2013 Reds / Milton / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: The Return of Milton

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 1
Washington 8

W: G. Gonzalez (2-1)
L: B. Arroyo (2-2)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Joey Votto hit a homer and JJ Hoover pitched a good inning. That’s it.

NEGATIVES
–Ugh, Bad Bronson. Arroyo just didn’t have it tonight, surrendering six runs on nine hits and a walk in six innings.

–Ugh, Bad Ondrusek. Logan just didn’t have it tonight, surrendering two runs on three hits and a walk in one inning.

–The Reds got one hit. One.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–I guess Milton had to make an appearance at some point. Go get ‘em tomorrow, Redlegs.

A terrible showing tonight, Redlegs. Just awful. Milton is disappointed.

A terrible showing tonight, Redlegs. Just awful. Milton is disappointed.

Source: FanGraphs

64 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: The Return of Milton

  1. Personally, I kind of felt this was coming. The team won a lot of games on the homestand, but they aren’t hitting on all cylinders. I’d be thrilled out of my mind with a split here, and I would even take 1/4 if you offered it right now. Washington is good.

  2. I expected to see Manny Parra pitch the final few innings – it seems like that’s his main reason for being on the team – eating innings in a blowout.

    It looks like Cozart might have worn out his welcome in the #2 hole with another double play. Xavier Paul would presumably be hitting second in the next two games, but I wonder where they’ll turn against lefty Detwiler. Mesoraco, with his success hitting LHPs, becomes a more interesting choice now that he plays almost everyday.

  3. The negative: Cozart is officially below the Mendoza line, and has no business batting higher than 7th.

    The even more negative: Dustyball dictates he bats 2nd, no matter what.

    Meanwhile, Mesoraco has been on base almost as many times as Cozart, in half the plate appearances. Move Phillips back to 2, move Frazier to 4, and Mes to 6. Leave Heisey and Cozart at the bottom of the order.

    • The negative:Cozart is officially below the Mendoza line, and has no business batting higher than 7th.

      The even more negative:Dustyball dictates he bats 2nd, no matter what.

      Meanwhile, Mesoraco has been on base almost as many times as Cozart, in half the plate appearances.Move Phillips back to 2, move Frazier to 4, and Mes to 6.Leave Heisey and Cozart at the bottom of the order.

      This. Also, Cingrani is the fourth best starter behind Cueto, Latos and Bailey.

    • @D Ray White: I mean, technically speaking, Cozart hits .500 career wise out of the 8th spot, I don’t see how Dusty doesn’t capitalize on that. (ahem, 2/4). :)

  4. The only thing really missing in the picture of Milton is a tooth pick in his mouth. Appropriate?

  5. I was at the game. Bronson had an “easy” first inning but all the fly outs were sharply hit line drives. I turned to my buddy and said this might be a bad night… sure enough. You can tell how good Bronson is by the trajectory of the fly balls. I was hoping we’d score enough runs to keep us in it but Gio was sippin the Biogenesis juice tonight.

  6. Not getting to watch this beat down almost makes it worth it that my grill caught on fire and I had to spend the time I would have been watching the game putting it out/cleaning up the grill….

  7. ugly ugly game. But when it’s all over and the dust has settled, it’s the same as losing 2-1, or 5-4, or 20-0… Gio was on fire and even though it would have been nice to have a few more hits, he was not gonna be hit around tonight.

  8. Lucky this is just one game. Cozart starting to hit in double plays each game. I did some stat checking today, and looked at stats for 2012. Out of 16 national league teams, Reds were either 9th or 10th place in the NL in RBI’s, Runs, and Batting Average. That is not good for a contending team. Their pitching was in the top 3 in the NL in ERA for starters and the bullpen. That is why they won so many games last year. But, not sure if you can expect the pitching to be that good this year? But, I think the pitching should finish pretty well this year, unless they have some injuries. Anyway, they need to make a decision, either improve their hitting with the current players, or make a trade for a big bat, or try to do like last year and win it by pitching and playing good defense.

  9. Keep in mind that Ludwick is still out as well. While we couldn’t really have expected him to have the same stellar year as he did last year, he’d probably still be a big upgrade at the plate over Heisey at this point. Of course, we’re only what, like 22 games in? Bruce is gonna heat up, and hopefully at some point WJ will find a way to muzzle Dustyball and get Cozart back into the bottom of the order. I mean, he already took away Valdez, Cairo, and Rolen…big upgrade through loss.

  10. Logan Ondrusek is an awesome teammate. He went out there and pitched as hard as he could to save Manny Parra’s job.

  11. Hey Milton. Hope things have been well with you through the offseason. I was really hoping to avoid running into youfor a while, but your appearance is duly noted.

    Chalk this one up to water over the dam. An opposite field HR by Votto was another good sign that his hitting stroke is getting there.

    It wasn’t going to make a difference in the outcome of the game, but what was the deal with sending XP in as a pinch-hitter against a very tough LH pitcher who was on top of his game when Izturis (a RH hitter) and Robinson (a SW hiiter) were available?

    • @Shchi Cossack: If I had to take a guess, I’d say to give Paul an AB against a tough lefty in a situation where if he failed, it wouldn’t matter much. It may be a sign that Dusty is considering more playing time for Paul. I am only speculating though.

  12. Fortunately for Arroyo and Ondrusek, an 8-1 loss is no different on the books than a 2-1 loss. If a starter is going to have a crappy game I’d much rather it happen when the Reds are one-hit. Had Arroyo pitched a 2-run complete game it would have been wasted.

    Oh, and Woooo!

  13. We all know if Arroyo doesn’t get through the first 3 innings letting in more than 3 runs, he’s going to lose. He couldn’t get a handle of his change up and backdoor breaking balls. When that doesn’t happen, an 87 mph fastball ain’t gonna cut it especially against a line up like the Nationals.

  14. I’m not clear on why the Reds’ inability to hit is the manager’s fault. I certainly agree that Cozart isn’t a good #2 hitter, but who is? Moving Votto there just creates a weakness at #3. Choo, Votto and Phillips are the only reliable hitters available on the roster. Frazier may become one, but the jury is still out. Bruce, as is regularly noted by many, will set the world on fire for a few games and then disappear utterly. He ends up with decent power numbers, but can’t be counted on for anything much of the time. You don’t fix this kind of problem by shuffling the lineup; you fix it by changing personnel, which is not easy to do. Diamonds in the rough are rare. Pitching and defense. Pitching and defense. I certainly haven’t given up, but I am never optimistic about the Reds, not since 1976.

    • @greenmtred: I’m not sure I get what you’re saying. First, as noted above, the Reds are second in the league in runs scored so far. Secondly, by “shuffling the lineup” you move your weakest link from the #2 hole to the #8 hole where he will get fewer ABs and fewer meaningful ABs. By giving those extra ABs to a better hitter you increase your productivity. Granted, changing personel is another possible solution, but given what we have, moving Cozart down is the easiest solution.

    • @greenmtred:

      Easy fix, and Dusty-booked

      Choo
      Phillips
      Votto
      Frazier
      Bruce
      Mesoraco
      Heisey/Xavier Paul (Play him more)
      Cozart
      Pitcher

      When Leake pitches, move him up to 7th or 8th (if XP playing), and shift Cozart down. Its not hard to do. Its not quantum physics or rocket science. Its not even simple algebra. But its too complicated for the Reds inept rosterologist.

      • @D Ray White: I like the lineup but am not sure that Leake is really a better hitter than Heisey and Cozart. We are talking really small sample size when it comes to Leake’s hitting and while he’s good, he’s still mostly worked like a pitcher. Opponents are going to start pitching him like a position player and his numbers will likely decline. We heard a lot of these same ideas when the Reds had Micah Owings.

        Of course Dusty is going to say that BP has 20+ RBI and has been clutch so far this year hitting behind Votto. There is matter of BP being 1 for his last 20 or so however.

  15. I’d almost feel sorry for Eric Milton that they named the goat after him, but I remember watching him pitch for the Reds… now that I think of it, I don’t feel sorry at all.

  16. Big Bob Castellini has given WJ the credit card and told him to go shopping. A LF maybe?? Stay tuned.

  17. The Heisey experiment is over. Heisey has had plenty of time to nail down a starting job (last year and this year) but just hasn’t come through. Time to put him back into the role where he succeeded the most in, pinch hitting off the bench and spot starting.

  18. With all the positives things this team is doing it never ceases to amaze me how negative folks can get in the comments.

  19. Good pitchers get roughed up by good lineups = Good lineups get run down by good pitchers. They came out on the wrong side last night but it’s just one game.

    Hey can we try this lineup please?

    Choo
    Frazier
    Votto
    Phillips
    Bruce
    Meso
    Paul
    Cozart
    Pitcher

    I’d like to see Meso get a chance at the 5-spot.

  20. reds are 12-4 at home, and 1-6 on the road.
    i dont know how to feel about this… happy? sad? upset? content?
    best in the league at home, worst in the league on the road. small sample size, yes i know.

  21. ESPN uses it’s own “Power Rankings” as a measurable in determining their version of RPI. (MLB Relative Power Index (RPI) – 2013)

    Laughable.

  22. I’m relatively new to the website (started reading occasionally last year and reading regularly/posting sometimes this year). That goat with braces is the most heinous offensive (no pun intended) thing I’ve seen in a long while. As a Reds fan living here in DC, I can only hope that I don’t see the likes of that creature for, at least, the next 3 days. Good grief.

    • @walshjp: Thankfully Milton the goat only makes appearances after the most heinously offensive games. I hope we don’t see him again for a long, long time.

  23. I am not a fan of Oakland OF CoCo Crisp, but his numbers sure would look very very good in that #2 batting spot.

    81AB, 24H, 20R, 8D, 5HR, 11RBI, 14BB, 6K, 7SB, .296/.400/.605, $7MM salary, FA after 2013.

    If the Reds were looking for a rental player to help jump-start this offense, for just this year Crisp might be the guy to go get. He could bat 1st or 2nd and play LF or CF. Choo could move to LF. It would improve the defense in CF and improve the production from the #2 hole in the batting order. Its a hole right now.

  24. I agree WVRedlegs. I have looked at Crisp for the past 2 years thinking that he would be a good fit.

    There might have been reluctance to go get him because Hamilton was going to be ready next year. That may or may not be the case.

    Ludwig is no sure bet to get back this year.

    I’m buying

  25. Crisp might have been an option in the offseason, but the Athletics are going to be competing for the playoffs this year. That means no prospects-for-starting OF deals, i.e. finding a mutually beneficial trade.

    They don’t need someone like a Mike Leake because their rotation is full of young, cheap pitchers. They could probably use a Homer Bailey-type. The Reds don’t have much to offer here.

    • @CP:

      I get where you’re coming from. The last two winters Crisp’s name has been bandied about on here often. But once Cespedes comes off the DL for Oakland, they will have a surplus of OFers. If I remember correctly, Oak also has a good OF prospect rising and may need to make some room at some point. Its early, not time to panic or such, but the Reds should be proactive with LF and the #2 hole. If you average 6 runs a game I would rather do that by getting 5-7 runs most games. Not by scoring 11 in one game and then go 4 games struggling to put 3 runs on the board.

  26. Corky Miller & Cesar Izturis both in the lineup tonight with Izturis batting in the #2 hole. Blessed be those who are too stubborn to see the error of their ways.

  27. I think what the Reds really need right now is somebody who can platoon with Xavier Paul, particularly a relatively cheap right handed hitting LF who hits well off LHPs, the opposite of Xavier Paul. I think you can cross out the commonly tossed around name of Stanton. I think you can also cross out Coco Crisp, who is a relevant part of a contending team.

    Look around the bad teams in MLB and who seems to fit what the Reds need? I think former Red Chris Denorfia does. He’s a righthanded platoon outfielder who can hit second and can probably be relatively easily obtained from the Padres. Chris Denorfia certain isn’t a star player but he may slip under the radar. For his career he has hit .318 with a .383 OBP in 507 ABs against LHPs.

    Start Denorfia gainst LHPs and Xavier Paul against RHPs. Maybe the Padres, with their terrible pitching staff, would be interested in somebody like Manny Parra, Logan Ondrusek, or Jose Arredondo. Or a starter like Armando Galarraga.

    • @RFM: If the Padres would be interested in Chris Heisey that’d be a huge plus. I think Denorfia would be an improvement over Heisey on the bench just by being able to hit LHPs.

  28. That is not a very good lineup. I really didn’t think the Reds would be missing Ludwick quite this much. Of course I thought Heisey would hit a bit better and I also thought Cozart would hit marginally better than he did last season. It’s still early but right now there are some holes in the lineup. Keep in mind that even with the holes, the Reds are still 2nd in the NL in runs and are still hitting better with RISP than they are overall. Imagine if they were getting better production out of LF and SS.

    • @LWBlogger: So far Drew Stubbs has put up better offensive numbers in Cleveland than the Reds have gotten out of their LFs. Just to put that in perspective.

    • @LWBlogger:

      I posted almost the exact same a few days ago LW. could not agree more:

      “I really didn’t think the Reds would be missing Ludwick quite this much. Of course I thought Heisey would hit a bit better”

      I really thought Heisey would have won the job each of the last 2 years

  29. Honestly, even though Izturis may well be one of the worst hitters in all of MLB, currently he’s probably an improvement over Cozart. Well played, Dusty!

    Apparently the 24 year old catcher requires to sit out 2 of every 5 games. I’m assuming Corky will also be catching Cingrani on Sunday. Because this team doesn’t need Mesoraco’s bat right now…what a sad, sad joke.

    Hopefully, the 5 MLB-quality position players playing tonight can carry this team to victory tonight.

    On the plus side, at least the hometown residents didn’t have to pay to watch this game.

  30. It seems at times the more people complain about the lineup prior to a particular game, the more it explodes for some runs. Hopefully that will be the case tonight.

    I will not be taking this one in tonight. I am taking my daughter to the Cyclones playoff game.

    • It seems at times the more people complain about the lineup prior to a particular game, the more it explodes for some runs. Hopefully that will be the case tonight.

      If complaining made the Reds score runs the offense would be MUCH MUCH MUCH more consistent. It’s just when the offense scores lots of runs the complainers feel awkward and occasionally retract their statements.

  31. Izturis @ 2 hole? Its like a train-wreck Groundhog Day. The SS always bats 2nd. Clue to Jocketty: Sign a SS who can hit better than .250…

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