2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: (insert witty title here)

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Pittsburgh 4
Cincinnati 0

W: C. Morton (1-1)
L: M. Latos (6-1)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–The Reds had four hits; Joey Votto had two of them, including a double (Cincinnati’s only extra-base hit).

–Manny Parra struck out two of the three batters he faced in a perfect inning. JJ Hoover did him one better, striking out the side in the ninth.

–After the first inning, Mat Latos was pretty good…

NEGATIVES
–…unfortunately, Latos’ first inning was bad. Mat gave up three runs in the first, which were the only three he permitted all day. Latos went five innings, giving up three hits and three walks, while striking out nine.

–The Reds had only four hits.

–Curtis Partch gave up a run on a hit and three walks in two innings.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–What can I say? Not much of a game.

–That was the first loss for Mat Latos since last August. Latos had won 21 consecutive starts before this one.

–Pirates starter Charlie Morton hit Shin-Soo Choo with a pitch in the first, satisfying the Pittsburgh fan base/dugout’s blood lust. Can we get back to baseball now?

Source: FanGraphs

97 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: (insert witty title here)

  1. Just watched the 9th inning of Cardinals-Cubs. Samardzija was cruising, 4-1 lead and 1 out in the 9th, when Holliday hits a high pop up that Soriano could easily have caught but got what the Cards broadcasters called a “very late” jump. Then trouble ensues, 4-2 with tying run on first, but Freese grounds into a DP to end it.

    Shane Robinson, pinch running, runs way out of the proximity of 2nd base to “break up” the double play, and the ump makes an obvious interference call to end the game.
    The Cards fans of course boo loud and long, were still booing when the transmission ended.

    • @pinson343: I don’t agree with the “obvious” part. To be clear, that WAS interference; kudos to the ump. But his hand was about 1-2 feet from being able to reach the bag. I’d guess over half of umps do not make that call. I’d like to see all umps make that call every time to protect 2nd basemen.

    • @pinson343: Maybe looking their normal sort of disaster in the face and surviving will give the Cubbicles the wherewithal to pull out at least one on the next two games.

      It does seem like maybe the Cards are starting to chug along a little but they still could gain ground on the Reds over the run to the ASB given the relative schedules.

  2. Weren’t a few of Latos’s streak no-decisions? I know the bullpen blew a few leads this year for him, I think he’s supposed to be around 8-1 or so if not for those. Don’t quote me on that though, just a guess.

      • @Steve Mancuso: Yeah, it’s somewhere in their league. I know for a while there, he had a tough stretch. He is a top pitcher, and I know it can be irritating, even infuriating when the umpire needs to have his eyes examined – but Latos needs to learn to shrug those issues off and get back on his game (in reference to his being squeezed earlier).

        • @TraviXDM: I was hoping that was what you were talking about. From the replays it looked like the officials got both calls (at third and second) correct.

        • @TC: Yeah, I like Latos. He’s a fierce competitor and goes out there for the win. He just needs to get his emotions under control whenever the umpire is having days like they had yesterday. Reminds of me how Cueto and Bailey used to be back a few years ago. That being said, even with the rough first inning, he settled in nicely.

          In reference of the calls at the bases, my only source of information is gameday because my cable package doesn’t carry FSO, and the games are usually on during times when I’m at work :(

  3. It was also a bad first inning for Zack Cozart. He didn’t make a throw he often does on the Martin grounder allowing him to reach. Then he completely messed up the tag play on Martin on the “steal” of second (twice actually; he was waiting with the ball on Martin and missed the tag and when Martin overslid the bag by two feet or so he missed him again). At any rate this cost the Reds at least one run (directly) and quite possibly two.

    In the bottom of the inning after Choo had been plunked by the first pitch, Cozart promptly pounded a taylor made DP ball to the 3B on either the fist or second pitch he saw.

    • @OhioJim: Yeah, I actually thought that could have been scored an error. I think most SS’s make that play (including Cozart most of the time). A 1-0 game could have changed a lot.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Guess you are referring to the grounder/ throw. He must have lost track of who was running because with it being Martin he had time to set his feet and make a good throw.

        I actually thought the fiasco on the no tag was worse, on either/ both tries.

        • @OhioJim: I have to say I’m rather impressed the ump got that call correct. How many times do you see a SS miss a tag like that? Twice. I had to watch it in slow motion to realize Cozart missed the tag. Twice.

        • @TC: @OhioJim: I actually think he got him. While he missed the tag originally, the glove was still touching Martin when his hand first came off the bag. Then he missed him again on the return. Everyone, including the ump, is focused on the tags going to the bag both times, but I was looking at his hand as he was coming off the bag.

    • @Sam Jackson: Morton 2012 vs. Reds: 0-2, 7-plus ERA, WHIP of 1.60. Not too shabby – can’t hit a guy much better than that. The Reds can do better than they did last night and I suspect, next go around, they will.

  4. Great effort by the Reds last night.. This team is a contender? HAHAHA give me a break…pathetic..Choo gets drilled than you’re 2 hitter who belongs hitting 8th hits a 1 hopper for a double play. What a joke.

    • @EastCoastVibes: Ok, normally I wouldn’t post regarding grammar, but the content therein makes it reasonable. Choo gets drilled “then” “your”, not “than” “you’re”. Also, you’re right, that was a joke! I think Elias posted something that the Cozart-induced double play was the first double play recorded since 1913. Amazing statistic! I can’t believe such a rare baseball anomaly occurred last night and we all watched it…And to answer your first question; yes, they are.

      • I figured the Dusty Baker apologists would respond to my comment like they usually do. I’m going to assume Brook Jacoby is a great hitting coach also. If you thought yesterdays effort was acceptable, you clearly have no clue about baseball. Oh yeah, did you seriously correct my grammar on a message board?

        • @EastCoastVibes: It did seem that he was serious. No, yesterday’s effort wasn’t acceptable, but then, no team’s effort is acceptable to its fans every time out of the gate. I expect that you are frustrated, but a team with the second best record in all of mlb is clearly a contender.

        • Look at the record against winning teams. The Cubs, Marlins and Mets won’t be in the playoffs. Not a coincidence, the bats disappear against good teams. Let me know how many words I misspelled or where I need to add a comma. I know RedManifesto will be dissecting and grading my comment.

  5. Unfortunately, that’s Latos’s first regular season loss since last August, not his first loss. You may recall Latos getting upset with the ump squeezing him, followed by a certain catcher blasting a pitch with the bases loaded in a game in October….

    • @Eric the Red: That still makes me cringe. I place some of that on Dusty though, for not yanking him when he needed to be yanked. Where is good old Captain (Sparky) Hook when you need him…

  6. Some odd managing last night by Clint Hurdle. You do realize it took 27 pitches, TWENTY-SEVEN, for Morton to get through one turn of the order. Hurdle took Morton out after 61 pitches. A 3-0 game is by no means decided. Not even with that awesome bullpen. Hurdle has lamented the overuse of his bullpen, but last night he chose to do it for not apparent reason.

    As far as Dusty, that situation he was in at the bottom of the 5th, two out when the Reds had two guys in scoring position with Latos coming up. Latos was cruising at point and the bullpen has been shaky. Still though, I get the move to bring in a pinch-hitter. The only thing I remember thinking at the time was that would have done differently was use Robinson rather than Hannihan, but that’s a very small point. The gamble had to be made.

    Finally, under positives: 17 Strike outs by the Reds pitching staff.

    • @TC: The 17 strikeouts is impressive, regardless of who you’re playing. I’d rather have a statistic like that in a loss than say, 20 hits in a loss. Silver lining, I suppose.

    • @TC: It looks like the Bucs may be burning up the bullpen, but Morton had Tommy John surgery last June and I’m sure that factored into the decision.

  7. Just one of those games. Morton was good but honestly, it seemed like every ball the Reds scorched ended up being right at someone. Couldn’t buy a break. The walks were huge last night for both Latos and Partch, as they led to runs. Turn the page and hope they get the win today.

    • @nvilleredsfan:

      Just one of those games. Morton was good but honestly, it seemed like every ball the Reds scorched ended up being right at someone.

      Sometimes Mi Padre’s words ring true, “You can’t win them all”. Latos tried very hard to maintain his composure in that 1st half inning, but he simply got squeezed by the home plate umpire. Give the Bucos credit for taking advantage of the situation. That is what good teams do and I believe the Bucos have started the process of becoming a good team.

      • @Shchi Cossack: I agree. And I believe they they’ve shown they can play with the best of them even this all their losses. What I can’t figure out is why they don’t hit. They’ve got some professional hitters in that lineup anchored by one of the best in the game. Marte? On my!

  8. I know there are 40 man roster issues at play, but why the heck haven’t we seen Felix Perez or Josh Fellhauer instead of Lutz the last few weeks? For those of us not sold on Heisey (I believe his best days are behind him), I would’ve been nice to see what these other two guys could do and find out if we have options.

  9. After Choo got plunked in the bottom of the 1st inning (and that’s another issue entirely), I thought the Reds’ ofense would simply pound the living daylights out of Morton and make the Bucos pay with another big loss. Of course, that’s not what happened after Cozart grounded into 5-4-3 DP to eliminate the chance of an immediate offensive response. That play made me wonder about the GIDP frequency. It seems to happpen a lot with Cozart hitting in the top of the order, but I hadn’t ever confirmed that issue, so I looked it up this morning.

    Yep, sure enough, Cozart is tied for 6th most in the league at 10 GIDP, the most egregious rally killer in the game. Combining this facet of Cozart’s performance with Cozart having the 3rd lowest OBP in the league, makes inserting Cozart to hit in the top of the order, between the two best Reds’ hitters, even more absurd. The faux silver lining with having Cozart hitting in the top of the order is that Cozart is tied for league’s 3rd most sacrifice bunts, the 2nd most egregious rally killer in the game.

    • @Shchi Cossack: I think the GIDP is a lot like an RBI—you gotta have men on base in front of you to get one. That’s a good thing. The very bad thing is that he bats second.

      I really wish Mez would reach his potential soon. If he could bat in the middle of the order, it would reshape the lineup dramatically for the better.

      • @Sultan of Swaff:

        I think the GIDP is a lot like an RBI—you gotta have men on base in front of you to get one.

        Agreed, also just like the sac bunt. Most of the names on the list above Cozart were understandable in that regard: Holliday, Goldschmidt, Sandoval (all good, middle of the order hitters); Micheal Young (a top of the order hitter with a high OBP); and Hechavarria (a bad, bottom of the order hitter on a bad team with bad hitters).

  10. Now about that plunking of Choo, followed by the brush back of Votto…

    Morton had good control of his pitches during the game, 0 BB in 5.1 innings. The pitch that plunked Choo was thrown exactly where Morton intended to throw it, right at Choo’s knees. The pitch to Votto was thrown exactly where Morton intended to throw it, inside and head level. I personally don’t have a problem with a high, inside message pitch if the pitcher has enough pitch control to make sure he doesn’t bean someone by accident. I think Morton had that control last night. By the same token, I do have a problem when a pitcher tries to take out a player’s knees and jeopardize a player’s career. That’s beyond a cheap shot and ranks right up there with deliberately tryinf to bean someone or deliberately pitching high inside without the proper control to ensure an unintentional beaning doesn’t occur. If the league doesn’t step in and do something about the Bucos ‘approach’ to pitching, things are going to get very ugly, and I’m not talking specifically about the Reds. The entire league is at risk and someone will take it upon themselves to really injury someone in retaliation. Did anyone listen or read Latos’ comments after the game?

    “I think it’s time that somebody steps up and starts disciplining the team that’s drilled the most guys in the league,” Latos said after the game. “They’ve hit a lot of guys, whether it’s intentional or it’s by accident. Something has got to be done about it.”

    Latos is not the only pitcher who takes an attitude to the mound and pitches with a chip on his shoulder. The league is on notice and they are not doing anything about the situation. The Bucos pitching staff is taking their cue directly from Hurdle and a dinky little fine or one game suspension isn’t going to change the Bucos’ approach.

    • @Shchi Cossack:

      I saw the replay of Latos in the dugout after Choo got hit. I saw his reaction, fiesty as it was. Why didn’t Latos step up and place a pitch up the side of the head of one of the Bucco”s batters?? Latos wussed out, period. Thats on him. he shouldn’t gripe and b*tch about it. His quote, “Something has got to be done about it.” Latos, the ball is in your hands. YOU do something about it. Don’t wait for the league or the Commish to do something. Latos did not have his teammates’ backs last night for some reason. There was no warning from the home plate ump after Choo got plunked. It was open season and Latos just let his mouth run after the game instead of actually doing something. Complaining after the game about it when he could have actually done something about it during the game is the equivalent to sitting on the porch and yip-yapping, and not running with the big dogs.
      Granted, Latos did pitch lights out after that first inning. Maybe he was letting his pitching do his talking. He still should have returned the plunk.

      • @WVRedlegs:

        Why didn’t Latos step up and place a pitch up the side of the head of one of the Bucco”s batters?? Latos wussed out, period.

        Wow :twisted: I thought I was an over the top eye-for-an-eye and tooth-for-a-tooth retaliation fan, but you got me beat, hands down! I actually expected something from Latos in the top of the 5th inning when Cutch came to the plate with 2 outs and no one on base, especially when the count went 1-0 after the 1st pitch. I don’t think the proper opportunity presented itself prior to that time without risking hurting the team’s chances of coming back to win the game. Of course that also turned out to be Latos’ last opportunity of the game.

        • @Shchi Cossack:

          He was pitching so well at the time, I think you are right, he might have been biding his time for the right spot, but Baker PH for him earlier than he thought he was coming out. He should have plunked someone in the top of the 2nd inning, then the ump would have issued the warnings, and they could have called it even then. Maybe not one in the batter’s earhole, but one between the numbers on the back of their jersey would suffice.
          Maybe Baker told him not to retaliate, maybe. Or you retaliate with some hard-nosed base running, breaking up double plays hard at second base, within the rules of course. But the Reds had trouble mustering up some base runners to even do that. Thats a horse of another color though, the inconsistent offense.

        • @WVRedlegs: The problem is there are two managers in MLB you do not want to get in to this kind of thing with: Clint Hurdle & Kirk Gibson. Those guys live for this stuff. I doubt you will ever get the upper hand with either one unless you are willing to go Nuclear.

          Rightly or wrongly, the Pirates probably view Chapman’s brush-back of Walker in the opener as an invitation to do what they do. Even if say Cutch and Votto got together to smoke the piece pipe, Hurdle is not gonna go for it and I’m not so sure Baker would either.

    • @Shchi Cossack: I wish Mat hadn’t said that. It makes us look kind of weak. IMO, the Pirates thrive off the macho stuff and Mat is feeding the beast.

      Someone has to blink first and I honestly don’t think it will be the Pirates as Hurdle uses this stuff to his advantage. It is a very tough spot for Dusty and the team to be in. My money is it ends in a brawl and a call from the Commissioner’s Office. Or someone seriously gets hurt. Clint Hurdle is a much tougher customer than LaRussa, in my book. This may go well beyond the Card-Reds dust-up a couple of seasons ago.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: I wish Mat hadn’t have said that because it was a Cardinal thing to do. Cry about everything you don’t like. Lacks some class.

        A hit on a Reds player was acceptable after Chapman on Monday night. Even though there was no way it was on purpose. Still, you have to protect your players. Choo took a hit from Morton and it should have been over. Move on and play baseball. Latos’ crying was unnecessary.

        • @TC: I disagree about the “no way it was on purpose”. Purpose pitches are thrown a lot more often than folks like to admit. That is just my POV. But in the end it is all about perception. My guess is that even if Hurdle didn’t believe a brush-back to be intentional, he would still try to use it to rally his team. Us vs. them kind of thing.

          It is important to know who you are dealing with. Would it hurt, in this case, if Reds just let it go – let the Pirates have the last word, so to speak? If I’m keeping score accurately, the ball is in the Reds’ court. How will they respond is the question.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: I 100% disagree about Latos, I actually thought it was great and exactly what I would want my kids to see a ball player do.

        Injuring the other teams players is not what baseball is about. It just isn’t.

        Latos doesn’t want to see our guys get hurt, like Phillips already has been. He’s retaliated somewhat, but where does it stop? They’ve hit Choo 6 times. What are the Reds going to do, fire away at their 1 though 6 hitters? I don’t think Latos wants to hurt them, I think he wants to beat them at baseball.

        What’s weak isn’t saying that something should be done about it, what’s weak is having your sad sack baseball team that’s lost for 20 bleeping seasons in a row and rocks a tiny run differential throwing at the whole league. That’s what’s weak.

        I hope Pirates do get suspended by the league, and hope it causes them to spiral down and I hope they lose for another 20 seasons. That’s what baseball is about, winning and losing. Not this BS.

  11. I really don’t get why people like beanball. Saying it’s all good as long as no one gets hurt is looking at a result. If, say, someone throws at a batter’s head, then maybe he gets out of the way and maybe not. It’s a lot luck there. The idea itself is wrong, to throw at someone.

    Then, you say, well, throwing at them but lower is ok. So, now, what if they get hit on the wrist and have essentially a 24-month injury with a broken hamate bone?

    Bottom line, you can’t have beanball wars without risking injuries on both sides. It seems extremely childish for teams to do this.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: I don’t know anyone who actually likes bean ball but pitching inside is part of the game or guys would be hitting .500 with 70 HRs. It’s part of the overall game strategy. Wars like this can and sometimes will turn ugly if one team doesn’t back down and I’m telling you Hurdle isn’t budging. I think in this case Dusty might consider it.

        • @CharlotteNCRedsFan:

          Easy answer to this by MLB.
          1. Move batters box away from plate an inch or two. And then ENFORCE the batters box. Easily done. Don’t allow them to dust the batters box away.
          2. Use the electronic ball/strike technology now, so that all balls and strikes are called the same.

          This way, batters can’t lunge over plate and therefore, no need to throw inside to keep batters from doing that. And 2, batters won’t be screwed by strike that is 4 inches of the plate on the outside pitch, so not as necessary to do that.

          Of course this is to easy and will never be done, but should. Along with that, MLB should BAN catchers from blocking home plate and therefore, ban the runner from colliding with the catcher.

          Again, too easy, but should be done.

        • @rodmannn: That all sounds pretty complicated actually.

          1) Moving the batters box would be like moving the pitcher’s mound. It’s a fundamental thing that all of these players have been using their entire lives. That could have a massive effect on the game.

          2) Batters aren’t trying to move closer to the plate only so they can protect against a bad strike call 4 inches off the plate. They try to move closer to that they can actually get decent contact on a down and away slider that is a strike. Moving them away from the box is going to make that pitch basically unhittable.

          3) They already use the Pitch F/X system to give the umps a report card after every week. To go further would mean getting a new system where the ump has to call whether the ball was high or low, and then check with the computer on every pitch to see if it was on the plate. That would delay the game and require new infrastructure in every park.

          4) The Pitch F/X system has a margin of error, so it’s not really any more of a guarantee that a pitch off the plate won’t be called a strike. Maybe for the worst of the blown calls, but not for borderline ones.

        • @al:

          I will obviously disagree that is all that complicated.

          1. Okay. Don’t move the batter’s box. But at least enforce it. The first batter gets there and its gone. No one knows what happened to it. Don’t allow that. Stay INSIDE the white. Pretty simple. Pretty big box. If the home plate ump doesn’t have to worry about balls and strikes, then this is his new job. He gets paid plenty, he should be able to handle this.

          2. Yes, the pitch f/x system has a margin of error, but at least it is a consistent margin of error. Unlike a buckner or a west that has a margin of error beyond ridiculous. Not only that It is tough back there to call the corners. The ump has to sit on one side of the head of the catcher or the other. Not easy. But a simple beep in the umps ear from the pitch f/x and voila (strike one). No beep and voila (ball one).

        • @rodmannn: I agree about enforcing the batter’s box and the catcher’s box for that matter. I strongly disagree about letting Pitch/FX basically call balls and strikes. I don’t even like replay so I really, really, really can’t stand the idea of letting a computer call balls and strikes.

        • @rodmannn: Wasn’t this originally about beanballs? I guess you’re losing me.

          I have no problem with enforcing the batter’s box more. That seems fine. But players aren’t just getting hit because they are over the batter’s box.

          So are you suggesting some sort of trade-off, where the batter’s box gets enforced more and pitchers that hit a batter suffer a greater penalty?

          The biggest problem with the your idea about the pitch f/x strikes is that they can’t call balls up or down. That is still going to have to be umpire digression, so your beep is just giving them one extra piece of information, they have to incorporate that into their call. That would just get messy. What if they didn’t agree with the beep? Does everyone in the stadium know? What if the ump calls it high on a borderline pitch that beeps? Is the stadium going to go nuts?

          Also, how does that help reduce beanballs at all?

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: It’s a stupid baseball tradition. With the amount of money & time invested in these players, management should step in and put a stop to it, but you have a disconnect between the baseball GMs and managers. You’d think with the business man like attitudes of the players, they’d reach the same conclusion, but they’ve been groomed and developed by old school baseball-types their entire careers. Perhaps in 20 years the Joey Votto’s/Brandon McCarthy’s will outnumber the Ian Kennedy/Carlos Quentin’s of the world. One can hope.

      The current iteration is even dumber than 50 years ago. Players’ careers were literally on the line. The mound was closer, the equipment worse or non-existant, and players were easily replaced.

      Now it’s part of the “unwritten rules” that a pitcher must protect his players, but do so in a civilized manner. In most cases, it’s like checking a box on the form…the pitcher isn’t trying to hurt anyone. See Tom Glavine lobbing 4 pitches behind Dale Murphy’s back.

      For those supporting the beanball…please show me one instance where a pitcher publicly said he was scared to come inside to a hitter for fear of retaliation against his teammates. One.

      Pitchers like making $$$. Pitching well makes them money. Why should they give a crap if a hitter somewhere on the team gets plunked. Outside of Greinke recently getting thrown at, I can’t recall pitchers getting plunked, not in any meaningful way.

      The game would be better without the beanball wars.

      • @CP:

        The mound was closer

        Is this true? If so, when did it change and from what distance? Very interesting.

        • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: I think I made an error. The pitcher’s rubber has been the same distance since the modern era began. It was 55 & 1/2 prior to then, but who knows what the games were really like then.

          The mound height was reduced from 15 inches to 10 inches in 1968 (and actually enforced somewhat) in response to the “dead ball era” where some teams allegedly had mounds as tall as 20 inches.

      • @CP: 99 times out of 100 these situations are handled quickly and without further incident. You hit one of my guys, I hit one of yours – it’s over. Not like “The Untouchables” – you hit one of my guys and then I hit three of yours. That’s why I pointed out it isn’t great to get into these things with the likes of Hurdle & Gibson. I just don’t see how a “regular” manager comes out the winner or even with a gentleman’s tie, as is normally the case.

        • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: This is what I’m objecting to, I guess. I pitch inside and hit your guy, not intentional, then your team throws to hit my guy purposely. I am aware of the tradition, and yes, I played (and almost broke a bone in my wrist from a HBP)). I just don’t like the tradition.

        • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Whether we like it or not, things are normally resolved rather quickly. This is obviously not the case with the Pirates. After a while, no one will remember who started what or how to end it. I can’t recall this happening to a Reds team in my lifetime. The Cardinal incident(s) is mostly a lot of talk. This one is pretty dark and I just hope it goes away, somehow. It was good to see Cutch & Joey at least talking at first base last night. Both appear to be pretty classy guys.

        • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Well, they’re stuck in a “idiot loop” (copyright pending).

          BP was no doubt hit by accident. But he was injured and a star so the Reds had to retaliate under the current rules. But the Pirates saw their player intentionally get hit for a non-intentional plunking. So they had to retaliate. But the Reds saw that retaliation as the first incident…then Cutch got hit again…then Chapman, who is unable to throw the ball down the middle of the plate on purpose threw so wild pitches…OMG THIS IS SO STUPID. GROW UP EVERYONE.

        • @CP: CP, you help make my point – my memory tells me this all started when Chapman plucked Cutch last year. At this point, who knows when things really started. It’s a matter of perspective.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Again, I agree with you 100%; this is baseball, finally, not life and death, and risking a very serious or fatal injury because of macho bs or testosterone poisoning is beyond stupidity. Yes, a brushback is not the same thing and shouldn’t be viewed as provocation for a beanball war.

  12. There is no doubt in my mind, zero, nada, that the first pitch of the game to Choo was intentional. Had I been the umpire, I would have tossed Morton and the manager immediately. It was clearly carryover for last night and I wouldn’t have stood for it. First pitch to the very first batter? Yeah, not an accident.

    Now, I can’t stand the idea of hitting players on purpose but if I was Latos, I may have thrown one over someone’s head or behind someone.

    Also, I think although the umpire didn’t seem to issue warnings, had Latos retaliated in the 2nd inning, we would have seen him get ejected. The umpires don’t have to issue warnings. If they feel a plunking was intentional, they can eject the player and the manager.

    This needs to calm down or we’re going to see a huge fight. When they hit someone else later in the game, I felt it likely wasn’t intentional because of that game circumstance but that pitch that hit Choo was clearly delivered with intent. The umpires in that case need to take control and keep it from escalating.

    • @LWBlogger: Umpires almost never throw out a pitcher without the warning. Yes, it does happen occasionally.

      I wonder if both teams would think this whole thing is worth it if, say, Votto and McCutcheon both break their hand from retaliation pitches.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: I agree, it is very rare but that’s the kind of thing that will need to happen to stop the nonsense. Pitchers should be able to pitch inside but if an umpire thinks a plunking is intentional, he shouldn’t hesitate to toss the pitcher. Heck, most pitchers aren’t very good actors and you can usually tell by a pitcher’s reaction and the game situation rather a guy was trying to hit the batter or not.

        • @LWBlogger: Fair enough. I’m uncomfortable with umpires making this judgment, but then again also with the leagues doing it. No one knows for sure if a guy is hit on purpose. (You often know almost for sure, but not for sure.)

          Whatever needs to be done to stop this stupidity, I’m in favor. If it means the league hands out 30 games suspensions for pitchers instead of 5 or 10, fine.

  13. If Latos is of a mind to retaliate, I’m sure it will happen later in the season. I suspect any thought of doing it last night went by the boards when he was behind after only, what, four pitches into the game? …

    I think it was to his credit that he didn’t start something later in the game, when a free baserunner could have helped the Pirates widen the lead.

  14. To me, another negative was Dusty’s attempted use of the hit-and-run when the Reds were down three runs. If Dusty has to do that to combat his fear of Cozart hitting into yet another DP, then maybe Cozart isn’t the guy to be hitting in the 2 hole. … One mistake compounds into two.

    • @vegastypo: That was, indeed, really a bad idea.

      The Reds absolutely need to stop trying to steal bases. They are 21 for 36 for a very bad 58% success rate. They do not have any speed on the team. One good thing about Baker is that he doesn’t generally try too much running.

        • @zab1983: Going even further, MLB compared Ervin defensively to Span and offensively to Cutch. How’s that for being yoked before you even begin your professional career? Personally, I think the Reds struck gold with Ervin. Only time and experience will validate those expectations, but I really like that kid. Combined with Winker as a future corner OF, the Reds’ future OF exudes high potential. Of course the Reds also have BHam helping out with that future OF potential too.

    • @vegastypo: Yep, I agree there. That’s exactly why Dusty hit-and-run there in my opinion. That is also not the first time Cozart and swung through a pitch on a hit-and-run. I really like Cozart but he’s very unsuited for hitting 2nd right now.

  15. What an absolutely excellent discussion today on so many levels. :P I’m seeing our regularspipe up as expected, but also some irregular and even unrecognized participants, all with insightful and well expressed opinions. I love this blog.

    Thanks, yet once again Chad.

  16. Hey, Chapman didn’t hit Walker. It was up and in. But the Pirates retaliate for that???
    Our guy gets plunked and then Votto gets one way up and in right after. The Reds have showed too much restraint. Just this season, how many HBP from Pirates pitchers to Reds batters? How many HBP from Reds pitchers to Pirate batters? Very disproportional at this point. Too much restraint and you let people walk all over you.
    We got two more games just in this series. I’ll be sitting right in front of the TV for the Reds first pitch tonight.

    There is one thing that the Reds have lacked under Dusty Baker as manager, and that is the “Killer Instinct” that most champions have. It might just be why Baker has never won it all as a manager, especially with talented teams.

    • @WVRedlegs: Well, Bronson certainly isn’t averse to pitching with intent or even plunking someone if he feels it’s warranted. Although the team sometimes seems to lack a killer instinct when it comes to really putting teams away in games, I wouldn’t say they lack fight under Dusty. Dusty tends to hold a grudge and isn’t afraid to get in dust-ups at all… Like what I did there with “dust-ups”? Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

      • @LWBlogger:

        BA might be just the right person for the job. One of his 67 mph curveballs, one that doesn’t break won’t hurt their batter, but just might send the message.
        Have a good time tonight.

        • @WVRedlegs: And with Bronson’s floaters, one can’t even be reasonably certain that a pitch has intent. I am not big into playing bean-ball though. It is an ugly part of the game.

          Thank you!

    • @WVRedlegs: I just don’t get this mentality at all. Walk all over us? What are you seeing in this season that makes it seem like the Pirates are “walking all over us?”

      It seems like you’re just saying toughguy cliches or something. I’m pretty sure that the Reds players are pissed about the beanballs from the Pirates. As Latos more or less stated they were. So somehow you think that Dusty is preaching restraint and this is going to turn the Reds into a bunch of wimps? Seems like crazy talk to me.

      All that the Pirates beanballs make me want to see is for the Reds to kick their butts at baseball. It seemed like it worked for Latos last night, as he dominated after they hit Choo.

  17. By the way, I was in section 419 with my daughter for last night’s “Titanic Struggle” and will be in section 415 with my father for tonight’s. It’s my first back-to-back games this year and unfortunately, due to scheduling and budgetary constraints, my last back-to-back set of the season.

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