2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Bless You Cubs

Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….rntitanic-copy

FINAL
Cincinnati 6
Chicago (N) 4

W: L. Ondrusek (2-0)
L:  C. Marmol (2-2)
S: A. Chapman (7)

POSITIVES
– The Reds put together a great eighth inning at the plate, scoring four runs with only one hit — four walks, one HBP, one single by Jay Bruce and two sacrifice flies (Super Todd Frazier and Devin Mesoraco). Jack Hannahan took a walk with bases loaded.

Tony Cingrani didn’t have his A+ game today, but still only gave up 3 hits and one walk in six innings. He struck out five hitters despite facing the smallest strike zone in the history of major league baseball. He retired the last ten batters he faced. Other than one hitter, he shut the Cubs down. Two big mistakes, but still a positive start.

– Shin-Soo Choo hit the first pitch of the game for a home run (5) and scored another run (24) after walking. More Choo, please.

Joey Votto got on base three times in five PA. Not sure off the top of my head if that raises his OBP. He also turned in a sterling defensive play at 1B.

– Solid effort by the bullpen (Ondrusek, Broxton and Chapman) with three innings of shutout work. Nice bounce back game by Chapman.

– Be thankful that Carlos Marmol doesn’t pitch for our team.

NEGATIVES
Alfanso Soriano‘s four RBIs exceeded his RBI total for the entire year.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
– The Reds got contributions across the entire lineup today. Even Corky Miller got on base from a walk.

– While both Hannahan and Mesoraco contributed from the bench, the Reds continue to be hamstrung by weakness there. Dusty Baker sent Donald Lutz (a left-handed hitter) up to hit against a tough LH relief pitcher.

– Corky Miller is batting .083 — but that’s an improvement over what Ryan Hanigan was hitting (.079) before he went to the DL.

– Not sure how the Reds managed to win with the Cubs batting 1.000 with RISP today. (Maybe it’s because they only had one opportunity.)

– With a Mat Latos win tomorrow, the Reds can finish the road trip 5-5. Not great, but certainly better than the last one.

– The stupid Cubs are good for what ails ya.

TOP GAME THREAD COMMENTS
rightsaidreds: Dusty does not have the offensive ‘breathing room’ to throw away an lineup spot in the order with Miller’s bat.

fakename: Maybe giving BP an extra day off wasn’t the best way to deal with his hot streak. He’s looked terrible so far.

rayman5000: The Reds and Cubs both have middle infielders with great defense who hit around .200. The Cubs bat their guy 8th.

Richard Fitch: The intersection of Bad and Worse: Batter who sits on fastballs all day meets pitcher who throws little else.

Mwv: The only reservation I really have at this point is how Cingrani will do when he doesn’t have his better stuff. To me that will make or break him as a potential fifth starter this season. I guess the other question I’d have is how much we could use him. If he replaces Leake would you pitch him all the way to the end or does he have an innings cap? Good questions to be asking though, he’s been incredible thus far up at the big leagues.

24 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Bless You Cubs

  1. Upon closer examination I am not sure it was that great a bounce back by Chapman. Did not appear to have full control of his fastball, walked one, and was a full count on the 4th batter…. but the end result is all that counts and I will take that!

    • @zblakey: I was just going to post the same thing. I’m not worried about it, but Chapman’s control was not exactly encouraging tonight. Like you said, though, the outcome was fine.

    • @zblakey: But he threw breaking balls and off speed pitches for strikes early in the counts. It was when he couldn’t follow up effectively with his fastball that he was flirting with trouble.

      I view the use of the breaking stuff as a big step forward. If he is ever to be more than a one inning wonder, be that as a reliever or maybe as a starter, this is is a key component.

      • @zblakey: But he threw breaking balls and off speed pitches for strikes early in the counts. It was when he couldn’t follow up effectively with his fastball that he was flirting with trouble.I view the use of the breaking stuff as a big step forward. If he is ever to be more than a one inning wonder, be that as a reliever or maybe as a starter, this is is a key component.

        That ship has sailed. I think most are of the opinion that following the decision this spring to remain in the pen, Chapman will remain there for the duration of his career.

  2. So I missed the game. Was the strike zone really that small? Might explain why Cingrani gave up two homers if he felt the only way he could get a strike is by throwing it down the middle. Either way, 3 hits with a tight strike zone is impressive.

    • @ToddAlmighty: I didn’t pay to much attention to the strike zone. I also don’t recall the tv guys saying anything about it. Cingrani didn’t walk many but he’s still learning how to be pitch efficent. He cruzed after the 2nd homer. He battled and won. He could have been rattled but never was.

    • @ToddAlmighty: Soriano got Cingrani both times. He just worked his way into a bad count the first time and got caught trying to slip a fastball by Soriano pretty much right down Broadway as Brantley says. It was crushed, nearly leaving the park entirely for the streets beyond.
      Second one was supposedly a change up on a 1-0 count, an elevated flat fish. Soriano did not appear to get it all but lifted it enough; and, it carried over the wall by a couple of rows to straight left.

  3. So, I couldn’t help but wonder what Soriano might do for the Reds in the clean up spot. Supposedly the Cubbies have dangled him along with around half the cash left on his contract which runs through next year. That would give the Reds about the same annualized out of pocket cost as Ludwick over the same period.
    Two complications I see for the Reds are that they have that amount of money already committed to Ludwick over the period and then just how much talent would the Cubbies want in return for sending $15M+ with Soriano.

    • @OhioJim: A third complication is that Soriano just isn’t that good. I’d expect him to be above average if he played for the Reds (on offense), and terrible on defense. Overall, maybe slightly above average.

      He consistently (every year) swings, also, at about 40% of the pitches out of the strike zone, which is just bad.

        • @OhioJim: Soriano had his best OPS+ year in the last 5 in 2012. And Ludwick last year was 129, to Soriano’s 118. That’s a significant difference. Plus Ludwick is to my eyes better in LF, and Ludwick isn’t that great out there. Ludwick also has way better plate discipline.

          True, Soriano is available. I’d just look elsewhere first; I see him as a last resort in July.

        • @OhioJim: Soriano plays poor defense, though, and I don’t believe that the Reds can afford more downgrades in that area–defense is one of their defining virtues and bolsters (is inseparable from) pitching, which is their other defining virtue.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: And yet another complication: Soriano appears to want to stay with the Cubs. He has a no-trade clause, and he turned down deals to the Giants and Yankees in the last few years.

    • @OhioJim Just a cursory glance at Soriano’s numbers shows that he’s had some good seasons but has also been inconsistent. Today, he had two good home-runs off pitches that a lot of major league hitters should be able to hit a mile, particularly fast ball hitters like Soriano. Cingrani is young, didn’t have his best stuff today, and is not yet at the level that we all think he’ll be (hopefully by September). I don’t think Soriano is worth a whole lot, except if the Reds wanted to fill in an experienced bat on the bench, assuming they make it to the post-season.

  4. There is no circumstance under which Carlos Marmol would be on the roster for a team that I ran.

    The guy’s incredibly hard to hit, but 6.1 BB per 9 innings for a career, it would drive me crazy. The only situation I would ever want him in is if it’s a tie game, bottom 9, 1 out, and a guy on 3rd. Then he can come in, and if he walks a couple guys it’s not that bad of an outcome. Since that scenario happens about twice per year, I’d pass on Marmol.

  5. Cingrani replacing Leake isn’t the issue. Is Cueto due back soon? Don’t think so. 2nd time around the league will be the acid test for Cingrani. I like having a lefty starter throwing 95 mph!

    Changing topics: seeing Hannahan get a start once in a while would be nice. Dusty always buries somebody. Lutz had zero change vs. Russell yesterday. Why not Robinson? Switch hitter. Can bat right. Maybe it’s just me.

    Thoughts: Marmol was the best player on our team yesterday! Cubs should cut him and move on. Whatever it takes. After today! Per yesterday’s strike zone: I’ve see smaller and worse calls by other umps. I didn’t think it was that bad.

    • @sezwhom1: Did I read/here where Robinson has an injury that makes it hard for him to bat right-handed? Unsure why else Dusty would have turned to Big Lutz in that scenario.

      • @Brian Van Hook: You did read/hear correctly that Robinson has an injury that hinders his hitting, but you have the details wrong. Robinson can hit RH without a problem. The injury impacts his hitting LH.

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