2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Leake Proof Pitching

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

FINAL
Cincinnati 2
Pittsburgh 0

W: M. Leake (5-2)
L: F. Liriano (3-2)
S: A. Chapman (14) 

POSITIVES

– The Reds win gives them back-to-back victories and a series win over Pittsburgh heading into tomorrow’s game. The Pirates have failed to score thus far in the series. 

Mike Leake continued his streak of outstanding starts, throwing six shutout innings while giving up seven hits and one walk. Leake struck out five.

– The bullpen combination of Sam LeCure, Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman shut down the Pirates over the final three innings. Hopefully Broxton exorcised his PNC demons. 

– The Reds hitters had only eight hits and one walk. But Brandon Phillips had two of them, including an RBI single. Zack Cozart scored from second on BP’s check swing single. Brilliant heads-up hustle from Zack on that play. Umpire Bob Davidson deserves an assist thanks to this terrible, awful call that he was looking right from like two feet away at but still blew. It went for the Reds this time, so fine. Joey Votto had the other RBI, driving in Shin-Soo Choo with an important insurance run in the eighth. Todd Frazier also had two hits. 

NEGATIVES

Brandon Phillips left the game after being hit by a pitch (again) in the eighth inning. Commence holding breath. [Update: X-rays negative. You are free to exhale.]

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS

– The win gives the Reds a one-game lead (35-21) over the Pirates (34-22). Unfortunately, the Cardinals swept a double header from the Giants, so the Reds fall to 2.5 games behind St. Louis.

Mike Leake has now given up only one earned run in the past 27 innings. His ERA has fallen to 2.75. Also a hat tip to Devin Mesoraco, Leake’s personal catcher.

Dusty Baker pulled Mike Leake after six innings and 94 pitches. Deft touch with the bullpen usage tonight. He even had J.J. Hoover throwing after Broxton allowed the first two hitters on base.

– The Reds pitchers have shut out their opponents for 22 consecutive innings. It’s your serve, Mat Latos.

TOP GAME THREAD COMMENTS

Mwv: One thing I do love about Leake is that he gets us ground balls. With our infield that is always a high percentage play.

steveschoen: Am I missing something? 2 on, 1 out, and Baker will give up an out to possibly sacrifice the runners up for Choo to face a left hander, who Choo is hitting under 200 against?

George Culver: I’m really digging the high socks. Feels like watching a game in the 70′s.

Hank Aarons Teammate: The Reds bench is some kind of awful.

47 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Leake Proof Pitching

  1. George Culver reminded us of Don “6-pack Stanhouse. I looked him up…Broxton is Cy Young comparatively. In 1978, for Weaver, he had 24 saves and 6 blown saves. In 1979, his all star year (what a joke), he had 21 saves and 6 blown saves. Both of those numbers are horrible. Worse, he had 6.3 BB/9 in both seasons, and 5.1 and 4.2 K/9 in the two seasons. My god, that would never have survived today with blogs/new media/etc.

    I really strongly disagree, as always, with Broxton pitching the most critical inning–8th inning, 1-2-3 hitters coming up.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: It was said that Earl Weaver, who smoked in the dugout during the games, would almost smoke a whole pack while he was in there. Hence the nick name “full pack”. Too funny.

  2. Pretty good job by Bob Davidson to blow two consecutive calls at first base in the same inning. What a disgrace. It’d be one thing if he were just bad, but he’s also a jerk.

  3. Phillips expected to be out for Sunday’s game, possibly longer. Would not disappoint me to see a 95 mph fastball in the wrist of a Pirate hitter tomorrow. I’m wondering about intent as that’s 2 games in a row to BP by Pirate pitchers. I ain’t sayin, I’m just sayin.

    • @George Culver: Please. Really? Did it really look intentional? Why would a pitcher intentionally hit someone with a runner on, with Bruce coming up, when you are down two runs late in the game? I am pretty confident the pitch got away from him.

    • @MikeC: I’m a big fan, but to be honest, Lecure is pitching over his head. He’s still clearly the #2 reliever on the staff, IMO, but his FIP is a point over his ERA. His BABIP is a completely unsustainable .196.

      Lecure’s K’s are phenomenal but his BBs are too high. I’d like to see him lower the BB rate.

      Still, all in all, he’s a very good reliever.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: In LeCure’s defense.. aren’t 2 or 3 of those walks all from that one outing where he came in completely rusty after no work? I can’t remember what series it was but I remember commenting at the time about how it felt good to see Sam come in.. and then he walked like every batter he faced. If you factor out that one appearance his walk numbers look better. Not saying he isn’t over-achieving just that the walks are inflated a bit due to that appearance.

        • @Mwv: It certainly is a small sample, but he also walked too many guys for my taste last year.

          Overall, I’d like to see him between 2.5 and 3.

  4. Nice to see LeCure pitch the 7th (as opposed to his not pitching at all).

    Didn’t see it, but from what I read, Speier was aggressive about waving Cozart around from second. Would like to see more of that from him.

  5. Was at the game, great to see our Reds win, but I have to say I really enjoyed being at PNC Park. Obviously I’ll always prefer GABP (homer pure and simple), but if anyone has the chance I would highly suggest going and seeing a game at PNC.

  6. It’s kind of crazy what the Cardinals are doing. They are on pace for a historical season. 110ish wins. Doesn’t seem sustainable, but I’m starting to get annoyed by them. Well, more annoyed than usual, of course.

  7. Don Stanhouse’s nickname was Full Pack. This nickname was given to Stanhouse by his manager with the Baltimore Orioles, Earl Weaver, who claimed he went through a full pack of cigarettes while the reliever pitched.

    Full Box ‘o Toothpicks for Dusty when Broxton pitches.

  8. I just looked up the Cincinnati Tigers. They only played from 1934-37. Does anyone know if Cincinnati had a more significant Negro League presence at some point? Seems like the city should have been a leader, just like they were in MLB, but I don’t know anything about that history.

    Re. The Cardinals: we’ve only faced them in St. Louis, and went a respectable-in-hindsight 2 and 4. Take those games away and we’re a half game back. I still like our chances over a long season.

    Today’s sign of media disrespect: on the Sports Illustrated MLB homepage, under “top stories” there are 14 stories listed. None of them concern the second best team in baseball shutting out the third best team for the second night in a row, and winning with the aid of a blown call by the umps. It’s incredible.

  9. McCutcheon should get plunked early today…Phillips has been hit two days in a row, the second time which led to him having to be removed from the game. I’m tired of the Reds players being drilled with no payback. I don’t care if it was intentional or not, send a message of what happens when you’re no careful. And I’d think a hard throwing Mat Latos is just the guy to send that message.

    • @Bill Lack: When BP got hit in Cleveland that was intentional. Both times in Pitt were not but who cares. Latos needs to send a message and drill someone in the ribs this game. If he gets the first two out in the 1st inning it would be a perfect time for McCutcheon to get it.

    • @Bill Lack: You really don’t care whether it was intentional? Bean ball wars aren’t fun and people sometimes get hurt. Players aren’t pieces in a board game. Cueto pitches inside frequently; do you like the idea of retaliation against him? As I understand it (couldn’t get the game–Sat. night and no baseball–but as I understand it, Phillips had two strikes when he was hit–highly improbable that it was intentional. McCutchen had nothing to do with it, in any case.

    • I could understand plunking someone today. But, I wouldn’t do it, at least at this point. If it was a one time thing yesterday, then possibly better timing. But, plunk someone just to show we won’t be “picked on”, that’s not to smart and only would start if not extend a possible beanball war where someone could get hurt.

      But, never put it over on Baker, I could see him doing it. After all, if he is going to hold a 10 year grudge against a player ordering one of his pitchers to plunk him, if Baker is going to encourage a couple of players to literally fight it out to decide their disagreement, he wouldn’t be blink an eye to plunk someone

  10. Like I said, I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but even if it was unintentional, you have to send the message that there are repercussions when you hit guys on the other team, intentional or not.

    • @Bill Lack: I believe that’s old fashioned gang mentality. After so many people going wild about Votto giving an f-bomb, this shouldn’t definitely be discouraged, much worse than an f-bomb since it could be catastrophic to the batter.

      • @steveschoen:

        @Bill Lack: I believe that’s old fashioned gang mentality.After so many people going wild about Votto giving an f-bomb, this shouldn’t definitely be discouraged, much worse than an f-bomb since it could be catastrophic to the batter.

        I’m not sure what you mean by “old fashioned gang mentality”..like “Bloods vs Crips”? I’d say it’s more like “old time baseball” mentality…you hit one of mine, I hit one of yours… Reds and Pirates are tied for first in HBP @ 29 / Pittsburgh also leads MLB in hit batsman with 27. The Reds are 17th, with 17. Draw your own conclusions.

  11. I know most of you live in “Reds Country,” but I’m about at the end of my rope for FOX Saturday coverage of Major League Baseball. This weekend, they were able to broadcast 5 MLB games “nationally”. However, when given the only actual option in my area of watching NYY/BOS, I was blacked out by them on MLB.TV Premium and given no other option to watch the game other than view an illegal stream or listen to it on the radio (which can be seen as an easy way out of listening to Thom and brother, but it’s the principle of the thing.) I find it baffling that MLB allows 4 games to be blacked out nationally in one weekend.

    The best two teams in baseball are playing on FOX next Saturday, and will likely not be able to watch that because the powers that be decide that I live in a Phillies market or I’ll be saddled with a godforsaken Boston-Angels matchup as the “national game”.

    Why does this happen?

    • @RichmondRed: Living in Red Sox nation, I feel your pain. I get angry enough to consider cancelling my subscription (they also black out the pre and post-game Reds Live after letting you see all of the commercials), but such a course of action is definitely biting off my nose to spite my face.

    • @RichmondRed: I have no idea how MLB determines who is allowed to view what. I live in central Virgina (Nationals/Orioles territory) but for some reason I’ve been able to watch the Reds broadcast of every game on my Ipad, even when they played the Nats in D.C. Usually I have a choice of viewing either teams home broadcast, but last night there was no Pirates broadcast available. Its a mystery, just like Area 51.

      • @HOF-13: I believe Major League Baseball designates its own markets for MLB.tv (The entirety of Maryland, DC, Virginia, and Delaware as well as parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and North Carolina are desgnated as the WAS/BAL market) however my local affiliate WRLH-TV in Righmond, VA decided I couldn’t get enough of Red Sox Nation instead of at least the Washington Harpers game, so I think broadcast decisions for FOX are based on decisions of each individual station, making a provision like that in 2013 even more astoundingly silly.

  12. If you remember last year, we were expecting Pittsburg to plunk someone in a game in Cincinnati. So in a classic case of “pretaliation” Leake hit one of their guys in the top of the first, prompting warnings to both benches. Hurdle went nuts, because Leake and the ump had taken away their “right” to hit one of our guys. Unless there are warnings before the game, I’d expect the same thing to happen today, but in reverse. Keep on your toes in the top of the first, Redlegs!

  13. There comes a point, where it doesn’t matter if the HBPs are intentional or not. When your own teams safety is gone, the opposing teams safety needs to be gone too. You hit my guy and now I’m gonna teach you a lesson, becomes the attitude. You have to make the opposing pitchers think twice about throwing inside. If nothing else, you make them think a little.

    • @ToddAlmighty: @WedgieSanders: This seems downright foolish for so many reasons. First, there is no doubt in my mind that those pitches were unintentional. So how does this “teach” the Pirates pitchers anything, other than that the Reds are overly sensitive about being hit? Second, you’re naive if you think this only affects the opposing pitcher–once the warnings are given, that effectively takes away both teams ability to pitch inside. That’s a great way to handicap Latos. Also, so many people on here used to complain about La Russa throwing at the other team and starting beanball wars–how is what you’re advocating any different?

      As far as Choo is concerned, he uses HBP as a method to get on base. Whether you want to admit it or not, he leans into inside pitches. He doesn’t even try to get out of the way, which is actually against the official rule (but never enforced). Not saying I disapprove of his tactic, but it’s hypocritical to use that as an excuse to start a beanball war.

  14. FWIW, I’m against the plunking retaliation today. Keep the team focused on sweeping the Pirates. The risk of injuries, distractions, further retaliation and inspiring the Pirates all lean against it. I think the entire “we’ve gotta show…” thing is exaggerated. Beating them on the field is what matters. Use the BP HBP (ha) as motivation today.

    • @Steve Mancuso: You have to do something… right now the Reds have 3 people in the top 4 HBP in the NL. The Reds are tied for the most HBP in the entirety of MLB. That’s not okay. It was only a matter of time until one of them caused a player to miss time and now Phillips will be out for a bit.

      If it takes Chapman getting ejected after a couple 100mph fastballs to the ribs in order to protect Phillips/Frazier/Choo’s health over the length of the season? So be it because right now BP and Frazier are on pace for almost 15 HBP, and Choo is on pace for 43 HBP and I don’t think they’re going to be able to take all of those without at least one trip to the DL occuring.

      Protect our players. Simple as that.

      • @ToddAlmighty: Choo uses HBP as a method to get on base. Whether you want to admit it or not, he leans into inside pitches. He doesn’t even try to get out of the way, which is actually against the official rule (but never enforced). Not saying I disapprove of his tactic, but it’s hypocritical to use that as an excuse to start a beanball war.

    • @Steve Mancuso: I agree. Right now they have to maintain focus and stay right with the Cardinals. One game could make the difference between the division championship and wild card or not even not making the post season at all.

      The Pirates have taken their shots at the Reds for two game s and all it has gotten them is two losses. Leave it at that for now. Later in the season if the strategic situation has changed, then maybe send them a reminder or two.

    • @Steve Mancuso: @Steve Mancuso:

      FWIW, I’m against the plunking retaliation today. Keep the team focused on sweeping the Pirates. The risk of injuries, distractions, further retaliation and inspiring the Pirates all lean against it. I think the entire “we’ve gotta show…” thing is exaggerated. Beating them on the field is what matters. Use the BP HBP (ha) as motivation today.

      Except they already hit one of ours and according to reports, will miss at least one game, maybe more…Sorry, Steve, I usually agree with you, but not this time. I’d be shooting at McCutchoen’s knees and elbows today.

      • @Bill Lack: So, is there never any responsibility of the batter in a HBP?

        For example, Choo is on pace for 43 HBP. I really doubt teams are throwing at him. So does he bear any responsibility?

        Also, at what point does it stop? Chapman hits McCutcheon last year, Pirates respond this year, now say Reds respond today, then Pirates respond next, …..?

  15. There is absolutely no proof that the Pirates have “taken their shots” at Brandon Phillips. That kid Zagurski on Friday night couldn’t hit the ocean throwing out of a boat. To attribute some intent, even to throw inside, is silly.

    There is also no proof that throwing at McCutcheon or anyone else would “protect” Reds players. It may, in fact, promote retribution on Joey Votto.

    Seriously, if the Reds “shoot at McCutchoen’s knees and elbows” and end up putting one of the best players in the league on the DL, you’d feel good and justified about that? Not me, brother.

    Remember that an eye for an eye leads to both sides being blind.

    • @Steve Mancuso: I agree. Throwing at Cutch today doesn’t “teach” anything, other than the fact that the Reds are easily offended by inside pitches that get away from the pitcher. This will be a bigger distraction than anything.

      The Reds still have 13 games against the Pirates this year, so there would be plenty of time for things to get bloody if a war started today. While the Pirates and Reds are distracted, the Cardinals quietly run away with the Central…

    • @Steve Mancuso: Again, I fully agree with you here Steve. Beanball wars solve nothing. I’m not saying there’s never a time to retaliate for a HBP on one or more of your players but none of the HBP in the Pirates series scream “intentional” to me. Well, until Latos hitting Walker in the 1st yesterday.

  16. Why worry about retaliation when you need to sweep this team to keep the second best record in baseball and the second place spot in the division instead of the Reds and Pirates falling into some childish retaliation fest that allows the real enemy away from us.

  17. Agree with all the posters – any retaliation today at this point would be misguided. Play ball.

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