2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Now that’s more like it

Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 4
Arizona 2

W: M. Latos (7-1)
L: R. Delgado (0-1)
S: A. Chapman (19)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Another very strong start by Mat Latos: 7.2 innings, one run allowed on six hits and two walks. Latos struck out thirteen Diamondbacks, which ties a career-high. Yeah, I’ll take that.

–Jay Bruce continues to destroy the baseball. Today, he was 2-4 with two more doubles.

–Zack Cozart was 2-3 with a double, a run scored and an RBI. Shin-Soo Choo homered to lead off the game, and walked twice. Brandon Phillips hit a two-run homer in the first inning.

–Manny Parra collected a tough out in the eighth inning to shut down a Diamondbacks rally before it could begin.

NEGATIVES
–Aroldis Chapman very nearly blew a save for the second consecutive day. Chapman gave up a run, two hits, and hit one batter in an eventful ninth. Ultimately, Chapman retired Willie Bloomquist on a fly ball to center to end the game; Bloomquist, a former Red, represented the winning run.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–Well, the Reds avoided a sweep. That’s something

–Yes, Manny Parra secured an important out in the eighth inning. Still…please hurry back, Sean Marshall.

–Reds have a day off tomorrow before facing the Athletics in Oakland.

Source: FanGraphs

110 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Now that’s more like it

  1. Parra gets too much grief. He’s done well at his primary job, which is being a LOOGY. His ERA is terrible because of a couple horrible games when the game was out of hand to begin with.

    Do I like him, no. Would I have signed him, no. But as a LOOGY, I think he’s decent.

  2. Parra seems to be doing a lot better than people make it out to be. I don’t enjoy him as much as Marshall or a lot of relievers we have, but he is still getting it done.

  3. Parra has quietly been pretty effective when he’s doing what he’s capable of doing. If he can be our LOOGY, freeing up Marshall to pitch 1-2 innings in higher leverage situations, he can be an effective member of this ‘pen.

    Hats off to Latos for another outstanding outing. I really hope we can get his signature for a 4-5 year extension.

  4. Since the article came out where Manny said he was going to rely more on his breaking ball, he has pitched well and in some key spots too.

  5. Cingrani and Chapman pitch mostly using their fastballs. Good hitters are going to be able to hit that, especially on Cingrani. Chapman is struggling with his control. He may end up like that reliever the Phillies had, Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams.

    • @JEFFMO: Chapman as well. Like the D-Backs did, like Pete Rose said, any major league hitter will be able to line up on a 100 mph pitch eventually, especially when it has no movement and the pitcher can only bring it right down the middle for a strike.

  6. Agreed with Parra, as a LOOGY only. If Baker wants to try to slip him a right handed batter, fine. But, righties are hitting over 400 against him. Lefties under 200.

  7. So it is on to Oakland. These two game series seem top me top be a lot like the four game series, hard to win. At the least probably easier to get swept than to sweep when for the road team.

    Also I for one am not looking forward to the distraction of Heisey’s return. They can certainly put him to use Tuesday night as the DH versus the lefty starter but I think the platoon of XP and Robinson is preferable to using Heisey as a starter when they are back playing NL rules. However I do think Heisey have value when spotted properly as a PH off the bench when playing NL rules.

    • @OhioJim: They have to get Choo out against lefties. His OPS against lefties is now .505, whilst slugging a Latos-like .184, and Heisey would be an upgrade in center over that. Against Oakland, a lefty is going Tuesday night, so I’d like to see them play Heisey in center and use Mesoraco at DH.

      Robinson is useful as a fifth outfielder–he’s good defensively, he’s fast, he can bunt, and he can work the count pretty well, but he just isn’t going to barrel up the ball too often. Heisey, himself flawed, did hit 18 homers in 279 ABs 2 years ago. He had an odd LH split that year, that did not appear in 2012, nor was it present in his minor league stats.

      Choo looks better defensively over the past few weeks, but he isn’t ever going to be more than adequate, albeit with a pretty good arm.

      • @Big Ed: This is a good point, but I think a different solution is possible. Choo is batting much better against lefty starters than lefty relievers. Small sample size, but his whole split is also a small sample.. He’s at 209/376/291 vs lefty starters, which is acceptable from a leadoff hitter. Out of the pen you get the LOOGYs, which, if one struggles vs lefties, is tough. Perhaps they pinch hit for him in key situations when the LOOGY comes in.

        I’m a huge fan of Choo, but I do admit that the huge split has me concerned if we were to think about signing him long term. It’s out of whack with his career, so I’m patient here.

        • @Hank Aarons Teammate: LOOGYs tend to be breaking ball pitchers, so maybe he is not hitting LH breaking balls. If so, though, then the lefty starters will eventually just throw him breaking balls. And I wonder how much of the OBP is for HBPs, which seem to be abating and may be reverting to the norm. You are correct, though, that his lefty split was nowhere near as pronounced in the past, but he gives little appearance of breaking out of it.

          And by not starting him against lefties, he would be available as a pinch-hitter in more high-leverage situation later in the game.

          No way to I resign him for what Boras will ask.

        • @Big Ed: I highly doubt they re-sign him either.

          LOOGYs tend to have better breaking balls than lefty starters—I think. No proof of that, but it just seems that guys like Choate have made a living of coming out of the pen and throwing almost all breaking balls. That wouldn’t work as a starter, just as throwing only fastballs doesn’t work as a starter.

          You bring up a good point again about saving Choo for a critical situation vs a righty. I still would not pull the trigger on this yet, but again, your point is well taken.

        • From a Heisey fan, actually, with the way Heisey has been hitting this season when he was here, Heisey is doing much worse than all the others in OBP. And, yes, Choo is under the Mendoza line against left handers, but he still have a 321 OBP against them as well, which is what leadoff hitters are asked to do, not hit HR’s. If we are looking at a CF platoon, it would be Choo and Robinson. That would put a platoon of Paul and Heisey in LF, unless we (understandably) put Robinson in LF when not in CF.

          I think Heisey can come back better. Last season, when he did get his only extended playing opportunity, starting 32 of 42 games, he batted 288/324, respectable (only going back to the bench when Ludwick got his turn for the competition for LF and, with what Ludwick was showing with the bat at that time, you just couldn’t bench Ludwick). I believe he made a little headway (not much but some) last season by improving against left handers, probably not being asked or didn’t try to swing for the fences as much last season. He, like so many others on this team, needs to quit going up there just to swing for the fences or being a swinging gate but actually look like a baseball player swinging a bat. I don’t think Heisey will ever be an All-Star or anything. I think he will have similar numbers to Paul with better defense.

          The thing with Heisey is how much he plays. Like what Baker said about Devin, it can be hard to try to stay mentally in game-ready shape when you aren’t playing. When I’ve seen Heisey make his mistakes, yes they have been bad, if not Bad News Bears bad. But, most all of them has been in his first game or second game after not playing for something like 2 weeks. There is no substitute for staying mentally game-ready better than actually playing. Heisey was fine, at least staying away from the Bad News Bears mistakes, after he was able to play a game or two. The only thing was, it was right about that time that Baker would have him back on the bench.

          He did get some extended opportunity earlier this season (not as much as last season), failing. With the emergence of Robinson as well as Paul playing pretty good this season, I don’t think Heisey is going to get any more extended time this season. Unless Paul and Robinson go belly up, or Ludwick comes back, or a trade is on the horizon, Heisey will probably be relegated to #5 OF and righty PH, period.

        • @steveschoen: Do you or anyone else know how Heisey is doing in his rehab assignments? I’ve been busy and haven’t had time to look today.

  8. A thank-you to the Rangers and Adrian Beltre, who held off a Cardinals’ attempted rally late Sunday night (early Monday morning). Rangers win 2-1.

  9. So we lose two of three and GAIN a game on the Cardinals. I will take that. See everyone, they aren’t immortal.

    The Pirates have a 2010 Reds feel to them…could be a flash in the pan, but aren’t ready to compete for a WS. Remember last year when they lead the NLC at the All-Star break?

    This Reds team is still one of the better teams in the NL. If you want a team that has really fallen off the face of the earth, take a look at the Harpers. What are they, .500?

    Go Reds, travel safe, the AL West awaits.

    • @rfay00: I watched the end of the Pirates game yesterday and the Angels bullpen pretty much handed it to them. I’m not sure the Pirates are anything more than lucky with the bats right now. Great bullpen but I’m not sure they hold up for the long haul.

  10. Remember at the end of April, when people were freaking out that Bruce only had 1 HR, and was hitting .252/.312/.339.. and all kinds of people were talking about how terrible he was. There was also talk about wondering what the Reds could get in exchange for Bruce.

    Yeah, he followed that up with a .290/.330/.607 May and he’s still working on a .311/.344/.711 June.. and he’s now 4th in HRs, 2nd in 2B, 16th in OPS, and not counting yesterday’s game he already has 2.5 WAR

    Jay Bruce is pretty darn good. Just gotta tough through his slumps and not panic.

      • @ToddAlmighty:It’s unfortunate that Bruce’s slow start is hurting him in the All Star voting despite my many votes.

        Ditto!

        IMO, they start the all-star voting way too early. Harper will get voted in and Bruce won’t be close. Where’s the justice?

        • @RiverCity Redleg: Who exactly are these people voting for Harper? Outside of Nats fans, I can’t imagine. And Braun? If I were a Brewers fan I’d be embarrassed to vote for him even if his numbers justified it, which they don’t. I wish they gave us the option to take votes away from specific players.

        • @Eric the Red: Harper and Upton are jokes at the top. This game matters for home field folks!

          Jay sits behind all the Cardinals and all the Giants that includes John Jay, Gregor Blanco, Angel Pagan, and Hunter Pence: embarrassing for Reds fans and for Cards/Giants homers.

        • @rightsaidred: I think my lunch break will be some ballot casting. I am going with Cuddyer in the OF, Posey at C, Segura at SS, and Wright at 3rd to accompany the Reds in the field.

    • @ToddAlmighty: I’m not sure what it means to be “pretty darn good”, but just like I said in April that I saw no reason Bruce shouldn’t end up with his typical numbers, I still feel the same way. I really hope this is the year he truly breaks out into an excellent hitting RF, but until it happens, I don’t expect it. I still expect him to end the year with numbers that put him as a slightly above average RF. Again, hopefully this is a new Bruce (he is pretty much in his peak years, after all) and we’ll see that in October.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate:

        Slightly above average? You are kidding correct? Bruce has increased his HR and RBI totals each year. His career OPS+ is 115. Aside from his rookie season, his OPS+ has never been below 100. He’s a 2 time All-Star and he hasn’t yet entered his peak hitting years. He’s 26). Most similar players through age: 22 – Barry Bonds; 23 – Willie Horton; 24-25 – Reggie Jackson.

        The “flaw” in his game is that for a month he’s about as perfect as a hitter can be, and for another month he goes into a serious slump.

        Still, who’d you rather have in RF? The top 5 in WAR this season are Parra, Bruce, Bautista, Pence and Aoki. Would you want any of those guys over Bruce? Perhaps Bautista until you realize he’s 6 years older than Bruce. Maybe you’d want the post-hype players like Heyward (.211/.312/.332) or Josh Reddick (.216/.303/.327)?

        Bruce is a top 5 RF, and I cannot stomach any more of the Jay Bruce is average talk any more.

        • @David: Well, we’re allowed to say what we want.

          Also, I said “slightly above average”, which I stand by—a 115 OPS+ for a corner OF is. Other people here have analyzed this and agreed with this assessment, if we’re talking about the last couple years of Bruce.

          Nothing wrong with that. I like Jay Bruce and I don’t particularly care if he puts up streaky numbers or consistent ones, assuming the total is the same.

          If he improves this year as it is his peak, I’ll be thrilled and I will review my assessment.

        • @David: Also, for this year, you are assuming that the season ends today. If it did, Bruce has had a very good year. But it doesn’t end today. I just naturally expect players to, as Baker says, put up the numbers on the back of their baseball card.

          I get the peak thing, though. We’ll see.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate:

        I still expect him to end the year with numbers that put him as a slightly above average RF.

        I guess this really requires a more specific definition of ‘slightly above average’. For the past 4 seasons, Bruce has finished with a very competative OPS among corner OF in the NL and during those 4 seasons, Bruce has shown slight, consistent improvement.

        2013 .866 5th behind CarGo, Cuddyer, Braun & Beltran
        2012 .841 5th behind Braun, CarGo, Holliday & Beltran
        2011 .814 9th behind Braun, Holliday, Beltran, Upton, Stanton, CarGo…
        2010 .846 7th behind Holliday, Werth, Braun, Hart, Ethier & Heyward

        If the argument is that Bruce is not an elite corner OF in the class of Braun, CarGo, Holliday or Beltran, I can see that as valid, but I think his performance has qualified as well above average rather than slightly above average since he falls in right behind those four elite corner OF in the NL, not to mention that he is younger than those 4 elite corner OF.

        26 Bruce
        27 CarGo
        29 Braun
        33 Holliday
        36 Beltran

        Perhaps the distintion is mearly a matter of semantics.

    • @ToddAlmighty: Much of the criticism against Bruce was warranted. However, even back then, I saw that Bruce was hitting over 300, I believe at that time, against left handers, as well as going the opposite way a lot more than he usually does. I wouldn’t quite call it a breakout year, but most of all of his offensive numbers are up a bit this year. Weakness, his K-rate is even worse this year. But, with the production he has been getting, I can take it. Unlike that thing we had playing CF the last couple of seasons trying to do something offensively but pretty much doing nothing.

  11. 1)Interesting that Dusty went with Parra instead of Cingrani in the 8th, especially with an off day tomorrow. It worked, and if Parra can stabilize and be a conistently effective LOOGY it will really help.

    2)Interesting that Dusty pulled Paul fairly early, and not in a double switch. I didn’t hear anything about an injury, and with Latos not letting the DBacks put the ball in play it seemed a bit of an odd time to go for outfield defense. But I liked the move.

    3)Devin has got to stop swinging at the first pitch every single time. (I can’t swear it’s EVERY time, and maybe someone with better skills than I have can figure out exactly how often it is, but it’s been very common of late.). He gets himself down in the count 0-1 a lot of the time, and it’s so pronounced I’m sure teams have noticed and are baiting him on the first pitch. I suspect Devin is trying desperately to impress Dusty, in this case by showing the trademark “aggressiveness” that he preachers for our hitters.

    • @Eric the Red: He’s swinging at 36% of first pitches versus the league average of 26%. So that’s slightly higher, though we’re talking about a relatively small # of ABs.

      Mes does appear to be trying too hard, though I suspect it’s a function of how he is being used. I wonder what he was thinking when he took his last AB yesterday, knowing that he won’t get another AB until the next Saturday.

      • @CP: The announcer said recently that Bakerman said the game at this level was moving too fast for Devin. Um, well, let’s consider that. So, how would a player get use to a faster game? By sitting on the bench, like what Bakerman had Devin doing? That seems logical, doesn’t it? Logical only in Bakerman’s eyes.

        The kid was trying to “rev it up” when he plays, then “rev it down” when he goes to the bench, like a light switch. The kid was probably use to staying in the on-position much more than how he was being used and, thus, had difficulty with the change in playing status.

        I do agree. Devin is still probably trying to impress Baker. The thing is, since there is a vet at the same position, Devin could be putting up All-Star numbers, it wouldn’t make a difference. Hanigan would still be getting the nod with Bakerman. One reason why Baker was sorry to see Olivo not make the team and dissed on Devin in that same article.

        Nothing against Hanigan at all; I’m a fan of both Hanigan and Devin. I do believe Hanigan is the better catcher and deserves the majority of playing time. However, as long as Devin and Hanigan are paired together, I believe we will never get to see the full potential of what Devin can do. I still say by next season, we need to make more of a commitment one way or the other. If Devin isn’t going to get playing time, trade him off while we can still get something for him before someone starts to consider him just a second string catcher. If we are going to play Devin more, then either make with Hanigan his feelings, if he would mind being relegated to second string duties or he he would want a trade, where we could probably get some value for him.

      • @CP: I hope that’s not his thinking. If it is, he should take a look in the clubhouse bathroom mirror and see what the reflection is showing him, a guy with a Cincinnati Reds uniform on. He should be happy with his role because he’s young, on a winning team, and in a good spot. Perspective is an easy thing to lose track of but I don’t think that’s a problem for him, he seems to be very grounded. He’s also improving, every single offensive statistic is up from last year. He’s not yet where he eventually will be but who would be playing 2, MAYBE 3 times a week as a youngster? As long as he’s at peace with his role as it is this year, I’m not worried about him.

      • @CP: I’d like to know what he is thinking or if he is thinking. Last AB, he has a 3-2 count, 2 outs, runner on second base, Latos on deck and he takes what appeared to be a strike that was called a ball. In that situation, Devin has to try put that ball in play to score a run. Very poor awareness of the situation. That much be a coaching problem but nonetheless that is not good fundamental baseball. I’m at the point where I think a new hitting coach might be in order. Everybody is swinging for the fences, awful situational hitting not to mention base-running blunders. Just hard to watch such poor execution of the art of hitting.

        Ryan has been a major disappointment at the plate this year and a couple of games ago he doesn’t even bother to run a ground ball out. So un-Hanigan that I wonder if the guy is ailing. Mes absolutely has the upside potential and in my opinion, with the offense struggling, he should be getting more playing time. The guy shows flashes of that potential but as you point out, the lack of regular playing time is probably affecting his productivity. Unless Ryan starts to pick it up, he is looking more and more like a nice backup catcher who is too old to be the main guy.

  12. Third place in the NL Central Division, looking up at the Pirates and Cardinals. But hey, the Reds have scored the 3rd most runs in the NL, so all is good, right? Gotta love that “prolific” offense.
    Time to outright Frazier, and his .235 BA, to Louisville. Putting him at the 6 hole in the batting order is like throwing a cinderblock to a struggling swimmer. No help.
    I wonder if Frazier could perform the Heimlich manuever on himself or his bat and save his offense from choking??
    Who would have thunk that when Cozart was hitting under .190, that he would soon be hitting for a better avg. than Frazier??
    All is not well in Redstown.

    • @WVRedlegs: The problem is then who plays 3B and/or bats 6th? If there was an option available, I would try it to give the Fraz sometime to sort things out. Someone needs to let Todd know that getting base hits is acceptable and the homers will come. We’re not playing Home Run Derby out there.

    • @WVRedlegs: I know I shouldn’t feed the Trolls, but it’s Monday morning, so what the heck.

      First off, if you’re going to spout off negativity, at least do a little research and learn the rules of baseball.

      If the Reds were to send Frazier to the minors, they wouldn’t “outright” him. That means he would be put on waivers, and made available to every other team for free, and is done in order to take a player off the 40-man roster. Only after a player clears waivers can they be outrighted to the minors.

      What they would do is use one of his option years and send him to the minors while keeping him on the 40-man roster. It’s not that tough to get, you know? You should spend a little time on wikipedia.

      Second, in June, Todd Frazier is hitting .268/.366/.437. That makes him third in batting average behind Bruce and Votto, and his 3 HRs in the month tie him for second with Votto, behind Bruce. So why would you want the Reds to get rid of him now when he’s actually starting to produce? That doesn’t make sense.

      Finally, you’re fake quote marks around prolific don’t actually make the Reds offense worse. They have scored a lot of runs, and whether that makes them prolific or not, doesn’t really matter. The facts matter, and the facts say that they have a good offense relative to most of the teams in the league.

      It also happens that we’ve given up very few runs relative to other teams in the NL, which means that one would expect us to have a very good record. And what do you know? We do! See, that’s things making sense. The problem is, the Cards have scored more runs than us, and given up fewer. So yes, there’s work to do, but with the way you write, you’d think we were the Marlins.

      • @al: I went over some of this yesterday but will do so again since you’ve put some good info out there and I’d like to give you some more data.

        Frazier is 8th in WAR among qualified MLB 3B. There are 22 qualified 3B in MLB currently. WAR isn’t my favorite statistic but it isn’t meaningless either. 8th out out 22 in WAR has him pretty solidly on the high-side of average or even above average.

        Frazier is 13th in OPS among those same qualified MLB 3B. That puts him at the lower end of average. Considering the fact that his defense has been pretty good over there, I think Frazier is overall, a pretty solid 3B. I’m thinking last year spoiled a lot of people and they have unrealistic expectations.

        I don’t get the Frazier-bashing a lot of people are doing and as @al pointed out, he’s hitting pretty well in June. I think a lot of the bashing stems from fans’ and Marty’s/Thom’s perceptions of what’s going on and not facts.

        • @LWBlogger: That all adds up to me. My eyes tell me he’s been about average or a little below for his position on offense, but has been far better than expected on defense, which has made him average or a little above overall.

          The stats seem to agree with that, with WAR accounting for defense.

  13. This team is really worrisome right now. They have done absolutely nothing against good teams all year besides one series win against the Pirates that is effectively canceled out by getting swept by them earlier in the season. Their record is a direct result of feasting on the Cubs and Marlins and Brewers. Even the marginal teams have given them trouble – Phillies, Nats, Rockies. They are still living and dying with the long ball and no one has been able to deliver those consistently. The bullpen is a trainwreck and I’m not so sure Marshall and Broxton can make much of a difference there if they get healthy. It won’t change whatever’s happening to Chapman this season. He has become nothing more than a serviceable relief pitcher and I might be tempted to call him below average if it wasn’t for his K/9. Cingrani obviously helps, but I don’t trust Dusty to use him and Marshall smartly and I can’t help but think we’re going to just end up ruining him like we have Chapman. We could end this road trip 3-4 games behind the Pirates for 3rd place and close to out of the running for the division. The way we chew up lousy teams, I’d still give us a good chance of a wild card spot, but I loath the idea of watching another 3 months of infuriating baseball for the chance to sit through the hell of a one-game play-in, the single stupidest thing MLB has done since the designated hitter.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Bruce is on one of his scalding hot streaks, yes. But we’ve all seen that those don’t last forever. He’s probably about due to cool off substantially since this one has been going a couple weeks. Sometimes he stretches it to a month.

        I just think something needs to happen to shake this team up. But I think Walt and Bob will look at the record at the deadline and say “Hey we’re right in there!” and not do anything. That’s a mistake.

        • @eric nyc: pay more attention. that’s all i can tell you. bruce had an excellent may and is having an even better june. that’s not a hot streak, that’s a third of the season.

        • @al: I’m not complaining about Bruce or predicting a slump. I’m just saying he is known for putting together long streaks. I’ve said for the last couple years that one of these days I fully expect him to manage to pu tall of the hot months into one season and absolutely run away with the MVP. He already had a lousy April so that’s not going to happen this year, and I expect him to be fine the rest of the way, but no one can say they honestly expect him to keep this pace up forever.

        • @al: We’ve discussed this before so I’m sorry I’m repeating it all. He is definitely in one of those hot streaks, but what he’s doing to minimize the slumps in working counts and hitting opposite field. Those are new this year and are what he was missing.

    • @Mike: I understand your sentiment but consider if the Reds were the perfect team, there would be like 5 posts on this thread right now. This team is good but are they good enough? If they are just one game from a playoff spot at the end of the year, would you be happy? All this will go away when or if they start beating the better teams on a regular basis. Beating up the Cubs, Brewers, etc. is nice but it only tells you so much.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: i think this idea that the Reds are a bad team because they only beat bad teams is really dumb. It’s a small sample size issue. It’s baseball, and if you know anything about baseball, you know that on any given day, any team can beat any other team. That’s why the worst teams still win more than a third of the time.

        STL has a losing record against the Marlins. What does that tell you?

        PIT has a losing record against the Dodgers. What does that tell you?

        The Reds don’t have a losing record against any last place teams. What does that tell you?

        What it should tell you is nothing.

        • @al: Personally, I LOVE beating up on bad teams. Why it’s taken as a negative, I don’t understand.

        • @al: Uh Al, take another look at my post – I said the Reds are a “good” team. If your comment was not directed at me, my apologies.

    • @Mike:

      Number of Wins:
      StL–47
      Pit–46
      Bos–45
      Cin–45
      Tex–44
      Oak–44
      Atl–44
      Det–42
      Bal–42
      Ari–41
      NYY–41
      The Reds play 2 with Oak, then 3 with Tex, and then have 4 with ATL in a couple of weeks. Before long it will be several teams ahead of the Reds in wins. The Reds are trending downward as the other teams trend upward. Not a good sign.

    • @Mike: @Mike:

      Number of Wins:
      StL–47
      Pit–46
      Bos–45
      Cin–45
      Tex–44
      Oak–44
      Atl–44
      Det–42
      Bal–42
      Ari–41
      NYY–41
      The Reds play 2 with Oak, then 3 with Tex, and then have 4 with ATL in a couple of weeks. Before long it will be several teams ahead of the Reds in wins. The Reds are trending downward as the other teams trend upward. Not a good sign.

      • @WVRedlegs: You make these blanket statements like “other teams trend upward,” but what are you actually talking about?

        The Cards just got swept, the Pirates have won 4 in a row, Boston has lost 2 in a row, we’ve won 1, Texas has won 5, Oakland has lost 2, Atlanta has won 1, Detroit’s won 2, Baltimore has lost 3 etc etc etc.

        Are you just talking about the Pirates? Because when I look at your list I see a pretty mixed bag. The Pirates and Rangers are the only teams that are on a winning streak, and there are several losing streaks on the list.

        • @al:

          Weird al, facts are facts.
          Wins in June:
          Bos-12
          Oak-12
          Pit-12
          Atl-11
          StL-11
          Ari-11
          (Tex-10)

          Reds-9. Those mentioned above, trending up. Reds trending down. Next 5 games against Oak and Tex.

        • @WVRedlegs: that’s the comeback? that the rangers have one more win than the reds this month, the a’s 3, and that’s a bad sign for us?

    • @Mike: i hear you man, i’m shocked by the negativity of this board after a good win, and two dominant starts, against a first place team.

      • @al: I’m not shocked at all. RLN is downright positive compared to talk-radio and some of the other blogs. You’d think the Reds were underachieving greatly like the Dodgers or Angels.

        • @LWBlogger: For the most part what I observe is constructive criticism. Also, there is a discernible difference between Game Threads and Recaps, as one would expect. During the game emotions are going to run higher and that is because we are human. Recaps are more reflective by there very nature.

  14. The Reds offensive woes are not totally on Frazier. At the plate, Super Todd has become Super Terd. The 6-7-8 spots have been for the most part productionless. Plus add in the 9th spot to that. The Reds offense has some skank-stank on it that it cannot wash off for some reason.
    Now, add to the equation, that Chapman is doing his very best Coco Cordero impersonations in the 9th inning. And presto, third place. Rolaids, anyone?

    • The Reds offensive woes are not totally on Frazier. At the plate, Super Todd has become Super Terd. The 6-7-8 spots have been for the most part productionless. Plus add in the 9th spot to that. The Reds offense has some skank-stank on it that it cannot wash off for some reason.Now, add to the equation, that Chapman is doing his very best Coco Cordero impersonations in the 9th inning. And presto, third place. Rolaids, anyone?

      yep, third place. in MLB. and apparently the reds are the only team that plays the cubs and brewers (are they that much worse than the worst teams in other divisions, anyway?).

      i’m pretty upset at the 5-6 games that we have given away over the past 3-4 weeks, but let’s step away from the panic button for now. we score lots of runs and our starter ERAs are very good and consistent. we’re winning at around a .600 pace, which is what you expect from scoring runs and having a low ERA.

      it is frustrating when we give games away and when Dusty manages against the odds, but I’m still watching and enjoying the wins.

      the one thing that has bothered me most recently is that we couldnt turn Bruuuuuce’s incredible hot streak into more wins. Seems like all of these HRs have been solo shots.

    • The Reds offense has some skank-stank on it that it cannot wash off for some reason.

      Alright, this is actual trolling. Do the cite mods notice this stuff?

        • @bohdi: A) that’s not humor, B) it is kind of offensive if you think about it, and C) I guess I’ve always held this board to a higher standard of discussion.

          Can you, or anyone, explain what that statement would mean? I certainly can’t, and at that point, whether you find it funny or not, it’s not really adding to the conversation, right?

        • it is kind of offensive if you think about it

          Not just kind of. It is. You’re right. It’s demeaning, even though it was just meant in humor. Most demeaning talk usually is.

  15. Good to salvage one game. Nice to see Latos with a strong outing after a couple of middling ones. Saturdays game was a typical closer giveth and taketh situation. But it is nice to see Bruce having an extended warm stretch. If this offense could get everyone on the same page for a few weeks, they could make some hay.

    Regarding Saturday, I could only follow on-line, but it seemed that Chapman was all fastballs all the time, is this correct?. Seemed that way last night too. In that way, these last few shakey outings mirror the bumpy patch he last last summer in those games against the Indians and Twins.

    Roads not getting any easier, have to keep stepping up the quality of play!

  16. This should’ve been a negative, or at least mentioned:

    Votto at first base, BP up to bat with a 3-0 count and the hottest hitter in baseball on deck, and he swings at a 3-0 pitch and hits a routine pop fly to center. Inexplicably, Joey tries to tag up from first and is thrown out at 2nd by 3 feet. Double play, end of inning, end of potential rally. I understand Reds were up 4-0 but we should’ve been able to put that game out of reach.

    • @VottoManCrush: Yes, that was a very poor decision by Joey. All you have to ask yourself is: which is more likely right now with 2 outs, a Bruce single to drive in a run from 2nd, or a Bruce double or HR to drive in the run from 1st? (Plus, factor in the risk of getting caught…) I think Votto is pressing in all phases of the game right now.

  17. As it relates to the Reds being in 3rd place behind the 2 best records in MLB, I just noticed that the Rays are in 5th (last) place at 2 games over .500. That division race may get a bit crazy down the stretch too.

    I sense another winning stretch for the good guys coming up, regardless of the schedule.

  18. The same people who are praising Para for his adequate performance in inducing a grounder will be blasting him when he fails the next time.

    • @TC: So, we should simply be negative and never positive? He did his job in a tough spot, which is more than most of the relievers lately. I’m glad to see that and hope he keeps it up.

      • @Eric the Red: I believe he’s simply pointing out that people are being wishy-washy about Parra: overly effusive and overly critical rather than keeping a level head about what he offers.

    • @TC: No! Say it ain’t so. Seriously, I think he will get a little more rope than he has had before but he will have to earn every little bit he gets for a awhile anyway.

    • @TC: Is anyone really praising him? I hope my comment at the top wasn’t taken as praise. I would not have signed him, but honestly, his job isn’t that hard (get one lefty out), and he’s doing it adequately. Put it this way, IF it were between Cingrani and Parra for a LOOGY, I take Parra and send Cingrani down. (Again, IF. It’s not, because Baker’s not using Cingrani as a LOOGY, so far.)

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: It will take a long for him to overcome my misgivings every time he takes the rubber. One out is FAR from that. One or two or 10 clean innings are not going to be enough. There is a point where my mind could be changed, but we are 1% closer based upon what he’s done in the past few days.

        Of course, I’ve been against his signing since day one, so I don’t know how fair I’m being. I have to own that.

  19. The contract negotiations for Choo as a FA after this season should be interesting. The Reds will certainly make a qualifying offer that will also certainly be turned down. Both actions being mere formalities. The teams that would appear to be most interested in signing Choo as a FA should have a fairly high 1st round draft choice to relinquish.

    Choo’s severe L/R hitting splits will also present some concern along with 2014 being his age 32 season. I can see Boras over-reaching for Choo’s contract and being rejected early then having to settle for significantly less during later negotiations, just like the Bourn negotiations this past season.

    • @Shchi Cossack: I believe you are right on the money with this observation. Looks like the Reds need to stock the pound with some new/better prospects, anyhow. I would be more inclined to try to sign Bronson to a “reasonable” contract for 1-yaer with a 1-year option. I can easily see him pitching until 40. Just how much more can lose on his fastball, anyway. Great clubhouse guy and from what I understand, a good mentor to the young pitchers.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: I would so love it if they were able to hold on to either of them. Both might be a bridge too far. And while the smarter choice might be Choo, the overwhelming emotional choice would tend toward Bronson.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: As we’ve seen this year, having extra starting pitchers is a good thing. That said, I think the Reds are going to put money into trying to sign Bailey and Latos, and at that point, with Cingrani ready, I don’t think they’ll want to pay Bronson again.

    • @Shchi Cossack: It would be nice if Billy Hamilton was forcing himself into the conversation a little more.

      Obviously there’s a lot of season left, but right now it seems like it would be tough for the Reds to go into next season with Hamilton as the primary CF with our current bench guys as the backups.

      I think whoever signs Choo, the Reds or someone else, should do everything they can to get him into a corner outfield spot though.

  20. The Reds have not done very well against Oakland in the few times they’ve met over the years. But they need at least a split in the upcoming series.

  21. Caught the end of the game on Diamondbacks radio. Don’t know what’s going on with Chapman, but he’s gotta get a grip on coming up and in on people – accidental or not. He’s gonna get somebody in a Reds uniform hurt even if he doesn’t hurt someone himself. I bet Gibson filed that one away for later.

    • @vared: Yes, the series in Cincy will be interesting. Gibby is just like Hurdle when it comes to an eye-for-an-eye. I bet the position players were not happy about that HPB either.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: My thoughts exactly. Though they did seem calm. I think the bigger Parra’s arm gets, the more it will fester until the next meeting.

        While Chapman has been quiet off the field this year, he sure has caused some problems for the Reds on the field.

        • Weird al was offended by my skank-stank comment.I apologize to Weird al and any other skanks I might have offended.

          @TC: what about that? does that qualify?

  22. @WVRedlegs: While I think it’s hilarious that you’re using “weird al” is an insult (since weird al is obviously awesome), i still have to take issue with this.

    it’s not just that your comment conjures a mental image that i don’t think many people on a baseball blog are looking for, it’s that none of the stuff you’re saying makes any sense. i’m actually more offended by that part of it honestly.

    here’s a line by line:

    You said: The Reds offensive woes are not totally on Frazier.

    What woes? Do they literally have to score the most runs in the league to have a decent offense?

    You said: At the plate, Super Todd has become Super Terd.

    You misspelled turd. You also missed the fact that Frazier has been a good hitter for the Reds this month.

    You said: The 6-7-8 spots have been for the most part productionless.

    That’s why they call it the bottom of the order. The MLB average for each of those spots are .722, .702, and .660 respectively. Frazier is at .748, Paul is at .766, and Hanigan is at .545. That means the league average is a total of .025 higher than the Reds.

    You said: Plus add in the 9th spot to that.

    Again, every NL team has to deal with that, and if you’d look, which I’m sure you haven’t and won’t, you’d see that the Reds pitchers actually hit much better than the Pirates’ and Cardinals’.

    You said: The Reds offense has some skank-stank on it that it cannot wash off for some reason.

    I don’t even know where to start. What is the washing in this metaphor? Who is doing it? I’m confused and grossed out.

    • @al: “I don’t even know where to start. What is the washing in this metaphor? Who is doing it? I’m confused and grossed out.”

      Come on people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together and try to wash one another right now.
      :) Ok, let’s all get back to baseball now.

    • That’s why they call it the bottom of the order. The MLB average for each of those spots are .722, .702, and .660 respectively. Frazier is at .748, Paul is at .766, and Hanigan is at .545. That means the league average is a total of .025 higher than the Reds.

      Weird al, what are you talking about here? BA? OBP? OPS? BABIP? TRZ? BLW? What? A little context would help. You aren’t as mistake-free as you think. Naive and stupid. You sure you aren’t a Pirates fan?
      If you had a clue, scoring the most runs in the NL gets you nothing. No prize for that. Now, scoring more runs than your opponent in 9 innings of play, now that gets you a W. The team that has the most W’s after 162 games, gets into the playoffs and has home field advantage in the NLDS and NLCS.
      You mentioned three players and cherry-picked some stats. But those three don’t bat in the 6-7-8 spots every game, so that is a very weak point. The Reds had much better production last year from the 6-7-8 spots.
      Does the Reds offense have some woes? Absolutely. You will have to take your Rose-colored glasses off and put the bong down to see it. Votto and Bruce cannot carry the team every game.
      Please tell me, in what league is hitting .265 good? Adequate, maybe, but good?
      In nine frames per game, The Reds average putting up 6.2 0’s per game along with 1.8 1’s up. That leaves them with only one inning to put up more than 1 run. Not alot of room for error.
      I’d like to see the number of 0’s decline and the number of 1’s go up. A few more 1’s would have meant a few more W’s. But this probably just sails right over your head, like a Chapman fastball.

      • Now, scoring more runs than your opponent in 9 innings of play, now that gets you a W. The team that has the most W’s after 162 games, gets into the playoffs and has home field advantage in the NLDS and NLCS.
        You mentioned three players and cherry-picked some stats.

        You might want to not cherry pick the whole 0’s and 1’s thing. Again, it’s rather meaningless. Your thought on scoring more runs than your opponent is the most important thing. It really doesn’t matter what that looks like across innings. You trumpet that stat like it’s gold and it really isn’t.

        How about looking at how the Reds compare by OPS by position rather than batting order:
        NL avg. OPS/Reds OPS
        C: .690/ Reds: .583 (YIKES)
        1B: .754/ Reds: 936 (God bless Joey Votto and all he stands for)
        2nd .713/ Reds: .715 (BP showing that as an average hitting 2nd, RBI’s are a stat of opportunity)
        3rd: .730/ Reds: .711 (Just a bit off pace, room for improvement)
        SS: .692/ Reds: .644 (And hopefully climbing)
        LF: .759/ Reds: .669 (Major room for improvement, though I don’t know if that gap has closed since the XP, Robinson combo came to life)
        CF: .720/ Reds: .879 (Drew Stubbs who? More Choo!)
        RF: .778/ Reds: .855 (BRUUUUUUUUCE!)

        • @Matt WI: Oops. My reply to myself got posted a few threads above… talking about the pluses and minuses and whatnot. Totally worth reading. Post of the year. :)

        • C: .690/ Reds: .583 (YIKES)

          That’s a tough comparison with Posey and Molina playing in the same league (unless your name is Bench and it’s circa 1970 again), but the offense from the Reds’ catchers has been subpar this season.

        • @Matt WI: This is somewhat heartening. BP’s OPS makes me laugh. BP just never learned to take walks. At least, one of the Reds’ catchers are basicallyleague average. Frazier will be fine.

          The relatively rapid shift to a pitching-oriented league/team has really thrown some fans for a loop.

  23. If I did the math correctly, which I may not have so feel free to double check, but if you do the pluses and minuses, I have the Reds coming out as hitting .156 higher OPS than league avg. at those positions across the board. That’s good as an offense, and some sports could be upgraded if they cared to. But again, how much angst are we going to place on this roster given the fact that the doggone Cards are just doggone good and have a great record? Outside of the C and LF spots, it’s hard to incriminate the offense that again, ends up at #3 in Runs scored. It’s not an act of failure that the Reds are very good and the Cards have been better thus far.

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