2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: TOS*

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 0
Milwaukee 2

W: W. Peralta (6-9)
L: T. Cingrani (3-1)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Tony Cingrani was good again: seven innings, two runs allowed on three hits. Cingrani struck out ten, but made one mistake, allowing a two-run homer to Milwaukee’s Logan Schafer in the fifth inning. The kid deserved better than this, but…

NEGATIVES
–TOS*

–Three stupid hits for the mighty Redlegs offense. Just terrible.

–Chris Heisey was removed from the game after being hit by a pitch. The players on this team are dropping like flies.

–Derrick Robinson replaced Heisey in the lineup, and later scored Cincinnati’s only run of the night. No, wait, the umpire called Robinson out as he tried to score on what would have been an inside-the-park homer. Replays clearly showed that Robinson was safe.

There’s your human element, for those of you who think that’s a good thing.

–The Reds just made Brewers pitcher Wily Peralta look like a Hall-of-Famer.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–Sometimes, it really seems like this year’s team is just snake-bitten.

As Lance noted, the Reds have lost four of their last five, to two teams who are a combined 25 games under .500. This team is struggling, and there’s no way to deny it. I don’t have any answers.

–Sigh…. I can’t really argue with those of you who contend that this is the low point of the season. I guess that means things can only get better, right? Right?

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

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

*This Offense Stinks

Source: FanGraphs

117 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: TOS*

  1. I think that what has happened is that a team of doppelgangers (called, appropriately the Queen City Stinkberts))has kidnapped the Reds and is holding them hostage at an undisclosed location. These guys just want a chance to play ball at the mlb level, and really aren’t bad at some aspects of the game. But they can’t hit. At all. They stand as living proof of Teddy Ballgame’s contention about the difficulty of hitting a pitched baseball. On another note, what has happened to the format here? I suspect that it has changed due to the vitriol of recent days, but I’m not computer savvy enough to figure out how to reply to anything. Maybe that’s good, of course.

  2. @greenmtred: You can reply to a post by hovering your mouse over the lower-right-hand corner of the post. The “Reply” control will show itself and you can click it. This is how the forum worked for a long time prior to the last time it was changed.

  3. How many times over the past twenty years have you heard a player on a really good team, i.e. a team that was supposed to win the devision “it just wasn’t our year.” I am getting that feeling about this team. It is just everything and it really began on opening day when Ludwick went down. Then it was Cueto. Then it was Hanigan and then it was Heisey. Then we had another Cueto issue. BP got dinged up with the HBP and it was Cueto again. Now it is both catchers as well as Heisey again. Over the past two years, we have seen the same inconsistency with RISP especially with runners in scoring position and two outs. Our offense is just putrid. As far as heart is concerned, I was very disappointed that Dusty did not make a case on that play at the plate. Where is the passion Dusty? Every once in a while a manager needs to “blow his top” and show the team that he has heart and passion. Dusty just sits there and chews on his tooth pick. I am not saying that he should go “Lou Piniella” and throw a base into centerfield but I would love to see him throw his hat on the ground and kick it around as well as getting up in the ump’s face.

  4. Report from Section 208 last night: Uh, um, it was a really beautiful night last night. Hot Dog set a record in the Sausage Race. I couldn’t handle a Maldanado screamer into the stands, but the kid in front of me got to take home the deflection. Closest I’ll ever get to that chance again. Joey made a beautiful catch in foul territory running right at us. And well, that about sums it up.

    I was feeling bad vibes after the game. The last time I caught the Reds at Miller Park, it was Cozart’s MLB debut. That was a close loss heading into the All-Star break that was a sign of the stuckness of the 2011 team. Here we are, approaching the All-Star break again, feeling slumpy. Hope something changes.

  5. @greenmtred: This is the way the posts used to go. I like it much better this way myself, it gets so hard to see brand new posts that are way up the thread because they got filed under somebody’s original conversation… but I think the way that it had been recently stopped a few posters from some of their crap because of the fact it would get burried. Then, new crap started, so there’s that. There used to be a guy, and, well, either he changed his name or got the boot when I wasn’t looking, who would reply incessantly or quote people, practically duplicating the entire thread over and over when the comments were under this structure.

  6. Yes, they’re struggling offensively. However, their pitching is still incredible; 4th in ERA, 2nd in BAA. I’d rather have the offense be problematic at this point because slumps can be turned around. Most everybody is playing under their averages the last month, right? It’ll come back around. Pitching, on the other hand, isn’t as streaky. You either have a good staff or you don’t. We not only have a good staff, we have an excellent staff and that will keep us in the season regardless. Just gotta tread some choppy water.

  7. WARNING: This is my annual post about the team being unwatchable right now.

    This team is unwatchable right now.

  8. @RedManifesto: This may still be treading water, but we are about to go under. Sorry, but “It’ll come” reminds me too much of Bakerman in 2011. That’s means to me that the players aren’t going to do anything to go get “it”. Good players don’t wait for “it” to come. They go get “it”. Good managers don’t wait for “it” to come. They press the players to go get “it”.

  9. Baker is a “player’s manager” because he doesn’t usually make the players compete for their jobs. His emphasis is on everyone knowing their role, both in the lineup and in the bullpen. There are countless examples of this. Shin-Soo Choo was anointed as the CF instead of having a competition with Jay Bruce. Being unwilling to change the lineup in the face of prolonged slumps is another.

    Once the roles are decided Baker locks it all in and stubbornly resists change. He does that because he thinks that’s the way to make the players the most confident and relaxed in what they are doing. That’s one approach – and it’s entitled to respect based on Baker’s long and relatively successful experience. He’s also not the first manager to do it.

    But the downside of that approach is that it lessens accountability, at least over the short and medium terms.

    I’ve always thought the argument that “the players love Dusty so they play harder for him” has been way exaggerated. Generally, players like their managers. To become a big league manager, you have to know how to motivate players and earn their trust. Sure there will always be exceptions to that. But it would be difficult to get promoted up the chain through all the managerial jobs if you weren’t successful at dealing with players.

    It’s almost impossible to measure accurately how hard players are trying. It’s equally hard to make the case that the Reds play harder because of their manager’s style.

  10. @Steve Mancuso: That’s right. The key aspect of his players’ manager philosophy is that generally, players get a lot of rope. There is something to be said for that. He does not make knee jerk decisions.

    I really do not like many things about Baker, but not making knee jerk decisions is a good attribute, IMO. Now, of course, the downside, as you say, is that when one needs to make a change (Jonny Gomes), it takes forever. Too long.

  11. I have resorted to scouting the lineup card to decide if I will watch/listen. Last night, my premonition was rewarded.

    The team needs a shake up, a change, but Dusty hasn’t even dropped Cozart in the order, let alone ‘shaken things up’. His approach typifies the cliched definition of insanity.

  12. There are a lot of things being thrown around because the team is playing poorly that I think are really off base. People are frustrated, I’m frustrated, I get it, but:

    1. The “no heart” comment, I mean, come on, this team is basically the same guys as last year that won 97 games. Did they have heart, did they try, last year, and they’re taking this year off?

    2. Baker should have argued the Robinson play? He said simply that from his point of view the guy was out. He admitted that the replay showed safe. So what? A lack of arguing is about #157 on the list of things I’d like to see Baker change.

    3. The season is over. The season can’t be over when you are one of the wildcard teams. Heck, the SF Giants’ season isn’t over, though it’s looking bleak for them (and my heart bleeds, really), and they are 6.5 games behind 3 other teams).

    4. Castellini doesn’t care. ??? How do we know that?

    • There are a lot of things being thrown around because the team is playing poorly that I think are really off base.People are frustrated, I’m frustrated, I get it, but:

      1. The “no heart” comment, I mean, come on, this team is basically the same guys as last year that won 97 games.Did they have heart, did they try, last year, and they’re taking this year off?

      2. Baker should have argued the Robinson play?He said simply that from his point of view the guy was out.He admitted that the replay showed safe.So what?A lack of arguing is about #157 on the list of things I’d like to see Baker change.

      3. The season is over.The season can’t be over when you are one of the wildcard teams.Heck, the SF Giants’ season isn’t over, though it’s looking bleak for them (and my heart bleeds, really), and they are 6.5 games behind 3 other teams).

      4. Castellini doesn’t care.???How do we know that?

      This all needed to be emphasized. If the season ended today the Reds would be in the playoffs. As we all know, MLB playoffs are a coin flip anyways. I think a lot of the panic is residual frustration from last year, where we were quite possibly the team to beat in the playoffs. Well, our regular season success didn’t matter in the playoffs last year, just like our regular season struggles won’t matter if we make the playoffs this year. I refuse to panic or be this negative about a playoff team slumping before the All-Star break.

      • This all needed to be emphasized. If the season ended today the Reds would be in the playoffs. As we all know, MLB playoffs are a coin flip anyways. I think a lot of the panic is residual frustration from last year, where we were quite possibly the team to beat in the playoffs. Well, our regular season success didn’t matter in the playoffs last year, just like our regular season struggles won’t matter if we make the playoffs this year. I refuse to panic or be this negative about a playoff team slumping before the All-Star break.

        I agree. But, this doesn’t mean at all that the Reds are currently playing good. Which doesn’t necessarily hold good vibes into the playoffs.

        Like, someone mentioned treading water. I agree, we are still treading, we are still in there. But, we are still playing poorly, also.

  13. @steveschoen: So they have “it” when it comes to pitching but they don’t have “it” when it comes to hitting? How does his philosophy rub off on pitchers one way and hitters the other? I just don’t understand the correlation. Are hitters more impressionable than pitchers? Would our pitchers be great regardless of the manager but our hitters would be great or bad because of a manager?

  14. In terms of the Phillips extension, I don’t remember which site estimates dollar value for players, but I bet Phillips will be worth about his salary at season’s end. The problem, as Big Ed said, is down the line. He’s getting older, in his 30’s, and yes, he’s likely to be worth less than his salary in the out years. But so is Joey Votto. The Phillips extension was a tough call. I’d have to have an idea of how they would have used the money had they not signed him to evaluate. Which we never will have.

  15. I have been frustrated for a long time by what appears to me to be a bad organizational approach to hitting. I have no idea if the numbers back me up, but the Reds hitters outside of Votto usually seem to me to be unable to give good professional ABs. Their discipline looks terrible and they allow way too many 10 pitch innings. I feel like if they just worked counts better and wore down pitchers their offense would pick up.

  16. @Steve Mancuso: I buy into the accountability of the players. I managed my own office pretty much that way. Folks knew their jobs and they did them with the comfort and ease that reduced the stress that follows micromanagement. That was not a baseball team, however.

    To that end, the players need to do what Dusty isn’t doing — if they are accountable, then do what you must to win. Stop looking in for signs. If the ball is in the dirt, go to second base.

    As well, go outside the system for help if you are in need of help.

    A degree of mutiny appears in order here. If this team doesn’t mind slipping into mediocrity, then please let me know. I can do other things with my day than watch this travesty.

    The Reds have exactly two rookies who are impact players — that means the rest of them know how to play better. If Dusty is preventing that, then they can finish third and blame Dusty, who will blame them for not doing their jobs.

  17. @Hank Aarons Teammate: Your points are all sound but that doesn’t mean we can’t, as fans, express all these emotions amid the frustration. Clearly, when the team won 10 in a row last year, there was no concern over “chemistry” in the locker room.

    As for arguing a call, I find the exercise amusing if not time-wasting. I never have understood how people think it inspires a team. It’s childish at worst, unproductive on any level.

    • As for arguing a call, I find the exercise amusing if not time-wasting. I never have understood how people think it inspires a team. It’s childish at worst, unproductive on any level.

      The point has been made, but I don’t think arguing is nearly as important for inspiration as it is simply a technique to work on “next time” with the umps. I think that matters. If a guy gets the riot act, and a play is bang-bang, he might be influenced (consciously or unconsciously) to think about which way the next break goes after a polite “discussion.” Certainly this could backfire and the ump might want to stick it to a manager, but that’s all in how the arguing is accomplished in the first place. Shoot, I’ll bet a lot of people on this board work on the same philosophy with choosing battles with their kids… they can yell/aruge all they want and it may not change your decision on a particular decision, but maybe there’s something else that goes their way later.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Your points are all sound but that doesn’t mean we can’t, as fans, express all these emotions amid the frustration. Clearly, when the team won 10 in a row last year, there was no concern over “chemistry” in the locker room. As for arguing a call, I find the exercise amusing if not time-wasting. I never have understood how people think it inspires a team. It’s childish at worst, unproductive on any level.

      Commonly done by many managers. The Boston Celtics won many games like that. When they would be playing very sluggishly, with no heart, etc., Red Auerbach (sp?) would argue a close call, or even just for the sake of arguing, for the entire goal to get kicked out of the game, to show the players something like, “Hey, guys, he really cares how we play. Let’s step it up for him.”

  18. This has nothing to do with the Reds, but someone just sent me a link to a video of Fieldin Culbreth’s crew screwing up a call in the recent Cards/Marlins series, where the HP ump (Culbreth) called the batter out on a foul bunt on which Molina tagged the guy, then the 3B ump called the runner going to third out on a force despite no tag being attempted (it wasn’t a force because the batter was out already), and then when the ump realized the mistake, instead of manning up and putting the runner back on third, they called him out for leaving the field (which he did because he was you know, called out by the ump).

    This crew also had the now famous screwup where they did not make a pitcher pitch to one batter (and Culbreth was suspended two games). And, they screwed up the play in the Reds/Giants game, allowing Panda to reach first when he struck out and the pitch hit him, which is another rule violation.

    When will baseball take serious action against umpires/umpiring crews that are simply not able to do their jobs? Forget bad ball/strike calls, this crew can’t even apply the rules correctly…

  19. The short-term issue with Brandon Phillips is that he got off to such a great start, fueled in part by Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto getting on base in about half of their at bats. Fans (and announcers) rushed to the assumption that it could stay that way.

    People like Marty B. rushed to declare him “clutch” and “a super RBI guy” ignoring the rest of his career. BP has now regressed to his career level. He’s not a clean up hitter and never has been. But because of Baker’s glacial approach to changing the batting order, he’s been hitting #4 for about a month too long.

  20. @Steve Mancuso: He has been hitting #4 for 3 months too long. Phillips really is better suited to down in the order, though on this team the #2 spot is a reasonable choice. He simply does not get on base, and he does not prioritize getting on base (his words).

  21. With the injuries piling up (both catchers barely able to play, Paul supposedly hurting, Heisey HBP & pulled from the game), the team is looking to be very short-handed today. With only 3 healthy outfielders, how about disabling either Paul or Heisey if necessary, & then recalling Soto to play 3B & have SuperTodd play LF?

    Hopefully Devin heals quickly, because we have no catching depth. As much as everyone loves Corky, he has no place on a MLB roster. And I’m afraid Baker’s spring-training love for Olivo will result in the team signing him. I wouldn’t be opposed to taking a flyer on Ramon Hernandez, but again he’s a typical Baker player & would get too much playing time if signed, and what happens when Devin & Hanny are healthy?

    At any rate, I have a feeling that today’s game will have only Izturis, Hanahan, & D. Robinson available off the bench. Not a pretty sight.

  22. @Hank Aarons Teammate: I would have let BP walk, myself. Reds have a strong tendency to hold on too long to aging players. But perhaps he is the future 3B. I wouldn’t saying his defense has dropped significantly yet, but he isn’t the guy that he was 2-3 years ago. I’m not sure if he’s even a 2+ WAR 3B in a couple years. I’m actually curious right now tbh how he’d rate over there compared to Todd.

    Getting old sucks.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: I would have let BP walk, myself. Reds have a strong tendency to hold on too long to aging players. But perhaps he is the future 3B. I wouldn’t saying his defense has dropped significantly yet, but he isn’t the guy that he was 2-3 years ago. I’m not sure if he’s even a 2+ WAR 3B in a couple years. I’m actually curious right now tbh how he’d rate over there compared to Todd. Getting old sucks.

      I would have probably let him walk, also, only if I was confident we could get a decent player off FA for cheaper. That would free up some money for other things, also.

      Or, I would have done 3 years and not 5 years. Or, 5 years at lower money.

  23. OK, now I know the Reds management doesn’t care. I just got an email from reds.com saying they’ve changed their browser theme. Come on guys, go get Stanton instead of worrying about the browser. :)

  24. @Matt WI: I’ve always wondered about this, has anyone ever looked at it? I don’t believe it affects the next call, but it certainly could.

    • @Matt WI: I’ve always wondered about this, has anyone ever looked at it?I don’t believe it affects the next call, but it certainly could.

      I don’t know any studies… maybe it really is bogus. I just think that’s half the reason it happens in any sport… football, basketball, etc. Just some basic human psychology. Assuming the refs/umps are immune from that kind of stuff isn’t any less reasonable… like you said, it could or couldn’t. Maybe umps know that they blew it and appreciate Dusty doesn’t show them up. I guess somebody would have to survey the refs/umps themselves. Might work better in sport like basketball where more calls are made.

      • I don’t know any studies… maybe it really is bogus. I just think that’s half the reason it happens in any sport… football, basketball, etc. Just some basic human psychology. Assuming the refs/umps are immune from that kind of stuff isn’t any less reasonable… like you said, it could or couldn’t. Maybe umps know that they blew it and appreciate Dusty doesn’t show them up. I guess somebody would have to survey the refs/umps themselves. Might work better in sport like basketball where more calls are made.

        I can attest as a coach, it can have an effect on the officials. Everytime? Of course not. But, can it? Definitely.

        Just like Red Auerbach’s getting thrown out of basketball games in order to get his Celtics players fired up. Did it have an effect? Sure, it definitely did many times. Everytime? Most likely not.

        Whereas, for us, why not try it? Nothing else seems to be working right now.

        • I can attest as a coach, it can have an effect on the officials.Everytime?Of course not.But, can it?Definitely.

          Just like Red Auerbach’s getting thrown out of basketball games in order to get his Celtics players fired up.Did it have an effect?Sure, it definitely did many times.Everytime?Most likely not.

          Whereas, for us, why not try it?Nothing else seems to be working right now.

          I’d rather hear it from an umpire. With all respect, the coach doesn’t know what kind of effect it has on someone else…with certainty, anyway.

  25. I know this is considered bush league and isn’t a major deal, but I’m over Reds players getting plunked all the time without any sort of repercussions. I just view it as a lack of fire or attitude in the sense that the team isn’t sticking up for each other.

  26. @RedManifesto: It’s known very well that Bakerman lets Price deal with the pitching, since Bakerman comes from a batting instructor background. And, here, Bakerman comes from a batting instructor background, and what are suppose to be our strengths? Pitching and defense.

  27. @Jason1972: We have a winner here. Like I said, I can’t help thinking what Bakerman and Joke-oby work on. For, not only are there mechanics involved in batting but also things like mental approaches, scouting the next pitchers to prep the batters on what to expect, etc.

  28. @Matt WI: I can see it in basketball, but in baseball, it’s not as obvious. Plus, it seems equally likely that a human gets pissed off and makes the next call against the guy who argues.

  29. @Adam Hilton: I don’t think they could afford to retaliate yesterday because they were chasing two runs, but I’m sure the team noticed. Yesterday’s looked pretty intentional to me, and it took Heisey out of the game. If the Reds get a lead today, I think a Brewer is going to get plunked.

  30. Since the 4 game split with the Pirates the Reds have played 6 series and now lost 5 of them. I’m not throwing in the towel before the All-Star break, but that’s a pretty long stretch of mediocre play.

    Something needs to change, that seems pretty clear. So hear are the things they could do:

    1. Play better.
    2. Change the roles of players they have.
    3. Get new players.
    4. Get a new manager/coaches.

    Am I forgetting anything? Option 1 isn’t really changing anything, that’s just hoping. I hope they play better, but that’s not really being active, and it seems like after you lose 5 of 6 series, you should be active.

    Option 4 seems a little drastic if you’re talking about this ownership group and the manager. I could see replacing Jacoby, but that could just as easily upset the clubhouse if they love him or something and probably wouldn’t be that important.

    Option 3 seems good, and I’m sure they are trying to add new guys, but the ability to be active there is limited by the players we have to trade, the money we have to spend, and the players available. No deals seem immanent.

    So that leaves option 2, and it seems entirely appropriate to me. We’re still a winning ballclub, so you don’t want to blow things up, but losing 5 of 6 series is not really acceptable for a playoff team. So I think it’s time that the team got a shakeup in terms of the roles on the team.

    For me, this would mean that the lineup is redone and the players who are hitting are put in the spots for hitters. IF you aren’t hitting, you get put in the spots for people who aren’t hitting. If that means batting BP 7th, then fine. If it hurts his ego, then fine. We’re past the point of worrying about egos. It’s time to be accountable.

  31. I just thought of something. Many of us are discussing things that Bakerman should be doing, needs to be doing. But, then, I started to think of, we are asking Bakerman to make more moves, make more decisions? Part of me just started to consider that might be the death knell of this season, if Baker actually has to play “strategy”.

    Just considering.

  32. @steveschoen: I’ve never been an ump but I can shoot an email off to a couple MiLB umpires I know and see if they have an opinion. I’m willing to bet that it works from time-to-time, if only on a subconscious level. I also think it depends on how the player/manager argues and who is doing the arguing. I rarely argued when I played so I’d like to think that when I actually felt I needed to say something, Blue was listening.

  33. I have a theory: it’s no coincidence the relief pitching has been better since Broxton got hurt. Not just because his results have been iffy, but because having him in a rigid “8th Inning With A Lead” role really handcuffed Dusty. Now things are a little more fluid (except for Chapman), so he’s matching up better, guys keep their heads in the game a little better, maybe there’s a little more competition, whatever. It’s ridiculous it takes an injury to make this happen–I don’t know why Broxton “deserved” his role–but it strikes me as a clear improvement. Thoughts?

  34. @Eric the Red: I think that it probably is a coincidence, but maybe you’re right. I seem to recall that for awhile after Broxton got hurt the pen was wretched, but maybe I’m wrong about that, too. My concern in either event is that, with a little less than half the season to go, the only reason that the pen isn’t gasping and sucking air is that the starters have, usually, gone 6 innings or more. Can’t assume that will continue, so the pen needs to be at full strength.

  35. @Hank Aarons Teammate: Yeah. I am a BP fan, probably think a little more of his fielding than you do, agree with you about his hitting, but like the enthusiasm he brings to the game. He’s fun to watch, and baseball is ultimately an entertainment. That said, however, the pick off play was the point at which I turned the tv off and decided that it was time to read in bed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s