Reds - General

Titanic Struggle Recap: Sweepless in Chicago

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

FINAL
Cincinnati 5
Chicago (NL) 6

W: H. Rondon (1-0)
L: J. Broxton (2-2)
BOX SCORE

THE GOOD
Curtis Partch. Had a rough first outing, but he redeemed himself today. We should be talking about him and how he saved the game. I was pretty sure he was going to pull a Carlos Fisher there and go for 90 pitches.

Jay Bruce had 4 hits. Mesoraco had 2. Manny Parra got an out.

THE BAD
Perhaps “bad” is harsh, but Mat Latos struggled today and even he admitted that while the bullpen gave up a couple of runs, he gave up four. Sam LeCure has had a bad week. Let’s just leave it at that. No need to jump off the Sudden Sam bandwagon.

THE UGLY
Maybe I’m just too close to this, but I cannot figure out what the Reds are thinking anymore with respect to Aroldis Chapman. It seems clear to me that Dusty Baker’s definition of a high-leverage situation is the risk of blowing a lead and getting second-guessed by the followers of The Book, so he’s not going to use his silver bullet until the Reds are ahead. If the rest of the team doesn’t get him that lead, that’s on the players. Nevertheless, today was stupefying. You’ve got two important pitchers (Cueto, Marshall) already on the DL. Why do you risk hurting Jonathan Broxton–when he tells you he’s sore–when you have Mr. 106 available. We know the Reds think Chapman is somewhat fragile, but this is ridiculous. The bullpen drops another game to St. Louis.

This can’t continue.

 

 

 

136 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Sweepless in Chicago

  1. There is good news, which is that I didn’t see the last 47 innings or whatever it was after the 3rd inning. Good God, I would have felt like that was 6 hours I’d never get back.

    The Reds sure have lost more games already this year with 8th inning leads then a team should lose in two whole years. It’s disappointing, but I still don’t think it speaks to the team being terrible. I still think they get a wild card, and if they make the postseason (i.e., winning the wild card game), it just doesn’t matter.

  2. This is getting to be like a stuck record or CD; and, I’m not just talk about the 8th inning meltdown.

    Soft runs allowed by the defense and starter who again was not pitch efficient. Offense had them on the ropes twice and did not deliver the coup de grace. The failure in the 8th actually pales a bit when looked at in this context.

    Since Sudden Sam has been installed as the sometimes 8th inning A team guy, he has blown three leads or something like that. The question arises, is he also among those who may be less than whole to a degree that his performance is being impacted?

    • @OhioJim: There’s certainly nothing magic about the 8th inning vs the 7th. Lecure is either hurt or in a deep, gut wrenching slump. No way to know.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: I was disappointed that Sam repeated the tactical error he made against the Rockies, i.e. walking the tying run. That is the man you have to make hit the ball unless it was Barry Bonds et al back when or the likes of Joey Votto nowadays.

  3. All that said, it seems that if Chapman pitched a total of 5 more outs this year, the Reds might have 5 more wins. That’s frustrating.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Yes once again I think the Reds were within one out of winning an extra inning game. The Cubs had nothing left in the bullpen but Brooks Raley, a recent callup who has struggled mightily in his brief major league experience.

      Reminds me of the recent extra inning loss to the Pirates, who had used up their pen and the Reds needed only one more out – once again against a LHed batter, for another chance to win.

      • @pinson343: PS And like in the Pirate game, the Reds were within one out in the 8th inning of going into the 9th with a lead.

        The Reds have had a 2 out in the 8th curse, recently blown 4 leads at that point.

  4. Brutal. I’m still in the “Aroldis should have been starting all along” camp, but to not use him today and risk hurting Broxton further because it wasn’t a save situation is inexcusable. Gotta say, I long for the days where if your 8th inning pitcher is protecting a one run lead and is getting hammered – has given up 2 hits, a walk, and an out that is smashed, you bring in your ace relief ace, your fireman, in to get out of trouble.
    Oh, and by the way – Missed another “Good”…Manny Parra got an out (actually a rather big one), and lowered his ERA to 7.50!

  5. Dusty’s (mis)use of Chapman didn’t just up and happen out of nowhere. It cost us the playoffs last year. It’s criminal. Why is Chapman on this team? To sell jerseys? If we won’t use him, then move him. Get a better bench. Get a better bullpen. Bigger post-game fireworks. Use the $ to renew Dusty’s contract into the 2020s. But, at the very least, get SOMETHING out of Aroldis Chapman.

  6. “I was thinking we didn’t have enough [runs], because I’ve seen a bunch of weird stuff happen in this ballpark,” Baker said.

    Dusty is admittedly concerned that the Reds will need more runs, so what does Dusty do? Why of course he pinch hits Hannahan in the 7th inning with 2 outs and Meso on 1B rather than pinch hitting maybe a LH pull hitter with HR power. Then Dusty makes the decision that can only be described as sheer idiocy to remove Frazier from the lineup with a double switch. That way Hannahan (.212/.278/.273) will hit the rest of the game with the Reds needing more runs rather than Frazier (.249/.346/.424). Frazier has also played GG defense all season and was 1-3 with 1 BB in the game already. What did Hannahan do after being inserted in the lineup for Frazier? He hit a mighty 0-3 with 3 SO. If a double switch was necessary, how about pinch hitting Lutz and replacing Paul?

    “We had [Broxton] penciled as a no, and he said he could go one inning,” Baker said. “We were trying to sneak him through one inning, and we were going to go to Chapman for two, maybe, which we really didn’t want to go to.”

    “I don’t think I would hurt myself,” Broxton said. “I was just out there, nothing was killing me out there. I was still hitting 95 [miles per hour].”

    What? A little more self-diagnisis? The comments (or more appropriately, the lack of more specific comments) tell me one thing. There was no MRI completed on Broxton’s elbow. The Reds’ medical, training and management staff obviously learned nothing from the fiasco last season regarding Votto’s knee and Dusty would risk a player’s health rather than sacrificing his sacred creed regarding the designated closer.

    I’m actually sick to my stomach right now after that thought. That’s not a player’s manager. That’s a completely self-absorbed manager.

  7. Dusty is a %^$%^$*ing moron. Chapman was THE BOSS Wednesday, and he would have blown away Darwin Barney in the 8th, and any 3 batters in the 9th. How is a 4 out save not in the realm of possibilities?

    Unless Dusty starts thinking differently, this season will be wasted, and everyone will see it during September, when all these blown 8th inning leads start to add up.

    • @jessecuster44: Such talk presumes Chapman himself is not nursing soreness or stiffness which we do not know is or is not the case. But if he is totally healthy I would agree.

      • @OhioJim:

        Such talk presumes Chapman himself is not nursing soreness or stiffness which we do not know is or is not the case.

        Chapman was warming up on four separate occasions, two of them were complete warmups in preparation for entering the game if the Reds had the lead. That presumes one of two positions: Chapman was completely healthy or Dusty was willing to risk Chapman’s health too, as long as the Reds had the lead.

        • @jessecuster44: Not at all a joke. The guy has a history of needing down time the last two years when he worked a lot more than he has this year.

          Aside from the total use, a guy sitting down and getting back up to pitch another inning increases the physical stress, wear, and tear on his body. Welch talks about the impact of the process a lot in terms of both starters and relievers.

        • @OhioJim: OK. See your point. However, Chapman hasn’t worked much this year. He threw what, 12 pitches yesterday? How can he be sore? I don’t care if he throws 150 MPH and can balance the budget; if Chapman is that fragile, he either should start(and rest for 4 days) or be traded(and be someone else’s headache).

    • @jessecuster44: One thing I can say, is that Dusty will NOT think differently. Period. He’s always done things the same way, and folks have kept hiring him for it. And so, the lessons are the same. Dusty has many skills. Those skills can take you playoffs. However, his in-game management decisions create a handicap for his team, which is magnified in short series. Dusty will not win a World Series unless his team is truly great, or extremely hot, bottom line.

        • @jessecuster44: That is where I have to draw my line. The Dodgers and their payroll are justified in a mid-season firing. The Reds, with a top 5 record in baseball, are not.

          I want to see Dusty replaced this off season with a great manager who is a little more aggressive with this relatively young team. If the front office/ownership is laying the groundwork now, then I love the decision. If it’s a knee jerk reaction for missing the playoffs or getting bounce in a WC game, then that makes me very nervous.

  8. A really sad and ironic fall out of today maybe that Partch actually ends up being sent down to get them a healthy rested arm for the pen the next couple of nights.

  9. Wasn’t it kind of cold, in Chicago today? Maybe the weird weather played into Dusty’s head:

    “Blacks and Latinos take the heat better than most whites, and whites take the cold better than most blacks and Latinos. That’s it, pure and simple. Nothing deeper than that.” -J.B. Baker

    Except, last I checked, Frazier and Hannahan are pretty white.

  10. The Reds have lost 11 games since May 17 7 out of 11 the bullpen blew after the 7th inning. 2 games the bullpen let get out of hand. The other 2 were in Cleveland which were blowouts because of the starters. The bullpen has to get it together. 1 positive of this game, Curtis Partch pitched great. He may have a role on this team.

    • @Larry1980: I hope so with regard to Partch. This team needs someone to step in where LeCure clearly can’t right now.

      I think Freeman (in AAA) was our other substitute reliever since he was 40 man guy and looked good early in Louisville but he is injured too. I know he isn’t that good but I am surprised and dismayed that Arrendondo isn’t even on the 40 man. He is a better option than Parra against lefties, right now.

      We know Marshall is hurt and now we know Broxton is dinged. I would be shocked if Sam is 100% healthy and I think it’s possible that Hoover is also dealing with something.

      Signing Zach Duke is sign of desperation.

  11. I was at today’s game, and played heck getting here with all the cancellations Wednesday night and delayed flights Thursday morning. In addition to Latos not having one of his better outings and LeCure blowing a lead yet again, this game was lost when the Reds blew their chance for a big inning in the 5th and the Cubs’ bullpen held them to three hits from the 7th inning on.

    • @kywhi: X Paul’s called strike three was the worst at bat of the game; he makes contact and another run probably scores. Dusty taking Frazier out was idiocy.

  12. At this point I have given hope on this franchise until New leadership is in place. I will go to the games, watch some on TV and such, but with little emotional investment. I fully understand the talent we have, but lack of good use of talent, the results won’t change.

    I know what good leadership is , we have it here in Indy with the Colts and Pacers, I just wish they did in cincy. I believe Chapman is a lost cause and will leave via FA sou could care less how he is used.

    • @dn4192: This is exactly how I’ve felt since watching the NLDS meltdown, and why I haven’t posted much or watched many games this year. This team is stacked and should be running away with it. Instead, games like today are commonplace, and Dusty’s handling of the pitching staff is costing them a win every Sunday.

      This team doesn’t lose good ol’ good ones. They either get blown out or choke on their own bullpen. Or the manager punts.

      All teams lose at least 60 games a year, and this team has a great record right now, but the writing is on the wall — this isn’t a team that can go deep in the postseason. We can’t look at this roster compared to the 2012 NLDS roster and honestly say this is a better team now than last fall.

  13. The misuse of Chapman is absolutely insane, just trade him. Baker is the worst bullpen manager in the game of baseball, period. The last 11 losses by the Reds, 8 of them have blown leads in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings ( 1 blown save by Chapman)
    Its truly amazing that a sore Broxton was used before Chapman, its borderline criminal. He should have been brought out to face Barney in the 8th, not to mention in extra innings. Dusty is going to continue to cost us a LOT of games in 2013

    • @Josh: He’s not going to cost me anything, and that’s what keeps me sane. But the Reds? This year, Dusty will cost them a playoff spot. Horrible, horrible, manager.

  14. This team has a horrible habit of shutting down after the 6th inning of a close game. Especially one where they had an early lead. ESPECIALLY one that is the last game of a series. They just mentally check out. Dusty does also. Like he’s happy that we already won the series and is ready to go home. Putting Hanahan in the game? WTH? He looked pathetic. Not trying to move runners, no hit and run, no nothing! Just waiting for the double or the homer. This all started in last years playoff choke and it’s continued this year. 3 and 7 in extra inning games. Bad.

        • @OhioJim: @wildwestLV: The Hannahan signing was a horrible one. It’s on WJ, don’t know what he was thinking. Yes he is Dusty’s kind of bench player – good defense (at 3rd anyway) and can play several positions. All of the Reds bench players are of that kind, Hannahan adds nothing. Presumably he was signed as insurance if Frazier couldn’t cut it at 3rd base. Bad decision.

          The Reds as usual don’t have a single power bat off the bench. They thought they’d have Heisey (who doesn’t hit for power anymore but anyway ..). There is no excuse for their not having added a LHed hitter who can actually hit to the bench, rather than Hannhan. Who has more value, Hannahan or a Matt Adams ?

  15. Oh and as long as the cincy media continues to treat Dusty, Walt and Bob with kid gloves then really there is little chance of real change.

    • @dn4192: Agreed here too. Watching the way the beat writers defend Dusty’s questionable decisions is enough. We’ve said many times that Dusty can’t handle a media spotlight, and the Cincy media is just small-town enough for him to have them all buffaloed and get away with it. He gets prickly and says things like, “Why don’t you come down and manage?” and “Frankly, I’m tired of people asking me that” and the beat writers just back down. No follow-up questions. No challenging. He couldn’t pull that off in Chicago. They ran him out of town.

      Rather than really hold Dusty’s feet to the fire over the daily barrage of questionable decisions, faulty logic, and inconsistency, the beat writers take to Twitter and Facebook and antagonize the fans. The PR guy still has a job after challenging a fan to a fight. Pretty transparent situation, really.

    • @dn4192: Be interesting to see what happens today, Marty was pretty brutal on Baker during yesterday’s game…be interesting to see if he talks more about it today or brings it up in the pre-game interview.

    • @dn4192: does the media really have that kind of effect? The Reds aren’t a democracy. We can’t vote them out of office. The NY media is crazy and that doesn’t stop the Jets from making as many stupid decisions as possible, and well, the Mets don’t exactly have any good public answers for the absolute disaster they are.

  16. Geez, just in case Reds’ fans need a good grounding to keep perspective, be thankful you are not ROX fans tonight. The ROX had three players go down in Thursday game: Fowler, CarGo & Tulo. Fowler & CarGo are listed as day to day with minor injuries, but Tulo is out 4-6 weeks with a cracked rib.

    • @Shchi Cossack: Great. Let me guess: the Cardinals are due to play the Rox soon. They’re good, but they seem to have amazing luck regarding who they play and when they play them. (Constantly missing the opposing team’s top starter, playing a cold KC team, playing a team right after they’ve gone 20 innings, etc.) Some teams have curses on them; the Cardinals seem to have the opposite. Even last year: after winning two WS thanks to the wildcard, the Cardinals wouldn’t have made the playoffs last year unless MLB added a second wildcard right before the season started.

  17. Forget using Chapman in extra innings. If we’d used him to get the last out of the eight inning this all could have been avoided. Dusty’s unwillingness to use Chapman for more than one inning borders on pathological. He can complain all he wants about missed run scoring opportunities but the fact remains we had a lead in the eighth inning of this game with two outs. He brings in Chapman, he doesn’t have to worry about using Broxton or poor Curtis Partch.

    Dusty’s argument is always you have to manage for the big 162. Sometimes you have to sacrifice one game to win more down the road. Aside the fact that this is nonsense, at what point do you actually try to win a game? Go for it. We’re in a division with two other good teams. Every game is critical and managing otherwise is defeatist and will cost this team a playoff spot.

    • @aweis09: He reminds me of Bob BooneDog with this talk. I pretty much agree with you.

      To me the key is understanding when a game is probably lost and not blowing resources unnecessarily at that point. I think any game when you have a lead in the 8th inning you have to try your best to win.

      Extra innings on the road are a tough deal. Unless the road team has a lead, the home team always knows they have at least 6 outs to work with while the road team is guaranteed only what is left on a current half inning. So, I am less upset that Chapman didn’t work in a “sudden death” situation in a tie game than that he wasn’t used to protect the lead when they had it.

  18. BTW, what’s up with Mark Prior? If he’s gonna screw up arms with his mismanagement, why not at least protect the younger arms?

  19. The boneheaded decisions of this manager has cost his team more than one victory. I’m actually kind of curious as to how many wins he normally costs his teams on a yearly basis. 5-7? Maybe up around 10?

    I agree that the players have to play, but its up to the manager to put his guys in a position to succeed, and the too-late pitching changes, overuse of mediocre players, and just lack of go-getter attitude just shows more and more. Game 5 of last year’s DS still makes me cringe.

  20. I’m as annoyed as anyone about the non-use of the best relief pitcher, but removing Frazier really was the stupidest of Baker’s moves today. Why’d he do it? So he wouldn’t have to “burn” Hannahan and use a pinch hitter for the pitcher in the following inning. To repeat: because he didn’t want to “waste” Lutz or Robinson or — gasp — Leake as a pinch hitter, he removed one of his hotter hitters and allowed the team’s second worst hitter to remain in the game. Not only did this mean Hannahan would be required to play the rest of the way, it also left a hole in the lineup immediately following the three best hitters. Brilliant. Just brilliant. Baker couldn’t manage his way out of a paper bag even if the bag were made out of recycled books about managing.

    • Baker couldn’t manage his way out of a paper bag even if the bag were made out of recycled books about managing.

      LOL. That is the line of the year.

  21. I’m glad these mid week getaway games are often played during the day when I cannot watch them. There have been just bunches of heartbreakers over the past few years on these days.

    It’s weird, the Reds have played well but the fact the Cards have played better and this like 4-5 games they left on the table kinda kills the fun some.

    • @earl: That’s how I’ve been feeling. The Reds have a good, talented team and a good record. It should be a fun season, even if the Reds finish behind the Cardinals. But these blown late leads, where the other team seemingly could have been stopped, are taking the fun away.

  22. The truth is: Its best for the Reds to either get rid of Dusty or Chapman. And considering the circumstances, it has to be Chapman. The time has come to trade him or risk having him rot on the bench as the Reds sputter to a Wild Card playoff defeat because we were tied going into the 9th.

  23. Even though they lost the lead and the game, the bullpen still allowed only 2 ER in 7 IP. It resulted in a loss today, but I’ll take those numbers.

    **BTW, while taking a breather from hand wringing, did anybody catch Latos taking accountability for his tepid outing? He barely makes the recap. Clearly, it’s a better use of space to obsess again over Baker/Chapman rather than considering what Latos (correctly) said.

  24. If the earlier comment about Chapman warming up 4 times is accurate, all that bullpen throwing amounts to having a short outing. So, without bringing Chapman into the game, Dusty managed to get him a night’s worth of use anyway.

    A few years ago, I was at Miller Park in the 1st row behind the Reds bullpen. The Reds had the lead, but the Brewers narrowed it down in the 8th. Then the Reds scored more runs in the 9th. The Brewers put some runners in the bottom of the 9th before the Reds finished them off. Cordero warmed up 3 different times without appearing in the game. I lost track of Coco’s warm up pitches somewhere in the 50′s. Chapman must have thrown 60+ pitches if he warmed up four times.

    In recalling that game, it appears to me Dusty has always used the closer this way. Coco was being prepared to come into a game when it was a save situation. When the Reds scored more runs, he sat down. When the other team was threatening to close the gap into save territory, Coco was back up again. But he was never brought in because an actual 9th inning save situation never materialized.

  25. Buccos are dealing with a Burnett calf injury (dl) and a Marte oblique issue…………all isn’t without hope

  26. I posted this on the game thread yesterday but have to revisit it: Oakland As had JOHN JASO leading off yesterday…..First off, the guys is a catcher (there goes dusty’s head) and 2nd off the A’s had a starting 2b and CF and SS yesterday (there goes dusty’s head again) Would be nice to root for a progressively thinking organization but ya can’t help where u were born at . lol

  27. I FIRMLY believe Dusty Baker lost the game yesterday. Yes, the players failed to execute in a lot of situations, but Dusty’s managing cost the team a win. Double switching Jack Hannahan in for Todd Frazier just so he could get the AB he was “suppoed” to get in the 7th inning was inane and ended up costing us at least 3 Todd Frazier AB’s in a game that went 14 innings. Todd has been one of the hottest bats the last two weeks and had hit homers in the last 2 consecutive days. Wonder if his presence might have made a difference when we went 8 straight innings without scoring a run (thanks an awful lot to Hannahan’s 0-for-3 showing). Then there was burning Simon and LeCure for single innings.

    The one thing I do NOT fault him for, though, is going with Broxton over Chapman in the 14th. The bottom line is, our offense had clearly already started picking out what Skymall purchases they wanted to make on the flight home hours earlier and almost 3 times through the order couldn’t come close to sniffing out a run. Cozart led off the 12th or 13th with a single bringing up the heart of our order and he never moved a step. We weren’t showing any signs of scoring soon and we were down to two pitchers. I believe Chapman is capable of throwing 2 innings, even if Dusty doesn’t. I DON’T believe Chapman is capable of throwing 3 without possibly screwing him up for an extended period. In an away tie game, bringing in your closer for 1 inning means bringing him for at LEAST 2, and that’s if you’re confident you’re going to score in the top of the next inning which Dusty couldn’t possibly be. Since it was the Cubs (who had also gone to sleep offensively) and the wind was blowing in Dusty took a chance that a “sore” Broxton could run into 3 outs and hopefully give us one more chance to score or at least absolutely force the issue of having to go to Chapman earlier than he wanted. Dusty made plenty of bad moves that got us to that spot, but I think he did the only thing he could in the 14th. By then, Joey/Brandon/Bruce et al had failed him 3 times over and it was nothing but bad options.

    • @eric nyc: I absolutely agree. This was a Dusty loss. Steve talked about managing with a sense of urgency and this game was case in point.

      It’s been talked about many times but the leverage dictated that this save was with 2 outs in the bottom of the eighth. You wanted your best pitcher on the mound. Dusty only wanted his substitute 8th inning guy on the mound, despite the fact he clearly had nothing capable of fooling a hitter.

      This game added a new dimension to my Dusty angst and it was a harsh reminder of Dusty’s lame bull pen management against the Giants last year.

      No one has mentioned it but if Votto doesn’t get a day off I think some fans should kidnap him for a game to force Dusty to let the man rest – he is a shade of his former self right now.

      • @rightsaidred:

        No one has mentioned it but if Votto doesn’t get a day off I think some fans should kidnap him for a game to force Dusty to let the man rest – he is a shade of his former self right now.

        Ah, you beat me to that point, but in response to your prompt…

        During the past 4 series, 13 games, Votto is hitting .216/.310/.314 in 58 PA. Those numbers are comparable to the mighty Hannahan. That is not intended to deride Hannahan. The problem with Hannahan is how he is used. Hannahan and Izturis have valid roles on the team, but frequent, high leverage playing time is not their proper role.

        Early in the season, while Votto was refining and regaining his hitting stroke, I remember a lot of complaints/concerns expressed regarding his pedestrian performance of .277/.521/.404 over the first 5 series, 15 games, 71 PA. Even Dusty had his critical comments about Votto’s early season performance, but compare Votto’s early season, 15 game results with his recent, 13 game results.

        Of course his early season critics were silenced once Votto regained his hitting stroke, to the tune of .365/.444/.596 over the course of 12 series, 39 games and 180 PA, but that makes his current struggles even more magnified. The time is past due to give Votto a break and Dusty’s bogus logic that the 1B doesn’t have far to run in order to get to the dugout is pure Dusty fabrication to justy his indefensible decision. The Reds face three straight RHP against the Brew Crew. Get the Big Lutz some regular playing time at 1B against the RHP and give Votto a couple of days off already.

        • @Shchi Cossack: Votto should have had yesterday off, so I agree with you. He should get one game off, but it should be The Mighty Hannahan ™ at First, not Lutz.

    • @eric nyc: First, we had guys on 2nd and 3rd when Robinson struck out (on ball four) in the top of the 13th. So there goes the “we weren’t close to scoring” theory. Also, even if you accept that having Broxton start the 13th was a good idea, after that many pitches (and seeing him way below his usual velocity) why not bring on Chapman to face the LH Borbon with two outs? He’s going to pitch the 14th anyway. Why not get that one out in the 13th to keep the game alive and minimize the risk of injury to Broxton? There’s just no justification for it. None. We were already in trouble with the bullpen. Let Chapman get that out, then pitch the 14th, then–if the game is still going–figure out whether Chapman can keep pitching or it’s time for Izturis.

      • @Eric the Red: According to Dusty, you’re wrong. Chapman was not going to pitch the 14th unless we scored. I am 100% positive he would have sent Broxton back out unless his arm was actually falling off.

        Again, I think Dusty made a lot of horrible mistakes getting us to that point. There was no excuse for taking Frazier out in a tight game just to give Hannahan some playing time. None. And I can buy the argument that 2 outs in the 8th is when Chapman should have come in. But once it went to extra innings, bringing in Chapman in a tie game would have very easily opened the door for the “sore” Broxton to have to close out a game with a 1-run lead and literally no one left in the bullpen. The way things were going, that would have bene a pretty likely scenario. I promise you, as upset as you are now, if that had happened and Broxton blew the save you would be WAY more upset.

        Dusty gave the game away yesterday. That is infuriating given how the Cards are playing. He’s given away at least 3 games this year and that’s just my first gut reaction – it might be a couple more. Throw in some ridiculous blown saves by otherwise solid relievers and we’re going to be looking back in September and really wishing we had taken advantage.

        • @eric nyc: Chapman would have pitched the 14th. And I wouldn’t have been more upset if Chapman had pitched and then someone had blown a save. The mistakes that led to that scenario were made earlier in the game–an injured Broxton shouldn’t have been on the mound, and if he were on the mound in a save situation that would have meant Chapman had been used for 4-6 outs. I’m furious at losing without him pitching. (BTW, since Dusty knew Broxton was a problem he should have managed things differently, particularly with Simon. He got himself in that mess, and frankly only a heroic and surprising effort from Partch kept things from being a disaster earlier.)

    • @eric nyc: I agree with you that Dusty probably did the only thing he could do in the 14th regarding Chapman given the situation. However, the Dusty-error regarding Chapman was made in the 8th. Chapman could have been brought in to overwhelm Barney and then pitched the ninth.

  28. I wonder how the top bullpen in the majors last years has suddenly become shaky? The Reds haven’t had a shaky bullpen in 6 years. How could this group of guys be shaky? This does not make sense.

    Nobody started talking about it until Pittsburgh two weekends ago. Hopefully it’s just LeCure and Hoover slumping at the same time and Broxton being sore. The starting pitching when through such a slump a few weeks ago.

    • @TC: it’s not like u can blame the bad bullpen on overuse either, the reds starters routinely go into the 7th

    • @TC: We’re suddenly relying on a lot of new guys in new spots. LeCure has gone from longman/mop-up guy to borderline setup man – Yeah he’s been good for a few months, but I still think his best role is as a multiple-inning guy since he was REALLY good in that spot and those are harder to come by. Broxton has…well he’s Broxton and he wasn’t here until the deadline last year. He was a terrible terrible terrible signing all around. Simon is still perfectly serviceable in his role. Hoover is at least as good as Ondrusek, who was way shakier than his numbers let on last year because of his incredibly lucky first half. And don’t forget that the back end of the bullpen was kind of a mess through the first 3 months of last season until Marshall was replaced by Chapaman as closer and Dusty’s “roles” were established.

      Biggest problem right now is Marshall being hurt. The dropoff from Parra to Marshall is insane.

    • @TC: I’m convinced that losing Marshall has a ripple effect on the entire pen. It puts people in unfamiliar roles that they are not fully equipped to handle. eric nyc is right on the money with his analysis.

      • @Kyle Farmer: I have to believe you are right. Like I said, it doesn’t make sense. I thought Parra was a terrible, terrible, terrible signing. Broxton I was pleased about. He was solid (for the most part) all season last year, first with Royals, then with the Reds (until the postseason.)

        I’m sure things will go back to normal. Everyone talks about the starting pitching improved, the defense improved, the offense improved. But I believe the true change on the team was when the bullpen went from a liability in 2007 to a strength in 2008. It helped the starting pitching because they didn’t feel like they needed to go as deep in games to get a win. Less pressure. And it helped the offense. They didn’t feel like they had to carry the team on their backs. Less pressure. The Reds needs their rocks solid bullpen back. These guys are the guys to do it. (Except Parra)

  29. We win 3 out of 4 on the road and most people complain. It’s a long season. Broxton going on the DL wouldn’t surprised me.

    • @sezwhom1: I think a lot of the griping is because the cards exist. u take the cards out of the equation and most reds fans would feel a lot happier. It’s like comparing your so so girlfriend who you generally are attracted to, to the super model next door

      • @zab1983: Personally, I complain because the kinds of mistakes Dusty keeps making are the kinds of mistakes that get you bounced out of the playoffs. We’ll probably make the playoffs, and we might finish 2nd in the division regardless of Dusty if the Cardinals win 100 games. But “regardless of Dusty” changes to “because of Dusty” in a short series loss in the playoffs, which will be a waste of once-in-a-generation talent. He may be a genius in a lot of ways, but in-game management isn’t one of them and that gets exposed in the playoffs.

    • @sezwhom1: I think we complain because we seem to hand over games to the Cardinals. Had the Cubs just put one on us, then I think there would be less griping. I’m of the opinion that the team’s continued tendency to lose games that they should win means that they will likely not catch the Cardinals. Hopefully, things will turnaround pretty quickly!

    • @sezwhom1: I’m not worried that the Reds lost one of the four games. I’m worried about the bullpen. And this is not because the Reds lost a few games. The bullpen must be solid for the Reds to compete. It has been a problem now since the last game of the Pirates series in Pittsburgh.

      Since then there have been 6 losses and 5 wins:

      Pittsburg June 2st: Reds lead 4-2 and the end of 7. Broxton gives up a 2 run homer in the 8th. Simon gives up a run in the 11th for the walk-off loss.
      Colorado June 4th: Reds lead 4-3 and the end of 7. LeCure gives up 2 runs in the 8th. Reds lose 5-4.
      Colorado June 5th: Villarreal leaves the game in the fourth after giving up the lead in a 6-4 game. Then Simon and Parra put the game out of reach in relief.
      St Louis June 7th: Leake leaves the game after 5 hard fought innings with the Reds down 3-0. Ondrusek promptly gives up 4 runs, followed by Hoover and Parra with one each.
      St. Louis June 9th: Arroyo goes 6 STRONG innings and leaves the game tied at 2-all. LeCure surrenders the first 2, then Hoover falls apparent and Dusty puts in a guy making his MLB deput in late innings with the bases loaded against Matt Holliday. The predictable happens.
      Chicago June 13th: Latos struggles but gets out of the game with a 2 run lead. The Cubs come back and tie, then win in extra innings.

      Yeah, there are problems here. But it’s not just one guy. It’s everyone except Chapman who can’t climb the mound.

  30. The way Broxton walked gingerly off the field after the game, I’d say he has a hammy issue. One that is in the leg he uses to push off the rubber with. He was throwing only 88-90mph fastballs yesterday, but was throwing 95-96 his last outing. A trip to the DL is probably in Broxton’s very near future.
    LeCure. Throwing up 86 mph cookies, whenever he could find the plate, just ain’t going to get it done. Release LeCure now before he blows more games.

    • Release LeCure now before he blows more games.

      I’m really surprised to see that sentiment at all.

      If you take away his shaky month of June (which is when he got forced from “Long Relief” to “Setup Man” for the most part; his ERA on the season is sub 2.00. Even with the horrible June, his ERA is sub 3.00. His BAA is .208 for the season WITH the recent bad outings. Slumps happen, even to pitchers. He’ll tweak and be back to form by the 2nd half of the season.

      Also consider some of the advanced metrics: his BABIP for June is .500 (small sample size, only 4 innings pitched, but nonetheless). His HR% is unsustainably high right now (again for the small sample size of June). Part of that is because he hasn’t been locating well; but those also show some amount of pure dumb luck of the seeing eye grounder or the flare over first, etc. If you take away the ast 21 batters, he has some of the lowest numbers for any bullpenner in the NL.

      Why would you release someone who over the past two years has been one of the most reliable long men in baseball; just because he’s slumping?

      • @Zach:

        I was just venting some steam. Don’t want to burst a blood vessel in my head. I like LeCure, but he has had a very rough stretch lately.

        • @WVRedlegs: Fair enough. There are lots of Reds (*cough*bruce*cough*) that I find streaky/irritating and have to bite my tongue about because there highs offset their lows and make them a decent player. Lecure is one of my favorites though (and generally consistent) so it just struck me as odd.

          Cheers.

  31. There’s a rumor out there that the Dodgers are interested in Baker if they fire Mattingly. I say lets do a straight up trade today.

    • @StealYourBase: I favor this. We send them Dusty and a year’s worth of toothpicks, and they send us Don Mattingly to become batting coach. Then we let Walt find a manager, so we get a sense of continuity of front office and dugout.

    • @StealYourBase: Unsubstantiated rumors are just that…unsubstantiated. Even the talking heads (or maybe especially the talking heads) can make up anything that suits their fancy and present it as an ‘expert’ opinion. The prospect of firing an existing manager (Mattingly) during a disappointing season, with the accompanying team turmoil associated with the Dodgers, is completely plausible. The concept of hiring a new manager (Dusty), who is already under contract, during the season is very far fetched. If this was to occur during the off season, I could see this situation as more possible, similar to the Red Sox situation this past off season.

      With that being said, I can see a very remote possibility of this happening and that would occur only if Dusty wants to make the move and helps catalyze the move. I can see this as a good move for both Dusty and the Dodgers. Dusty and his veteran approach to the clubhouse could bring stability and cohesiveness to the team and players. Dusty always seems to make excellent progress when he joins a new, talented team in need of that calm, experienced approach. Dusty would benefit from a fresh start, probably an extension on his existing contract at a higher salary. The Dodgers (and Dusty) would love to take that renewed relationship and just stick it to the Giants as additional motivation and the Dodgers probably have as much chance at winning a world series as the Reds right now with their seemingly unlimited coffers available. I guess stranger things have happened, but such a move is still very remote at best.

  32. Has anyone seen an explanation from Baker or anybody else as to exactly why Mes was running in the 7th? Missed hit and run? Called straight steal? Mes thought the ball bounced away from the catcher? In any case, the double switch to take Frazier out “because” of the caught stealing was idiotic. (For that matter, has anyone seen whether that double switch would have happened regardless of the caught stealing?)

  33. So for all the Dusty bashers, anyone see what happened in Oakland yesterday. Rivera, who hadn’t pitched since Sunday,was the seventh pitcher used by the Yanks. They went 17 innings without using him, and he finally got the call in a tie game in the 18th. He allowed two hits, a walk and didn’t get anyone out as the Yanks lost the game. Anyone have a problem with Girardi not using the greatest closer ever until the 18th? The Yankees have a worse record than the Reds, so it should be an even bigger deal. So for all you Dusty haters, give it a rest.

    At the end of the day, Sam LeCure needs to find a way to get guys out. He’s who everyone wanted, and now it’s Dusty’s fault for giving him a chance. I would’ve been embarrassed to bring in Chapman to face Darwin Barney. No excuse for LeCure to not be able to get him or any other Cub out.

  34. I do not necessarily disagree with Baker not bringing in Chapman in the 8th to bail out LeCure. Chapman can be a little wild to start an inning and at times can take a few pitches to get into his groove. I don’t think he has shown enough immediate control to be trusted with leaving inherited runners on base. How many times have we seen one of his first couple of pitches sail to the backstop?
    To top that off, he does not have the same focus when there are people on base.

    Yes he is a dominate closer… But he can be wild and erratic from the get go… Not what you want in a “must get an out situation”. Probably would have used him in the 14th though. Only down side there is if the game does get extended you are looking at Broxton as your only reliever left to finish the game.

    • @NYredfanatic: LeCure’s 1st two outs was Soriano cubbing after a hit and Choo playing CF like Willie Mays. He had nothing.

      There was a base available if Chapman were to issue a walk before he ‘settled down’.

      You have to win (or lose) with your best shot. Not with your best in reserve for the artificial role you have saddled upon them.

      That fact is that Dusty used every guy in the pen including an injured guy except for his best pitcher and the above juncture could have avoided extra innings all together.

      • @rightsaidred:

        Simply saying letting LeCure finish the inning was not criminal like everyone on this board is saying… Keep in mind it has been said on here more than several times that LeCure should be the closer.

        Yes leaving Chapman on the bench is a little head scratching. But that late in the game you have very few options. An “injured” pitcher or a guy who could potentially go for more than one inning. If he ha used Chapman in an extended role and was unavailable tonight in a close game people would still scream about his usage.

        • @NYredfanatic: If he’d used him for 4-6 outs and he wasn’t available today, no knowledgable baseball fan would complain. Even if Izturis yakked up a lead in the 16th. (Well, we’d complain about how Dusty had used the pen up until that point, especially knowing Broxton shouldn’t pitch. But we can and should complain about that anyway.)

        • @NYredfanatic: LeCure didn’t have it yesterday. He’s been “wrong” for over a week. LeCure could be the closer when his stuff is on. If he struggles in that situation – if anyone struggles, he ought to be replaced.

          Not Dusty. “We gotta get him going!” Which is better: crossing your fingers and hoping LeCure doesn’t blow it – or putting Chappy in for a four out save.

        • @jessecuster44: @jessecuster44:

          The one time I can remember Dusty bringing in Chapman with a runner in scoring position with needing only one out he came in and immediately gave up a triple… Blowing the lead for Mat Latos in Miami.

    • @NYredfanatic: So, if I understand it right, Chapman can’t be trusted in any situation except starting an inning, for only that one inning.

      Trade. Chapman. Now.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate:

        That’s been the reasoning in the past… His performances tend to lean that way. I don’t think it’s an off the wall approach.

        As for trading him? Maybe the best option but maybe not. But I really don’t think we would get as much as people think we would for him. There are other closers and relievers who are just as dominate and have the same caliber stuff. Who knows if he can start. Other teams passed on him who could have spent more money than we did when we signed him. Add that to the fact he is our only real reliable reliever in a weak bullpen is not setting us up for September.

        • @NYredfanatic: You can’t cite a single example and then make it plural.

          His performances also tend to indicate he is a consistently better option than anyone else currently pitching in this bullpen no matter the situation.

          Normally Marshall is the leverage guy and no one complains. Broxton as the other option keeps people quiet too. But injuries have exposed the flaw in Dusty’s approach. LeCure has been struggling mightily and even acting injured (the constant stretching of his back last week) but Dusty will not pitch his best pitcher more than an out, or anyone else for that matter. LeCure was given the 8th inning and that is the artificial thinking that doomed the one run lead.

  35. Alright… I’m no Dusty apologist but COME ON. The Reds took 3-4 from the Cubs and it’s like the sky is falling. They have the second best record in the NL.

    As for saving your best reliever for high leverage situations… Did anyone see the Yankees game yesterday? Rivera doesn’t come in until inning 18! One on, one out, bottom 18. Single, walk, single, game. Best reliever of all time was saved for 17 and a third innings. There was zero wrong with that decision. Broxton needed one out. So, what? Dusty can’t count on a single out from Broxton? You can’t figure that Broxton is going to retire a guy in Borbon who has been sitting on the bench for 4 hours and had faced Broxton exactly one time prior without success?

    Even the Frazier move wasn’t a mistake. Hannahan pinch hit for Latos, but Meso made an out so that spot was due up again. You want to burn another PH to lead off the next inning or do you make the double switch thinking, that even if each batter makes an out – so long as your pitching holds the lead, Frazier’s spot (6th) won’t come up again.

    I honestly expect more reasoned baseball analysis here. This is mob mentality of “Oh, we lost a game! Blame Dusty! Grab your pitchforks.”

    How about blame the Reds’ hitters who managed just 3 stinking hits (all singles) in the 8 innings following Votto’s run scoring FC in the 6th.

    • @David: You’re missing the point. Dusty’s managerial style has cost the Reds at least 4 games like the one yesterday. He manages like this in the “big 162,” then manages the SAME way in the playoffs, when every decision is magnified.

      I say burn the PH because you have a lead. Taking your hottest hitter out is stupid.

      Chapman needed to pitch in the 8th when LeCure was struggling. Got an argument against that? Great record or not, I have a pitchfork, and I’m not afraid to use it.

      Dusty sucks.

    • @David: This is the standard Dusty thinking: just win the series, so something stupid that happens is ok, because after all, the Reds won the series.

      It’s got nothing to do with winning 3-4 or 1-4 vs the Cubs. It has to do with games that the Reds should be winning, but aren’t. If Chapman pitches a total of 5 more outs this season, the Reds may well have 5 more wins. It’s as simple as that.

      In terms of double switching, etc, I’m not really focused on that. I’m focused on the Reds using Chapman idiotically and I’m wondering how many games they’ve lost because of it.

  36. Dissapointing loss to be sure, but not world ending.

    Partch get the star of the game in my book by bouncing back with 4 strong innings when the team needed it. Too bad the offense couldn’t dent the plate against the Cubs pen. Another opportunity lost and a game just handed back to the cards.

    The one thing that frosts my cookies is that Baker is so tied to the save stat that he would rather pitch a guy who says his arm is sore rather than the closer in a non-save situation on the road. And to top it off, post-game comments seemed to indicate he was even considering putting a position player in rather than Chapman? Whaaattt? Maybe over Broxton, but I really hope this was a misquote.

    Pitching Chapman for two before turning to an ailing broxton or a position player is not a crazy move by any strech of the imagination.

    • @Lost and Found:

      The one thing that frosts my cookies is that Baker is so tied to the save stat that he would rather pitch a guy who says his arm is sore rather than the closer in a non-save situation on the road. And to top it off, post-game comments seemed to indicate he was even considering putting a position player in rather than Chapman? Whaaattt? Maybe over Broxton, but I really hope this was a misquote.

      No misquote…What was printed, was actually stated in his postgame interview.

      • @Shchi Cossack: Seriously? He said he’d use a position player before Chapman? Can you provide that quote? Hopefully he was just tired or didn’t hear the question correctly or something.

        • @Eric the Red: No. That’s not what Dusty said in the interview. What was reported was what was said. The interpretation wasn’t correct, but the quote and reporting was correct.

          Dusty specifically identified Bruce and Choo as the pitching options he would use from the available position players. Dusty also said he was considering using Chapman for 2 innings after Broxton pitched, but didn’t want to pitch Chapman except for the save situation. The inference that Dusty would consider using position players before Chapman was pure speculation.

        • @Shchi Cossack: Thanks. I thought Izturis was the emergency pitcher. (He certainly hits like one.). Plus, if he gets hurt it’s not such a big loss as with Bruce and Choo.

    • @Lost and Found: Tell me you’re kidding. Izturis in the 15th or 16th, and IF the game was still going on and the Reds got a lead, THEN Chapman. Please, tell me you are joking.

  37. Since we’re all in a complaining mood: what on earth was up with that ump’s strike zone. It changed completely late in the game, and then it wasn’t consistent. Compare, for example, Rizzo’s last at bat to the strike zone for the Reds LH hitters in the preceding couple of innings. FSO refuses to use their pitch tracker more than a handful of times a game, but if you go to the Cubs feed you’ll see what I mean.

  38. Zack Duke?? An 8.71 ERA? The desparation has set in.
    All I can say is, the trade for Wilson Valdez was the gift that keeps on giving.
    Reds traded away LH reliever Jeremy Horst for Valdez. A Jeremy Horst the Reds could have sorely used in 2012 and 2013.

      • @Lost and Found:

        Actually, Horst was pitching very well until recently. Three out of his last 4 outings haven’t gone very well though. In those 3 bad outings he had given up 5 runs, and only 14 for the season. His ERA was around 2.60 before those 4 games and now is 5.55. He had a 1.15 ERA last year. WJ gave up a good LH releiver for one year of EXXON VALDEZ, the disaster. Not a good WJ moment there.

  39. If I remember my HeeHaw and Buck & Roy right,
    “Gloom, despair, and agony on me
    Deep, dark depression, excessive misery
    If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all
    Gloom, despair, and agony on me.”

    Between today and the All-Star break the Cards have 27 games to play. The Reds 26. For the Cards 18 of those 27 games are against sub-.500 teams, the Marlins(6), Cubs(8), and Astros(4). And they have 9 games against .500+ teams, Tex(3), A’s(3) and LAA(3).
    The Reds have it the complete opposite. They have 20 of their 26 games against .500+ teams, Pit(4), Ari(3), A’s(2), Tex(3), SF(4), and ATL(4). And 6 against the Brewers.
    If the Reds can just hang within 3-5 games back of the Cards by the AS break, they shoould be alright. Cards have a brutal stretch of their schedule from late July up to about Sept. 5th. The Cards play ATL(6), Pit(14) Reds(11) during that stretch. This is where the NL Central will be won or lost.

    The June gloom will pass, but the Reds need to stick close until then.

    • @Summer Breeze: Breeze, you nailed the HeeHaw song but missed some of the numbers for the Cards games before the ASG. The Cards only have (6) games against .500+ teams in that time span (TEX-3 & A’s-3). The Angels (LAA) are currently 10 games below .500. I looked at this same thing yesterday and nearly lost my lunch.
      Based on just their opponents for the next 4 weeks, it would be a miracle if the Reds are within 10 games of the Cardinals by the ASG. If the Cards don’t win at least 20 of those 27 games, it would be considered a let down. That’s a .740 winning percentage. As much as I love the Reds, I don’t see them playing much better than .500 ball until the ASG, which would still have them at 13 games over .500 but it might let the Cards open up more of a gap than anyone but the Rockies from a few years ago might be able to overcome.
      So, with that said, who would we like to see start the Wild Card play-in game?

      • @Jeff in TN:

        You are so right. That even makes it worse for the Reds. I looked at LAA and just made the assumption of a .500+ team by mistake. Angels fans have to be on the brink.
        The Reds certainly have their work cut out for them.

    • @Summer Breeze: @Jeff in TN: This is why discarding winnable games in May and June is so very frustrating. The same situation that happened to the Angels last season could be facing the Reds this season. If the Reds dig themselves too big of a hole early in the season, then they could be left on the outside of the playoffs looking in, even if they play great baseball post all star break.

  40. Incidentally, Ian Kennedy of the D-backs was suspended 10 games. Unless an appeal takes awhile, he would miss the Reds next weekend. He’s not having the best of seasons, but he’s made three starts against the Reds and won all three, allowing 3 earned runs in 21 innings. Wouldn’t mind missing him one bit …

  41. Once again, the Old Cossack is ready to begin the 3 hour sojourn to GABP for the start of the series against the Brew Crew. I’m rooting for the good guys behind good Bronson tonight. I haven’t seen a starting lineup yet, so I guess I’ll pick it up once we walk into the ballpark.

    GO REDS :!:

  42. Old Cossack, you have a good night tonight. Should have excellent baseball weather. Friday night fireworks too. Have a good time, watch a Reds win, open a cold one and tip it on back, for the rest of us.

    • @WVRedlegs: TY. I did on all counts. It was the 1st time I was able to stay for the fireworks show. After a walkoff home run by BRUUUUUUUUUUUCE, the fireworks show was quite something, much more than I anticipated.

  43. Lineup –
    Choo 8
    Robinson 7
    Phillips 4
    Bruce 9
    Frazier 5
    Hannahan 3
    Cozart 6
    Hanigan 2
    Arroyo 9

    Hannahan, again? Quadruple black hole at the bottom of the lineup.

    • @RedForever: Well, he went 0-3, 3 K as an 8th inning replacement. Gotta get him going! Don’t want Frazier to be hitting more homeruns afterall.

      • @ToddAlmighty: Oh wow, nevermind. I didn’t even see that this is a Votto day off. I just saw Hannahan and assumed Frazier was out seeing as how Votto was going to get played every game regardless of slumping and defensive mental errors.

        Hannahan for Votto. Rough trade.

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