2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: The Cubs — Good for what ails ya’

Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 7
Chicago Cubs 4

W: M. Latos (3-0)
L: E. Jackson (0-5)
S: J. Hoover (2)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Joey Votto had two doubles, a single, an RBI, and a run scored. Todd Frazier went 2-3 with a walk, a run scored, and two RBI. Shin-Soo Choo had two hits and scored a run.

–Sean Marshall pitched a perfect inning of relief. JJ Hoover collected his second major league save.

–Donald Lutz had his first major league hit and first RBI.

NEGATIVES
–None.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–Just when everyone was freaking out about the ol’ Redlegs, Cincinnati sweeps the Cubs, finishes with a .500 road trip, and things start to look a little brighter. The Reds are back in second place.

–Mat Latos didn’t have his best start, but he did pick up his third win. Latos went five innings, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks. He struck out six.

While he wasn’t sharp, Latos had actually put together four scoreless innings, until surrendering those three runs in the fifth.

Scary moment:

The Reds got a scare in the fifth when Choo and (Brandon) Phillips ran into each other. The ball deflected off Phillips’ glove and hit Choo in the face. Trainers checked both players.

Phillips later exited in the eighth inning.

BP says he’s gonna be fine, and he’ll be back in the lineup tomorrow. We’ll see.

–Anyone else find it interesting that the Reds signed Jonathan Broxton to be the 2013 closer, yet when Aroldis Chapman wasn’t available today, Dusty Baker gave the ball to Hoover instead of Broxton?

–I’m so thankful that the Cubs exist. They practically gave away this series with some pretty poor play. As they say: Cubs gonna Cub.

Source: FanGraphs

43 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: The Cubs — Good for what ails ya’

  1. That was actually Hoover’s 3rd career save. 2nd this year.

    Lutz positive addition – He also had his first career steal.

  2. Marshall’s inning wasn’t perfect…he walked his first batter of the year. He’s walked one and given up 1 hit so far this year…I’d like to see him pitching more innings.

  3. I didn’t like the lack of communication that led to BP and Choo colliding. That ball is the outfielder’s, and Choo should have called BP off. Of course the wind made the play extremely difficult (I was at the game and it was blowing strong)

    Also, later in the inning, Xavier Paul allowed a runner to move to second trying to throw out a runner at the plate when there wasn’t a chance to make the play. Hit the cutoff man, darn it!

    Of course, the Reds played very well overall. I love sweeping the stupid Cubs.

    • @jessecuster44:

      I didn’t like the lack of communication that led to BP and Choo colliding.That ball is the outfielder’s, and Choo should have called BP off.Of course the wind made the play extremely difficult (I was at the game and it was blowing strong)

      Also, later in the inning, Xavier Paul allowed a runner to move to second trying to throw out a runner at the plate when there wasn’t a chance to make the play.Hit the cutoff man, darn it!

      Of course, the Reds played very well overall.I love sweeping the stupid Cubs.

      Also Cozart failed to take an extra base (2nd once and home once) when he should have on, fundamental mental mistakes like this make me crazy.

  4. They mentioned on today’s broadcast that Lutz hasn’t struck out yet in his short time in the big leagues. He’s at least putting wood ont he ball, which is half the battle.

    I’d be stunned to see BP in the line-up tomorrow. When you read his post-game quotes, it sounded like he might have a concussion. That’s purely speculative, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him find his way to the 7-Day DL….. which of course means the Reds will wait until day 6 to disable him, assuming there would even be a roster move to make.

    • @walshjp: I also would not be surprised to see it turn out that BP has a concussion. Per the Enquirer’s blog, he was at first “vague” about what he thought happened then said that whatever Dusty said happened was how it happened because to be honest he didn’t really remember it. Finally BP finished off by saying he plated hurt all the time and would be in the line up tomorrow. That sounds prototypical of concussion aftermath.

      Dusty said he pulled BP after BP told him he didn’t really see the ball on the SAC fly he hit several innings after the collision which is just more fuel for the concussion likelihood.

    • @walshjp:

      They mentioned on today’s broadcast that Lutz hasn’t struck out yet in his short time in the big leagues. He’s at least putting wood ont he ball, which is half the battle.

      I’d be stunned to see BP in the line-up tomorrow. When you read his post-game quotes, it sounded like he might have a concussion. That’s purely speculative, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him find his way to the 7-Day DL….. which of course means the Reds will wait until day 6 to disable him, assuming there would even be a roster move to make.

      There is no 7 day DL in the bigs, is there?

    • @walshjp: It certainly sounds like a concussion, however, when I watch the replay, I don’t see anything even close to a blow to the head. BP clearly catches himself with his knee and both arms as he falls. His head never hits Choo or the turf. Pretty tough to get a concussion without ever hitting your head.

      Did he fall in the dugout or something? Now, let’s be honest – I love me some BP, but it’s not like that dude is above manufacturing a little drama from time to time.

      The problem is that we live in a world that has to take concussions very, very seriously. Because of that, I wouldn’t be at all shocked to see BP get today off and then go on the7 day DL.

      • @Kyle Farmer: There seemed to be some whiplash action as Brandon hit the ground, though, and not being a doctor (former tree surgeon, but trees aren’t concussion-prone), I can’t be sure, but I believe whiplash can cause a concussion. I certainly hope he’s okay, to say the least.

  5. I’m one of the bigger backers of JJ Hoover here. However, I simply do not understand why Sean Marshall did not start the 9th inning. Sean Marshall is a better pitcher than JJ Hoover. He strikes out more, walks fewer, and I’m assuming gets more ground balls (I have not loooked).

  6. Broxton might have been unavailable, He had pitched the last two games, although only 19 pitches. I like Hoover a little better than Broxton right now, but not by much. Hoover seemed a little amped up which is kind of expected. Broxton’s contract is looking like an *enormous* overpay.

    • @Steve Mancuso: That’s because Broxton is overrated.

      One has to ask how much more Broxton is worth than the guy that would replace him, which I guess is either Arredondo, Leake (once Cueto is back), or…? The answer isn’t 6 million dollars, which I suspect is the difference in salary.

      I don’t understand, quite, how Broxton isn’t better. He throws extremely hard, but doesn’t seem to miss as many bats as one throwing that hard should.

      I actually think Broxton is a fine guy to have in a bullpen, just not at that cost. I like Hoover better than him, yet Hoover will pitch in lower leverage situations, in general.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Broxton is worth a whole lot more than Arredondo, who at AAA this season has walked 14 batters (and plunked a few more) in 17 innings. He misses bats, he also misses the plate.

        But I’m puzzled too that Broxton so far isn’t getting more Ks this season, he has the stuff to strike out more hitters.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Chapman throws hard, too (not as hard as he used to, though), and lately hasn’t been missing so many bats, either. Given what players get paid I find it difficult to judge whether or not Broxton is worth $6 million more than a lesser alternative. I find it hard to imagine that, in the larger scheme of things, any player is worth $6 million, but given the circumstances, I can only reiterate that the bullpen needs to be considered a single entity, to some extent; changing one part will certainly affect the rest. I do think that Broxton’s relative lack of dominance this year is control related–get behind in the count and you have to throw a hittable pitch–and that he may well correct this.

  7. Choo is awesome at the plate, but, he is an average CF. that pay with Phillips should not have occurred.

    Cubs are awful, love the sweep

    • @BigRedMike: That play happened because of the hussle of Choo & Philips. Other teams don’t have players playing full tilt like the Reds are. Plays like this afternoon will happen, it’s a bang bang play as you don’t know how the ball is drifting and if you will catch up to it. Choo didn’t call for it because he knew he couldn’t catch it. He slide down to avoid Philips but just a tad late. IMO

        • @BigRedMike: I don’t think Choo’s deficiancy is on a ball coming in. It’s in front of him. With the sun so bright and the wind blowing in just made that play one of those things. I’ve seen Drew Stubbs let plenty of balls land in front of him. Also he would miss that shot directly over his head. Put Robinson out there then. I hope his turn comes. But then the Reds don’t run so what does it matter.

        • @musicjoker319: Choo made 2 mistakes on that play. He broke backward on the ball, got a terrible jump. Then he still could have made the catch, but he didn’t call off BP.

          Nothing against Choo, just saying.

  8. I thought Latos pitched than his line indicated. The bloop hit 2 run double that went off of Phillips glove before he collided with Choo would have been the 3rd out of the inning with a shutout still intact through 5 innings.

    • @MikeC: Definitely. There ought to be a “team error” for plays like the Choo/BP collision, the runs should not have counted as earned.

  9. Did you guys notice the “BRUUUUUCE” after JB got the RBI hit today?

    That was nice to hear in Chicago. The friendly confines not as friendly these days. I thought that was pretty sweet.

  10. ESPN radio had a segment on “what’s wrong with Strasburg?” Focused on wins and losses, seriously. His ERA is 0.3 higher this year than it was last year. He’s striking out less, but still 1 per inning. What a joke.

    On another note, anyone want Volquez back? He won today, but 5.5 ERA (pitching at SD!), and he has 21 K and 16 BB in 37 IP. He still is too wild, and he isn’t even K’ing people any more.

  11. Talking about Volquez got me into going to Baseball Reference to look at Yonder Alonso’s current stat line. I saw a really weird thing on there. It says that Alonso played an inning at 2B this year. I wonder what that was about?

  12. Meanwhile the Reds’ table setting 2 hole hitter is batting at a .198 clip. Does it have to go below .150 before Dusty decides to move him to 7th (since 8th shalt be the catcher), or does he leave him there “to get Zach going?” Its getting pathetic to watch Cozart “hit.”

  13. We have proven we can beat the worst teams in baseball- Cubs(.355); Angels(.355); Marlins(.312) 10-3 vs those teams. Cards are gonna run away and hide with the division if we don’t figure out something vs the mediocre to good teams- Cards(.645); Pirates(.548); Nats(.531) 5-11 vs those teams.

    I wish everyone on this team had the mental toughness to get big hits(vs the Cubs notwithstanding) like everyone on the Cards does vs every team.

    That’s one reason why they win postseason series and we get embarrassed in them by getting swept 3 in a row then get beat 3 in a row at home.

    • @LVW: In the 2012 postseason the Cards also lost 3 in a row to the Giants with a chance to clinch and they played a whole lot worse than the Reds had in their 3 losses.

      “Everyone on the Cards vs. every team …” ??? News to me. The Cards have a very good team this year, definitely, they’re stronger this year than last. But I’m not willing to grant them the Central Division title right now any more than I was last year at this time.

      • @pinson343:
        The difference is they lost 2 at San Francisco and the Giants were greatly aided by the greatest fluke hit in baseball history when Pence’s bat hit the ball 3 times and turned a double play ball into a 5 run inning instead of 1 run). They also came back from 6-0 in game 5 of the division series vs Washington to get there and it was Descalso and Kozma(the bottom 2 hitters in their order) that got the hits that beat them. Another difference is they won a WS recently by coming back twice in game 6 to force a game 7 thanks to Freese(their current #6 hitter). In 2006 Yadi hit the HR in game 7 of the NLCS that put them in the WS that year. Allen Craig is always getting big hits for them. Even Shane Robinson got a big hit off the Brewers closer in the 9th inning Saturday in their win. They have a knack for getting 2 out RBI hits and we don’t.

        How many big hits like that do the Reds have in the last 2,5,10,15, or 10 years?

  14. Over at enquirer they wrote something about Mat being sick this morning and throwing up. I’d say Mat pitched pretty well considering. I’m so glad he’s a Red.

    I’m super worried about BP based on his peculiar quotes from the postgame interviews and what they are describing as him being unnaturally quiet. I really hope I’m overreacting.

    • @aweis09: I second that, but while I agree that, statistically, he wasn’t slumping in the normal sense of the word, I felt strongly, watching him, that he was uncomfortable and unsettled. I haven’t seen that the last few days which, not coincidentally, coincides with him driving the ball with authority like the Joey we know.

    • @ajswartz888: The Cubs have a history of playing better against the Cardinals than against everybody else. I believe they had a winning record against the Cards last year, for example. Not that I’m expecting them to win.

  15. So, Dusty brought Marshall in in the 8th to face the mid-bottom of the order, and Hoover in in the 9th to face the top of the order and the dangerous lefties. I like Hoover, but I don’t know what planet this use of the bullpen makes sense on. The only thing I can come up with is Dusty showed a huge amount of faith in Hoover, and that’s part of his intangible/players’ manager/motivation/strengthen the club in the long-term approach to managing. I think giving him the 8th instead of Ondrusek or Le Cure would have been a strong enough demonstration of faith, but maybe that’s just me.

    In any case, I thought it was interesting.

  16. Nice to see the Big Lutz have a good game before Heisey comes off the DL. No SO since being promoted is encouraging, but he does look overmatched right now and needs a little more experience before being major-league ready. I still believe he has a strong future ahead of him in MLB.

    Nice job by Hoover, getting 5 outs in the 9th with no runs allowed, thanks to his errant throw to 2B to start the would-be double play. He has closer written all over him.

    • @Shchi Cossack:

      The throw to second wasn’t half as bad as the decision to not take the out at first with a three run lead.

      That being said, good to see the sweep, and some offense by way of stringing some hits together.

      For the time being though, I would flip cozart and Paul in the order vs RHP.

      • @Lost and Found: I don’t know anyone except Dusty (although I’m sure there is someone, somewhere) that thinks Cozart in the #2 hole is a good idea, but here’s some more food for thought…

        0.375 XP’s OBP
        0.375 Robinson’s OBP
        0.238 Cozart’s OBP

        Over a 3 game series, that represents 2 additional baserunners on base in front of Votto with a LF platoon of Robinson (v. LHP) & XP (v. RHP) hitting in the #2 hole rather than Cozart. Personally, me likes more baserunners on base in front of Votto.

        • @Shchi Cossack:

          I’ve not seen enough of Robinson to commit a 2-hole platoon with Paul, but the idea has merit and is worth trying. Especially with the way Cozart is striking the ball right now. First inning yesterday is perfect example, Choo leads off with a single, and he’s facing a pitcher who once walked 8 guys during a no-hitter. So what happens, 1st pitch swinging, GIDP. Dusty’s mantra of ‘not walking your way out of a slump’ does more harm than good sometimes.

  17. Any additional news on Phillips, I thought it was weird the way he was pulled from the game.

    Collision happened in the fifth, but he played and had two PA’s before being pulled in the 8th after going out to 2B. Strange Strange Strange.

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