2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Reds play terribly, still beat Cubs, no one surprised.

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL — 13 innings
Chicago Cubs 4
Cincinnati 5

W: A. Simon (2-1)
L: M. Bowden (0-1)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–The Reds didn’t play particularly well, but in the end, Cubs gonna Cub. After going down 4-2 in the top of the 13th, the Reds scored three in the bottom half, on a Jay Bruce 2-RBI double and a Cesar Izturis walkoff single. Life is good.

–We can only hope Jay Bruce is beginning to get hot. In addition to his double, Bruce hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs.

–Devin Mesoraco was the only other Red with two hits.

–Mike Leake put together his second consecutive strong start: 7 IP, 2 ER, 8 H, 5 K, 2 BB.

–The Reds got scoreless relief work from everyone — Broxton, Ondrusek, Chapman, LeCure, Hoover — except for the guy who got the win. Of course. JJ Hoover, in particular, was very good.

NEGATIVES
–Joey Votto, Zack Cozart, and Todd Frazier each committed an error.

–As noted above, Alfredo Simon gave up two runs (one earned), and put the Reds in a 4-2 hole in the 13th, thanks to a homer allowed…and he got the win. Yes, pitcher wins are the best way to evaluate pitchers, as MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds tells us constantly.

–In addition to that error, Frazier was 0-6 and struck out twice. Not the best day for the former Little League World Series MVP.

–Jonathan Broxton took a liner off his pitching hand and had to leave the game. X-rays were negative, which scares George Costanza to death. The thought of Broxton and Sean Marshall being injured at the same time scared me to death. Fortunately, Marshall is due back any day, and with any luck, Broxton will be fine.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–That’s six wins in seven games for the fightin’ Redlegs, who remain in first place in the NL Central. Everyone on the team is injured, but this is still a pretty good club, eh?

–This is already the third time this season that the Reds have played 13 innings. Crazy.

–Shin-Soo Choo was hit by another pitch, the tenth HBP of his season. That’s a Reds record for HBP in one month.

Two notes from the AP recap: Choo has reached base safely in 14 of his 18 plate appearances over the last three games, and the Reds have fanned at least 10 batters in five straight games for the first time in modern franchise history. Cool.

–I guess the Reds made the right decision in refusing to put Aroldis Chapman in the starting rotation, because it’s clear that Dusty won’t pitch him more than one inning or 13 pitches, whichever comes first. Someone explain that one to me. Waste of an asset.

–LOL Cubs.

Source: FanGraphs

65 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Reds play terribly, still beat Cubs, no one surprised.

  1. Love the fact that these Reds don’t quit. Also, really love the far right end of that graph.

  2. Exciting game, from beginning to end. I feel bad for the people who turned the game off after the Cubs took the lead. The Reds might have played terribly as far as fielding and hitting, but the pitching was impressive. Third 13 inning game – in prior years the Reds would have lost long before then, I think the Reds should be proud of a bullpen that keeps them in games for so long.

    I’m sure Sam LeCure will be unavailable tomorrow after throwing so many pitches. Broxton will probably get the day off after getting hit. I assume Chapman, Hoover, Simon, Ondrusek, and Manna Parra will all be available – still better than what the Cubs have available. Hopefully the Reds can play a blowout and get Parra some innings on Tuesday, before he gets replaced by Sean Marshall.

    Excellent start by Mike Leake, not just keeping them in the game (again) but pitching very well. Good job by Xavier Paul, Jack Hannahan, and Cesar Izturis with important hits. Congrats to Derrick Robinson for his first stolen base. Mesoraco had another good day at the plate, but I assume we’ll see Corky catching tomorrow after the long long day.

    I’m sure there will be plenty of critics – they should have managed the relievers differently, hit better, fielded better, and what-not… but come on, it was an entertaining game that the Reds should be proud of the way they kept clawing back and eventually won.

  3. Looks like everyone’s pretty much gone to bed. I will too after a few obvious comments.

    The guys were looking pretty ragged out there. Really got ugly in the extras, mental fatigue (or boredom ?) set in. The 3 IF errors. Todd Frazer’s AB with Bruce on 2nd as the winning run, and a replacement level (if even that) tiring relief pitcher: take a pitch right down Broadway, then retire yourself on a check swing.

    Thank you, Cezar.

  4. That was amazing … I know we’re supposed to win because it’s the Stupid Cubs, but c’mon, falling behind by two in the 13th?

    Maybe this was covered in the game thread, I wasn’t online until late, but Dusty said Marshall probably wouldn’t be back until later in the week, though he could come off the DL as soon as tomorrow. Said he wants to make sure Marshall could go back to back days. …

    I wonder if tonight’s marathon would change that strategy. The bullpen would have, who, for Tuesday night, Parra? Maybe an inning from Broxton if he’s not injured. Go deep into the game, Mr. Cingrani!!

    • @Brian Van Hook: Ah, someone to talk to. I doubt that Broxton will be ready to go tomorrow. That leaves Ondrusek and Parra.

      Dusty repeated his Marshall statement in his pregame with Marty. Marshall pitches Monday, rests Tuesday, pitches at AAA Wednesday and Thursday, rests Friday, then see where we are.

      I know it’s WJ’s decision too. I believe they ought to rethink it.

      • @pinson343:
        You can hope he will, but he probably won’t. 100 pitches by the 5th inning, ala Cueto, Bailey, Volquez a few years ago seems like what we can expect.

        Hope I’m wrong.

        • @CI3J:

          @pinson343:
          You can hope he will, but he probably won’t. 100 pitches by the 5th inning, ala Cueto, Bailey, Volquez a few years ago seems like what we can expect.

          Hope I’m wrong.

          Interesting article in today’s Enquirer, where he talks about the pace of his first start throwing him off, said the game at the big leagues is much slower paced (guys stepping out, etc) and that he felt it threw him off. We’ll see if he adjusts tonight.

        • @Bill Lack: Kinda wish he hadn’t said anything. If the Cubs are smart they’ll see that article and take a loooong time between each pitch. Of course, when you start a sentence with “If the Cubs are smart” . . .

        • @Bill Lack:

          As I said, we can hope, but I think there is a certain mindset to young pitchers where they feel like they have to strike everyone out. That may work in the minors, but for all but the most elite pitchers in the majors, it’s very tough to do and still requires a lot of pitches.

          Cueto and Bailey became true pitchers when they stopped trying to throw through a brick wall every pitch and started trusting their defense and relying more on movement than velocity. I remember an article a year or two ago that said Cueto had an “epiphany” while watching Mike Leake pitch, a guy who could get big league hitters out while working in just the upper 80′s/low 90′s most of the time.

          We’ll see. Maybe Cingrani will surprise us, but I’m expecting a short outing. Then again, this is the Cubs….

        • @CI3J: Striking out a lot of hitters does not necessarily require a lot of pitches (as far as I understand, pitch counts and strikeout numbers are fairly independent). Also Bailey’s great second half coincided, with a much higher strikeout rate than in his first half. In any case, both Bailey and Cueto generally succeed because of reasonable K rates, very low BB rates, and good defense behind them.

        • @Hank Aarons Teammate:

          It’s funny you should mention that, because I know for sure in Cueto’s case, there is a direct correlation between his P/IP and K/9.

          For example, take a look at these stats:
          P/IP K/9
          17.5 8.17
          16.9 6.93
          16.8 6.69
          15.3 6.00
          15.9 7.05
          15.2 9.35

          You can see a direct correlation between his K/9 and his innings pitched until, oddly enough, last year when he had his big “breakthrough” and figured out how to pitch effectively and also get strikeouts WHEN HE NEEDED THEM.

          Some might argue it’s because Cueto was walking people less, but no, that’s not the case. If you look at his K/BB rates, they don’t show the same correlation that you get with these stats.

          Bailey is a different story, as you see from these stats since he has been a fulltime starter:

          P/IP K/9
          17.7 6.83
          17.7 8.26
          16.0 7.23
          16.0 7.27
          14.9 9.36

          It’s remarkable that, even when his K’s shot up in that second year, his P/IP didn’t budge. And again, it wasn’t because he was walking more people, his walks actually decreaed quite a bit. With Bailey, you see as his K’s increase, so too does his P/IP decrease.

          Bottom line? Both Cueto and Bailey have learned how to pitch effectively. If they can both continue to be starters with K/9 of about 9.4 while throwing about 15 pitches per inning, this team is in good shape. That would mean, on average, they would need 105 pitches to pitch to and finish the 7th inning. I’ll take that every time.

        • @CI3J: I’m very interested in this, but I unfortunately don’t quite understand your numbers. Can you explain?

          It looks like your #’s support my point. Both Bailey and Cueto have their lowest P/IP when they have highest K/9, which is in part because when you strike out more guys, they don’t hit the ball, and some of the batted balls become hits.

          But I’m not sure I’m fully understanding the numbers; I don’t see the correlation with Cueto’s numbers, for example.

        • @Hank Aarons Teammate:

          There is little doubt Bailey’s numbers support what you have said; the more people he strikes out, the fewer pitches he throws.

          However, look at Cueto’s numbers: For him, the trend of his career was the fewer people he struck out, the fewer pitches he threw, essentially the opposite of Bailey. His K/9 rate kept dropping, and so too did the number of pitches he threw each inning…. EXCEPT for last year, which is when he had his big “breakthrough” and fully arrived as an ace. Cueto’s pitching style now is that he largely relies on his defense, but he can get strikeouts when he needs them by amping up his pitches. He’s not a strikeout pitcher in the classic sense, but he has the tools when he needs them.

          What I’m getting at is, for younger pitchers like Cingrani, the next step to becoming a pitcher instead of a thrower is learning when a strikeout is needed and learning when to let your defense work for you. Before last year, both Bailey and Cueto had their highest K/9 years when they were throwing nearly 18 pitches per inning. That would mean to go 5 innings, they would average 90 pitches over those innings. Now that they have both matured, they throw fewer pitches and strikeout more guys.

          Cingrani, I feel, is still in the first stage; trying to strike everyone out and therefore throwing more pitches than he needs. That is why I expect him to last, at most, 6 innings tonight.

          But again, this is the Cubs…. So we’ll see.

        • @CI3J: I see. I misunderstood the numbers the first time.

          Anyways, I’ve mentioned this several times on here–my understanding is that over *all* pitchers, there seems to be no real relationship between # pitches thrown and K rate. Which means some will go down, some up, like Bailey down with K rate, Cueto up with K rate.

          I do wonder about the “get the K when he needs it”. I’ve seen no evidence of that for any pitcher. Someone must have looked at this, though. Anecdotally, it always seems to me that Cueto struggles to get a K when he needs it, but that’s my memory, and I don’t want to rely on that.

  5. I don’t blame Simon so much for the 2-0 HR pitch. Everyone in the house was expecting a bunt. As Preach said, smart move by Sveum. But Simon put himself in that situation by falling behind 2-0 to a hitter who on those pitches was trying to make an out on purpose.

    • @pinson343: That was a good move by Sveum. Just the idea that if the guy makes an out, the Cubs STILL have a guy in scoring position.

      I forgot about Ondrusek previously, but if there were any two pitchers out of the bullpen that I’d least like to have to rely on, it’d be Parra and Ondrusek, but Logan came through tonight.

  6. Logan has had a couple of good outings but he’s still Logan. And Parra …

    Arredondo doing weird things with the Bats. 9 and 2/3 innings, 17 Ks and only 2 hits allowed. But 10 walks ! Still would prefer him to Parra, but not happening this week. He’s not on the 40 man, and Marshall coming back sooner or later.

    • @pinson343: Actually, Logan’s ERA has been consistently above average for 3 years and change now. Maybe it’s time to start believing it’s not a fluke.

      • @BenL: Problem is he has no consistency. His ERA looks good because he’ll go through stretches of being absolutely unhittable and then suddenly turn into a batting machine. Those kinds of swings can be tolerable in a starting pitcher who throws enough innings for their overall ERA to shine through, but a middle reliever needs to be reliable above all else. Logan Ondrusek may have an above average ERA, but Logan Ondrusek is not an above average reliever. There’s a reason he started the year in AA.

      • @BenL: Assuming that he continues to put up lousy K/BB rates like he did he last 2 years, I have to believe it’s a fluke and simply just not a large enough sample. Starting pitchers have lucky and unlucky years; Ondrusek has just about pitched one “starter equivalent” year in his career.

        If he figured something out in AA that will get him both striking guys out and not walking as many guys, I’ll reconsider. Until then, I am not buying.

  7. Dustys use of Chapman is bordering on absurd. Broxton goes down in the 8th with two outs, top half of the order due up in the bottom of the inning. You know Chapman will be pitching the 8th whether they score or not. Why not use your best relief pitcher for 4 outs? Nope, burn Ondrusek for one out. Ok fair enough…maybe you think you’re going to score 10 runs in the inning and you can save Chapman. Go down 1-2-3 in the 8th, Chapman comes in and throws 12 pitches to get out of the 9th against the bottom of the Chicago Cubs lineup – his last pitch hitting 99 and showing he’s just then getting warmed up. So if you’re willing to use your closer in a tie game in the top of the 9th, why in the name of god aren’t you willing to use him in the top of the 10th? ESPECIALLY when you have just had to burn two relievers to get through the 8th due to an injury and your offense is making it pretty damn clear they feel like playing 30 or 40 extra innings that night.

    If I’m Walt, I almost have to start seriously thinking about trading Chapman right now. Dusty is intent on getting as little value for his massive contract as possible. If he’s not going to use him for more than 3 outs last night, I simply can’t imagine a scenario where he would. And Walt had to see the same thing. CARLOS MARMOL gave the Cubs more value than Aroldis Chapman gave the Reds yesterday. Chew on that for a while.

    • @eric nyc: I agree; it’s idiotic to bring in a guy for one out there when you know that unless you score 4 runs or more in the bottom of the 8th, Chapman pitches the ninth.

      Just a note, it’s not really a massive contract that Chapman has. Broxton makes more over the next 3 years, for god’s sake. Marshall makes about the same.

      But Baker won’t ever get proper value out of Chapman when Chapman’s in the pen, that’s for sure.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Chapman’s $30 million basically bought out his major league minimum years. Once he is arbitration eligible, the remaining salary gets pro-rated as a bonus, and he starts earning whatever Chapman/Reds agree to during his 3 arbitration eligible seasons.

        • @Greg Dafler: Kind of a combination. Chapman’s contract also buys out his first arbitration year (2014) for $3 million. It also has a $5 million player option for the second arbitration year. If he’s still a closer, $5 million might be about right. Even if he becomes a starter in 2014, it might be difficult for him to be worth more than $5 million in the 2015 arbitration because of the lower innings count. His final team-controlled year is 2016 and the contract is for unconstrained, regular arbitration.

          The Reds are getting a good deal from his contract overall, but of course not as good as if he’d become a successful (let alone elite) starting pitcher.

        • @Steve Mancuso: It’s a complicated contract, and I’m not sure how the 2015 player option works into it.

          From what I have read, his 2013 salary and/or his 2014 salary would get converted to a bonus AND he is arbitration eligible once he hits the service time requirements of all MLBers. He didn’t have the service time from 2010-2012 because of time spent in the minors, so he gets his contracted $2 million salary (plus bonus, which was $16.25M in total payable annually over 12 years) for this 2013 season.

          Let’s assume that he gets a full year of major league service time in 2013. That would put him over 3 years of service time and arbitration eligible in this coming offseason. The $3 million salary in 2014 gets converted to a bonus AND he is arbitration eligible for the first time, getting that salary, too. The team would still have the right to offer arbitration in 2015 and 2016.

          It may still be online in various articles, though I think Cot’s Contracts summarizes it quite nicely.

    • @eric nyc: It’s not just Dusty; I’d bet that 24 of the 30 managers treat their Closers the same way. The Closer Role is absurd, and Dusty is merely one adherent.

      They aren’t going to trade Chapman, but I agree that trading him to a big money team with Closerism would be wise. Chapman, though, has apparently bought into The Closer Role himself. Jonathan Papelbon was used similarly in Boston–he was a starter in the minors, kind of got thrust into The Closer Role as a rookie, got “good” at it, and by about year 3 of doing it didn’t want to start. He’s made a lot of money, I guess, but . . .

      • @Big Ed: You’re right that Dusty Baker uses his closer like most managers. He’s probably a little more fanatical about it than most. You’re also right that it’s an absurd general practice.

        • @Steve Mancuso: I think most managers would have brought their closer back out for the 10th in that situation. Regardless, the fact that Dusty showed he was absolutely unwilling to do that last night means he probably never will use Chapman for 2 innings unless someone puts a gun to his head. The concern with moving Chapman to the rotation was he might only give us 150 innings this year. At this rate he might not hit 70. And that’s not hyperbole. Our offense is so hot and cold that its almost never presenting Dusty with any save opportunities. If it wasn’t for extra inning games Chapman would have thrown what, 2 innings in the last week and a half?

        • @eric nyc: Dusty recently said that he will not use Chapman for “4 out saves” until maybe later in the season. That presumably means he won’t use him for more than an inning at a time in any situation.

          A lot of other managers are like that too, but not in the postseason, where Dusty “stays the course”.

  8. I agree with Eric. It seems like Baker’s bullpen management is even worse so far this year. I guess I recall frequent complaints about his bullpen use, but it’s almost as if he’s trying to make a statement with his use of Chapman.

    I think you either throw Ondrusek in the 9th against the Cubs 7-8-9 ot let Chapman go two innings. I wouldn’t have faulted either move. Letting Chapman throw to the last batter of the 8th and then also pitch the 9th would have worked, too. Baker says that it takes Chapman too long to warm up for a mid-inning relief situation, but in the case of a injury, you’re given all the time you need to warm up.

    • @Greg Dafler: In fairness, though, the bullpen gave up 3 hits and 1 earned run in 6 innings. LeCure got stressed, but partly because of two errors that caused him to face extra hitters.

      The Reds had Cozart, Votto and Phillips due in the bottom of the 8th, so I suppose they had already made the decision to warm Chapman up to use in the 9th, regardless, and felt that once he was warmed up, they needed to use him then or not at all.

      They have a short bullpen tomorrow, with LeCure, Broxton and Simon all likely out and some others short. Chapman should be available, though. These 13 inning games are starting to chew up the bullpen, and waste decent jobs by the starters.

  9. This. Baker’s unwillingness to adjust is also amazing. He keeps complaining about 20 games in a row, so I don’t see why he doesn’t think to himself: “Damn, Broxton out with an injury. Good chance I’m going to need the bullpen with Cingrani pitching tomorrow. Tie game late. Normally I’d pitch Chapman in the 9th, BUT with their 7-8-9 hitters coming up in THIS CASE I’ll see if Ondrusek can take care of the 9th and send Chapman out in the 10th if necessary.

  10. Don’t be too surprised that Harold Reynolds tells us that pitcher wins are the best way to evaluate a pitcher. Reynolds would likely say that wins are much less meaningful for a relief-pitcher than for a starting-pitcher however so the jab Chad took at him may be a little unfair. There are a ton of baseball people, especially players and coaches, who feel the exact same way as Reynolds. I see the culture changing slightly but not that much and not that quickly. The culture in the front-offices is changing a little more quickly but still not at the rate one might think. As more stats-oriented analysts we don’t like it when our analysis and beliefs are dismissed by players such as Reynolds but it works the other way around too. Players and coaches really dislike it when the numbers don’t agree with their opinions and their opinions are dismissed as “old-school” fallacy. The quick dismissals on both sides of the old-school/metrics debate just cause the culture to continue to change at a slow rate and seems to allow little room for the opinion that both schools of thought have merits.

    • @LWBlogger: This is one of those issues that gets lumped into a statistics vs. non-statistics framework when it really isn’t.

      Wins are a statistic. The devaluation of wins comes from the logic (not statistics) that the pitcher doesn’t control much of what goes into the wins outcome. Whether you replace wins in your thinking with some other more advanced criteria, like FIP, you’d still devalue wins.

      I’d characterize this debate as about a modern way of thinking vs. old school way of thinking, not stats-orientation vs. non-stats.

    • @LWBlogger: There is practically zero room for both schools of thought when it comes to wins. No organization cares about wins any more. Players/coaches, sure. Is there any GM that cares about wins? Innings per start, maybe.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Even a former player (didn’t catch who it was) last nite on mlbnetwork said that wins are a very overrated stat. As a hitter, he said, part of his preparation for facing a pitcher was checking out his K/9, BB/9, WHIP. For starting pitchers, he’d also check out innings pitched.

        For starting pitchers, the W column will always be important. That’s understandable, as that’s their goal when they go out there.

  11. I admit that I was one who turned it off after the stupid Cubs went up by two in the 13th. I was trying to go to bed for a couple of innings, but the Reds kept teasing me and then pulling back the football, Lucy Van Pelt style. I decided to go to bed and not try to kick the football in the bottom of the inning. Wrong again Charlie Brown. Oh well, it made my morning that much better to come here and see that we did it.

    • @RiverCity Redleg: Ah, the Old Cossack didn’t even make it to the 13th, but not by any conscious choice. Still recovering from what turned out to be a pretty severe bout with some mutant kidney stones (the Old Cossack appears to have won that battle now), consciousness ceased before the top of the 10th, so I missed the teasing, but was equally please to review another W for the good guys this morning. Bruce’s swings at the plate looked smooth and easy and destructive, hopefully a good sign that Votto and Bruce are ready to pick up some slack from BP and Frazier for a while. Does anone remember some of the discussion about the bench efficacy related to Hannahan’s and Donald’s subpar performance from last season? Well I’m liking what I’m seeing from the Reds’ bench this season. What a refreshing option to have multiple weapons to use off the bench for virtually every need that arises. Two effective LH PH in Hannahan & XP and a speedy, strong defensive SH OF, why even good old Izturis is getting in on the act with some key PH contributions.

  12. This is a very savvy group of bloggers, but I wonder if Dusty is being given enough credit or blamed too much. Many rave about pitching coach Price – isn’t he calling the shots on the handling of the bullpen? I thought Dusty did a decent job last night, though I understand the many criticisms. Regarding Chapman, I think his endurance is suspect and maybe the coaching staff knows it. Dusty seemed to pull all the correct moves with pinch hitting and double switches – Paul, Robinson and Itzuris all produced on time.

    • Dusty seemed to pull all the correct moves with pinch hitting and double switches – Paul, Robinson and Itzuris all produced on time.

      What’s that saying about a blind squirrel? Izturis produced a couple innings too late, actually, and that meant burning through basically our entire bullpen with boneheaded decisions.

    • @jas_428: Chapman’s endurance is suspect and is handled with extreme caution. Dusty mentioned “the long season” when he said that Chapman won’t be used for more than 3 outs for now.

      Actually, right or wrong, a lot of Dusty’s habits/thinking are based on knowing what a player goes thru in the 162 game grind. My main complaint is with his postseason management. Bochy vs. Dusty last season was a mismatch.

  13. The handling of the bullpen was completely ridiculous again last night as has been pointed out. However, I don’t think that was the most Dusty-like thing that Dusty did last night. I just read where they had Homer Bailey ready to hit in the 13th rather than Corky Miller. Because, you can never, ever under any circumstances not have an able bodied catcher sitting beside you on the bench in Dusty-world. Absolutely absurd.

    I’m glad I had dozed off by that point because if I had seen it, I probably would have committed some act of violence against my television set!

    • @Kyle Farmer: I didn’t hear that, but it certainly sounds like something Dusty would do. First of all, wouldn’t Arroyo or Latos be a better pinch hitting option if you were determined to go to your starting pitchers for a batter? But the catcher thing is just ridiculous. Dusty, if you pinch hit your backup catcher and the game goes to 20 innings and Mes gets hurt and you have to stick Manny Parra behind home plate and it costs you the game, we’ll forgive you. That would be some crazy crazy Baseball Gods Don’t Want You to Have This One stuff right there. It’s not like it’s Game 7 of the World Series here. It’s an April game against the Cubs.

      • @eric nyc: Dusty did say he was ready to bat Homer Bailey, a really odd choice. And I agree with you about Dusty’s phobia, or whatever it is, about not PHing the backup catcher. This is a case where he departs from other managers. This season this is a non-trivial problem, because the Reds bench is mostly LHed bats.

      • @eric nyc: Here’s the link to the post by Rosecrans – http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2013/04/23/homer-at-the-bat/

        You’re exactly right. Not only were the Reds ready to have a pitcher hit while they had an able bodied position player still on the bench but Dusty managed to pick the worst of three possible options while doing it!

        And what really kills me is that in situations last year where Leake was a better choice to pinch hit late in games we still ran Cairo and Valdez out there for reasons known only to Dusty’s Book of Managing.

        • @Kyle Farmer: The only thing I can imagine is that he looked down the bench and said “Which of you guys wants to hit?” and Bailey was the first one to raise his hand. I suppose if you’re that desperate there are worse ways to make the decision.

          As far as Leake PH’ing over other bench players, I can understand that. He’s a starting pitcher and most injuries occur batting and running bases. Walt Jockety has given you the bench you have and you’ve got guys on it who are hitting well below their career norms. Logic says they should start hitting at SOME point. Just so happens we got the “falling off a cliff” retirement years for both of them.

        • @Kyle Farmer:

          @eric nyc: Here’s the link to the post by Rosecrans – http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2013/04/23/homer-at-the-bat/

          You’re exactly right.Not only were the Reds ready to have a pitcher hit while they had an able bodied position player still on the bench but Dusty managed to pick the worst of three possible options while doing it!

          And what really kills me is that in situations last year where Leake was a better choice to pinch hit late in games we still ran Cairo and Valdez out there for reasons known only to Dusty’s Book of Managing.

          Funniest thing was Homer’s quote, “Who do you want to face? Izzy or some guy hitting .400?” said Bailey, who is 2 for 5 this season. “What do you think they had the meeting on the mound for?”

      • @eric nyc: Manny Parra catching… That would be funny. He’s a lefty and I’m betting there isn’t a LH catcher’s mitt anywhere near GABP… I agree with you guys about not ever pinch-hitting the reserve catcher. I mean, an injury to a catcher late like that would be a fluke and it isn’t like most teams don’t have at least one or two guys who could put on the “tools of ignorance” in an emergency.

        • @LWBlogger: Honestly in that situation we might be lucky to have Manny Parra available to pitch. More likely we’d be totally out of players and we’d have to move Votto or Frazier back there and play with 2 outfielders. THat’s how crazy that scenario would have to get before batting Corky Miller would make a difference.

        • @eric nyc: Votto was drafted as a catcher but there’s no way I’d have put him back there. Frazier on the other hand…. Yeah, it would have to be really, really crazy for batting Miller to come back to bite ya in extras… Of course having seen Corky hit… Um… yeah.

        • @eric nyc: Theoretically speaking… with no runners on and less than two strikes, could a team “pull the catcher” and use him as an extra infielder? I love the idea of the umpire staying behind the plate anyway, getting one of those old school shields they used to use.

  14. I love XPaul’s approach with 2 strikes. Chokes way up on the bat to shorten his swing, and then lines the ball somewhere. His single got it going in the 13th. He’s been a good pickup since Day 1.

  15. I sure hope the offense is potent tonight. Give the bullpen situation, it sure would be nice to have some cushion. This might be one to manage with the bigger picture in mind… just let whatever happens happen if it gets tight on the bullpen. Don’t hurt anybody, don’t overuse anybody and let the majority of them heal for tomorrow. A rain-out would be stellar. Anybody know how to turn on the sprinklers at GABP?

  16. Meant to mention this earlier, but forgot. Even though Mike Leake’s line looks great, he was hit pretty hard throughout last night’s game. Not just one or two deep balls – most games have that – but even the ground balls were squared up. I’m happy with the outcome, certainly. But I couldn’t help thinking last night that it wasn’t one of his better games.

    • @Steve Mancuso:

      Meant to mention this earlier, but forgot. Even though Mike Leake’s line looks great, he was hit pretty hard throughout last night’s game. Not just one or two deep balls – most games have that – but even the ground balls were squared up. I’m happy with the outcome, certainly. But I couldn’t help thinking last night that it wasn’t one of his better games.

      I was thinking the same thing about Wood though, his numbers looked good, but I thought there were a good number of scorchers that were hit right at people all night long.

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