2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: I’ll have one sweet T, please.

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 2
St. Louis 1

W: M. Latos (2-0)
L: A. Wainwright (4-2)
S: A. Chapman (6)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–So, as it turns out, Mat Latos has a little bit of talent when it comes to throwing a baseball. Tonight, six innings of shutout baseball, surrendering five hits. Latos has now tossed seventeen consecutive scoreless innings, and he’s 2-0 with a 1.83 ERA. That’ll do, Mat. That’ll do.

–Joey Votto had two hits and a run batted in, because he’s awesome. Brandon Phillips had a hit and a walk. Shin-Soo Choo and Todd Frazier each doubled.

–Logan Ondrusek pitched a scoreless inning, though you shouldn’t be surprised that he walked a batter. In the ninth, Aroldis Chapman did what Aroldis Chapman does.

NEGATIVES
–Jonathan Broxton gave up a run on two hits in one inning pitched. He was too hittable tonight, once again.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–Is there anything more glorious than beating the Cardinals in St. Louis? I submit that there is not.

–You can quibble with any number of decisions that GM Walt Jocketty has made, but the acquisitions of Mat Latos and Shin-Soo Choo were masterful.

–The Reds have now won two road games in a row, after losing eight straight. They’re unstoppable all of a sudden!

Source: FanGraphs

56 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: I’ll have one sweet T, please.

  1. As a long time Reds fan, May 1st has been a big dividing line for me. From 2002 until 2010, if the team was worth watching after May 1st I was happy, even knowing a bunch of that would involve watching Luke Hudson never get it right, Jimmy Haynes and Eric Milton (I never minded Paul Wilson, although all those injuries broke my heart). They were going to suck, but I just hoped for caring into June. As with the last three seasons, here we are and I am way beyond happy. I like to keep my May 1st rule to remind myself that even with the hard to swallow loses, a competitive team is a gift, always.

    • @brynhoe: That’s a good thought. I am enjoying this season, and find the losses easier to take, having confidence that this is a very good team.

      A win in St. Louis over Wainwright last nite. That’s something to celebrate.

  2. I do not understand the use of Ondrusek in the 7th in a 2-0 game. Was no one else available?

    Latos did not appear sharp, but he got it done. Broxton barely held on there. What was up with the rundown?

    Paul did a great job in the AB where he got an RBI.

    Bruce, well, it’s just not good right now. He needs a “good Bruce” May.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Marshall definitely wasn’t available. LeCure struggled on Sunday, which may have been related to the very long outing (thanks to 2 errors) that he had earlier in the week.

      It came down to Hoover or Ondrusek. Hoover’s a better pitcher, but for me in that situation it’s a tossup, as Ondrusek has a little more poise. Hoover sometimes overthrows when it matters the most.

  3. For those of you who haven’t heard this stat yet: Since the trade, Mat Latos has started 38 games for the Reds. He’s lost 4.

  4. Broxton is taking too much heat here. Of course he’s not as good as Marshall, but he’s done better than he’s given credit for. He had the disastrous outing against the Pirates after not pitching for a week, other than that he’s been solid.

    He hung a slider to Molina tonite, thank goodness it didn’t go over the wall, but got out of the no out jam from there.

    In the 1-0 win over the Cubs, he came on in the 8th with 2 runners on and no one out, and saved the win for Mat.

    He gave up a run on Sunday because Choo dropped a fly ball.

    He’s the number 3 horse in a very strong bullpen.

    • @pinson343: Broxton gave up a double to the right field corner to Craig on what I thought was a decent pitch, then as you said hung a slider to the dreaded Molina. He then got through the inning fine, albeit with a incorrectly executed rundown. (The pitchers always seem too anxious to get rid of the ball when they head for the trapped baserunner.)

      So, Broxton only really threw one bad pitch, and battled back.

      • @Big Ed: I believe Broxton will be fine. I got a little bit nervous on the first double, and was scared on the second double. The shame was having Jay standing at 2nd when he hit a routine grounder back to the mound.

        The proper thing for Broxton to do was to throw the ball to 3rd, let Frazier walk him back to second while the lines for the run-down formed, then toss Phillips the ball for the tag keeping Jay at 1st. I learned that in little league.

        • @Big Ed: I believe Broxton will be fine.I got a little bit nervous on the first double, and was scared on the second double.The shame was having Jay standing at 2nd when he hit a routine grounder back to the mound.

          The proper thing for Broxton to do was to throw the ball to 3rd, let Frazier walk him back to second while the lines for the run-down formed, then toss Phillips the ball for the tag keeping Jay at 1st.I learned that in little league.

          You were taught wrong then. The proper thing to do is exactly what Broxton did, run right at the runner. He did everything right until he mysteriously stopped, which screwed up the run down. You run at him and make him commit to going back to second and then you throw to second.

      • He then got through the inning fine, albeit with a incorrectly executed rundown. (The pitchers always seem too anxious to get rid of the ball when they head for the trapped baserunner.)

        Honestely, I think Broxton got winded running from the mound to shortstop and had to give the ball up.

  5. I’m at a hotel where I don’t have access to mlbnetwork tv. I’ve had the tv on in the background since the Reds won more than 3 hours ago. My only chance to see Reds hilites has been with multiple ESPN stations. I gave up on ESPN News after it went thru a full cycle without showing the Reds game. Then I went to ESPN, no luck after 2 hours.

    Yanks-Astros, Brewer HRs, Mets-Marlins, Braves-Nats, Tigers hilites 3 times now, and every other game at least twice, Cubs-Padres and Indians-Royals once. The only game not shown at all: Reds-Cardinals.

    The Reds game MAY have been covered on Baseball Tonite on ESPN2, but I was watching ESPN at that point because in the left margin of “coming attractions” they had a box that said “Cardinals Struggle to Score”. That turned out to be a tease, that coverage was dropped in favor of the Mets-Marlins game that had just ended. Grrrr.
    I hate them to pieces !!!

  6. Breaking news: At 2:05 AM CT, ESPN showed the Reds-Cardinals hilites !!!

    A really nice play by BP. Broxton sawed the bat off the hands of pesky Kozma for the final out of the 8th.

  7. I thought this was interesting from ESPN on April Grades for the NL. Latos & Bailey both got an A and overall the Reds got this statement from the analyst:

    It seems like there’s a perception that the Reds are an explosive offensive team, but that wasn’t the case last year (ninth in the NL in runs scored despite playing in a hitter’s park) and while the Reds are second in the NL in runs scored in 2013, they also rank ninth in slugging percentage. The Reds rotation, however, was terrific last year and has been terrific again, second to the Cardinals with a 2.97 ERA. Latos and Bailey remain two of the more underrated starters in the NL. Latos threw six shutout innings against the Cardinals on Monday, picking up his second win and lowering his ERA to 1.83. Bailey is 1-2 thanks to poor run support but has a 2.81 ERA. The two have combined for 69 strikeouts and just 17 walks, and when Johnny Cueto returns from the DL, he might give the Reds the best starting pitching trio in the league.

  8. Hank Aaron’s Teammate: Latos did not appear sharp? Have to disagree my friend. I thought he looked very sharp. He was also getting a tad squeezed by the HP Ump on low pitches which looked like strikes to me.

  9. Good to see ‘em get a tough win and build on Sunday’s result.

    Broxton and Logan did their jobs getting the game to Chapman, so I’m fine with that.

    I didn’t like the sac bunt in the first, but that’s just my two cents.

    • @Lost and Found: Marty and the Cowboy said they wished the Reds would do that every time…. “like clockwork” when describing how the Pirates would do that at some point in the past and how it worked for them.

      Of course in disgust I promptly went to the TV commentators and was pleasantly surprised it was Jim and Chris. They make a VERY fine team. Positive all night.

      • @TC: Marty is, as usual, an idiot. He’s right on one thing, the Pirates under Jim Leyland, often bunted Jay Bell in the first inning if the leadoff hitter got on. For example, Bell had 30 sac bunts in 1991. (Not all in the first inning, but a staggering 15 times Bell sac bunted in the first inning.)

        On the Pirates, the next three hitters were Van Slyke, Bonds, and Bonilla. The stupidity of bunting Bell (OBP .330!) was breathtaking. Yet the media ate it up.

        • @Hank Aarons Teammate: @TC:

          This was my memory as well when TC mentioned the pirates. Jay Bell led the league in Sac’s one year, maybe even two.

          It worked out well in the Regular season for them but they always came up short in the playoffs. The sac has its place, but I didn’t like it there.

          With Choo on second, I would have liked to see Cozart swing away, since a DP would have to be very bad luck, or a gaffe by Choo.

          It’s like alot of things, its easy to remeber the successful times but hard to pin down the unsuccessful ones. We’ll just have to live with it.

        • @Lost and Found:

          Don’t forget to add Buchelle into that list of hitters. That lineup was pretty brutal with the killer B’s and Van Slyke in it.

          While I would disdain the bunt that early with the top of the order up, I wasn’t totally against it right there. I wouldn’t have done it, but I wasn’t upset about it. That’s not an endorsement of the thought process as much as an indictment of our two hole hitter.

  10. When does Devin Mesoraco get credit (like Hanigan did) for the Reds mostly good pitching over the last couple of weeks? I know there were a couple mis-steps in Washington, but overall they have pitched really well with him behind the plate.

    • @petejohnson: I gave it to him a couple of games ago. I still don’t doubt that Hanigan calls a great game. But, you can’t say it hasn’t been working with Devin behind the plate.

      • @steveschoen: I found it interesting watching it on TV that after the game ended and everyone did their high fives, all of the coaching staff seemed to give Mesoraco an extra “atta boy” and pat on the back. It seemed like they really liked the way he caught today, and I have to agree. Things may be looking up for him to get more than 1-2 games when Hanny gets back.

  11. I’m really concerned about Latos. Dusty said in his post-game press conference that he had hurt his hip early in the game which resulted in him being lifted after six innings. I think we’re at the point of critical mass with injuries right now. The guys have battled through them and had some major step-up performances (see Tony Cingrani) but there comes a point where it’s just too much.

    I’ll be anxious to see a follow-up today on how that hip is feeling. Otherwise, a great night for the Redlegs!

    • @Kyle Farmer: Latos said last night that his hip was already starting to loosen up for him. I hope he’s not sugar-coating anything and he really did just tweak it a little. Nice thing about a starting pitcher is he doesn’t really have to work too hard again until his rotation spot. I’m hoping he gets some treatment, feels good during and after his side-session, and feels good for his next start.

  12. The Reds offense is still struggling to score runs. It seems every time I post something negative about OF Jay Bruce, he then has a good game. So in the spirit of getting Bruce unleashed and hoping he has a May similar to the May he had in 2011, he goes. Please, Brucey fans do not take offense. It is for the good of the team.

    What is it with Bruce?? With RISP, he cannot even hit his weight. He cannot even hit a girl’s weight. Its going to be a warm day in St. Louis today, good thing Jay Bruce is in town. He can help keep the fans in the stands cool with the breeze off his bat. Mighty neighborly of Bruce.
    Marty Brennemann is right about Bruce and has been all along. Jay Bruce just does not get it at the plate with RISP. From the 5th inning on, if Bruce comes to bat with runners on base, Dusty please pinch hit for him. At least Hannahan can make some type of contact.
    After a Reds game the score book besides Jay Bruce’s name looks like a stutterer trying to say KKKKKim KKKKKardashian.

    • @WVRedlegs: Ouch! I love Jay Bruce but that cracked me up… One thing I will say, he is definitely struggling. I mean, Jay Bruce with 1 HR at the end of April? It isn’t like he’s missed a lot of time with an injury or anything either. He just isn’t hitting the ball much.

    • @WVRedlegs: I believe it might be a little like with Votto. They just aren’t giving them anything good to swing at. Or, it’s seems almost like, when they do finally get something good to swing at, it’s such a surprise to them that they can’t catch up to it in time. At least from what I am thinking and seeing a bit.

  13. You can quibble with any number of decisions that GM Walt Jocketty has made, but the acquisitions of Mat Latos and Shin-Soo Choo were masterful.

    Drew Stubbs: .213/.286/.293 and leads the Tribe in K’s.

    Thank you, Uncle Walt. Thank you.

    • @Matt WI: I think Stubby will die that slow death that most big leaguers do—he’ll get released, catch on with a couple teams, shuttling back and forth from the minors. If he hasn’t had his come-to-Jesus moment by now, he never will. Pretty dumb for such a smart guy.

      • @Sultan of Swaff: That’s just it, I don’t think he’s that smart. A smart guy would have made adjustments by now. A smart guy would have adjusted his game to take advantage of his main strength, his speed, by now. He’s on pace this year to K the second most number of times in his major league career. If there’s anything the Indians have been doing right with him, it’s been batting him in the 9 hole.

        • @steveschoen: @Sultan of Swaff: @Matt WI: Stubbs was a great Reds prospect, but he didn’t pan out at the major league level. Scouts get so enamored with 5-tool OF prospects that it warps our perspective. Stubbs’ simply didn’t have the talent to become a star at the major league level. He is still a major league caliber player if used properly, just not a star or even a full time starter. Stubbs is also no longer a Cincinnati Reds player, so I don’t understand the fixation on his continued struggles. I hope he finds his niche at the major league level and has a long career. If the Reds had a more capable and progressive manager, I would actually like to see Stubbs back in a Cincinnati Reds uniform as a utility OF, RH pinch hitter, pinch runner and late inning defensive replacement. Stubbs hits LHP pretty good (.277/.348/.475), even this season (.290/.395/.452), he simply can’t hit RHP at all. It’s not Stubbs’ fault his manager couldn’t use him properly in Cincinnati.

        • @Shchi Cossack: I pretty much agree with that assessment. Sometimes we forget just how elite a guy has to be to thrive at this level, and Stubbs is just a bit below that. By all accounts he is a good man, so I’m hoping he can find a spot, make some money and have a good career.

        • @Shchi Cossack: Exactly. With Stubbs’ career splits he’d make a good platoon option with Xavier Paul in LF. The Reds are currently really weak as far as bench players who can hit LHPs, and it’s silly to suggest that Stubbs’ career is over because he can’t play every day – look at Xavier Paul, going strong.

  14. 15 Wins in April so far. As the great Dusty always says “15 wins a month means 90 in a season” So far, right on track, let’s get an extra one tonight!

  15. 15 wins while spending all/majority of the month without Johnny Cueto, Ryan Ludwick, Sean Marshall, Ryan Hanigan… now Parra (LOOGY) and Heisey. I’ll take it, without a doubt. Add in the fact Bruce has done basically nothing yet and Votto is just starting to heat up, and I’d say the Reds are sitting in a pretty good position at the moment.

  16. Did anyone else catch on the broadcast that one of Baker’s goals this year was turning more DPs?

    So, not only is he worried that walks clog the bases, he wants more guys on base against us via the other team doing stupid walk-base clogging, so we can turn more DPs.

    I’d prefer no baserunners and no DPs, personally.

  17. One game left in April & 2 games left to the killer schedule at the start of the 2013 season. A solid effort by Good Bronson tonight and another pounding of the Bucos by the Brew Crew and the Reds are back in 1st place with Bailery taking the mound tomorrow afternoon. If the Reds manage to sweep the Birds, and I kinda like the Reds chance for a sweep, they may very well leave the NLCD in their wake and drive to the post season. GO REDS!

  18. Only 2 possible RH bats on the bench today, Izturis and Miller, unless Dusty opts to use Leake. Hopefully the Reds will get to Garcia early and often tonight. Man the injured and walking wounded are really straining the 40 man roster.

    Choo CF
    Cozart SS
    Votto 1B
    Phillips 2B
    Bruce RF
    Frazier 3B
    Mesoraco C
    Robinson LF
    Arroyo P

    • @Shchi Cossack: Fortunately Randy Choate is the Cardinals’ only lefthanded reliever, and he’s probably reserved for Votto and either Choo or Bruce. Once Garcia leaves Jack Hannahan and Xavier Paul should be happy.

  19. Another positive of Monday night’s game was Ryan Ludwick – he was pretty interesting for an inning or two when he talked about his hitting philosophy and other things with the FSN OH broadcasters. He didn’t appreciate being introduced (again and again) as “injured outfielder Ryan Ludwick”. I hope they invite him back to the broadcast booth.

    Jonathan Broxton reminded me of Francisco Cordero. You know, he got his job done but it sure wasn’t pretty.

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