2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Reds drop a series to the hapless Mariners

Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Seattle 3
Cincinnati 1

W: J. Saunders (7-8)
L: B. Arroyo (7-7)
S: T. Wilhelmsen (18)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Chris Heisey had two doubles, and drove in Cincinnati’s only run. Todd Frazier had a double, and scored that run.

–The bullpen trio of Alfredo Simon, Manny Parra, and Aroldis Chapman pitched three innings of shutout baseball.

NEGATIVES
–With the exception of a couple of games against San Francisco and yesterday’s outburst, the offense has gone missing for the last two or three weeks. Again today, the Reds were only able to muster a single run on six hits. What else can I say? The offense simply must be better for the Reds to be competitive.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–I know our old buddy Aaron Harang plays for the M’s, and I know long-time RN faves Junior Griffey and Lou Piniella have ties to Seattle…but still, all things being equal, I would have preferred for the Reds to beat the Mariners like a drum this weekend. Sigh…

–Bronson Arroyo wasn’t terrible today, but he did allow two homers that gave Seattle all their runs. In all, Arroyo tossed six innings, allowing those three runs on five hits and a walk, striking out six. Frankly, that outing, combined with the effort of the relief corps, should have been more than enough for the Reds to win this game.

–The first homer surrendered by Arroyo allowed him to break Tom Browning’s club record for homers allowed. I doubt they’ll put that on Bronson’s Reds Hall of Fame plaque.

–I hate to do this, but it’s time for Milton to make another appearance:

A terrible showing today, Redlegs. Just awful. Milton is disappointed.

A terrible showing tonight, Redlegs. Just awful. Milton is disappointed.

Source: FanGraphs

83 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Reds drop a series to the hapless Mariners

  1. That goat has some serious brace-face!

    At least the Pirates lost.

    Pirates and Cards are now even in the Central with the Reds 3.5 back.

    It could be worse.

    Reds go to Milwaukee and will miss Gallardo. They have to win 2 of 3, don’t they?

  2. I’d add to the negatives….down by 2 in the 9th inning, with their 4-5-6 hitters up…the Reds went out on 5 pitches…FIVE. That is pathetic. Just simply horrible baseball.

  3. The Reds have only won one of their past six series. Milwaukee is dangerous at home. Then the Braves for four in Atlanta. Since they started the difficult streak of games, they are 8-10.

  4. The two games they lost the pitching wasnt bad 4 runs on friday 3 today. You have to score some runs. The offense needs to get it going.

  5. Jocketty has to go out and find a bat, and soon. I don’t think the offense can just wait around for ludwick to show. Heck, we have no idea when he will be back and playing at 100%.

    I just don’t think Jocketty will do anything, just like last year. All the Reds picked up last year was Broxton.

  6. It’s been said to death, but it’s also a huge negative that 3 of the Reds’ first 4 hitters got hits, but they came up with nothing because Cozart hit into a double play. Kills any momentum, settles the opposing pitcher down, just terrible. How can he not at least try Votto at 2, move everyone else up one with Cozart at 7 or 8?

    • @jbemis44: While that makes perfect sense, it is so far outside of Dusty Baker’s box that even when he “stays up all night thinking about the lineup” I doubt he even considers something like that. Lineups don’t matter a lot, but they do matter at the margins. The Reds spot that margin to every other team with a manager willing to consider non-traditional alternatives and occasional changes.

      • @Larry1980: He does, indeed. But he hit the ball on the nose several times, just at somebody. The Reds’ good hitters seem to strike out a lot, too.

    • @jbemis44: How can Dusty NOT try that, you ask? He needs his 2-hole batter to be able to move runners over (read: bunt) for his “RBI guys.” Dusty made a reference to that a few days ago on his pregame show, talking about having Robbie Thompson and Rich Aurilia hitting second while he was managing the Giants. And I suspect that “duty” was what Brandon was referring to a few months ago when he talked about being happy to be out of the 2 spot, where he didn’t have to give himself up as much. … Dusty lives his baseball life in a single-thought box, and he ain’t coming out for anything.

      • @vegastypo: Ugh, that reminds me a couple days ago when the Reds had a sac bunt in the first inning. I wanted to just stop watching then and there.

        • @ToddAlmighty: Yeah, heaven forbid that after Choo gets on base, Dusty would give Votto, Phillips and Bruce a chance to bring him around without the invaluable Zach Cozart there to “move the runner along.”

          For that matter, instead of overreacting to the Ludwick injury, Dusty could have left Phillips in the 2-hole, where he could still move Choo over if needed, then have Votto, Frazier and Bruce in whatever order. But no, let’s keep the inferior-hitting Cozart there.

        • @vegastypo: Cozart isn’t much worse as a hitter than Frazier. The Reds have two (going by obp–I’m newly converted) excellent, productive hitters and two more who are productive in streaks. The rest have their moments, but not many, and the point is that any lineup with that many holes in it is going to have bad days.

        • @greenmtred: A hundred points difference in OPS says otherwise. The only thing remotely similar about the two are their batting averages. Frazier draws more walks and he hits for a a lot more power.

          More importantly, no one is talking about Frazier at 2 – that straw man isn’t going to walk.

          Cozart at #2 must stop, end of story. Statistically, pretty much anyone on the team is a better option.

        • @rightsaidred: Right you are, and I stand corrected–I was only looking at BA. Cozart does sting the ball at times, though (the one he hit to start the DP was blistered), but is clearly not consistent or selective enough to bat 2nd. The roster feature few who are, however.

    • @jbemis44: Let’s nop lose focus with the Cozart versus Didi thing. That’s water under the bridge. The Choo deal needed to be made and Didi was a guy that the side in the lynch pin position was demanding in return.

      The point for me is Cozart doesn’t belong on the field as a starting SS for a contending team. His defense is middle of the road and his offense stinks.

      I guess the comparison I might make is whether his defense is actually as good as Janish would provide for them.

      • @OhioJim: Paul Janish currently is hitting .207/.285/.244 in AAA and also has 7 errors in 41 games (which is how many errors Cozart has in 79).

        Paul Janish is a .215/.286/.290 major league career hitter. His highest dWAR in a season was 2009 when he had 1.5. (He was only above 1.0 once in the three following seasons.)

        Zack Cozart is a .246/.282/.393 major league career hitter. His highest dWAR in a season was 2012 when he had 2.0. (Also his only full major league season.)

        So not only does Cozart have a better bat (I still think his numbers would be better if he was hitting 7th or 8th), but he also has a better glove.

      • @OhioJim: I think Cozart might play above average (but overrated) defense. Hitting wise, though, there are only a few good hitting SS in the NL. Cozart is in with the majority of bad hitting SS.

        • @Hank Aarons Teammate: So it comes down what I said a couple of weeks back.

          It is the toxic combination of marginal players in the Reds line up, essentially in the two hole and south of the 5th spot.

  7. A couple random thoughts: Outside of the Cubs, the Reds have to be the worst team hitting with RISP. We have seen that time and time again this year. 2. Outside of Starlin Castro Todd Frazier swings at some of the worst pitches thrown. The Reds seem to ground into more DP’s than any othe rteam besides the Cubs. Moving Votto up to 2 makes too much sense for Dusty. The Reds traded the wrong shortstop.

    • @Larry1980: Let’s see: the Reds are 8th in BA with RISP, but I guess that’s close to “worst”. The Reds ground into DPs 10% of the time, which is below the average of 11%. The lowest in the NL is 9%, so they are in a many-way tie for just about the best. Gregorious has dropped almost 500 OPS points since April. He is hitting worse than Cozart in June/July.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Is there a way of finding out what their BA is when there is a runner is scoring position and they really need the run? As opposed to overall. I think what Larry1980 is saying, and I agree, is that it sure does seem like when they really need that run more often than not they don’t get the run in. But games like yesterday they can get the runner in when they are already ahead. The BA with RISP stat can be misleading.

    • @Larry1980: Please stop the RISP meme. The Reds hit with RISP the same as their team average. This has been debunked over and over again here. Also stop with the Didi > Cozart thing please. That was not an option, the Diamondbacks didn’t want Cozart.. they wanted Didi. Everyone always makes it sound like the two were interchangeable and we chose the wrong one but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

  8. Chris Heisey since his return from the DL: 5-16, 4 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB (and now more XBH than Hannahan+Izturis in a little over half the AB)

    Xavier Paul in the last 30: .176/.208/.314
    Derrick Robinson in the last 30: .208/.269/.319

    But what’s the odds that Heisey doesn’t start the next game?

  9. So the Reds have won 1 of their past 6 series, but are 8-10 over that span? Sounds like winning series is the wrong metric.

    Obviously there is a correlation between winning series and winning games, but not as strong as people think.

      • @ToddAlmighty: Here is the point: they have won 16% of their series in the past 6, but 45% of their games. I think it’s pretty clear that the series record is much less important. I’m not saying 8-10 is good. I’m saying winning series is the wrong benchmark. Would people be happy with winning 2/3 vs Seattle? I would not. The Reds should win, at home, vs a bad team with 3 bad pitchers, on average probably 2.5 of those games.

        • @Eric: Instead of an insult, why don’t you point out what I said that was objectionable? I can’t even understand what you are saying. It’s unreal to think that in the long run, if the Reds play Seattle at home without facing the King, that they should win 2/3 half the time and 3/3 half the time? I think that’s a pretty reasonable expectation. And I’m not the one who thinks that the Reds should be winning every game.

        • @Eric: I didn’t mean to be coming down on anyone. I just was trying to say that while I’m unhappy with 8-10, that’s what I worry about…the 8-10, as opposed to 1-5 (series record).

          Insults from time to time are ok, I just wanted to know what I said that you were insulting!

        • @Hank Aarons Teammate: I don’t agree that the Reds should be winning every game, but I agree with you otherwise. I do wonder about the AL/NL thing, though. I always defended the NL even when to do so was patently absurd. Lately I’ve thought that some semblance of parity had been restored. Maybe not, though. Maybe Seattle is just better than we think.

        • @greenmtred: The M’s scored 11 runs in three games and won two of them. The Reds scored 16 and lost two of them.

          I guess in the two games the M’s won either their pitching was a little better than the Reds or the Reds offense stunk. Personally, I think the latter, although it is hard to dismiss that in all three games, the M’s hit the field running and put up runs before the Reds even got to the plate.

        • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Series record is a long range indicator. Six series is really too small of a sample size.
          The average series is three games (54 to the season). If a team wins half their series and sweeps for and sweeps against offset they essentially will end up at .500. If they win 2/3 of their series, that’s 72 wins and if the sweeps offset, you’ve got a 90 win season.

          I think a good running measure is a sliding window of the last 10% of the season (16 games) the team has played. 7-9 thru 9-7 are pretty much even keel. 10 games either way is starting to be significant and anything over 10 is definitely significant.

  10. Silver lining: Thanks to our romp over the Giants we are still hovering near .500 on this really tough stretch of games before/after the All-Star break. Hate seeing them lose games I think we should win but overall we’re doing okay still. Second half schedule lightens up a bit and hopefully we can make a big push then.

  11. I’m also increasingly uncomfortable standing pat while waiting for Ludwick to come back. He’s going to need a lengthy rehab schedule, and I don’t think that has even been scheduled yet.

    Even if he does return before July 31, what if he’s ineffective after a few weeks? Too late to get someone else without having to clear waivers by then. And there’s no guarantee that he returns by then in the first place. … It’s great that the Cards and Pirates still have 14 or however many games against each other, but if they split those games, the Reds still need to go well over .500 to take advantage. And this offense scares me a little.

    • @vegastypo: Agree with you here. I’ve thought for a few weeks now a trade is necessary, probably for LF. And a lot of people who post here have been way ahead of me in calling for a trade. There is some OK outfield talent playing for teams that should be sellers.

  12. I think we need to come to the understanding that Dusty won’t change his style of management, and the Reds are not a WS caliber team under his direction. So either we continue to be an underachieving team or we suck it up and hope we finish out of the playoffs this year and hope Bob wakes up and sees his investment going down the drain and makes some changes.

  13. Reds last 11 series.

    Won 4 of them against the Cubs, Brewers, Giants and Pirates.

    Lost 6 series.

    Split 1 series.

    All of their offensive numbers are plummeting hard.
    Runs/Game – 11th in MLB (used to be a lot better)
    Team Batting Average – .250 – 17th in MLB (league average is .254)
    Team OBP – 8th in MLB (was like 3rd or 4th a month ago)
    Team SLG – .397 – 16th in MLB (league average is .402)
    Team OPS – 13th in MLB
    Team stolen bases – 3rd to last in MLB
    Team HR’s – 14th in MLB

    All of these offensive numbers were FAR better a month ago.

    GABP is a slugger’s park and the Reds are failing to slug in it. The lack of a power hitting LFer is an obvious void.

    • @Eric: Not sure why you even include stolen bases (other than to further a negative agenda.) Does anyone think we should be stealing more? This isn’t a speedy team.

        • @Eric: Point being you’re preaching to the choir. Anyone who has watched the team in the last month knows that the offense has been stuttering. That’s part of baseball though, one good month and suddenly all those numbers that are “plummeting” will head right back up. I pointed out the stolen bases because that particular stat had no relevance whatsoever to your argument. The Reds are going to remain at/near the bottom of the league in stolen bases and that’s fine.. every team can’t be speedy. I fully expect the rest to creep back up towards the middle of the pack. I don’t think we have a top 3 offense or anything but I do think we’re average/slightly above.

  14. If the Reds are really supposed to be “All-In” this year, they need to make a trade for a bat, and yes, give up pieces of the future. It is remarkable that they are more than 10 games above .500 with a SS like Cozart, and a bench player in LF every day. This team can score in bunches, but isn’t consistent day-to-day. They need better production from SS, LF and C. The current roster has been stale for 5 weeks, and is in danger of falling far from the Division chase. Can Chase Utley play 3rd?

    Philips and Frazier need to stop swinging at bad pitches. Hitters need to work the count, and the team NEVER must see only 5 pitches in an inning(embarrassing). Jacoby needs to coach more selectivity.

    However, like in 2011, I am convinced that the team will make no significant change, and hope that certain players “get going!”

  15. I agree with Jbemis44 on Cozart. I think 1 for his last 18. Just killin’ us in the 2-hole. You’re batting in front of Votto for gawd sakes. I’ve been easy on Dusty this year but you just can’t keep rolling him out there waiting for something positive to happen which, by now, we know isn’t happening.

  16. I’d take a chance and TRY AND TRADE Chapman to Detroit, who needs a Closer, for two of their top triple A prospects……Nick Castellanos, 21 year old, RH, LFer, .295 BA, 11 HR’s, 20th rated prospect in baseball. And Bruce Rondon, 22 year old, Closer, has terrific minor league numbers and throws 100 mph. I’d ask for a third prospect too. You gain a young LFer who is highly rated and possibly your replacement Closer in Rondon. I know it’s a risk, but this offense needs a boost. Hopefully the kid could come in and give the team a spark. I know it’s a risk, but you get three young players (2 key players – LF & Closer) for one major leaguer, Chapman. I’m only going to this extreme because I don’t think the Reds have much to deal from their farm system. Nor do I want to decimate the farm system. Just my outside the box thinking.

      • @Eric: There is absolutely no way Chapman would get those prospects.Closers are not that valuable.

        The difference is the Tigers have a manager (Leyland) with a brain. Jim would ease Chapman into the rotation, and have four studs (Verlander, Chapman, Sanchez, Scherzer) in the rotation. That would be the best rotation in baseball, bar none. If only the Reds were smart enough to give Dusty the boot and move Chapman back into the rotation. His contract is a waste otherwise.

        • @D Ray White:
          I guess Wainwright, Rijo, and others who started in the bullpen say “HI”. Chapman is a premium arm that can be used in many ways. He’s not just a Closer.

      • @Mwv:
        I’ve proposed this trade many times lately. Maybe it’s far-fetched, maybe it’s not. The one thing many people forget is that another team might eventually use Chapman as a starter. His background in Cuba was starting. I know Aroldis has said he prefers to close, but some other team with more cahunas might take the time to convert him back. You can’t just look at him as a Closer. You have to look at him as a premium arm that the Reds refuse or don’t feel the need to harness as a starter. Plus the Reds have a lot of depth in the starting rotation and some down at Louisville (Reynolds, Sharky Rogers, Galarraga, etc.). It wouldn’t hurt to float his name out there and see if another team bites…….and has quality parts that fit the Reds needs that they’re willing to trade. I just don’t see the Reds trading Hamilton, Stephenson, Winker, etc. All other options to trade in the minors will garner nothing more than bullpen help, IMHO.

    • @Eric: Eric, if you can effect that trade, I will personally kidnap Walt Jocketty and make you GM. I like the thinking, but I don’t think Leyland, their GM, and the organization would do that.

  17. from traderumors.com yesterday …

    Alfonso Soriano has increased his trade value thanks to five home runs and 13 RBIs in his last eight games, writes ESPNChicago.com’s Bruce Levine.

    • @dn4192: In fairness, most of the talent needed is already there. It’s just being wasted on ineptitude in game managing, hitting coaching, and base running coaching.

      Dusty costs the team double digit wins a year or more with lineups/late starting pitching pulling/bizarre strategies. The team’s talent won’t get any better at batting with Baker and Jacoby praising the art of first pitch hacking (1st in MLB), hatred of walks, distain of running up the pitch count, and love of sac bunts. Is there honestly anyone who’s surprised that the year Bruce finally seems to have put it together and learned to hit opposite field and even if he’s going in a HR slump, he’s still getting hits and doubles. Yet has Dusty or Jacoby tried to take credit? Nope, but watch some Reds games and EVERY time they show the Reds dugout, you’ll see Votto and Bruce talking/making hand motions, talking about the pitcher and hitting.

      Why is it that it takes our first baseman to make the young talent finally take the next step up and not the managing or coaching?

      And don’t get me started on the replacement third base coach. That guy’s cost the team a ton of runs with his conservative coaching/indecisiveness/LACK OF SLIDE SIGNS.

      Ugh… sorry for the rant, but losing a series to the Mariners (a team who’s W-L is roughly the same as the Cubs) just enrages me.

      • @ToddAlmighty: I question whether “most of the talent needed is already there”. The entire left side of the diamond is iffy on offense as is the catching position. And overall however the personalities get mixed, the team is lacking in RH batting offense. The bullpen is short at the least a quality LH arm and possibly also a strong RH arm.

        I realize a lot of the solutions to the issues I just listed may currently be found on the DL. However, as Dandy Don Meredith use to say “if wishes were horses…” meaning the season could be lost before those guys are ready to contribute to the level expected of them before they went down.

  18. The Reds are probably playing about as well as an objective observer would expect, based on their roster. They have strengths and weaknesses. They aren’t the best and they aren’t the worst. A different manager would make little difference. More players who could hit well would.

  19. You guys are all worrying about LF. If I’m not mistaken, our LF had two doubles yesterday and our only RBI. Heisey will probably be OK. Cozart needs to not bat 2nd. The offense will come around.

    • Cozart needs to not bat 2nd.The offense will come around.

      The former would greatly help the latter, but it isn’t going to happen so I’m not holding my breath.

  20. Cozart’s BABIP is lower than it should be and I kind of expected as much because it seems like he has had some hard-hit “at ‘em” balls lately. That said, it isn’t much lower than his career mark so I wouldn’t say it’s all been bad luck. I never would have guessed he’d have lower AVG/OBP/SLG than last year. I had him projected at a little over .700 OPS for the year. Yikes!!!

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