2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Reds Get Up Off the Mat

Here’s the recap of tonight’s titanic struggle…

Philadelphia 2rntitanic-copy
Cincinnati 4
W: Arroyo (2-1)
L: Horst (0-1)
S: Chapman (3)

POSITIVES

The Reds picked themselves up after a disastrous road-trip, played solid defense and rallied for scores in the seventh and eighth innings. They now stand at 6-7.

Bronson Arroyo pitched eight strong innings. Other than a home run to Clark Kent Utley, he kept the Phillies in check. He gave up five hits and no walks while striking out three.

– Brandon Phillips came through with sparkling defense and the game winning hit in the bottom of the eighth. The Phillies had intentionally walked Joey Votto ahead of the Reds’ second baseman, to load the bases. Phillips lined a sharp single to the right side, just past second baseman Freddy Galvis. Phillips also had a key double in the seventh inning.

Joey Votto had two hits and a walk, raising — raising — his OBP to .556 for the season.

– Pinch hitter Derrick Robinson started the rally in the eighth inning with a swinging bunt down the third base line. He ended up scoring the game winning run.

Jay Bruce had two hits and a walk in four AB.

NEGATIVES

Chris Heisey and Ryan Hanigan went a combined 0-7, lowering their batting averages to .152 and .063 respectively.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS

– This was an important win, setting up the possibility of an outstanding home stand. Cliff Lee is one of the top three pitchers in the NL and Bronson Arroyo battled him to a draw and the offense came up with two runs in the seventh inning.

Super Todd Frazier fell victim to what might possibly be the best defensive play of the entire 2013 season. In the second inning, with Jay Bruce on first base, Frazier sent a rocket to the right of Philly center fielder Ben Revere. Revere lept from his feet running backwards and caught the ball at full extension.

Dusty Baker moved to the top step of the first-base end of the Reds dugout during the bottom halves of the seventh and eighth innings, something I’ve never seen him do before. Not sure why he did that other than just to change things up. Coincidentally, the Reds scored two runs in each of those innings. I hope someone asks him about it.

– I’m not one to shy away from criticizing moves by Dusty Baker, so tonight I thought I’d offer some support on two calls where he may have been questioned. I would not have had Shin-Soo Choo bunt in the bottom of the eighth inning, but the one factor that makes it a reasonable call is that Choo was facing a left-handed pitcher. His career splits are dramatically worse with a lefty on the mound. Regarding leaving Arroyo in the game for the eighth inning, I thought that was a reasonable move, too. The single to lead off the inning was a weak hit (one that I thought Choo should have caught). Otherwise, prior to Utley’s AB, Arroyo had pitched lights out. This was not one of those “wheels coming off” moments. Sure, if Sean Marshall was available, I’d have used him against Utley. Manny Parra? Uh, no way. I suppose there might have been a case for bringing Chapman in to face Utley, but now we’re getting pretty far out of the box.

TOP GAME THREAD COMMENTS

RedForever: Marty had a good point. As long as Cozart, Heisey and hanigan are not hitting, you essentially have 4 automatic outs. You aren’t going to win many games with 4 automatic outs in your lineup.

CharlotteNCRedsFan: 7th inning has been a killer during the 5-game losing streak. Surrendered runs in all of them.

beavertucky: (regarding Baker moving to the other end of the dugout) The game situation dictated that move.

Hank Aarons Teammate: Votto now has 5 more walks than the Chicago White Sox.

90 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Reds Get Up Off the Mat

  1. It’s sad that the idea of Chapman coming in to get 4 outs, where the first one is Utley, is indeed far outside of the box for Baker.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: my thoughts exactly.

      there is no reason that in a game this close that the reds really needed to win, chapman can’t get up in the 8th. if bronson cruises, then he’s ready for the 9th. if bronson gets in trouble, he gets pulled before he can blow the game.

      this should not be out of the box, it should be standard practice. and to say that it’s out of the box is so totally new-school it’s crazy. 4+ out saves didn’t used to be weird even 10 years ago.

      here was baker’s response: “No (on Chapman), because you can’t break down someone else waiting for someone else to get back,” Baker said. “We thought about it. We thought about it yesterday. We thought about it with (Jonathan) Broxton. As we get more into season, we might do it. But we’ve got to keep these guys strong.”

      to me, that essentially says that he’s giving up games now for games in the future. which is exactly the same IMO, to his refusal to bat votto and bruce back to back against a RH starter because of concern of a loogy in the 7th.

      baker seems to be focused on his version of “the long game,” while failing to notice that runs in the first count as much as runs in the 7th, and that wins now count as much as wins in august.

  2. Also, the idea of Cozart batting second just makes me ill. Two outs, Choo on first, Votto on deck, and he swings 2-0. He needs to understand how good Votto is and how important his getting on base is. But he never will.

  3. Was at the game. Great game (kind of a small crowd though) Can’t really criticize Dusty for leaving Arroyo in, especially since his pitch count was very low and that he was pitching spectacularly (with a little help from his defense). Brandon Phillips has been nothing short of amazing so far this season.

    • @antisocial21:

      Was at the game. Great game (kind of a small crowd though) Can’t really criticize Dusty for leaving Arroyo in, especially since his pitch count was very low and that he was pitching spectacularly (with a little help from his defense).Brandon Phillips has been nothing short of amazing so far this season.

      I would have made the switch and gone to Chapman for the 4 out save (which Thom suggested on the TV broadcast also). But even with that being said, Bronson has no excuse for giving up that HR to Utley. The guy behind him doesn’t have an extra base hit on the season. You don’t let Utley beat you. Bad decision making by Bronson.

  4. Bruce deserves some major kudos for that at bat by Bruce that drew the Walk. Excellent patience. Not to mention Votto scored on the wild pitch during that at bat.

    Is it just me .. but I feel like I see a lot of scoring on wild pitches during Bruce’s at bats?

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate:
        Great interview from Ctrent about the at bat with Bruce .. and once again Dusty praising Bruce and encouraging other batters to battle similarly. Are we finally moving away from the “hack at the first pitch” approach? (Please say yes! And why aren’t Heisy and Cozart listening?)

        • @Love4Reds: Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but…probably “no”.

          In all seriousness, there is battling, and there is swinging at good pitches, and those aren’t quite the same thing. There is overlap, but again, I don’t think Baker cares about selecting good pitches to swing at.

        • @Love4Reds: Sunday on the pregame show he actually started talking about you can’t just bunt all the time because you only get 27 outs and can’t be wasting them. I was stunned. Somebody must have left a sabremetrics book laying around his office.

        • @Love4Reds: I think Dusty’s approach to hitting is misunderstood sometimes. He was a very good ML hitter. He generally does not like taking pitches that are in the strike zone and hittable, even if it’s the first pitch. That’s what he means by “aggressive”. Not saying that I always agree with him – I think someone like Cozart ought to be taking more pitches.

          There’s no contradiction between his approach and fouling off tough pitches, laying off of pitches just outside of the strike zone, etc. I’ve never heard Dusty criticize Joey Votto’s approach to hitting.

        • @pinson343: in fact there was a great piece some years back on fire jor morgan where dusty did exactly that. he criticized votto for not being aggressive enough or hitting for more power, while votto was ops-ing over 1.000.

    • @Love4Reds: I heard the Bruce walk AB on my car radio. One of the most exciting walks I can remember ! Deserves an assist for the wild pitch. The first of the season off Lee, of course. Love it when Bruce gets focused like that.

      Marty B. was very impressed. But he added that he’s amazed that in the 3rd week of the season, Bruce still has no HRs.

      Also, before Bruce’s AB, they mentioned that he’s 5 for 16 with runners in scoring position. They said it as a positive, but enough about his BARISP.

    • @Love4Reds: I forget whether Bruce was at the plate at the time, but last week when Votto scored on a wild pitch, someone on the blog said that he “willed it.” That really cracked me up. But this time I think the credit should go to Bruce.

    • @Love4Reds: I think the wild pitches at Bruce’s at-bats (if that really is a trend) is due to the fact that the pitch Bruce loves to hack at is a breaking pitch away and REALLY down. When you’re throwing a pitch with movement that low to the ground, you’re bound to have a couple hit too early and go bouncing off elsewhere.

  5. Now we can’t even use the Precious for a 4 out save!

    Time to trade him to Sauron for 3 wraiths and a an orc to be named later.

  6. The Phils have a rightie going Tuesday. I hope we see XP or Robinson in LF batting 2nd. Robinson is a switch hitter so it shouldn’t violate the consecutive lefties rule to drop him in there at #2 in the order.

    • @OhioJim: In the game versus Strasburger left cost Dusty sent four lefties up in the first 5 spots…….The midwest wearing off on him. Heisey sits
      As far as Hannigan, I suggest Meso gets Cingrani and catches 3 of the next 5, for what its worth.

  7. Anybody want to speculate what the Reds might do if another two weeks go by and Hanigan hasn’t “found it” at the plate? I’m thinking they might have to be thinking more than just getting Mesoraco more time. They might need to be looking for an MLB capable catcher top pair with Mesoraco.

    • @OhioJim: I don’t see any reason to give up on a player who’s been quite good the last few years. I just want to see Mesoraco play a little bit more. But, I’ll speculate…they will not get rid of Hanigan no matter what. They won’t even cut his playing time.

    • @OhioJim:

      They are not getting rid of Hanigan simply because he’s to importation in how he managers the pitching staff and other aspects of his defensive game.

    • @OhioJim: Over the past few years Ryan Hanigan’s bat has been a bonus rather than they key part of his value to the team, a team that places a lot of emphasis on hitting and defense. Maybe Devin Mesoraco will get more playing time, but I definitely don’t think Ryan Hanigan is going anywhere.

      As long as Hanigan calls games well he can hit under .200 and the Reds won’t care, regardless of how the fans feel. At least Dusty will have justification for hitting him 8th in the order.

    • @MrRedlegs3900: I absolutely agree. There is this huge misconception that La Russa rewrote the “book” on closers only being a 1 inning (3 out) pitcher when he had Eckersly in Oakland. It is true that in many cases Eckersly only pitched the ninth inning to get the save and he was tremendous often times going 3 up and 3 down. However if you look at his Cy Young season of 1992, Eckersly pitched more the 1 inning 21 times (30% of his total appearances that year) and had a 1+ inning save 16 times.

    • yes, very nice indeed. That last loss to the Pirates left a scar, even before we got home for the Utley at-bat.

  8. Revere’s catch on Frazier’s drive was amazing. On mlbnetwork they called it the best defensive play of the season so far.

    They also interviewed BP after the game, praising his hitting of course, but first mentioning Barney’s Gold Glove and flat out saying that BP is the best defensive (and all around) 2nd baseman in the NL.

  9. The Reds bench is so much stronger than last year. Last year, until XPaul, joined the club, there wasn’t a single LHed bat off the bench. Now there’s XPaul, Hannahan, Robinson (switch hitter). A bunch of pesky hitters, I like them.

  10. I’m happy Bronson got the win. Most of us don’t pay a lot of attention to that stat, but it means a lot to starting pitchers. Bronson talks about how getting the “W” means a lot to him, so I’m glad he got it.

  11. I thought last night was a tough match-up with Arroyo against the Phillies’ lefties, and with Cliff Lee against Jay Bruce. But both Bruce and Arroyo were excellent. Bruce looks comfortable, so maybe he can avoid the baffling slumps.

    The Closer Role is sheer lunacy. There is no reason why Chapman should not have pitched to Chase Utley, except for the notion that The Closer can only pitch the ninth. Dusty has Closeritis pretty bad, but in truth at least half the managers in baseball suffer from it, too, with Joe Madden at Tampa being the best exception. I don’t understand why Brian Price doesn’t stage an intervention.

    I’ve always rooted for Heisey, but in truth he has never seized his opportunities. He did hit one bullet to left last night, but it is pretty much now or never for him. He needs to tame his left shoulder.

  12. The crazy thing is that by holding Chapman out until the 9th he almost didn’t get a save situation. If he would have brought him in to face Utley, he would have been in line for the save, in every sense of the word. By not bringing him in to “hold out for the save”. He almost didn’t get it twice. First, the lead was blown by Arroyo, then we left bases loaded in the 8th, where we easily could have blown the game open by 4 runs or more. If we did, do you thinkk Chapman would have still pitched the 9th?

  13. So is Chapman available today? I’m assuming so, but he has pitched the last two days.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate:

      He’ll have to be, if there is a save situation. Broxton has a “tired shoulder”, contemplation of a DL trip is taking place. LeCure just got over a “tired shoulder” and hadn’t pitched in a few games until he warmed up last night. A lot of “tired shoulders” diagnosises(?) in the Reds bullpen already this year.
      Is Hoover next??

  14. Even Marty mentioned the matchup against Utley in the 8th inning last night. Brown was on 2nd base with 1st base open, 2 outs and the tying run at the plate. Utley (LH, .292/.340/.604) & Mayberry (RH, .286/.423/.571) are the only viable big bats left for Manuel. Bronson struggles against LH hitters. The Phllies lineup was stacked with LH hitters & Utley was announced as the PH. The next 4 hitters in the lineup are Revere (LH), Glavis (SH), Rollins (SH), & Howard (LH). A double switch with Heisey & Robinson has Robinson leading off the bottom of the 8th and Chapman hitting in the 7th position. This was an absolute no-brainer of a decision, even for Dusty, but Dusty either wasn’t prepared to make the decision or was too stubborn to make the decision. Marshall is unavailable; Parra is incompetent. Chapman is going to pitch the 9th no matter what. Every factor dictated that Chapman should pitch to Utley and force Manuel’s hand, but Dusty did nothing and it almost cost the Reds another game. Dusty’s performance was completely irresponsible.

    I’m thrilled that the Reds won. That win was a huge game for them after the last two series, but the Reds players won despite Dusty, not because of Dusty.

    • @Shchi Cossack: Sutcliffe called in on the ESPN broadcast as well. It’s hard to make him look good too. He was interrupted from going into “where would the Reds be right now” if they had made the “mistake” of making Chapman a starter because of the injuries to Cueto and Marshall.

      Yeah, I couldn’t really follow that either. Anybody else hear him?

    • @Shchi Cossack: Right. I completely disagree with the ESPN announcers that Arroyo should have basically thrown a bunch of balls, and if Utley walks, he walks. Why in the world do I want to put the tying run on base? I have Chapman. I bring him in.

      I understand Arroyo was throwing a gem. I thank him for his efforts. Under no circumstance is it better to have Arroyo pitching in a game than Chapman.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate:

        @Shchi Cossack: Right.I completely disagree with the ESPN announcers that Arroyo should have basically thrown a bunch of balls, and if Utley walks, he walks.Why in the world do I want to put the tying run on base?I have Chapman.I bring him in.

        I understand Arroyo was throwing a gem.I thank him for his efforts. Under no circumstance is it better to have Arroyo pitching in a game than Chapman.

        I agree with you, but I think b/c Arroyo was pitching so well, you can make the argument. And I’m not saying put Utley on intentionally, but you can pitch carefully and not give him anything to hit and if he walks, then he walks…but Dusty not bringing in Chapman enabled Arroyo to make a bad decision in challenging Utley.

        • @Bill Lack: I can see what you are saying, but I’d say this: Either Arroyo is so good (i.e. pitching so well) that he doesn’t need to pitch around Utley, or I think you should bring Chapman in. The idea if accepting a walk in that situation strikes me as a bad idea. Now you have the tying runs on base…

  15. It’s time to hit the reset button for Hanigan. This thing has spun out of control on him. Play Mez 5 out of 6 for the next couple weeks, w/ Hanny as a spot starter/late inning defensive replacement. I mean, if Dusty is a true player’s manager, wouldn’t he realize he’s doing more harm than good right now???

  16. How is bringing in Chapman to get 4 outs “thinking out of the box”? I know BA wasn’t struggling, but Utley is a Reds/(any MLB team name here) killer. Alas, hindsight is 20/20. It’s still early, but I’m worried about our lack of offensive production – last night was an example of how we could’ve put the Phils away but couldn’t get the put away hit….still clutch from DatDude though.

    • @RedFan4Life: How is bringing in Chapman for four outs thinking outside the box? I answer that with a question: have you seen Dusty Baker manage the Reds?

    • @RedFan4Life:

      I’m worried about our lack of offensive production – last night was an example of how we could’ve put the Phils away but couldn’t get the put away hit

      When you smack the ball so hard that the cover strains at the seems and the CF makes an diving, horizontal, over-his head, warning track, other-worldly catch and the same CF pulls another drive off the wall, you just have to tip your hat.

      Then when you are playing a starting SS with an OPS 12th of the 15 starting SS in the NL, a starting catcher with an OPS 14th of the 14 starting catchers, and a starting LF with an OPS 9th of the 10 starting LF, that creates a consistent hitting problem and perpetual rally killer in the lineup.

      Free Meso and Platoon XP!!!

  17. Simple decisions that seem oh so hard for Dusty. Sit Hannigan for Devin. Sit Heisey for XP or Robinson.

  18. I mean use the bench that Walt obviously tried to improve in the offseason. And is probably the biggest improvement on the team.

  19. I disagree with giving Mesoraco 5 out of 6 for the next couple weeks but I would use him over the next few days. Have him catch Bailey, Leake, and Cingrani for a while. Yeah, Hanigan is in an enormous slump but his track record says he’s not going to sit below .250 Avg and .330 OBP the entire season, let alone the “numbers” he’s putting up now.

    My guess is that he’ll catch Leake and Cingrani for the next 2-3 rotations. That’s just a guess though.

    • @LWBlogger: I also don’t think making Hanigan a backup who plays a game now and then is a good idea. He’s in a horrible 2 week slump; if this happened in July we’d be irritated but probably wouldn’t want to just bench him.

      However, 3 out of 5 seems reasonable to me at least temporarily, along with allowing Mesoraco to catch Latos/Cueto (when he’s back). How about giving him the opportunity to gain confidence by catching the top pitchers?

  20. I fully agree that Paul should be getting the majority of playing time against RHP right now, in lieu of Heisey.

  21. From C. Trent’s story on the game:

    “Baker considered it. If Sean Marshall was available, he might have gone with him.
    ‘No (on Chapman), because you can’t break down someone else waiting for someone else to get back,’ Baker said. ‘We thought about it. We thought about it yesterday. We thought about it with (Jonathan) Broxton. As we get more into season, we might do it. But we’ve got to keep these guys strong.’”

    MIGHT have brought in Marshall? One extra out is going to overtax Chapman? Why was Hoover “broken down” the other day instead of bringing Broxton in to get some work? Games later in the season count more?

    Oh, and if Chapman retires Utley but then we score 2 in the eighth like we did, Chapman ends up pitching LESS since of course at that point you don’t need to keep your “closer” in for the 9th!

    This may be the quote that finally turns me from “I don’t agree with everything Dusty does but he’s a pro and his intangibles shouldn’t be ignored just because we can’t see them” to “This man is going to waste the greatest collection of talent we’ve had in a generation”.

    • @Eric the Red: I wish the beat writers could have some guts and ask how it is that 4 outs instead of 3 is going to break down Chapman.

      If that actually were true, Chapman needs to be out of the bullpen and work on some endurance. Sheesh.

    • @Eric the Red: While I think it is generally bunk, one theory that the Closerites cite for only using The Closer to start an inning is that doing so makes sure that the guy is fully warmed up, not having to hurriedly warm up when trouble brews. But, here, Brown had reached to lead off the inning. Baker and Price had plenty of time to see that a pinch-hitter (who would obviously be Utley) could hit with 2 out, followed by a parade of lefties and switch-hitters. Thus, it should have been clear going into the inning that it was possible that a lefthanded reliever may well be needed in the 8th. I can see no viable excuse for not having Chapman ready, even if you accept the notion that over the long run, they need to give Chapman plenty of time to warm up.

      • @Big Ed: Plus, if you’ve watched Bronson over the past….oh…..three years or so, you know he’s susceptible to trouble in the late innings regardless of pitch count. And susceptible to giving up the long ball. The situation was so predictable, in fact, that I bet the majority of people watching had a pretty good idea what was about to happen.

        • @Eric the Red: And a left handed hitter, and Utley.

          game is 2-0. Save situation.

          We are wasting Chapman.

          Start him.

          Your best starting pitcher goes down with an injury, and given the play off injury, if this is something that plagues Johnny all year, we will not make it far in the playoffs without ace starters. something that they will need to consider with Chapman

  22. Hanigan has a -31 OPS+…. I honestly didn’t even know that OPS+ went into negatives until I saw that.

    • @ToddAlmighty: There was actually a discussion on this last year. I didn’t know either until that. Was it Willie Harris that at one point had a negative OPS+?

      It should be called OPS-!

  23. Well, I had that one called. I called Hoover’s last time out (I believe it was). As soon as Baker called for him, I thought, “This isn’t going to be pretty.” As soon as I saw Bronson against Utley, I thought, “This isn’t going to be pretty.” Given Bronson’s history, I just felt this isn’t going to be good.

    Baker has got to get away from his book. He doesn’t bat lefties back-tp-back because the other team “could” use their LOOGY on them. But, “only if” the situation were to call for it. He loved Stubbs high in the batting order because he can cause chaos on the bases. But, “only if” he actually got on base, then “only if” Baker would have him actually steal a base rather than bunt him over. People say Baker didn’t use Hanigan in the 2 hole last season because Hanigan would hit into too many double plays. But, “only if” the leadoff person was to get on “and” Hanigan was to hit a double play ball. But, Baker stated himself how BP has a history of hitting into double plays, so Baker must not look at that as a worry for the 2 hole batter.

    Then, this? He just said the night before he needed to find work for Broxton and Chapman. HELLO! This was a prime time for Chapman. Baker said he was worried about burning Chapman out with bringing him in for the 4th out. He sure didn’t have a problem bringing Chapman in for 5 of the first 6 games, only a pace of over 130 games this season.

    Nothing but another example of Baker outthinking himself, again.

  24. And the other thing that crossed my mind when Utley pinch hit, why is it that other teams’ players can still pinch hit when they get a day off, but Frazier couldn’t pinch hit during that game in Pittsburgh? … Glad for the win, but still …

  25. Great game by the Reds. It was disappointing that Arroyo wasn’t able to get Utley but, to me, removing Arroyo at the time when he looked so dominant would have seemed foolish. In hindsight I would have liked Arroyo to walk Utley and face no-power Ben Revere, but whatchagonnado? Ben Revere can’t even hit a ball out of the park if he knew what was coming. Ask Arroyo to walk Utley and face Revere – that’s what I’d do, not bring in Chapman early. But that’s just me.

    Chapman had an impressive appearance, hitting 100mph again.

    Hanigan had another good game behind (but not at) the plate.

    I hope we see Xavier Paul or Derrick Robinson in against the next few RHPs the Reds face. No more Chris Heisey. Derrick Robinson looked impressive, reaching base on his swinging bunt that no other current Reds player would have beat out.

    I’m glad you all enjoyed this win by the Reds and went home happy. Oh wait…

    • @RFM: Come now. Everybody is happy for the Reds to win. But being happy with a result doesn’t make one obliged to blindly applaud the process. Don’t stir pots that don’t need stirring.

    • @RFM: Blind, results-oriented fandom ain’t my thing. Those fans are notoriously fickle anyway.

      I have no clue how you would know whether Hanigan had a great game behind the plate. Anyone that has ever played catcher before has felt a level of helplessness where they call a great game (possibly the game of his life)…it doesn’t matter if the pitcher stinks or doesn’t hit his spots.

      I feel like Hanigan has entered into a freeroll where he gets credit for how well the pitchers perform, unless they stink, then nobody mentions a thing. Thankfully, he gets the good pitchers…

      Anyway, I would say this was Hanigan’s best offensive game of the year, regardless of whether he had any hits. 2 hard hits, that’s progress in my book.

      • @CP: I know that feeling of helplessness pretty well. I’ve put down the right fingers and set the right target only to have the pitcher miss his spot and the ball get hammered. Of course some of that is on me for calling for a particular pitch in a particular spot when maybe I should know that the pitcher hasn’t been able to put that pitch in that spot all day. It’s the worst though when it doesn’t matter what you put down, the pitcher just doesn’t have anything that day. There have been other days where my pitcher and I couldn’t agree on anything and we’ve still had a great day. Then there is my favorite feeling when everything is just working; put down the sign, set the target, and bang, the ball hits the mitt. Those are the best days. Even as a former catcher I have to admit that the catcher gets too much credit for good games and blame for bad ones.

      • @CP: What I should have said about Hanigan behind the plate is that he and Arroyo worked well together again to get (almost) the best performance we could have hoped for out of Arroyo. That good pitching performance by Arroyo is what kept the Reds in the game against Cliff Lee.

  26. What do you know, XP is in the lineup with Zack batting in the 2 hole and Hanigan catching. Baby steps but a step nonetheless.

    • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: It’s clear that Dusty wants to get Hanigan going. XP is at 7 only because Choo and Votto are lefties which is poor reasoning when you consider the respective offensive performances of Paul versus Cozart thus far.

  27. No good place for this, but I just like Lance Berkman a little more after reading his thoughts on Wrigley: “I read where they got approval for some more upgrades. Count me in the group of people extremely happy to see that. I guess I’m just spoiled. There is a tremendous history associated with it and there is something special about playing on the same field that guys like Babe Ruth did. But really, what kind of history is there? It’s not like there has been one championship after another. It’s mainly been a place for people to go and drink beer.”

    Which is to say: Stupid Cubs.

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