight.

–Sean Marshall and Aroldis Chapman were no less brilliant than Bailey, except for the fact that they only pitched one inning each.

–Jay Bruce had the only RBI for the Reds tonight.

NEGATIVES
–Wow, the offense was just bad tonight. Four hits in ten innings.

–In the tenth inning, Jonathan Broxton allowed the first two runners to reach base, before striking out the next two. Then a passed ball by Ryan Hanigan, of all things, allowed the runners to advance to second and third. Broxton induced a chopper to third by Joaquin Arias; Scott Rolen tried to short hop the ball, but booted it for an error.

To be fair to Rolen, it wasn’t a particularly easy play, but it was a play that Scott Rolen usually makes with no problem. Brutal way to lose.

–I don’t know whether this is a negative or not, but it was a curious situation. In the tenth, as I noted above, the Giants had runners on second and third with two outs. Arias was at the plate, and the pitcher (Sergio Romo) was on deck. The Reds pitched to Arias, and he hit the grounder to third. If Rolen makes the play, we aren’t even discussing this, no doubt.

But why didn’t Dusty walk Arias to get to the pitcher’s spot. There’s no downside to that move. First base was open, it would have created a force at any base. The Giants only had one remaining player available to hit for Romo; if Giants manager Bruce Bochy pinch-hits, it burns their last pinch-hitter and forces them to remove Romo from the game. If Bochy didn’t pinch hit, all Broxton has to do is retire Romo — a relief pitcher — in order to keep the game tied at one.

Seems like an obvious move in hindsight. But we all know what they say about hindsight.

–Brandon Phillips led off the game with a single. A bit later, he took off on a steal attempt of second. The pitch was actually a wild pitch, and Phillips rounded second and tried to advance to third. It was the type of aggressive base-running that the Reds — and BP in particular — have been known for. Unfortunately, BP was thrown out at third.

–Jonathan Broxton is going to give me a heart attack in the playoffs. At some point.

In that first inning, thanks to that play, the Reds got three hits and a walk, but they were only able to scratch across one run. That missed opportunity proved more costly than anyone could have known at the time.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–What can I say? The pitching was excellent (the Giants only had three hits), the offense was terrible. It’s a story that we’ve read before. Reds have a chance to win the series tomorrow.

–So what’s up with the Reds hitting well in a pitcher’s park, but being unable to score at GAB? I don’t like it.

–Attendance was 44,501, and it appeared to be a very raucous crowd. (The only larger crowd in Reds history was the 2010 NLDS game vs. Philly.) Let’s hope tomorrow’s crowd is even crazier.

–Wow, Homer Bailey was just flat dealing it tonight. In command the entire evening. He looks like an entirely different Homer than we’ve ever seen before. At one point, he struck out six Giants in a row, tying a Cincinnati post-season record.

–Some people will argue that Dusty took Homer out of the game too soon. After all, he had only thrown 88 pitches at that point. I find that a difficult argument to make. Homer probably had one more inning in him, and he was throwing well, no question. But the Reds needed runs, and I can’t argue with Dusty’s decision to pinch hit for him.

Also, how much grief has Baker gotten for leaving pitchers in for too long? I think his handling of the staff tonight was very defensible.

–The Reds had just one hit after the first inning.

–Scott Rolen is a Hall of Famer, but his defense in the playoffs for the Reds (2010/2012) leaves a lot to be desired. (Not even going to mention his bat.)

–The game started late because some idiot ran out onto the field…before the first pitch. That’s gotta be some kind of record. Anyway, here’s the moron.

–Some thoughts from Twitter:

–Tonight’s loss is likely to give Walt Jocketty and Dusty Baker a big headache. It certainly will force a difficult decision. We learned before the game that Johnny Cueto is suffering from a strained oblique (rather than just back spasms), and no one sounds confident that he’ll be able to pitch soon. So if Cueto can’t go tomorrow…who pitches?

It’s a tough call. Do they go with Mat Latos, on short rest again? The bullpen is fairly well-rested, if Latos isn’t able to go deep into the game.

Do they go with Mike Leake? That’s the toughest decision. If they remove Cueto from the roster and put Leake in his place, Cueto won’t be eligible for the NLCS roster. Do you want to play in the NLCS without Johnny Cueto? Me either, and I imagine that’s going to be an option of last resort for the Redlegs.

My opinion, based on the limited information I have before me, is that they have to go with Latos. I look forward to seeing what the Reds do.

A win tonight would have allowed the Reds to delay this decision until Sunday, giving Cueto more time to heal and the Reds more time to decide what’s best for the club. In the long run, tonight’s loss may end up stinging more than we know right now.

–Okay, keep those chins up, Reds fans. Cincinnati still leads 2-1, and they’ll have a chance to finish off the Giants tomorrow. Even better, I’m taking my son to the game, so that’s going to be a fun experience for us.

UPDATE: Homer Bailey says that Mike Leake is going to start tomorrow, which means Cueto will be removed from the roster for the NLCS too. I’ll wait for the Reds to announce this officially before I comment.

If I were the Reds, and I wanted to add Leake…I’d think outside the box here and remove Jose Arredondo from the roster. Who cares if he isn’t available for the NLCS? Can Arredondo fake an injury on such short notice?

134 thoughts on “NLDS Titanic Struggle Recap: Homer is brilliant, but Reds lose

    • I disagree.Cueto’s injury might keep Cueto off the NLCS roster.That was a freak injury and impossible to predict.I’m among the first to criticize Dusty when he deserves it, but I can’t fault him for that call.

      Everyone knew Johnny Cueto would get hurt in game one, the writing was on the wall all year. 200+ innings pitched so we knew it, freak injuries are easily predictable in hindsight. Alfredo Simon is on the roster as a long reliever but they haven’t used him – they only trusted Jose Arredondo with a 9 run lead, does suggest to me that Arredondo was more deserving of a roster spot. I thought Arredondo was a waste of a roster spot, and I still feel that way.

      I’ll be in the minority but no way I take Rolen out now.He knows his error cost the game.You don’t remove an 8-time Gold Glover at this stage.I wheel him right back out there today.I’m rather tired of Drew Stubbs but I also slot him in CF today as well.Dance with the girl that brought ya in Games 1 & 2.You all should be more concerned with who is pitching for us today?

      Disgruntled fans need somebody to blame and Rolen is an easy target.

      I’m with you.The Reds can absolutely NOT go with Mike Leake.I like Mike Leake but the Giants are due to start hitting and we all know that Leake can be a batting practice dummy at times.

      I would go with Latos on short rest.He only pitched 4 innings and 70 pitches in game one so I think he would be fine.If it goes to a game 5 tomorrow (it won’t if Latos goes), then you can bring back Arroyo on short rest as well.We all know that Arroyo has no problem going on 3 days rest.

      Alright, Mike Leake is awful and a batting practice dummy. Homer Bailey, Bronson Arroyo, and Mat Latos, they’ve all been perfect every start all year. Oh wait, people usually want Bailey and Arroyo cut from the rotation and Latos gave up 7 or 8 runs in a game a few times. Arroyo and Bailey already exceeded everybody’s expectations in games 2 and 3, I think Leake can also exceed everybody’s low expectations in game 4. I just hope they don’t have to turn to him because it means giving up on Cueto for the NLCS.

      I just can’t picture the Reds winning a seven game series without Cueto right now.

      I know this is crazy talk, but I would almost want Cingrani to start today’s game over Mike Leake. Throw a starting pitcher that nobody has a major league scouting report on, have Latos warming up if he gets in trouble. Call it crazy, but who remembers what Matt Moore did to the Rangers last year? They probably called that move crazy too.

      Maybe the idea of losing Cueto is messing with my head here…

      Again, most people couldn’t picture the Reds finishing over .500 with Joey Votto out long term, but they did.

      Neither the Giants nor Nationals (who will hopefully reach the NLCS) are very reliant on left handed hitters or susceptible to lefties. Tony Cingrani pitched well in a short time in AA but taking weeks off and starting a MLB playoff game with little to no warning seems crazy, even more so if it means bypassing Mike Leake, who helped the Reds to get here.

      If Mike Leake gets the start (and I doubt he will, but who cares) you can be optimistic about the offense – maybe he can pull off a big hit. Maybe Zito will hang a pitch to the opposing pitcher not knowing that Leake hits better than many bench players. I expect a game starting by Leake to be higher scoring than a game started by Latos… for both teams.

      Waiting for this announcement on what the Reds plan to do is painful…

      Waiting is fine with me. The Reds making a major move (like shutting down Cueto for the NLCS) shouldn’t be done hastily. Waiting gives the Giants less time to prepare.

      For all we know we could be facing a bullpen day with Sam LeCure (3 homeruns and 3.14 ERA in 57.1 innings this season), Alfredo Simon (2 homeruns and 2.66 ERA in 61 innings this season), and JJ Hoover. The worst case scenario would be a loss with Latos starting game 5 on full rest.

  1. I was trying to find Rolen’s history against Zito. Anyone know where to find it? I know hw hit one of his HR’s against him earlier this year. I think that alone gets him in the line up today and also the standard “chance to redeem himself”.

    I like an angry, focused Scott Rolen today against Zito. I also think Stubbs gets a big hit.

  2. If you play out the scenarios for Cueto, it’s awfully problematic.
    #1–he makes a game 5 start in the NLCS. That would be optimal, but highly unlikely at this point.
    #2–you disable him and he goes nearly 3 weeks in between starts and then is thrown into the fire of a World Series game. Extremely risky, so I would figure the most he’d pitch would be one game.

    I dunno, it looks to me like we’ll have to do it without him.

  3. Espn’s Bob Holtzman just reported that Mike Leake will start today’s game, and Cueto will be out for the NLCS if we get there

  4. Wow. I realize this blog is home for Reds fans who are passionate and knowledgeable about this team, who live and die by the “smiling side of the scorebook” and who find added pleasure outside the foul lines by analyzing roster moves, lineup changes, pitching options and the like. But first and foremost we’re all Reds fans first. So here’s the scenario:

    It’s October 10th and the Reds are still playing. This afternoon we all get to watch a playoff game in Cincinnati (I love that the scoreboard is teaching fans what to do with a rally towel!), the Reds are AHEAD in this series with one or two games left at home. Win one of those and move on to the LCS. The Reds pitching has DOMINATED the Giants bats. Without their ace. Read that again – when was the last time two starters went 14 innings in the postseason and allowed a total of two hits? Win today OR tomorrow and move on. If we’d all been in a coma and just woke up this morning this would be fantastic news. So I would like to propose that we all take a deep breath, get excited for playoff baseball this afternoon and enjoy this day. Because I’m as into all this as the rest of you, I’ll predict that it’s Leake today (anyone remember how good his last start was?), Latos tomorrow on full rest if needed, and we’ll see Arroyo, Bailey, and Latos twice each if needed plus Leake once in the LCS, and we’ll probably be playing in the World Series in a week and a half. This is great stuff and I’m loving it. I hope everyone here can enjoy this as much as I am. It’s good to be a Reds fan!

    • Wow.I realize this blog is home for Reds fans who are passionate and knowledgeable about this team, who live and die by the “smiling side of the scorebook” and who find added pleasure outside the foul lines by analyzing roster moves, lineup changes, pitching options and the like.But first and foremost we’re all Reds fans first.So here’s the scenario:

      It’s October 10th and the Reds are still playing.This afternoon we all get to watch a playoff game in Cincinnati (I love that the scoreboard is teaching fans what to do with a rally towel!), the Reds are AHEAD in this series with one or two games left at home.Win one of those and move on to the LCS.The Reds pitching has DOMINATED the Giants bats.Without their ace.Read that again – when was the last time two starters went 14 innings in the postseason and allowed a total of two hits?Win today OR tomorrow and move on.If we’d all been in a coma and just woke up this morning this would be fantastic news.So I would like to propose that we all take a deep breath, get excited for playoff baseball this afternoon and enjoy this day.Because I’m as into all this as the rest of you, I’ll predict that it’s Leake today (anyone remember how good his last start was?), Latos tomorrow on full rest if needed, and we’ll see Arroyo, Bailey, and Latos twice each if needed plus Leake once in the LCS, and we’ll probably be playing in the World Series in a week and a half.This is great stuff and I’m loving it.I hope everyone here can enjoy this as much as I am.It’s good to be a Reds fan!

      I’m with you. I can’t wait to see them go out there and play another great game, just like they have all year.

      Go reds!

  5. I am at work getting nothing done waiting too see if Dusty is gonna give the ball to Latos or Leake. Rfay you are right it is painful and scares me… If the Reds want to go the Leake route, I would rather the Reds run LeCure out there for a couple of innings and piece together the game. Leake SCARES the crap outta me…

    I think Rolen starts today and has a huge game. Just have a feeling he will want some redemption… As far as Stubbs or Heisey. You have to start Stubbs, you lose so much on defense starting Heisey.

  6. It’s going to be Leake as it should be, I’m just not sure why they wouldn’t remove Cairo from the roster to make it happen.

    I was at the game last night, first time watching Broxton pitch in person, and man, it’s freakin brutal. Never realized how slow he works. Reds made dumb mistakes last night and San Fran didn’t – BPs bonehead play, Bailey hitting the light-hitting Crawford, the passed ball, and of course Rolen kicking the grounder. Easy to skewer Baker for not going with the IBB, but it’s hard for me to lay this one on him when if you take away any of those 4 mistakes the Reds win that game.

  7. @RiverCity Redleg: Absolutely… a least the effort, it was like he was stuck. I know in real time I was really upset he didn’t go after it. On the reply, I thought it looked maybe a little further away… but if there’s a time to try, that was it. This wasn’t a Sunday afternoon against the Cubs.

    • @beavertucky: They can’t. A pitcher has to be replaced by a pitcher as I’ve come to understand it.

      What if Babe Ruth were playing? Rick Ankiel? Can Mike Leake count as a position player because he has multiple home runs?

  8. Given that the Reds will be facing a very hittable Zito and the Giants best relievers pitched 2 innings each last night, it’s still advantage Reds even if Leake starts.

    Leake would have the shortest leash imaginable, with LeCure/Simon/Hoover becoming the bridge to our Nasty Boys. That’s an entirely plausible strategy that has a decent liklihood of working.

    Plus, when you factor in that Stubbs/Votto/Bruce/Ludwick hit lefties well and Frazier might start, suddenly a lineup that was full of holes last night looks pretty appealing.

    • Zito is definitely hittable but the splits do not look great. The only players I noticed with good numbers were Phillips, Frazier and Rolen. Votto and Bruce have both struggled against him. I would not doubt that this played a role in the Giants decision to start him over Lincecum.

      Let’s hope this is somewhat a product of small sample size.

      Given that the Reds will be facing a very hittable Zito and the Giants best relievers pitched 2 innings each last night, it’s still advantage Reds even if Leake starts.

      Leake would have the shortest leash imaginable, with LeCure/Simon/Hoover becoming the bridge to our Nasty Boys.That’s an entirely plausible strategy that has a decent liklihood of working.

      Plus, when you factor in that Stubbs/Votto/Bruce/Ludwick hit lefties well and Frazier might start, suddenly a lineup that was full of holes last night looks pretty appealing.

      • Scratch that, Bruce is in good shape. Votto has a .452 OPS against Zito in 18 at bats. Time for that to turn around.

        Zito is definitely hittable but the splits do not look great.The only players I noticed with good numbers were Phillips, Frazier and Rolen.Votto and Bruce have both struggled against him.I would not doubt that this played a role in the Giants decision to start him over Lincecum.

        Let’s hope this is somewhat a product of small sample size.

  9. I’m inclined to hope that Leake will just take his cue from the rest of the pitching going on around him and he’ll get them through in good shape. I’d only ask 5 innings out of him, score dependent.

  10. Saw a tweet from the Giants beat writer that Cueto was removed from the roster and Leake is in. Crap.

    • Saw a tweet from the Giants beat writer that Cueto was removed from the roster and Leake is in. Crap.

      Leake and Latos have both been tabbed as the starter but I won’t believe it until the Reds make an official announcement. Sam LeCure is a candidate to start, and an option who they wouldn’t want to announce until the last minute. Ask him to pitch 3 innings before bringing in Alfredo Simon and JJ Hoover – worst case scenario Latos would start game 5 on full rest.

      If Leake is activated hopefully we’ll get more run production out of the #9 spot in the order.

      • Leake and Latos have both been tabbed as the starter but I won’t believe it until the Reds make an official announcement.Sam LeCure is a candidate to start, and an option who they wouldn’t want to announce until the last minute.Ask him to pitch 3 innings before bringing in Alfredo Simon and JJ Hoover – worst case scenario Latos would start game 5 on full rest.

        If Leake is activated hopefully we’ll get more run production out of the #9 spot in the order.

        The idea that the Reds replace Cueto with Leake and Sam Lecure starts is impossible.

        Not saying that Lecure isn’t a viable candidate, just that if they were going to do that, they would not have made a move. It’s Leake. Let’s be real here.

  11. (sigh) Can’t Cairo just suddenly “get hurt” so we can replace him instead? Leake is probably a better hitter than him as it is… I have no idea on Johnny’s health, but if we advance and he’s healthy enough to pitch in the NLCS, it would be devastating to not be able to use him. That being said, I think you need to look at the present, and presently I’d feel more comfortable about our chances with a fully rested Latos in game 5 and Leake tonight. Although, Latos HAS only thrown 9 total innings in his last 2 appearances, so it’s highly possible that he’s rested enough to pitch well tonight. In other news, give Rolen the night off and start Todd. Please. I’m begging you Dusty.

  12. Although I do like Chad’s suggestion of Arredondo having some sort of freak accident. Maybe a suitcase thing like Jonathon Lucroy. Or set him up with some community service P.R. and he can tweak his back lifting a box for Goodwill. No shenanigans here at all, MLB, look the other way.

    • Although I do like Chad’s suggestion of Arredondo having some sort of freak accident. Maybe a suitcase thing like Jonathon Lucroy. Or set him up with some community service P.R. and he can tweak his back lifting a box for Goodwill. No shenanigans here at all, MLB, look the other way.

      Paging Uncle Sal….do the Reds have someone from Jersey on call for this sort of thing?

      “Hey, what happened to Arredondo? He was just here yesterday!”

  13. Unfortunately I think we have to pitch Leake tonight. I know that means no Cueto for NLCS (I know he wouldnt be able to start the first couple games of NLCS anyway but who knows, maybe he would be ready by Game 6 or 7 of that series if needed).

    But the fact of the matter is the NLCS is not a guaranteed thing for the Reds, Dusty has to focus on winning one game in the next 2 days. Our whole season is down to 2 days and we can’t make decisions assuming a victory tonight or tomorrow and I don’t know about you guys but I wouldn’t be very comfortable throwing all our eggs in one basket and starting Latos on short rest tonight then left with a “Well now what” scenario in Game 5

  14. I would have extended Marshall and/or Chapman past 1 inning. With the uncertainty of the starting staff, I would have been managing last night’s game like it was a game 5(7), not like “we have 2 more chances”. I was confused when Marshall didn’t come out for the 9th, and down right furious Chapman wasn’t left in to face Posey – THE ONLY HITTER IN THAT LINEUP WHO CAN BEAT YOU. Posey is likely the MVP, Chapman has been historically great all year, that’s who I want facing Posey.

    • @redsfanman: I love your optimism.

      Thanks! Going into this series I thought leading the series 2-1 at home would be something to be optimistic about; apparently it’s quite the opposite, and major changes must be made to get the team straightened out. Flip flopping Reds fans aren’t setting a good example for certain politicians.

      • Thanks!Going into this series I thought leading the series 2-1 at home would be something to be optimistic about; apparently it’s quite the opposite, and major changes must be made to get the team straightened out.Flip flopping Reds fans aren’t setting a good example for certain politicians.

        It would have been until Cueto only threw 8 pitches and is done for the series.

  15. We can talk about who is going to pitch and all the options and possibilities all day. It should be encouraged in fact. This is what matters though.

    THE REDS HAVE NOT GOTTEN SWEPT AT GREAT AMERICAN BALLPARK IN 2012. Not once. I have a hard time thinking that it would happen now. There is stuff to worry about, but the big picture strongly suggests these guys can get the job done.

    I’d say go with Leake. Barry Zito is 1-1 with a high 4’s ERA, 19 Hits and 10 ER in 22 Innings Pitched at GABP. Not a huge strikeout guy. Translation – if the Reds go up there and swing the bats just like in Games 1 and 2 there should not be much to worry about. If Leake can keep the ball down and induce ground balls he usually has a decent outing. I don’t want to risk anything on Latos with Cueto out for what might be the rest of the playoffs.

  16. Why not just start LeCure, let him go 2. Bring in Simon/Arredondo for 2 each. It’s not like any of them are tired. And if Leake got bombed they would do that anyway, right?

    I’m not sure if I’m joking or being serious here.

    But if you are going to start Leake, bat him 8th.

    Ditto on the joking/serious comment. 8-)

  17. I don’t think there is any way MLB would “believe” that another player got “hurt” so that the Reds could bring Leake in without having to remove Cueto. I think those in charge of MLB would not approve such a move by the Reds.

    I also believe that tonight’s game is it for the Reds. Even with a rested Latos, if this goes to a game 5 the Reds are done. Latos will try to overpitch and the hitters will be swinging from their heals and you don’t beat Cain twice in a 5 game series.

    The Reds did not go into last nights game like it was a game 5 which was a mistake. Poor managerial choices, sloppy baserunning and defense adn we are now in a whole even though we are up 2-1. Mo has left the Reds and is riding with the Giants. Now we have to hope after a long break Leake can keep us in the game because I just don’t see us scoring more then 2-3 runs today off of Zito.

  18. @slappy80528: I love this idea… Unless there is ZERO shot at Cueto pitching in LCS, you don’t remove him. LeCure/Hoover/Simon can get the job done for 5-6 innings… I have more faith in that than Leake for any amount of time at this point…

  19. Asking LeCure to pitch 3 innings, Simon to pitch 2 or 3, Hoover to pitch 1 or 2 to get the Reds to the big 3 (Marshall, Broxton, Chapman) doesn’t seem unreasonable to me, especially if LeCure is announced at the last minute. LeCure and Simon have both pitched much better than they’ve gotten credit for this year – combined LeCure and Simon have given up 5 homeruns in ~120 innings (Leake has given up 26 in 179 innings).

    If Cueto is showing any signs of improvement and chance of being ready to pitch in the NLCS I think the bullpen option is worth a shot. I’m also not convinced that Mike Leake is a better option for one game than the long relievers, even if he is activated. Either way, whatever they decide will be fine with me. Pros and cons either way.

  20. Has the move been made official? Havent seen it anywhere, other than the “report” on ESPN. Holding out hope until the Reds make the official announcement (which they very well may have and I havent caught it).

  21. The only screwy thing about keeping Leake off the roster in the first place was the need to keep Simon — a “long” man — on the roster. So when they needed a “long” man in Game 1, they naturally turned to … Mat Latos!

    I wasn’t so opposed to keeping Leake off the roster initially, with the assumption that the bullpen could handle one game of heavy use in case of a starter’s injury or ineffectiveness, and the rotation wouldn’t get hammered. But if they don’t want to use Simon as a long man, what’s his role? How many arms does Dusty need to mix-and-match from the 7th inning on?

    Go Leake! That appears to be where it’s headed, just better score lots of runs tonight. Not sure I want to tempt fate by tangling with Matt Cain again!

  22. I think tonight will be a Leake versus Zito/Lincecum show. If Zito looks bad, they will get Lincecum ready.

    • I think tonight will be a Leake versus Zito/Lincecum show. If Zito looks bad, they will get Lincecum ready.

      It may very well be a Leake/LeCure/Hoover versus Zito show.

  23. Fay just tweeted based on his meeting with Dusty Baker that Mike Leake will start today and Cueto has been put on the DL.

    Baker also said that Todd Frazier will start today at 3B and Navarro will catch.

  24. If I were the Reds, and I wanted to add Leake…I’d think outside the box here and remove Jose Arredondo from the roster. Who cares if he isn’t available for the NLCS? Can Arredondo fake an injury on such short notice?

    Especially since you still have Leake. Say Cueto is able to pitch by game 4 of the NLCS — have Leake warm up as if he’s a starter and put him in when/if he’s needed. Should be at least as good as Arredondo, right?

    Homer Bailey is showing signs of being a total stud. Cueto already is. Latos has been doing it more consistently. With the three of them healthy I don’t know who could possibly have a better post-season rotation for the next couple years.

    I missed the irony in it, but: the Reds go the entire season without sending an SP down, and only one other guy makes a start because of a double header. Then the ace goes down 8 PITCHES in to the post season. Ugh.

    • Especially since you still have Leake. Say Cueto is able to pitch by game 4 of the NLCS — have Leake warm up as if he’s a starter and put him in when/if he’s needed. Should be at least as good as Arredondo, right?

      Homer Bailey is showing signs of being a total stud. Cueto already is. Latos has been doing it more consistently. With the three of them healthy I don’t know who could possibly have a better post-season rotation for the next couple years.

      I missed the irony in it, but: the Reds go the entire season without sending an SP down, and only one other guy makes a start because of a double header. Then the ace goes down 8 PITCHES in to the post season. Ugh.

      A doctor has to approve the move. So the idea of picking Arredondo to replace doesn’t work.

  25. @ColgateCrew: Thank you for a little optimism and excitement. I’m confident in Mike Leake. I like Navarro and Frazier in the lineup. I’m good with Stubbs vs. Zito. And maybe he’s struggled against Zito but this is Joey Votto we’re talking about. And finally, there will be 44,000 screaming, towel waving, happy Reds fans to root this team on. This team that won 97 games and 50 at home. I’m excited to see the champagne celebration after the game. 5-2 Reds. On to the LCS. Can’t wait!

  26. It’s not that I’m not confident in Leake – I still think we have this series locked up. But we are suddenly a MUCH weaker team in the NLCS. Any advantage we had over the Nats because of Strasburg being down is now out the window. Their top 3 is now HEAD AND SHOULDERS above ours, ,and if it takes 4 then it’s not even in the same stratosphere. Mat, Homer, and Bronson are going to have to keep throwing career games.

    • It’s not that I’m not confident in Leake – I still think we have this series locked up. But we are suddenly a MUCH weaker team in the NLCS. Any advantage we had over the Nats because of Strasburg being down is now out the window. Their top 3 is now HEAD AND SHOULDERS above ours, ,and if it takes 4 then it’s not even in the same stratosphere. Mat, Homer, and Bronson are going to have to keep throwing career games.

      Why do you think we have this series locked?

      • Why do you think we have this series locked?

        Because I’m being overly confident.

        No but seriously, we haven’t lost 3 straight home games all season, I just don’t see us doing it now. If Leake gets the job done today, then we wouldn’t have had to use Cueto again this series anyway. The fact that we were able to pull out the win in game 1 without him against Cain was the biggie. So of course we don’t have it “locked” but I’m pretty confident we’re going to win this series.

  27. Obviously that was assuming a Nats series. A Cards series is going to be a crap shoot either way. Regardless, losing Cueto for the entire NL playoffs is devastating.

  28. I like taking a chance with Leake today. Just be ready to bring in the relievers if he gets in trouble. That leaves Latos to start a key game 5 if necessary. If not, he leads off the LCS, meaning he can potentially pitch 3 times if necessary. He and Bailey are the hottest pitchers going. I would hate to think Arroyo pitches game 1 of the LCS. He was good. But he’s been spotty all year. He could get lit up at any time.

    Thank God, Dusty finally came to his senses and started Super Todd. You’d think that Dusty has been trying to power down a potential ROY of the year for the last few weeks. Save him for next year or something. Just too hung up on veterany-ness. I just realized Dusty’s ultimate nightmare — managing the Oakland As. Not to make light of Dusty’s health, but I think managing that rookie-laden roster would drive him up the wall. What would he do without a few washed up major leaguers to rely on like Cairo and Valdez and Rolen?

    • Thank God, Dusty finally came to his senses and started Super Todd. You’d think that Dusty has been trying to power down a potential ROY of the year for the last few weeks. Save him for next year or something.Just too hung up on veterany-ness. I just realized Dusty’s ultimate nightmare — managing the Oakland As. Not to make light of Dusty’s health, but I think managing that rookie-laden roster would drive him up the wall. What would he do without a few washed up major leaguers to rely on like Cairo and Valdez and Rolen?

      From another perspective you may notice that Frazier hit 13/72 in September, good for a .181 batting average. Sometimes players get benched when a competitor for their position hits better and has a whole shelf of Gold Glove awards.

      Dusty probably knows that Frazier has hit better against LHPs (like Zito) and had prior sucess against Zito (3/5 with a homerun). I don’t think we should expect to see Frazier’s role change – he’s likely to be back on the bench once they’re finished with Zito. In the NLCS he may face left handed starters or play day games after night games.

  29. Here are the career splits against Barry Zito. Seems like the Reds are in a good position offensively, and they’ve shown an ability to hit off Zito in the past. Maybe Mike Leake can be the secret weapon offensively for a big homerun.

    Bruce: 5/14 (.357 average) with 1 homerun
    Cairo: 4/13 (.308 average) with 1 homerun
    Cozart: 1/2
    Frazier: 3/5 with 1 homerun
    Hanigan (who is out of the lineup): 2/8
    Heisey (who is also out): 0/4
    Ludwick: 6/26 (.231 average) with 1 homeruns and a .355 OBP
    Navarro: Never faced Zito
    Phillips: 8/19 (.421 average, .520 OBP)
    Rolen (who is also out): 2/7 with a .538 OBP
    Stubbs: 5/13 (.385 average, .467 OBP)
    Votto: 3/18

    It’s a good sign when Joey Votto is the worst hitter.

  30. Walt Jocketty poked his head into the Holy Grail yesterday during the pregame to say it was a minor injury and that Johnny would be ready today or Thursday. Well, they disabled Johnny this morning. He should have stayed away from the whole thing. It shows either he had bad information, which is very very very bad. Or, that he lied, which is a 1000 times worse.

    • Walt Jocketty poked his head into the Holy Grail yesterday during the pregame to say it was a minor injury and that Johnny would be ready today or Thursday.Well, they disabled Johnny this morning.He should have stayed away from the whole thing.It shows either he had bad information, which is very very very bad.Or, that he lied, which is a 1000 times worse.

      I think you’re being a little hard on him. For all we know, he wanted that information to go right in Bruce Bochy’s ear. He’d rather have the Giants thinking they were facing Cueto all night than Leake, or at the very least to be unsure.

    • Walt Jocketty poked his head into the Holy Grail yesterday during the pregame to say it was a minor injury and that Johnny would be ready today or Thursday.Well, they disabled Johnny this morning.He should have stayed away from the whole thing.It shows either he had bad information, which is very very very bad.Or, that he lied, which is a 1000 times worse.

      Walt Jocketty isn’t a doctor and by sending Cueto to the DL he made a decision that wouldn’t have been made it the Reds won on Tuesday. Besides, lying about the condition of players isn’t new – remember Joey Votto being out with a mysterious inner ear infection? Jocketty has to say something to shut people up so they’ll quit asking but he’s under no obligation to tell the truth or offer the worst case scenario.

    • Walt Jocketty poked his head into the Holy Grail yesterday during the pregame to say it was a minor injury and that Johnny would be ready today or Thursday. Well, they disabled Johnny this morning. He should have stayed away from the whole thing. It shows either he had bad information, which is very very very bad. Or, that he lied, which is a 1000 times worse.

      I’m curious when that happened? I was listening to the pre-game on the drive down to Cincy from the start of the broadcast at the Holy Grail (2pm) until about 3:45. Lance broke in with the news around 3:15pm, I believe, that Cueto had an oblique issue instead of back spasms. After that the discussion was that a win tonight allowed them to delay their decision, but a loss would put them into a tough decision re: the roster. They hadn’t had anyone official from the Reds yet at that point, and I was out of my car by the time they got to talk to any of the Reds Front Office guys.

      Perhaps he was just trying to downplay fan fears?

  31. @Number 14: I agree in the Votto case that an MRI should have been done. The thing is though, if it is a strained oblique and not a torn oblique, the MRI wouldn’t tell the medical staff anything. The only thing it could tell them at the moment is that Cueto has or hasn’t torn anything. An oblique is pretty hard to tear too so I think the fact that no MRI has been done in the Cueto case isn’t a big deal… It’s funny because I had an appointment with my own ortho today and I brought it up. The explaination I gave was what he told me.

  32. @Hank Aarons Teammate: I like the idea of personal catchers when it comes to the regular season. My reasoning is that if a pitcher is more comfortable throwing to a particular catche during the regular season, let him throw to that catcher. If that catcher is the backup, all you’ve really done is build in an off-day for your regular guy. It’s a day off that he’s going to need anyway and your pitcher is happy throwing to “his” guy. During the post-season, it’s another matter.

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