2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Wait…what just happened?

Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

FINAL — 10 innings
Chicago (NL) 5
Cincinnati 4

W: K. Gregg (1-0)
L: J. Hoover (0-4)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Johnny Cueto pitched seven strong innings, allowing one run on four hits.

–Jay Bruce hit his seventh homer. Todd Frazier tripled and walked.

NEGATIVES
–Logan Ondrusek. With the Reds leading 4-1, manager Dusty Baker summoned Ondru the Giant from the bullpen and, boom, the game was tied. Ondrusek allowed three runs on three hits, and only retired two batters.

–JJ Hoover gave up a run in the tenth, taking the loss.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–Ugh. This is a game the Reds really should have won.

–Okay, I can live with the decision to bring Ondrusek into the game. Sure, Ondrusek is a marginal major leaguer at best, but if he can’t be trusted in that situation, he has no business being in the bullpen.

What I don’t understand is the next decision. After Ondrusek vomits all over himself and the game, with everything tied up at 4-4, and a tight ballgame in the eighth inning, Dusty brings in … Manny Parra? Really?

When it’s obvious Ondrusek wasn’t on his game (perhaps after the first run allowed), it’s time to consider a real reliever so that the game doesn’t get out of hand. Instead, we got more Ondrusek and a healthy dose of Parra. Ugh.

–Oh well, can’t win ‘em all. I guess.

Source: FanGraphs

81 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Wait…what just happened?

    • @Weber21: A runner on first is almost ALWAYS expected to score on a double. There are some circumstances when that is not possible but it’s rare. The Reds have been really tight on the base paths for reasons we all know.

  1. As someone pointed out in the game thread, the short-handedness in the bullpen today was the product of using Chapman and Broxton yesterday to hold a three-run lead. Since they had both pitched the game before, also to lock down one of those nail-biting three-run leads, Baker was essentially saying I won’t have them to use tomorrow. Yet he (along with many other managers) is paralyzed by the notion that only his closer can finish a game with a three-run lead if he’s available. Shouldn’t some consideration be given to the consequence of making them unavailable for the next game, which might be closer? Yes, Ondrusek blew a three-run lead today, but if Broxton and/or Chapman had been available to come in once the game had tightened, the outcome might have been different. 98% of all games are won by a team with a three-run lead going into the ninth. Hoover could have closed on Saturday or Friday.

    • @Steve Mancuso: I have wondered for about a month now why Lecure is not higher in the pecking order in the bullpen. Why is he not the “second string” closer over Hoover. He throws strikes, does not ever seem panicked, and throws his two seamer with effect inside to lefties. I was at the game Saturday and was hoping against hope to see him throw both the 7th and the 8th. Why in the world could he have not been in for the eighth (save situation) instead of Lurch or (at least) in the spot Hoover pitched in?

      • @Drew Mac: Or, stats wise, Lecure has a lower FIP than Hoover.

        Hoover’s FIP is actually horrible, but a lot of that is because of the first week of the season and overuse (IMO). I like Lecure and Simon as the second and third best relievers (right now; Marshall is on the DL). Chapman is #1. Hoover is 4th. Broxton/Ondrusek bringing up the rear. I’m assuming Parra doesn’t exist. Obviously, he’s the worst.

        • @Drew Mac: Or, stats wise, Lecure has a lower FIP than Hoover.

          Hoover’s FIP is actually horrible, but a lot of that is because of the first week of the season and overuse (IMO).I like Lecure and Simon as the second and third best relievers (right now; Marshall is on the DL).Chapman is #1.Hoover is 4th.Broxton/Ondrusek bringing up the rear.I’m assuming Parra doesn’t exist.Obviously, he’s the worst.

          No way. Lecure is the second best reliever.

      • @Drew Mac: The main mystery to me is why LeCure wasn’t used today. He was the 7th inning guy on Saturday, but he didn’t pitch on Friday.

    • @Steve Mancuso: I agree with everything you say, except that Ondrusek and Broxton are equally bad.

      Baker does not seem to understand, also, that a 3 run lead in the 8th is not the same as a 3 run lead in the 9th.

      It also galls ms that Paul, who really would thrive in the #2 spot with his approach to hitting, is hitting 7th, and Cozart is 2nd, especially when the other team only has one left hander in the pen.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Ondrusek gives up a lot more HRs than Broxton. In 2012-2013, Ondrusek has given up 11 HRs in 72 innings. Broxton has given up 4 HRs in 79 innings, and 2 of those 4 came in one horrible outing, after he hadn’t pitched for a week.

        Ondrusek mis-locates his fastball badly and was a terrible matchup against Soriano.

        • @pinson343: I don’t think it’s mislocation of the fastball. He just doesn’t have a good fastball. It lacks movement and most days is in the 91-93 range. That’s hittable.

          You are right, Broxton doesn’t give up the homers, so he should be above Ondrusek…for now. I see Broxton as a falling pitcher. Aside from a couple months with the Reds last year, when he had a good K and BB rate (but only ~20 innings), his K rate has been falling, falling. I just can’t believe the Reds signed a guy for 3 years and 21M who K’s 6 per 9 innings. These days, when K’s are higher than ever around MLB.

        • @pinson343: Ondrusek’s HR/FB ratio this year is nearly twice his career average. (His career average is right in line with league average.) It’s very likely that this is just bad luck, and his xFIP this (which is below 4 and a full point lower than his FIP and ERA) reflects this.

    • @Steve Mancuso: I did not see it, only read the play by play but once Ondru was in, it doesn’t look to me like there was a real window of opportunity to get him before the serious damage was done unless a team had a REAL LOOGY and was loaded up to bring him on to face Rizzo if the inning got that far.

      As it was, out, out, single, double, homer; game tied. Now again if they had a real LOOGY there was a chance to pull the fat out of the fire by walking/ pitching around Soriano before bringing the LOOGY for Schierholtz (which they did regardless of the horse being out if the barn). Even given that Schierholtz singled off Parra, they likely would have escaped the inning with a 1 run lead simply by not letting Soriano beat them.

      Now as to managing resources differently do they did not need to use Ondro in an 8th inning situation, that’s another matter.

    • As someone pointed out in the game thread, the short-handedness in the bullpen today was the product of using Chapman and Broxton yesterday to hold a three-run lead. Since they had both pitched the game before, also to lock down one of those nail-biting three-run leads, Baker was essentially saying I won’t have them to use tomorrow. Yet he (along with many other managers) is paralyzed by the notion that only his closer can finish a game with a three-run lead if he’s available. Shouldn’t some consideration be given to the consequence of making them unavailable for the next game, which might be closer? Yes, Ondrusek blew a three-run lead today, but if Broxton and/or Chapman had been available to come in once the game had tightened, the outcome might have been different. 98% of all games are won by a team with a three-run lead going into the ninth. Hoover could have closed on Saturday or Friday.

      Where is Lecure? He’s pitched two innings in the last 9 days.

      • @AnnapolisHoosier: According to “Inside Info ‘Mutaman'”, Lecure was unavailable. Because of course that’s obvious. No source cited, nothing.

        He must be pretty tired, pitching 2 innings in 9 days.

    • @Steve Mancuso: No kidding Steve – as every fan that follows the Reds on a regular basis already knew everything you just stated. Reds fans just keep regurgitating all over themselves – as Dusty is a moron who should simply turn EACH and EVERY pitching decision over to Brian Price, his pitching coach. Why do the Reds even finish this season when everyone already knows Dusty will eventually cost the Reds by making a moronic decision that will cost the Reds a series victory in the playoffs or worse yet the World Series – WITH DUSTY THE REDS ARE MOST DOOMED – be it either now or later – take your pick>.

      • @cincyreds14: Indeed, indeed; I couldn’t agree more. It’s clear to all of us that had I or any of you been managing the Reds, we would have won that game. I’ll go even further: with the Reds’ incredible roster they SHOULD NEVER LOSE A SINGLE GAME!! One of us clearly should be managing. Let the other teams consider forfeiting the remainder of this already futile season.

    • @Steve Mancuso: As has been pointed out by many, the Reds had better options in the 8th today, even without Broxton/Chapman. Let’s suppose LeCure, the obvious guy to pitch the 8th, wasn’t available either. Hoover had to warm up anyway to pitch the 9th. Have him ready in case Soriano comes up as the tying run.

      Ondrusek gives up HRs at an alarming rate, the match up of him and Soriano as the tying run was a horrible one for the Reds.

  2. “I had to turn it to some other guys, we all have a job to do and that one got away,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

    “They’d gone two days in a row. It’s too early for that. We’ve got 10 days where we go in a row (without an off day),” Baker said. “I try not to go — especially with those guys, more than two days in a row.”

    “What you going to do? If the guy gets in trouble, you’re going to bring him in anyway,” Baker said. “You don’t want to bring him in if the guy’s in trouble. It’s easy for you guys to say you should do this or you can do that, but if you don’t bring him in. This is how he makes his money, closers have done it since the beginning of time. If you want to change the rules, you can. … A three-run lead is no guarantee.”

    Complete nonesense.

    • @wildwestLV: what Dusty said was spoken like a complete moron – and that’s Dusty for you and you and you … actually for every Red’s fan – aren’t we sick of his act YET?

  3. Random thoughts about this game:

    I really disagree that it’s ok to let Ondrusek blow that kind of lead. Not when you have Simon, Lecure, and Hoover, all of whom are better pitchers.

    Donald Lutz really, really needs to be in AA or AAA. He’s not ready, and the other two guys who compete for his playing time both have near or better than .400 OBPs. Lutz will, I nearly guarantee it, have an OBP below .300 if he keeps playing, and I would not be surprised if it’s below .250. This is a pennant contending team, not a training ground for young players who aren’t ready. They should try to get Hairston from the Cubs, who’s not a good player but is a good platoon player and could pinch hit a lot better than Izturis, or someone like that.

    The worst part is, Dusty really wanted to bring Broxton in for the 8th, but he was thankfully tired out from the last two days, when he completely sucked in both games. Gave up a run in the first one, and gave up 3 line drives, two caught, one for a double, plus a walk, yesterday. The Reds have been lucky to have Broxton in in games with big leads, because he’s been really bad.

    The offense has only had 3 games in May in which they’ve scored fewer than 3 runs. And, in all 3, they scored 2 runs. Remember all the concern over the boom or bust offense? They’re second in runs, and as expected, it’s good to be second in runs–variance goes away over larger numbers of games.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: The thought about Hairston has crossed my mind too. He is like Heisey in several respects. dead fastball hitter that can be spotted. His career splits versus lefties are decent; but, they are down right brutal for this year to date.

  4. Let me get this straight, you’re complaining that Chapman and Broxton shouldn’t have been used yesterday, to hold a 3 run lead, so they would have been available today, to hold a 3 run lead.

    • @Mutaman: To whom are you referring?

      Broxton shouldn’t have been used yesterday, the day before, or today, IMO. As in, he shouldn’t have been signed for 7M over 3 years.

      In terms of Chapman, if he can’t pitch 3 days in a row, he shouldn’t be a stopper, and I don’t want him to be a stopper. So there’s that. I fully believe Dusty made the right decision not bringing him in today, because he has a lot of trouble 3 days in a row. That in and of itself is a problem. And I haven’t even started on how it takes him 2 batters to get up to speed and he has trouble throwing strikes quite often to those first couple batters. 1 run leads are problematic when you have those issues.

      • @Mutaman:

        In terms of Chapman, if he can’t pitch 3 days in a row, he shouldn’t be a stopper, and I don’t want him to be a stopper.

        Mariano never pitches 3 days in a row. Guess he shouldn’t be a stopper either.

        • @Mutaman: He’s 43 years old. You’re going to use that? If the Reds have a 43 year old stopper, let me know.

          Now you’re going to tell me Rivera didn’t do it frequently in his career. Of course that’s because it requires a save situation 3 games in a row on 3 days in a row, which is quite uncommon.

          In addition, in postseasons, Rivera commonly pitched 2 innings. Do you think Dusty will ever pitch Chapman 2 innings? Will Chapman ever come in without the bases empty? So many things point to poor use as a stopper.

  5. By Dusty’s logic, it doesn’t matter the lead, or the situation (unless it’s lefty/righty), or how the reliever is currently performing. That’s “…how they make their money”, so they have to come in, no matter the circumstances. Don’t kid yourself, you think Dusty will change that view come October? I love how our two highest paid relievers cannot pitch more than two days (two innings) in a row. Unbelievable. When Cesar Izturis replaced Zack Cozart and still batted 2nd in the lineup, I stopped listening to Dusty’s defenders.

    • @wildwestLV: Hey wild, you JUST stopped listening to Dusty supporters – JUST NOW? What took you so long – the Reds are going to fail miserably somewhere soon due to Dusty’s incredible stupidity (remember last year’s NLDS playoffs – up 2 coming home?) – and you heard that here – FIRST – because everything you see on the internet is true!

    • @Mutaman: I love how certain folks support Dusty every single time.

      The big picture involves (1) using a sane lineup, (2) pitching the right 5 guys in the rotation, and (3) ordering your bullpen pitchers from best to worst.

      I don’t think Dusty has (2) right, but that’s a GM decision anyways. I have no doubt he has (1) and (3) wrong, and that is not a good thing for a 162 game season.

  6. That’s back to back Sundays that the Reds have snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory. It’s really tough to stomach. I hate to be negative, but ill be happy when the reds cut ties with ondrusek and parra. Broxton isnt much better than those two. Ugh!!

  7. We lost, it happens over a 162 game schedule, I think overall at this point the team has done pretty dam well under Dusty’s leadership.

    • @dn4192: No, I agree. Dusty is a very positive leader and a great clubhouse manager. Anyone who doesn’t see that is just a Dusty-hater. Those guys make just about as much sense as Dusty-lovers. I think Dusty is a great leader, but he fails, FAILS, between the lines. I’m not so concerned about lineups as other here. They don’t make that big an impact. That said, why is XP hitting 7th and Cozart 2nd? But that’s a small matter.

      Game management… poor. Bullpen management… poor. These matter and he’s the dumbest smart guy I’ve seen manage the Reds in these two very critical aspects of managing.

  8. How come Hoover can be continuously called in to pitch relief, consecutive game, after consecutive game, but no one else in this bullpen can? (Well, I guess besides Manny Parra can, now that he’s back). Why?

  9. Manny Parra is actually good (golden, in fact) for an 0-2 count. He just needs to be yanked after that, as impossible as that is. He’s the ultimate situational reliever.

    • @wildwestLV: I have a theory about this pitchers that seem to get lots of 0-2 counts to their favor then can’t close the deal. I formulated it back in the days of Todd (DeCafe) Coffey as a Red.

      I think batters just totally have no respect for these pitchers and are willing to go down 0-2 waiting for a particular pitch much like a guy might do when he is green lighted at 3-0.

  10. Broxton, Ondrusek and Parra have NO business on this team. I would honestly call up Cingrani and put him in the pen, especially with Marshall out. LeCure or Simon should have been brought in to face Soriano instead of Logan. Baker is the worst bullpen manager in all of MLB. I am dumbfounded on why Jocketty gave Broxton 21 M, bad move. Hopefully Masset is ready by August, we could really use him. I would rather have Arredondo up here, minus the BB’s.

    • @Josh: Broxton, Ondrusek and Parra have NO business on this team … I would honestly call up Cingrani and put him in the pen, especially with Marshall out … I am dumbfounded on why Jocketty gave Broxton 21 M, bad move …

      With all due respect, I find it dumbfounding that anyone could think it’s a good idea to rush Cingrani and jeopardize his future and his future value to the Cincinnati Reds.

      • @kywhi: I wouldn’t call Cingrani up; I’d find myself somebody else’s lefthander if Marshall is out a long time.

        But I think “jeopardizing his career” is unfounded (lots of SPs began in the bullpen), although maybe not with the Reds organization and Dusty Baker. Because once you go in the pen, you stay in the pen.

  11. I agree on Lutz, he is gone when Heisey gets back. When are the Reds going to give Felix Perez a chance?

    • @Josh: If Perez keeps playing well, down the road the Reds may try to fit him in on the 40 man roster. But another outfielder would have to go down to make that move and bring him up. Soto bats right handed and already on the 40 man. Soto is playing 1b and 3b. Then there’s Phipps. They all seem to be the same player. No one to really come in and provide some power or spark.

  12. Ondrusek was a dream matchup – for the Cubs – when facing Rizzo and Soriano. As I mention above, he’s allowed 12 HRs in his last 73 innings.

    • @pinson343: Especially when he went down in the count. Has to a lack of confidence in Parra was the only reason they didn’t at least try to pitch around Soriano at that point.

  13. Will Mesoraco play tomorrow? Oh yeah that’s right Leak is pitching so he will. I hope they both do well.

  14. All this complaining about the Reds bullpen. But I thought there bullpen was supposedly superior to everyone else’s. Including the Cardinals. What’s the deal? The Cardinals got their bullpen figured out I’m afraid. Look out. And Dusty? Well, Dusty is gonna be Dusty.

    • @ajswartz888: Oh, yes, it’s the Cards fans popping up.

      What exactly have the Cards figured out? I don’t think their bullpen is as deep as the Reds’. The difference is that Matheny puts in the best relievers in high leverage situations, and isn’t afraid to pitch them more than 1 inning. Yesterday they got in a jam in the 7th with the key hitters for LA coming up, and Rosenthal snuffed that out, getting a couple outs, then pitched the 8th too. There’s no way Dusty would ever do that.

  15. That quote from Dusty about ‘…how they make their money’…and how ‘…closers have been doing it since the beginning of time…’ will have me shaking my head most of the morning.

    …Oh well, Still a really good week overall. But it still hurts to give away wins two Sundays in a row.

    A little tougher week this week against the Indians and Pirates…Too bad we cant just keep playing the Mets and Cubs…

  16. So…that’s already one game that having Cingrani in the pen might well have preserved the win. I seriously doubt we’ll win the division by more than a couple of games, so each victory is precious. We don’t want the season to come down to that one-game wild card playoff. So I’ll ask again: isn’t having Cingrani in the pen for this Win Now year worth slowing–not ending–his development as a starter? (BTW, I think it’s obvious from how Dusty’s using him that LeCure isn’t 100% right now.)

    • So…that’s already one game that having Cingrani in the pen might well have preserved the win.I seriously doubt we’ll win the division by more than a couple of games, so each victory is precious.We don’t want the season to come down to that one-game wild card playoff.So I’ll ask again: isn’t having Cingrani in the pen for this Win Now year worth slowing–not ending–his development as a starter?(BTW, I think it’s obvious from how Dusty’s using him that LeCure isn’t 100% right now.)

      No, you don’t sacrifice a young talented arm for a maybe. It was 1 game, there is zero need for panic and over reaction.

  17. Things are about to get real for our Redlegs. As I pointed out in another thread, the Reds are about to play 33 of their reaminging 46 games before the All Star Break against teams with a .500+ record.

    If the Reds mean to contend this year, they are gonna have to step up and show it. Play time is over. If they can win about 18 to 20 of those 33 games, things will be looking good. If they play .500 or worse, things are gonna get ugly in a hurry.

    Of course, they still have 13 games against losing teams in that stetch too….

    From now to the ASB will set the tone for this season. Pay attention, folks.

  18. A reliever is going to pitch one or two innings probably at the most. No pitcher is going to have their best stuff every game, so as soon as you see them start to lose it, you need to get them the hell out of there. Too bad that Dusty wasted Chappy on 4 run leads so he wasn’t available in what became a tight game. Funny that no other team wanted Many Runs Parra!!

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