2013 Reds

Titanic Struggle Recap: Reds Win in Extras [Update: Cozart X-rays]

Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

FINALrntitanic-copy
Miami 2
Cincinnati 3

W: Simon (1-1)
L: Cishek (1-2)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES

– The Reds prevailed in their first extra-innings win this year, raising their record on the homestand to 5-1. They are now 10-8 overall, tied with St. Louis and a game ahead of Pittsburgh. The Marlins may not be good at baseball, but as yesterday showed, you can’t take wins for granted.

Bronson Arroyo pitched eight strong innings, giving up two runs on six hits and one walk. He struck out six Marlins and finished the game recording ten straight outs.

Joey Votto struggled to go 4-for-6 while hitting a home run and another RBI single. He’s struggled to a .305 average. His struggling on base percentage is approaching infinity.

Shin-Soo Choo got on base in six of his seven at bats today, with three hits and three walks. He didn’t score any runs (see first Negative below) until the 13th inning. More Choo, please. Like four years at $60 million more.

Devin Mesoraco, starting in place of Ryan Hanigan who was resting his sore left thumb, had two hits, walked once and scored a run. His growing confidence is obvious and a huge positive. Einstein said the future comes soon enough, but he’d never seen Dusty Baker manage.

Brandon Phillips had a hit and drove in the game winning run with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 13th inning.

– The bullpen combination of Aroldis ChapmanSam LeCure and Alfredo Simon pitched four clean innings. J.J. Hoover also pitched a shutout inning.

NEGATIVES

Zack Cozart, strategically placed in the batting order between Choo and Votto, was 0-for-6. Now batting .225. He’s walked twice in 72 plate appearances. It’s also an enormous possible negative that Cozart left the game after being hit by a pitch on the hand as he was trying to bunt in the 13th inning. Think of Cesar Izturis batting second. Commence holding breath. [UPDATE: X-Rays negative! Feel free to breathe again.]

Chris Heisey went 2-for-6. The two hits went a total of 40 feet. The Reds’ starting LF is now hitting a whopping .177, plus he’s walked twice in 63 plate appearances.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS

– The Reds traded Wily Mo Pena for Bronson Arroyo during spring training in 2006. Since then, Arroyo has earned 19.3 WAR for the Reds, while Pena earned -0.3 for the Red Sox. Safe to say the home team won that trade. In seven seasons, Arroyo has made 237 consecutive starts for the Reds, winning 93 games. Today, he recorded his 1,000th strike out in a Cincinnati Reds uniform. Hats off to Bronson.

– I love it when Devin Mesoraco heads to the dugout before the ump has a chance to signal the third strike on the third out of an inning. Love it.

– If you were ever wondering about the difference between a broadcaster having a talent for play-by-play calls versus the ability to be an analyst, consider a certain Hall of Famer’s (name rhymes with Smarty) opinion yesterday that not only was Joey Votto struggling, but there “appeared to be no light at the end of the tunnel.”

– The same broadcaster loudly lamented today that “the Reds lead all of baseball in runners left on base.” That’s actually something to celebrate because it indicates the Reds are excellent at getting runners on base. The Reds are 11th in the majors in batting average with RISP, are 8th in baseball in OBP with RISP, and fifth in all of baseball in AVG with bases loaded. Most importantly, the Reds are third in the majors in runs scored. Harping on the raw number of runners left on base is about as brain dead as it gets.

TOP GAME THREAD COMMENTS

BenL: 1000 Ks for Arroyo as a Red. Love it. What a great acquisition he was.

ColumbusRed: Hate the bunt with a force at 3rd, even with the pitcher up. Just got take your chances that Arroyo can avoid the double play

Mwv: You don’t throw strikes to Joey Votto. Pitchers see Votto struggling and decide they can throw him more strikes. If you do that, Joey is going to make you pay. It’s just how good a hitter he is. The Marlins have been trying to throw inside against him this entire series. He has looked bad while they’ve done it. You can’t keep Joey down by doing the same thing over and over though. He’s just that good and he’ll keep proving it until we get right back to people not wanting to throw him strikes.

AndyS: The 1976 Cincinnati Reds hold the all time NL record for runners left on base with 1328. That team was pretty good as I recall.

Redgoggles: The way these teams are hitting the ball, Ludwick’s going to be eligible to pinch hit here soon.

68 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Reds Win in Extras [Update: Cozart X-rays]

  1. Reds magic number moves down to 146.

    Just kidding, but no really, a lot of people keep waiting for the reds to start playing “winning baseball” when in reality, this is probably what winning baseball is. The team is on pace to win 92 games, so were really not that far off from what a lot of us probably expected (95-98 wins). I just think some fans keep wanting everything to click at once and that’s not how baseball is a lot of the time.

    • @cliff: I think every Reds manager I’ve ever heard on a pregame show or giving remarks to reports has always talked about “grinding it out”.
      Consider that often not a single team in MLB plays as well as .600 for the season and typically there are only two or three teams in MLB that play seasons under .400. Given that, three or four games out of 20 define the winners from the also runs; and obviously among the contenders the swing is even tighter.

      The Reds have absorbed a 5 game losing streak and still will do no worse than .500 over their first 20 games. That’s a safe start. If they would win their next two, 12-8 would be a solid start in my opinion..

    • @cliff: With me, it’s not as much that as it is I want to see them try to win every game. For me, that’s much more than just stepping up to the plate swinging and any ball that comes within 12 feet of the plate or just throwing any old ball up to the plate. But, make the adjustments from week-to-week, day-to-day, or even AB-to-AB. That’s why so many were never pleased with Stubbs. He seemingly never changed his entire hitting “style” to try to become a better hitter. I am sure he didn’t want to be such a poor hitter. But, a “winning” player would make the adjustments to become a better hitter. Whatever adjustments Stubbs was trying to make, if any, they obviously weren’t working.

  2. I was telling a friend of mine before the season started that if we’re over .500 at the end of April we’re going to almost certainly make the playoffs. Our first month schedule is just not easy and if we come out of it with more wins than losses we will do fine the rest of the way. Usual caveats with injuries, etc. That’s really how I feel though. We have too many good steady guys on this team to worry about short term stuff.

  3. It was good to see Arroyo pitch well with Mes behind the plate. I wonder if we’ll see more of that combo now. As many here have been saying, it’s obvious that Mes should be getting more ABs.

    • @BenL: If Hanigan is healthy, he’ll be catching Arroyo. If somehow the playing time shifts to Mes’ favor, he’ll take Latos, Bailey, and Leake.

  4. Marty has been aggravating this season so far. The quote last night especially so, and today was just as bad. He likes to throw these things out because he’s a negative person so he can be proven wrong when they win and sometimes you see his sentiment echoed in the fanbase. There was a game earlier this week where I believe Mark Sheldon was on to talk about Votto’s “struggles” and Sheldon was trying to explain how reaching base over half the time is production which is what he is paid for, but Marty interrupted him twice saying “And let me be clear, Votto IS struggling” and “He is not paid to walk”

    • @rhayex: The Reds tv broadcasters today were saying how the Arroyo for Pena trade was one of the best in Reds history. I might not go that far, but it was definitely larceny.

      They referred to Bronson as a “little known pitcher” prior to the trade. That’s not true.

    • @rhayex: well you can sugar coat it all you want after today but for those of us who watch the games without calculators and 3D maps of the solar system, Votto has been struggling. He looked like he had 2inch arms yesterday. Don’t hate on Marty for calling a game how he sees it. But wahat do I know? I’m the guy who would rather have dominant Jay Bruce who comes and goes than whatever version this is. To hell with either striking out or blooping one to left field. I want Bruce Bombs!!!

  5. Good to see Arroyo taking care of business even if it was the Marlins.

    Mez is showing the stick finally but needs to tighten the D up a little. Another error tonight didn’t lead to any damage but is still worth noting.

    X-Rays negative for Cozart but still he could miss a couple games. I can live with Izturis if its only a series.

      • @Bill Lack: Thought he had 2 or 3 already, my bad. Also I think he will be okay defensively, maybe not Hanigan but who is. Will be interesting to see if he can keep things up(with the bat) with more PT that is surely coming with Hanigan banged up. He has a golden opportunity to show off what he can do.

  6. A big sigh of relief from me about Cozart. But I do like Izturis better than for example Valdez. Today his long fly ball in the 13th was nicely done, without that BP’s line drive is just an out.

  7. Choo and Votto put on an amazing diplay of hitting today. With the way they were going, the Reds had to score eventually.

  8. Great job from Bronson and the pen. And I’ll add (since about to criticize him for something else) that I liked the order in which Dusty used the bullpen: Chapman, LeCure (2 innings), Hoover, Simon. (Broxton was unavailable.)

    No Parra, no Ondrusek.

    Hoover is still having some command problems, especially with his breaking pitches, but he’ll be OK. The Reds bullpen will be very strong once Marshall returns.

  9. A lot was already said about this in the game thread, but Dusty has to PH for Heisey in high leverage situations, especially when the pitcher is RHed, given all those good lefty bats on the bench. His reluctance to PH for a veteran is one of those annoying quirks of his.

  10. I heard Marty call the last couple of innings, repeatedly lamenting the number of runners LOB (eventually 17). I agree that only scoring 2 runs while leaving 17 on base is frustrating and inadequate. But then he went on to say, as Steve reported, that the Reds lead the NL in runners LOB, as if that were a bad thing.

    As AndyS said on the game thread: “The 1976 Cincinnati Reds hold the all time NL record for runners left on base with 1328.”

  11. The lineup is significantly better with Mesoraco in it. Without him, pretty much 3 automatic outs in a row. I like Hanigan, but his right thumb problem doesn’t seem to be a minor one. He was not available to play at all today, except for an emergency.

    • @pinson343: The talk on Dusty’s pregame radio and the Second Inning Reporters’ SOund Byte of the broadcast sounded like Hanigan is probably headed to the DL.

      Incredibly, the org has only 2 catchers on the entire 40 man roster. There was some inference that might be the only reason the move on Hanigan wasn’t made pre-game Saturday.

  12. Well you can sugar coat it all you want after today but for those of us who watch the games without calculators and 3D maps of the solar system, Votto has been struggling. He looked like he had 2inch arms yesterday. Don’t hate on Marty for calling a game how he sees it. But wahat do I know? I’m the guy who would rather have dominant Jay Bruce who comes and goes than whatever version this is. To heck with either striking out or blooping one to left field. I want Bruce Bombs!!!

    • @RedTitan19: Marty didn’t say “he’s struggling with his power”, which is true. He said instead “there’s no light at the end of the tunnel”. And “he’s not paid to walk”. Those are really lame statements.

  13. I agree with RedTitan19 on one thing that we are apparently in the vast minority on: I hate Jay Bruce version 2.0. I guess the people that like it figure he’ll be more consistent AND hit his 35-40 bombs. Maybe it’s either-or. If so, he’s got an OPS+ of 92 going into today. I do not like!

      • @CP: It’s time for people to worry about it because Joey had a great day today. As people relax about Joey, they’re going to turn to Bruce.

        • @pinson343: That’s incorrect. The two things are independent. And, I was never bothered by Bruce’s hot and cold swings, either.

          My point is that I hope that they haven’t messed with Bruce, and that I disagree with people who would rather Bruce be “more consistent” and “hit the other way a lot and hit singles” than be a guy who jacks a lot of homers and doubles.

          You are implying that I am making judgments based on day to day happenings with both Votto and Bruce, which could not be further from the truth.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: I like what adjustements Bruce as made. When I saw his BA was almost 300, I practically blew my mind. He’s become a much more dangerous hitter. Before, he was nothing more than Dave Kingman with a better glove.

  14. Frankly, the Reds might be an improved team over 162 if Hanigan goes on the DL. Same as Johnny Cueto, a DL stint might result in a stronger team because Mesoraco can get a chance to prove himself every day for a period. Might lead to an even distribution of catching duties. In the case of Cueto, it could conceptually happen that Cingrani steals the 5th spot away when Cueto returns. I doubt it happens, but it’s possible if Cingrani has two more good games and Leake were to struggle in the next two starts.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: While I could see Cingrani out performing Leake over a 2-3 week stretch, I think this would be a real mistake for the organization. Batters have no experience with Cingrani so he is going to have the advantage for a while. But he’s not major league ready. He has two pitches and relies on his fastball almost as much as Chapman. It’s just a matter of time before big league hitters figure him out and he starts getting rocked. I think it’ll happen on the next road trip when he’ll pitch to either the Cards or Nats. He’s a year away from being ready, which would put him rot on schedule to replace Arroyo next year. Rush him now and you could screw up this rotation for 2-3 years at least.

        • @steveschoen: Umm, they’re going to have to, assuming Cueto comes back in a couple weeks. Whether they choose Cingrani is a different issue. They may say 3 starts isn’t enough because he’s not ready, but they do have to decide. Teams decide on small sample sizes all the time.

  15. Re: not pinch hitting for Heisey because he’s a vet…I don’t get it. Hannahan has many more years of service. And Baker doesn’t even like Heisey that much as a player.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: When Heisey messed up the hit and run on Friday then hit that lame pop up today the thought occurred to me that by sticking with Heisey in those spots, Baker may be trying to prove a point to Jocketty that he needs to make a move to get him a starting LF

        • @CP: Actually pretty simple. He just send him out there and calls the game as if the guy was a competent MLB player. The guy fails to perform to expectations. When the GM asks about it, he says get me somebody better; am I supposed to change our whole offense to make it work for him?

      • @OhioJim: Then, do what with Ludwick when he comes back? You can’t “just make a trade”. You need someone else on the other side of that trade. Most definitely, if we make a trade, we are going to give someone up. Like when we got Latos, we had to include a starting pitcher in the trade; Edison was gone. If we trade for a starting LF, it is most likely going to include Ludwick, who no one will touch while he is hurt.

        Not that I wouldn’t have pinch hit for Heisey (and I am a Heisey fan). But, I douby seriously we will bring in any LF.

      • @CP: I agree. Once Ludwick went down, Dusty said that Heisey’s “turn” had come and that he is ready (or as ready as he will ever be, something along those lines). It’s a sure thing that Heisey will now get a long look.
        Dusty’s no “front runner”.

        Especially during Heisey’s first two seasons, when people would call for Heisey to start, Dusty would say that he was “protecting” Chris by only playing him against only certain pitchers.

        • @pinson343: Heisey did fine last season. Baker after a month and a half into the season finally did the competition for LF correctly, giving each some significant starting time and see who wins it. Heisey went first, batting something like 288/324 starting 32 of 42 games I believe. When Ludwick took his turn after Heisey, when Ludwick got his bat going, you just couldn’t take Ludwick out.

          Is Heisey slumping right now? Sure. But, then all major leaguers slump at some point in time. Too many times it seems like some people expect to have All-star caliber players at all positions including the bench. Heisey is the 4th OF on this team. He is what he is.

          I wouldn’t be surprised if Baker is doing what he did last season, giving Heisey about a month then bringing in Paul for about a month, see who wins it while Ludwick is gone.

  16. Am I reading the Reds’ splits right, that they are batting .250, but with RISP, they are batting .283?

    If I’m right, Brennamen is even more of an embarrassment than I thought he was.

    Great at play by play, worst on the planet at analysis.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Marty knows about the good BARISP (Brantley is always talking about it) but is bothered by the LOB figure anyway. I love to hear his voice and just ignore the “analytical” comments.

  17. I’ve been quiet on the whole WOO debate because, we’ll its stupid, but I have to say while watching the game today I think it officially has gone into the obnoxious category for me. It’s non stop now and you can tell its just groups of drunk people purposefully trying to be annoying and one up each other. Worst part is I heard them play that horrible Gwen Stefani song over the PA to encourage it. It was fun for a while, but I really hope it dies a natural death soon. It’s like a bad Internet meme that’s leaked into the real world. Cute for a while, annoying for the rest of eternity.

    • @eric nyc: “Cute for a while, annoying for the rest of eternity.” Agreed. The players have said they don’t like it, because it’s shouted (or whatever) randomly, has nothing to do with what’s happening in the game, and is a distraction.

      I first heard it during a crazy 13 inning or so home game that the Reds finally won. That nite it fit the mood and was a lot of fun. It started somewhere else – Pittsburgh ?

  18. Cozart bats 2nd and no matter how much he struggles, there won’t be anymore discussion.

    Dusty Baker

  19. the Arroyo for Pena was a great trade, no doubt, but one of the best in recent Reds history is Brandon Phillips for a PTBNL (Jeff Stevens I think), the guy is really good

    • @petejohnson: This. And let’s not forget picking up Josh Hamilton for essentially nothing. I can’t figure out why Wayne Krivsky isn’t a GM somewhere. He got a bum–though understandable–deal here, but made some great trades and started the rebuilding of the farm system. (And his “worst” trade, the one with Kearns, turned out to be at worst a wash.)

  20. Looks like Devin is going to be getting a LOT more playing time in the near future. Quite unfortunate that it had to come at the expense of Hanigan and I hope he recovers quickly and fully. But in the meantime, I’m hope Meso takes advantage of the opportunity and shines.

  21. Seeing the LOB stat for the ’76 Reds makes me feel a lot better.

    For me, the frustration with so many men LOB comes when you have an outstanding pitching performance like Arroyo’s yesterday and he gets nothing to show for it. The Reds won, so of course the number of people LOB doesn’t matter, but that game should have never gone to extra innings and Arroyo should have a W given how many chances they had to score early in the game.

    I guess I’m still smarting from the playoffs last year when scoring one more run would have made the difference between moving on and going home.

    Oh, and free Xavier Paul.

    • @RedZeppelin: I understand the frustration of watching all those runners be left on base. And as a *backward-looking description* of what happened in a single game, it’s more than fair. But in terms of a *future-looking statistic* it’s no more relevant than pointing out that the Reds were having trouble scoring on a Saturday.

      The reason is that hitting with runners on base is no more of a specific skill than is hitting on Saturday.

      • @Steve Mancuso: I wasn’t attempting to argue otherwise. Hitting is hitting. In close games, however, it would be nice to see more of it with runners on base. As we saw last year, one timely hit ( or the lack thereof) can be pretty important.

  22. Marty’s obsession with complaining about leaving runners on base reminds me of the story of the person who kept looking for his lost car keys under the street light because that’s the only place he could see. It’s like the only analytical idea Marty is comfortable with is leaving runners on.

    And, as someone pointed out yesterday, because the Reds batting average and OBP is actually *much higher* with RISP than without, Marty has to resort to complaining about the raw number of runners left on. That’s a step even further down the line of irrelevance, to the point of being completely backward.

    The raw numbers of base runners – whether left on base or not – is a clear measure of the success of the offense, not its failure.

    Marty is rightly recognized as one of the best play-by-play announcers. But his color commenting leaves everything to be desired.

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