2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Bad Homer, then good Homer, then a bad homer

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Colorado 5
Cincinnati 4

W: J. Outman (2-0)
L: S. LeCure (1-1)
S: R. Brothers (2)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Shin-Soo Choo had two hits, including a double. Todd Frazier had two doubles, two runs scored, and an RBI. Ryan Hanigan had a double and two RBI, and Xavier Paul had a pinch-hit double. Doubles for everyone!

–Homer Bailey gave up three runs in the second inning, but pitched very effectively otherwise. Homer went 7 innings, allowing only those three runs on six hits and one walk, striking out seven.

NEGATIVES
–Sam LeCure gave up the tying and winning runs in the eighth inning, on a Troy Tulowitzki home run.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–That was a very winnable game, and you always hate to see the Reds give one away like that. What are you going to do? It happens.

–We criticize Dusty Baker’s bullpen management as much as anyone, but does anyone really object to the use of Sam LeCure in the eighth inning with a one-run lead? Not me. I’ll take LeCure in that situation every time. Hope Dusty sends him back out there the next time the situation arises.

Of course, if he wants to bring in Aroldis Chapman in the eighth for a four-out save, I won’t object to that either.

–With the score tied 3-3, the Reds scored the go-ahead run on a balk by Colorado reliever Edgmer Escalona, of all things. The balk was called on that silly fake-to-third, throw-to-first move that is now illegal.

–You gotta love Tulowitzki. That guy can play.

–The game-winning homer by Tulowitzki was initially ruled fan interference, before replay confirmed that it was actually a home run. Still — and I know this will upset some of you — I’ll never understand why an adult wears a baseball glove to the game. Unless said adult is actually playing, of course.

–I’m still entertained over the absurd decision by Colorado manager Walt Weiss (the second-best player to win Rookie of the Year in 1988) to intentionally walk Cesar Izturis. Why would someone do that? It defies explanation.

–Homer Bailey really settled down and kept the Reds in the game. I love that guy.

–Todd Frazier has finally started hitting, and that’s a good thing. On the season, he’s now hitting .253/.342/.418. Let’s hope that continues to rise.

–The Reds may have been able to tie things up in the bottom of the eighth, but Donald Lutz forgot how many outs there were, and was doubled up on a long fly ball to center field by Ryan Hanigan. Just an ugly blunder, and one that a rookie really can’t get away with.

Source: FanGraphs

71 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Bad Homer, then good Homer, then a bad homer

  1. LeCure should have just thrown a 3-2 curve in the dirt, try and get Tulo to chase. Worst case, he walks and you pitch to Cuddyer. You do NOT let Tulo beat you in that situation. Bad loss, again. 3 out of the last 5 losses have been blown leads in the 8th inning with 2 outs. Must be fixed

    • @Josh: Hanigan set his target low and outside, the idea was to get Tulo to chase. LeCure missed badly, fast ball up to the wrong guy.

  2. As I said on the game thread I feel Sam got it backwards. He has to make Cargo as the potential tying run hit the ball to get on base. If Cargo homers the Reds still have the advantage as home team. Less certain but also once he was behind Tulo 3-0, I think play it safe; write him off and go after Cuddyer. Maybe if Hoover is warmed up the Mgr actually makes a change there just because Hoover throws a little harder and Cuddyer has been able to stand there and watch LeCure work.

    But I am glad it was Sam getting the chance. Marginal progress despite the outcome in my opinion.

    • @OhioJim: As I said on the game thread, I really thought that was planned by Hanigan or Hanigan and Lecure. Hanigan set up off the plate every pitch. Just very, very, very stupid.

      I don’t think walking Tulo is playing it safe.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Safer choice from down 3-0 especially at 3-2; he’s seen too many pitches for a guy who can’t throw it by him. Throw a ball but something he might chase. Bailey did it twice. Agree not to start out with the idea of walking Tulo.

    • @OhioJim: As I was just saying to Josh, Hanigan set his target low and outside on 3-2 to Tulo, the idea was to get him to chase. LeCure missed badly, mistake pitch to the wrong guy.

  3. Now that Lecure has pitched his last 8th inning, let’s look at it:

    Popup
    Backwards K
    Stupid walk
    GABP homer (would have been a double in most places).

    No, not what we want. But compared to Broxton, who had a 2 run lead yet hit a batter, got a lucky DP, then a bomb homer, Lecure should be given much more of a chance.

    But he will not.

  4. In case you weren’t sure Broxton is back in for 8th innings:

    “The guy’s been unbelievable. It happened to Broxton the other day, so you go back to your original plan,” Baker said. “It teaches us all that you can’t lose faith in the people you have. It’s an up-and-down season and it’s a long year. I’ve just got to give my guys some love and let them know that I’m behind them.”

    I repeat. Dusty Baker is not an intelligent person.

    • “Outman” continues to be the best name for an MLB pitcher. “Homer,” of course, is the worst.

      — Redleg Nation (@redlegnation) June 5, 2013

      I thought “Balfour” was pretty good too.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: I can’t believe Dusty would go back to his original plan. After one time of LeCure getting a chance in the 8th he will never see the light of day unless Broxton gets hurt or goes another 10 appearances straight where he gives up multiple runs. I Don’t think he is as dumb as much as just a stubborn old man who is set in his ways and refuses to adapt and has seen the game pass him by in many regards.

      • @Baseclogger: The original plan is Broxton. That’s what I am understanding Baker to be saying. I’ve said several times that after today, Lecure is done. He’ll go back to pitching about 1-2 times per week in the 6th or 7th inning. He’ll do great, and Baker will think he’s a genius because he’ll be sure that’s where he belongs.

        I don’t think he’s intelligent. He’s also stubborn. (Note: I think many managers are unintelligent, not just Baker.)

  5. How is there no unsigned veterans on the street who can’t be an upgrade on Izturis. I just don’t see how a guy like maybe an Adam Kennedy or Ryan Theriot (just examples) wouldn’t be a noticeable upgrade. Heck at this point Valdez looks like a Better option. It seems like every year there’s 2-3 guys like Izzy, Ondrusuck types that have no business in the league. Just look at the Cards roster and there aren’t any glaring -WAR type holes at the end of their bench. Depth is one area Walt consistently fails at in certain areas and of course our wonderful manager makes the problems much worse with his use of said players and roles.

    • @pinson343: Boy, I disagree, although they both are horrible. Izturis may be better than Valdez to come in for defense in some situation. But if you lose your 2nd baseman for a week or two, Izturis is just flat horrible and embarrassing to have on a roster.

      They just have to make a move.

      John Fay takes the same tack as the typical idiot media person: criticizes Reds fans for not focusing on wins (e.g., Arroyo’s great game yesterday) and instead focusing on Izturis. Well, why are we not supposed to want the team to be as good as possible?

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: I’m not going to argue much about Izturis vs. Valdez, not a good use of time. Valdez’ defense last year was so weak it shocked me. He would nap out there, and then throw the ball into the stands on a routine play.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: The thing is, that’s why Izturis is a backup, he’s not as good as the starter. As a small market club, we can’t afford to be able to keep starter-caliber talent in the organization on the bench or in the minors just because our regular starters may get hurt.

        At last call, Brandon is out 3-4 days. Make a move with that would be a waste of time and resources. How about waiting to see if Brandon actual misses something like a month or two first before we start calling in the calvary.

        • @steveschoen: I agree. Izturis is a fill in. Was he the right guy for the job? I didn’t think so and still don’t think so but I’m not sure making a move is going to be worth it. Say that move is bringing up Burriss or Donald, even that may change chemistry on this team. Neither would seem to be a big upgrade and Donald is on the DL currently. Izturis is also mired in a terrible slump and when you aren’t a very good hitter in the first place, an 0 for 11 stretch can really kill a small sample size.

    • @pinson343: :That’s true. Any player replacing BP is a downgrade defensively, but Izturis far less than most. He really doesn’t hit, though, does he?

  6. Walt Weiss made 3 bad decisions with the Reds batting, helping the Reds score runs. Every decision had to do with treating Izturis like he was a legit major league hitter.

  7. Over the last 10 days, the Reds have lost 3 games by blowing leads with 2 outs in the 8th. That’s hard to do. Seems like the way for the Reds to win is for the starter to go 8 and Chapman pitch the 9th.

    Even with the limited way Dusty uses him, Marshall is badly missed. On Sunday he may have pitched to Jones in the 8th. Last nite he may have pitched to Carlos Gonzalez in the 8th.

    • @pinson343: It’s certainly very unusual what’s happened. The Reds are gonna be way behind their expected W-L soon.

      I agree, Marshall pitches to Gonzalez if healthy. Dusty’s predictable.

  8. Tulo is such a strong hitter. At AT&T park on Memorial Day weekend, he hit a ball off Romo in the 10th inning that just kept carrying, well over the LF fence. Gave the Rockies the lead in the top of the 10th. Then Rafael Betancourt blew the save, inside the park walkoff HR by Pagan.

    Too bad the Reds didn’t get a chance against Betancourt last nite.

  9. DBacks win it ! Bell gives up a leadoff double to Molina and then gets the save. The fun part was watching Molina with a tortured look on his face, standing at second.
    The guy can play, though.

  10. Heath Bell’s having a real comeback season. Looks to me like he’s been very unlucky with BABIP, and he’s 10+K per 9 and 2 BB/9 so far.

  11. Kozma strikes out to end the game. He’s cratering down towards Cozart; they have nearly the same numbers now.

    Speaking of Cozart, an OBP of .271 with a BA of .246 is just horrible.

  12. In terms of this whole suspending of 20 players, I agree with CP: I believe there is a lot more PED use than people think.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Looks like MLB will need to stiffen their policies. a 50 game suspension isn’t the kind of deterrant that would stop most guys from trying to cheat the system IMO. I think this will be a messy situation though because from what i understand all MLB basically has is the testimony of some guy and they couldn’t even get a suspension of braun from a positive test. Could be dicey

  13. Speaking of Cozart, an OBP of .271 with a BA of .246 is just horrible.

    And that’s hitting between Choo and Votto! Remember though, if Ludwick didn’t get hurt, BP would be batting 2nd.

    • @sezwhom1: That doesn’t necessarily mean Ludwick would be doing well. Remember, last season was his first good season in several years.

  14. So, doctors meeting with Dusty after game who then tells reporters not sure Cuteo will pitch on Wednesday, anyone else a tad worried next thing we hear is TJ surgery for Cuteo?

  15. Well, at least Devin will have some company in Dusty’s dog house with Sam in there.

    I am not looking forward to hearing whatever bad news was discussed in Baker’s office last night. On the other hand, I am looking forward to my first post-school game at GABP tonight!

  16. Huh. Dusty did just about everything right and we still lost a tough one. Pulling Homer, Paul as the PH, LeCure in the eighth, pinch hitting for Izturis, letting the 2nd catcher PH. Amazing. Too bad we’ll never see LeCure in the 8th again now.

    Lutz made a terrible blunder. But look at the replay again…do you see Chris Speir frantically trying to wave him back? Me neither. If I’m right and Speir also blew that, then we can add that to his highlight reel of costing the Reds runs from the 3rd base coaching box.

  17. If I understand this PED thing, MLB is making a deal with one guy to name names, and then they’re going to move to suspend people based on what he says? I sure hope MLB brings more evidence than some guy and cryptic notes with codes for each player.

    I sure would also love to figure out how MLB is going to justify a 100-game suspension for these guys. (Aside from second-time offenders.) Ryan Braun is not a second-time offender. Supposedly the precedent is some minor league player. Good luck with that, MLB. They also may want to suspend Grandal 100 games, when it seems he’s already served 50 games for getting PEDs from Bosch’s outfit. Is it 50 games for the PEDs and then 100 games for showing up in code on Bosch’s list?

    In addition, my read on this suit against Bosch is that it is ridiculous, and Bosch is only agreeing because he can’t afford to fight a gorilla like MLB in terms of court costs.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Braun won an MVP while almost certainly juicing. (His sample wasn’t mailed on time. Even his defense didn’t claim there was anything wrong with the sample, or the seals on the cup had been broken, or anything like that.). So I hope they get him this time; he’s a disgrace.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Yeah, I’m a little iffy too. I think MLB is going to have a huge fight on their hands. The union is going to want more than cryptic notes and Bosch’s testimony. How many of these guys have failed tests aside from Braun? The collective bargaining agreement and the PED addendum is centered around testing. Even if the union doesn’t fight it too hard, it calls into question the testing that MLB is doing.

  18. The more I think about last night, the sadder I get. Not because of the loss, but because Dusty managed with an unusual sense of urgency but because it didn’t work out he’ll go right back to his usual ways. (Read his quotes about LeCure and how now he’ll go back to the “original plan”.) He pinch hit for Homer in the 7th, when he could have sent him back out to pitch another inning. He pitched the guy he had the most faith in, instead of sticking to the Almighty Role. He pinch hit for Izturis, without worrying about the fact there wasn’t really anyone to play 2nd if we tied the game. He let Mes hit, without worrying that Hanigan could get hurt or abducted by aliens in the 19th inning. THAT manager, coupled with the great manager we always hear about but can’t see, is a guy I’d like managing my team. Dusty, it didn’t work….but nobody is second guessing you today. (I think this board is more positive after this loss than it was after the win the day before.) Please manage like that more often, even though it didn’t work.

    • @Eric the Red: I agree. I was more angry the past couple of Sundays but last night was just sad. It was sad for the exact reason you state – now we get to go back to Dusty being Dusty with the “proof” from last night that other ways don’t work. Ugh.

  19. I hated to see the Reds lose a tough game last night, but I can emotionally file that loss under the tab for the Reds were simply outplayed in that game by another very good team. Tulo hit a mistake pitch for a hme run. It’s certainly not the 1st time a pitcher has thrown a mistake to Tulo and had it deposited beyond the wall. It happens. Tulo’s one of the premier hitters in the league. The Reds are missing BP, Votto (even though he’s technically in the lineup) and Marshall right now and losing those players hurts, a lot.

    Dusty inserted Bruce into the #4 hole again last night which was encouraging and his in-game management decisions were solid. It’s strange that a manager simply handling the basic requirements of his job should rate a compliment, but it is what it is.

    With BP out and Votto MIA, Cozart is glaringly hindering the lineup hitting in the #2 hole, even with his recent offensive surge. Wether he’s hitting .206 (like he was prior to his breakout game against the Mets on May 22nd) or .480 (like he did from May 22nd through May 28th) or .250 ( like he has from May 29th throuh last night), Cozart is not suited to hit at the top of the order. He does not work the count during his AB and walks less than 5% of the time. He is a swinger at the plate, hitting for a much higher SLG then OBP. Such a hitter is much better suited hitting down in the lineup, but it is what it is.

    • @Shchi Cossack: The worst thing Cozart did last night was fail to advance Choo after he led off the 3rd(?) inning with a double. An out would have been fine, so long as Choo got to third. He didn’t, and we didn’t score.

      • @Eric the Red: First inning. That lead-off double is catnip for Baker to order a bunt. He has this theory about getting that run in the first inning no matter what. He had Cozart bunt on the first pitch and Zack bunted through it. It cost Cozart a strike and maybe the best pitch he would see in the AB.

      • @Eric the Red: You mean, just like the Big Lutz advanced Frazier to 3B after Frazier’s leadoff double in the 2nd, allowing Frazier to score on Hanigan’s ground out to put the Reds up 1-0?

    • @Eric the Red: @Shchi Cossack: Other than playing xp or drob in the 2 hole this Dusty was the best all year. Of course this was the one time things didn’t work out. If he could actually use common sense with his decisions in addition to keeping up morale and what not, it likely would add 4-5 wins just this year up to this point. Anxious to see if this was a one night only or perhaps a change in thinking.

  20. Thanks. I had a feeling I had the inning wrong but was too lazy to look it up since it didn’t change the point much :-)

    • @Eric the Red: And I suppose it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyhow, run expectancy drops significantly from runner-on-second-no-outs to runner-on-third-one-out. So even if your goal is simply to get one run on the board, sacrificing the out by bunting the runner to third has been proven counterproductive by decades of actual experience in the major leagues. Sigh.

      • @Steve Mancuso: You raise an interesting point. If you’re playing primarily for one run, is it better to “try” to get the runner to third by swinging away, or “guarantee” you get him to third by bunting? When he’s not bunting, Cozart has a 70%+ chance of making an out. What are the chances his out will advance the runner? Even if it’s 50/50–which is almost certainly too high–you’re left with less than a 25% chance Cozart will advance him by swinging away. So if you’re playing for one run, bunting is probably the way to go (with Cozart), right? (Put aside for a moment whether playing for one run in the first is a wise strategy.)

        • @Eric the Red: Studies have been run on this using all of the games played in major league baseball over decades. They takes into account all the possible outcomes because they are retrospective. There are run expectation grids that show what the expected runs are from certain situations. With no outs and a runner at second, the run expectation is around 1.1 and with one out and a runner at third, the run expectation is about .9. So a successful bunt actually reduces the expectation for scoring.

        • @Steve Mancuso: Thanks for the reply. I understand the argument that run expectancy is higher with a man on 2nd and no outs vs a man on 3rd and one out. But the question in this case is what’s more likely to produce at LEAST one run. I’m not a statistician so I don’t know the proper terms, but it’s possible that teams score more runs but they score on fewer occasions in the 2nd/no out scenario vs third/one out. Let’s say teams score 60% of the time in the 3rd/one out scenario, but they score 40% of the time in the 2nd/no out scenario. If the average number of runs scored is, say, 1.1 vs. 1.6, then you’ll get a higher number of runs scored in the latter even though you score at least one run more often in the former. Again, I’m not agreeing Dusty’s right to play for one run, but if he wants to play for the greatest chance of getting at least one run then bunting may well be correct. Especially with a guy like Cozart.

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