2012 Post-season / 2012 Reds / Believe

NLDS Titanic Struggle Recap: That Stunk

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

National League Division Series, Game Four
FINAL
San Francisco 8
Cincinnati 3

W: T. Lincecum (1-0)
L: M. Leake (0-1)
BOX SCORE

Series tied 2-2

POSITIVES
–None. That was terrible. Just terrible.

NEGATIVES
–I try not to be too hard on Dusty, but he was unbelievably incompetent tonight. Why he insists on pinch hitting with the likes of Miguel Cairo is beyond me. The timing of pitching changes. The use of Arredondo when their were better options. If there is blame to lay at anyone’s feet in this game, it should be at Dusty’s feet.

–Mike Leake was not good.

–Jose Arredondo was worse.

–The Reds did not hit especially well. They left a ton of men on base today.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–This was a bad game, but I still think it was the right choice to start Leake. The Reds will have Latos on full rest tomorrow and that is cause for celebration.

–The Reds have their backs against the wall now, but this team has fought all year long. I have to believe they’ll pull it out one way or another. It will be all hands on deck and the Reds are better than the Giants. They just have to show it one more time. I’ll be watching and cheering and I hope you will be, too. It’s been a great season and it isn’t over. Don’t despair yet.

120 thoughts on “NLDS Titanic Struggle Recap: That Stunk

  1. Anybody know how to watch the game ONLINE without forking over 5 dollars to MLB for postseason.tv?

  2. My second ticket is available today. Anyone interested in being at the game in person and sitting in the lower deck, section 130, right at first base, leave your email address in a comment and I’ll get back to you. Face value: $78. Downside: you have to sit with me.

  3. I don’t understand the obsession over the Arias decision. Even if Baker walks Arias, Sanchez might have gotten a hit. He actually has a better split against RHP than Arias does. Even if Broxton would have gotten Sanchez out, the game would still have been tied. The Giants had other pitchers for the tenth inning beside Romo.

    People are talking about this as if it definitely lost the game. It didn’t. Plus, keep in mind that Arias hit INTO AN OUT. But Rolen made an error.

    How can the focus of that play be Baker’s mistake, not Rolen’s? If Rolen had made the play without error, Baker’s move would long have been forgotten.

    • I don’t understand the obsession over the Arias decision. Even if Baker walks Arias, Sanchez might have gotten a hit. He actually has a better split against RHP than Arias does. Even if Broxton would have gotten Sanchez out, the game would still have been tied. The Giants had other pitchers for the tenth inning beside Romo. People are talking about this as if it definitely lost the game. It didn’t. Plus, keep in mind that Arias hit INTO AN OUT. But Rolen made an error. How can the focus of that play be Baker’s mistake, not Rolen’s? If Rolen had made the play without error, Baker’s move would long have been forgotten.

      For me it’s simple,it forces the Giants manager to make a move/decision. Baseball for me is like chess, you make a move to make your opponet think and make a move that hopefully is the wrong move. By not pitching to the 8 hitter it forces the Giants to either use up their last bench player (backup catcher) or hit the relief pitcher. That is a HUGE decission and also had no runs scored used up more of the Giants pitching staff and could have caused them issues had they come back to that spot in the batting order. Dusty is “afraid” to make moves, to challenge the other manager and that is the difference between someone like Dusty with no WS titles and say oh…Tony Larussa who has what like 3?

    • I don’t understand the obsession over the Arias decision. Even if Baker walks Arias, Sanchez might have gotten a hit. He actually has a better split against RHP than Arias does. Even if Broxton would have gotten Sanchez out, the game would still have been tied. The Giants had other pitchers for the tenth inning beside Romo.

      People are talking about this as if it definitely lost the game. It didn’t. Plus, keep in mind that Arias hit INTO AN OUT. But Rolen made an error.

      How can the focus of that play be Baker’s mistake, not Rolen’s? If Rolen had made the play without error, Baker’s move would long have been forgotten.

      Steve I normally agree with you, but not this time. You have to walk Arias. 1) You get Romo out of the game and 2) You make them use their last hitter. I don’t care if Sanchez hits a grand slam it’s the right move to make. It’s really the only move to make. Not saying the Reds would have won (who knows), but you have to make the Giants burn their best relief pitcher and their last hitter on the bench.

      • Steve I normally agree with you, but not this time.You have to walk Arias. 1) You get Romo out of the game and 2) You make them use their last hitter.I don’t care if Sanchez hits a grand slam it’s the right move to make. It’s really the only move to make.Not saying the Reds would have won (who knows), but you have to make the Giants burn their best relief pitcher and their last hitter on the bench.

        I think that the decision wasn’t obvious. Here’s the tradeoff:

        * walk Arias to get to Sanchez (I assume they would have hit Sanchez). You have a higher chance of losing in the 10th, but if you get Sanchez out, you have a higher chance of winning the game in the bottom of the 10th and beyond.

        * pitch to Arias: higher chance of getting out of the top of the 10th, but a lower chance of winning after that.

        It seems to me that Baker’s move is defensible. Personally, taking all things into account, I’d have walked Arias even though I hate intentional walks.

        What happened after the decision is irrelevant, though, in terms of making the right decision.

  4. Obviously, it’s hard to attribute intent to the booing. My two cents was that the booing in my section had as much to do with Baker’s use of Arredondo as Arredondo’s pitching himself.

    Either way, put me in the group who thinks it’s bad form to boo a Reds player or manager in that situation.

    • Obviously, it’s hard to attribute intent to the booing. My two cents was that the booing in my section had as much to do with Baker’s use of Arredondo as Arredondo’s pitching himself.

      I think you are spot on with this. The disgust was with Dusty’s decision to go with him and then to stay with him when he had nothing. It was clear to everyone.

      On the Votto situation, I sure would like to know if his procedure was botched or if the recovery is just taking way longer than expected. We’ll never know, but something about the whole thing STILL doesn’t set right.

  5. The game time today stinks. I realize that kids can skip school (again) and working adults can skip work (again). But it would be nice if fans who wanted to attend – or watch on TV – weren’t inconvenienced like that. Especially for a Game Five. Those burdens should be placed equally on the various fan bases.

    At least the precious Yankees play every single one of their games in prime time.

  6. It was pretty obvious to me from the moment Leake was announced as the starter that Dusty had given up on winning this game and was just looking at game 5. If I had any questions abotu it that weren’t answered by Navarro starting then the starting lineup quickly confirmed it at the plate. THose guys did NOT look like a playoff team that wanted to win a series last night. In the 4th with Leake in scoring position Brandon, Joey, and Ludwick all struck out swinging. That was when I knew there was no hope.

    I am about to say something that will be wildly unpopular and get me flailed on here. Joey Votto did not earn his money last night. $250 million means you don’t get to strike out 3 times in a playoff game, twice with RISP. I’m sorry, I’m as big of a Joey Votto fan as you will ever find, but that is some A-Rod bulls**t right there. He did not look focused at all. As much as I’ve been joking with friends this whole series about the TBS announcers harping on his knee and acting like he is basically crippled, now I have to wonder if it really is a problem. To have this whole season play out as it has and then disappear because our two best players are hurt…I’m going to try to stay positive but I am not a happy Reds fan this morning.

    • THose guys did NOT look like a playoff team that wanted to win a series last night. In the 4th with Leake in scoring position Brandon, Joey, and Ludwick all struck out swinging.

      You’re saying that those three guys didn’t want to get a hit? And what exactly clued you in that Joey wasn’t “focused”? The two hits? If he’d been focused, he’d have gone 5-5?

  7. @eric nyc: There’s no doubt that Joey Votto isn’t himself physically. It shows both in the field and at the plate. It has been that way since he injured his knee (and was allowed to play on it for more than a week). I’ve been saying for some time that he shouldn’t be batting third. I’d prefer he hit lead off.

    But it’s wrong to say that he wasn’t focused or determined yesterday. There’s no way to know that. He didn’t play any differently yesterday than he has all series. At least from what any of us can tell in the cheap seats.

  8. It’s pretty clear Arredondo cannot help us in the NLCS. The Reds should’ve announced he came up lame after yesterday’s ‘performance’ and dropped him from the roster in favor of Cingrani for today’s game.

  9. Thoughts on a few things:

    I think the only way Dusty’s not back next year is if he steps down for health reasons. Regardless of what happens today, managers who tie for best record in the NL regular season don’t get canned.

    Yes, you pay your money, you have the right to boo. I have the right to think of you however I think of you for doing so – that’s how it works here in the good ol’ USA. It was an utterly classless thing to do.

    I don’t know what to think about the Hanigan/Rolen-gate thing – both have gotten regular days off every 4th or 5th game during the season, so maybe their off days were already planned… but still…

    There’s certainly a case to be made for cutting Jacoby loose at the end of the season. Or last season. But the Reds’ hitting philosophy comes from the top and goes all the way down – we don’t draft plate discipline, we don’t coach it in the minors, and we won’t hire a new hitting coach who stresses it unless there’s a fundamental change in organizational philosophy. We all hope for that, but we probably shouldn’t expect it.

    dn4192, are you OK? You’re usually the “everything’s OK” guy… come in off the ledge.

    Oh, and GO REDS!

  10. @RC: Well said. I love it when losing somehow translates into a narrative of lack of desire. As we sit in our offices and homes and whatnot. I stand by my assertion earlier in the year that if Joey didn’t hit like a god, people would be painting him as standoffish and unfriendly, not a good team guy, etc. But because he hits (most of the time) he’s intense and locked in.

  11. @Matt WI: This whole “wanting it” thing is very insulting to the players. I’m not an athlete, but I’m pretty sure that if I was, and someone came up to me after a playoff loss and said “I guess the other guys just wanted it more”, I’d punch them hard.

    • @Matt WI: This whole “wanting it” thing is very insulting to the players.I’m not an athlete, but I’m pretty sure that if I was, and someone came up to me after a playoff loss and said “I guess the other guys just wanted it more”, I’d punch them hard.

      I agree, but to be fair, sometimes the players on the losing side say that the other team wanted it more!

      • I agree, but to be fair, sometimes the players on the losing side say that the other team wanted it more!

        I know they do, but mostly I file that under “sports cliche talk 101″… I doubt they really believed it. They’re not impervious to the power of that narrative, even if it’s false.

    • @Matt WI: This whole “wanting it” thing is very insulting to the players.I’m not an athlete, but I’m pretty sure that if I was, and someone came up to me after a playoff loss and said “I guess the other guys just wanted it more”, I’d punch them hard.

      Completely agree. It’s just plain stupid and wrong. Nobody wants to win more than the guys in the dugout and if you think otherwise then you have never been a part of a sports team.

  12. Lineup same as games 1-3. No surprise there. I wish Baker just would say nothing, but instead he said “it’s what got us here”. Well, yes, in a sense, playing Rolen over Frazier might well be what got us past game 3. I’m certainly not blaming Rolen, I just wish Baker would actually play who he thinks are the best guys to win THIS game. If that’s really, truly, Rolen, ok. I would start Frazier, myself, and never think twice about it.

  13. @Hank Aarons Teammate: Being too amped up is usually a recipe for disaster in baseball, yet a positive in basketball or football. It’s sport specific. In baseball, you simply want to be ‘intense, but not tense’.

    I’m glad the game is earlier today. I’m gonna need a good 8 hours to process it either way, so maybe I’ll get a good night’s rest.

  14. I’m about to leave for the game, so can’t continue the Arias debate beyond this right now.

    I’m not saying it was the right decision. Only that (a) it wasn’t crazy and (b) it wasn’t decisive. People are treating it like the Reds would SURELY have won if we had just walked Arias. The game would still have been tied even if Sanchez makes an out.

    Arias hit a weak ground ball to our third baseman.

    How would everyone have reacted if Baker had walked Arias (a .248 hitter vs. RHP) to face Sanchez (a .277 hitter vs. RHP) and Sanchez had gotten a hit? Baker would have been killed for that.

    You have to weigh the Romo/bench factor vs. the better split/load the bases factor. That’s a close enough call that I wouldn’t refer to it as “the thing that turned the series around.”

    Rolen’s error was a much bigger factor than Baker’s decision.

    • I’m about to leave for the game, so can’t continue the Arias debate beyond this right now.

      I’m not saying it was the right decision. Only that (a) it wasn’t crazy and (b) it wasn’t decisive. People are treating it like the Reds would SURELY have won if we had just walked Arias. The game would still have been tied even if Sanchez makes an out.

      Arias hit a weak ground ball to our third baseman.

      How would everyone have reacted if Baker had walked Arias (a .248 hitter vs. RHP) to face Sanchez (a .277 hitter vs. RHP) and Sanchez had gotten a hit? Baker would have been killed for that.

      You have to weigh the Romo/bench factor vs. the better split/load the bases factor. That’s a close enough call that I wouldn’t refer to it as “the thing that turned the series around.”

      Rolen’s error was a much bigger factor than Baker’s decision.

      I personally wouldn’t have killed him for it because it was the right play (in my opinion).

  15. @Hank Aarons Teammate: Yeah, also to be fair, there are places where pure desire can make a difference – the trenches in football being a likely example. But like the Sultan just said, hitting a baseball isn’t one of those places. “Wanting it” too much probably just makes you swing at pitches you shouldn’t have.

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