2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Sigh…

Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

FINAL — 11 innings
Cincinnati 0
Los Angeles 1

W: B. League (6-3)
L: C. Partch (0-1)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Superb start by Tony Cingrani, once again. Today, he went seven innings, allowing only a single hit (to the opposing pitcher, of course), while striking out 11 batters. Great stuff.

–Sam LeCure gave up two hits, but struck out four batters in an inning and a third. Manny Parra struck out both hitters he faced.

–Reds pitchers struck out 20 Dodgers today, setting a club record.

–Joey Votto had two hits, including a double.

NEGATIVES
–No offense. Three measly hits in 11 innings. Ugh.

–Dusty Baker had no problem losing this game while leaving his best reliever in the bullpen. I’ll never understand that.

Then again, Aroldis Chapman has pitched one inning in the last week, so he may be tired.

–The Reds scored four runs in this four-game series. That’s tough to do.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–Embarrassing.

Great stuff by ESPN: Tony Cingrani threw seven shutout innings for the first time in his career on Sunday. Cingrani also matched his career high with 11 strikeouts (also struck out 11 on April 28). The last Reds pitcher to throw at least seven shutout innings while striking out 11 or more batters was Kyle Lohse on April 15, 2007. Tony Cingrani is the 1st Reds pitcher with at least 7 innings and 11 strikeouts while allowing no more than 1 hit and 1 walk since Johnny Vander Meer in 1941.

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

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

Source: FanGraphs

108 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Sigh…

  1. … Aroldis Chapman has pitched one inning in the last week, so he may be tired.
    - Yeah, of sitting on his rump. Maybe could pinch hit some time.

  2. There is absolutely no reason to leave Chapman on the bench when he can easily go at least two extremely high leverage innings in extras. It’s getting to the point in the season where that excuse, “It’s too early to use him for more than an inning” is a complete farce.

    Also, the Reds swinging (hacking?) at a pitcher with a 5.4 ERA is inexcusable. I’d take the team aside tonight and do what Emilio Estevez’s character in The Mighty Ducks 2 did– keep them doing drills (he made them do down and backs) without letting them go home. Anyone who doesn’t participate–including BP, Bruce, Choo, and Votto, get benched the next day (and more, if need be). There is no accountability on the club right now.

    And I’m one of the more optimistic on this site.

    • There is absolutely no reason to leave Chapman on the bench when he can easily go at least two extremely high leverage innings in extras. It’s getting to the point in the season where that excuse, “It’s too early to use him for more than an inning” is a complete farce.

      That excuse was never really valid anyhow. He had no issue in blowing Hoover’s arm early in the season that he went through an extended slump that took him forever to get out of. It’s just typical Dustyball, rule number 642: The closer cannot pitch more than 3 outs, and only when the team is winning by 3 runs.

      While he continues to grasp onto centuries-old ball techniques, the Reds continue to not hit their potential due to the things that drilled into their heads on a daily basis (Swing early, swing often. We won’t walk our way out of this slump! etc.) are part of the reason why the Reds will probably never see the World Series, let alone put that ring on their fingers. Le sigh.

  3. Dusty on today’s offensive struggles:

    “The guys are trying the best they can. . . Everyone talks about on-base percentage, but you’ve got to have some guys to drive runners in.”

    He just doesn’t get it and never will. Perhaps only 6 guys getting on base in 11 innings is the bigger issue…

    • @CP: That’s because he’s an incompetent fool. He’s an ignoramus, an idiot, a buffoon, etc. Just… I just need to take a break.

      • @rhayex: you forgot “myopic moron.” Dusty seems like an intelligent, likeable person outside of the dugout, but I can’t understand why he still has a job with this team.

    • @NastyBoys3: That’s what I’ve suggested all year. Ever since he was relegated to the bullpen, I’ve said that he has more value as a midseason trade chip than he does playing for the Reds. Games like this only magnify it more.

  4. I wonder how long it will take for this team to feel the urgency necessary to compete for the Central division title in 2013. Since May, it has been three steps forward and four back.

    This team has an offense that clicks, then goes dormant at the drop of a hat. At the current rate, there will be at least three more occasions in the future where the bats go silent for a 3+ game stretch. Not acceptable this year, with two teams ahead of the Reds. The offense needs a new approach, a new hitting coach, a new bat – SOMETHING to change it from an offense that makes mediocre pitchers such as Capuano look like an all-star all too often.

    The organization appears to be complacent – a la 2011. Moves need to be made. A GM’s salary needs to be earned, by finding a missing piece (and no, that piece is not named Ludwick)

    Lastly, the most dangerous weapon the Reds pitching staff has, Aroldis Chapman, NEVER gets used in the most important situations. Looking at this fact alone should be enough for Dusty Baker to get tossed to the curb, but for some reason, Dusty is above all doubt in ownership’s POV(even though he sabotaged Aroldis’ move to the starting rotation).

    The best years of Votto, Bruce, Choo, and Phillips are RIGHT NOW. The goal should be to win, RIGHT NOW. Why isn’t the urgency there?

    • @jessecuster44: I’m 100% with you. Not only are the best years of Votto, Bruce, Choo, and Phillips right now, THE ONLY YEAR of Choo is right now. The idea of that trade, I thought, was to win in 2013.

      Yet the Reds desperately need a bat – at the very least someone who can come off the bench and hit a lick – and WJ just says “Not much happening … ”

      If there’s anything positive to be gained from the last 3 losses, it would be for Jocketty to come out of his state of denial. His only answer has been Ryan Ludwick.
      Ludwick has 1 single in 9 ABs at Dayton and Louisville. He is weeks away from even joining the roster, and who in his right mind would gamble this season on him at this point ?

      • @pinson343: As we have seen from Walt and Dusty so far, I worry that they are not in their right minds at all.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if no moves were made, and management blames injuries when the Reds fizzle in September.

        URGENCY. Where is it?

  5. Chapman has pitched 1, count them, one inning in 9 games.

    Baker should be fired for gross mismanangement.

    • @Hunt4RedsOctober: He is a FOOL. Whatever credit he got for building this team from 2008-2010 should be stripped due to his mismanagement in 2011, the 2012 postseason, and the 2013 season to date.

      Any manager who costs the team games by not having the best players in the right spots SHOULD NOT BE MANAGER. Ugh.

      • @jessecuster44: I would only add that he didn’t build the team, or at least not very much of it, it was built for him. He’s supposed to get the results, and they have been barely more than mediorre overall (2-6 in playoffs, 0-4 at home, 3rd place this year)

        • @redskaph: And yet some would argue that since the Reds have a winning record, Baker is actually doing a good job. I cannot understand this point of view.

          Baker is WASTING talent, and these years will never come back.

  6. “The Reds scored four runs in this four-game series. That’s tough to do.”

    Actually 7 but it is an understandable error.

  7. At current pace, Chapman will have pitched less than 200 innings the last three seasons. I am glad the Reds management gets such value out of the $25 million dollar arm.

    • @gosport474: But they’re SO IMPORTANT!!! THEY”RE THE MOST IMPORTANT INNINGS IN THE ENTIRE FREAKING GAME!!! IT”S NOT AS THOUGH EVEN A MEDIOCRE RELIEVER COULD GET A SAVE ~90% OF THE TIME!!!

      • @rhayex: Ha ha ha. See Kevin Gregg today.

        Hoover and Partch could both be closers. A healthy Broxton was a closer. A healthy Marshall closed.

        I bet that Jay Bruce could save a game or two by just throwing heat.

        Chapman could have been a starter for this team, scaring opponents every 5th day.

        Instead, he throws one inning about every 5th day. Ridiculous.

        • @Steve Mancuso:
          I thought a lot of commenters were saying Sam was washed up when he started giving up runs last month. Just curious who really thinks starting Chapman at the beginning of the season really would have been the best move? Starting him at this point of the season might make the most sense if they were going to do it at all.

          Leake would have been the odd man out but probably would have taken over when Cueto went down. We never would have seen Cingranni start and he probably is about as good as we could have expected from Chapman.
          What is they got a legitimate closer at the deadline for Leake, would anybody be for that, if Chapman could start for the remainder of the season?

  8. From reading this discussion, one would think the Reds would have won this game easily had Aroldis Chapman pitched.

    • @kywhi:

      Indeed.

      Despite the fact I do agree Dusty needs to use Chapman more in non-save situations (doesn’t he ever notice how often opposing managers do it, including today?), the offense still needs to score some runs to win the game.

      That the Reds could do abosolutely nothing against a guy like Capuano is the story of this game, not Dusty’s failure to use Chapman.

      • @CI3J: Agreed. Although using a closer at home in a tie game is also something Dusty will do. Lord forbid he’d go more than 1 inning though. Still, it is the offense’s failure to hit Capuano that lost the game today.

        Also of note. I had a piece prepared that was revisiting the Reds’ offense’s “famine” games. It was looking good for the Reds, especially when I raised the floor to 3 runs or less, as was suggested by many posters here. The study only went through last Thursday night though so I need to update it with the 3 straight “famine” games the Reds have just played.

    • @kywhi: Sarcasm noted.

      The idea is not leaving your best relief pitcher on the bench in extra innings. That’s like playing shorthanded, but the Reds do this a lot. Why? It contradicts a winning strategy.

      Yes, they needed to hit, but Chapman may have given them two more ABs to hit.

      Also, the small market Reds pay Chappy a metric ton of money to pitch, but he doesn’t pitch much at all. Does this make sense to anyone?

    • @kywhi: The issue is that sometimes you run into great pitching, and you struggle to hit. We all know that that’s a part of the game, right? The Dodgers ran into it same as we did.

      All you can do when that happens is do everything you can to win. I think that’s where the frustration comes from.

  9. Reds have 3 series wins against plus .500 teams:

    Pirates – twice, both 2 games to 1
    Indians – 2 game sweep at home

    Doesn’t give you the warm fuzzies.

  10. rhayex: “The Reds swinging (hacking?) at a pitcher with a 5.4 ERA is inexcusable.” You got that right. League has been a disaster this year (speaking of closers, the Dodgers picked him up to close) and his command stunk. Finally the Reds can score a run, I’m thinking.

    So Frazier swings at the first pitch; Paul does his job and easily walks; Mesoraco swings at the first strike to GIDP. In the 11th inning, the mighty Izturis, Robinson (weak when batting LHed), and Heisey are up. The only one of them with a realistic chance to do damage, Heisey, swings at the first pitch.

    Why was Robinson even still in the game after Choo pinch hit ??? My bet is Dusty was thinking of defense. Think of defense when you’re ahead, not when it’s tied. And Robinson plays a single into a double, not exactly a Gold Glover in CF.

  11. Maybe Dusty will surprise us all: Chapman starts one of the next three games against the Friars. For real.

        • @Eric the Red: Baker has been batting weak-hitting shortstops at the top of the order for YEARS now. Nonsensical yes, but hardly a surprise to someone familiar with his lineup construction tendencies.

    • @wildwestLV: That won’t happen and at this point it wouldn’t even be a good idea. The Reds starters are all pitching well and Chapman is very rusty from a season of mostly just warming up in case the Reds take the lead.

  12. The Reds pitching (even with Chapman continuing his season long rest) allowed only 9 runs to a dynamic offense in 4 games (including an extra inning game). Four of those runs came in one game. So that’s 5 runs in the other 3, and only 1 win to show for it ?

    Who cares about setting strikeout records when you lose ?

    The Cardinals got swept this weekend, and the Reds did not pick up a single game.

    • The Cardinals got swept this weekend, and the Reds did not pick up a single game.

      That right there makes me want to break something.

  13. At least we didnt’t lose any ground to St. Louis… Take 2/3 In SD and I still think it would be a successful road trip. The up coming series with the redbirds is going to be huge. win that series and you’ll be right there, lose the series and then all we have to look forward to is a one game playoff

    • @WedgieSanders: Nothing to disagree with there. Still, beating Capuano or Ryu would have been very, very nice. After you beat Greinke in the first game, you have to think you can get a split and you may start thinking you can get 3 of 4.

  14. I’ve been as critical as anyone about the disastrous management of Aroldis Chapman by the Reds. Yes, the modern role of closers is stupid. Yes, it’s stupid that Aroldis Chapman is the Reds closer. All those things.

    But given that Chapman is the closer and every manager handles the closer role the same way, the Reds did nothing unusual or wrong today.

    In a game on the road, you don’t bring your closer into a tied game unless you are going to pitch him more than one inning. For the Reds to win, at some point they would take the lead in the top of an inning and then need someone to close the bottom of the inning.

    If, say they had used Chapman in the tenth inning instead of Partch, and the Reds scored in the top of the eleventh, then someone else would have to close the game out. Any winning scenario includes Chapman plus a second pitcher. Given that, saving Chapman to be the second of those two pitchers is consistent with the way closers are used.

    The Reds didn’t lose this game because Partch gave up a run in the 11th inning. They lost it because they didn’t score a single run.

    • @Steve Mancuso: Given your view of Dusty’s use of Chapman, which you have expressed consistently, your statement shows how fair minded you are. Depending on circumstances, not every manager handles every extra inning game by waiting until the save opportunity develops to bring in the closer. But that’s nit picking, you’re right that it’s the general practice.

      I’m more frustrated about the 0 runs in 11 innings part, I said enough about that above.

    • @Steve Mancuso: I get it, and you’re right.

      However, putting less than your best relief pitcher out there in a sudden death situation is a recipe not to win. I was at that 14 inning disaster vs the Cubs in June and nearly pulled my hair out.

      Pitch Chapman, and you have more opportunities to score. Figure out who pitches the bottom of the inning later.

      It’s like saving your best pitcher for game seven when you have to win game six.
      And yes, I can see Dusty doing just that.

    • The Reds didn’t lose this game because Partch gave up a run in the 11th inning. They lost it because they didn’t score a single run.

      Came here to say this. Leaving satisfied.

      • @RedZeppelin:
        For some reason I feel if Partch gets Puig out they would not have lossed the game, but it is a realistic point. Where the game was lossed is that they did not tee off on the starting pitcher. Possibly the previous 2 games messed them up collectively because they were rolling.

  15. I’ve said since the day Ludwick hurt his shoulder that the Reds needed to acquire a right-handed bat. They’ve waited four months and now may not make any trade because Ludwick is about to come back.

    • @Steve Mancuso: I was at the Louisville game this evening. While I am no scout, Ludwick’s bat looked very, very slow against a 91 mph fastball from Pineda. In my mind, Ludwick looks to be quite far away from ready to be a productive big league hitter.

    • @Steve Mancuso:
      Ask Matt Kemp what it’s like to come back from shoulder surgery.
      Though I hope I am wrong…I think Ludwick will hurt the team more than help it, when he returns.

      • @VaRedsFan: I hope the Reds are operating under the assumption that your scenario is at least possible. I was discouraged to hear Jocketty talk about Ludwick’s return as though *that* was the right-handed power bat that could solve the Reds hitting inconsistencies.

  16. Changing the subject a bit – Tony Cingrani’s performance today gave me more confidence that the Reds can and will let Bronson Arroyo go. I know it was just one game, but it was against an excellent team and it was a truly dominating performance. How could you watch that and not feel like Cingrani can be an effective major league pitcher?

    • @Steve Mancuso: I only had audio for this game, but Brantley was practically drooling over Cingrani’s stuff. Hoping we have a healthy Cueto next year, I think swapping Tony in for Bronson gives the Reds a slightly stronger, and overall more balanced rotation than they have this season. Good to have a lefty in there to rumble around some opposing lineups every fifth game, and Leake tosses awfully similar to Arroyo to begin with. I’ve yet to see any reason why Cingrani can’t be a very effective 4th or 5th starter for a postseason team.

      • @dc937: One thing that Cingrani showed was the value of a lefty power arm. The Dodgers are a great hitting team and there were countless times when Cingrani just threw the ball right by them. And his occasional off-speed pitches really tied them up.

  17. Out of 153 hitters with enough AB to qualify for the batting title, Brandon Phillips is ranked #114 in wRC+ — if you look at just the last 30 days, he is #152 out of 185 hitters. All those RBI are like gorilla dust, distracting people from seeing what a terrible year he’s having at the plate.

    He and Frazier have each hit one home run in the last 30 days.

    • @Steve Mancuso: Yeah, I noticed he was ranked 12th out of all qualifying second basemen. Cozart is 15th out of all qualifying SS’s. Him and Cozart have become the sterotypical light hitting SS/2B combo.

      Sidenote: Had to google gorilla dust. You have a daft hand at wordplay. :wink:

        • @Steve Mancuso: I vaguely remember that since I had a crazy off beat uncle who suddenly became a Reform Party member. Mostly I just remember Dana Carvey playing Ross Perot. :lol:

          I think daft/deft misuse should become part of the RN lexicon.

      • @pinson343: But wait… He’s among the league leaders is RBI! He must be having a great season! … Not sure how it is possible he was 0-2 with RISP yesterday.

        I love BP, he’s my 2nd favorite Red behind Bruce. He is an exceptional player and a good hitter. Some of this stuff had to be pointed out though. It’s past time to get him out of the 4 hole.

    • @Steve Mancuso: Latos vs. Volquez in Game 2, you’ve got to like that. The Padre Game 1 pitcher was not pitching well at AAA.

      In Game 3 Stults is a pretty good lefty but has slumped lately. Homer should shut down the Padres.

      But baseball being what it is, the Reds need to go out there and play well or they won’t even win the series.

      • @pinson343:

        Wait, what’s this? The game 1 pitcher is a new guy fresh from AAA?

        Knowing our Reds, he’s probably going to throw a complete game shutout. They always seem to tank against pitchers they haven’t seen before.

  18. My fault, guys. I was at the game, and Dusty and the mighty offense were determined to show me that what I’ve been hearing on the radio and once in a while on TV were indeed true.

    Why was Mes swinging on a 1-0 pitch just after Brandon League walked XP on five pitches? … So much I’d like to say, just for therapeutic reasons, but you all have covered it here. Except that I’m somewhat in awe of the job the pitchers are doing. … Actually, a question: What percentage of fastballs vs. other pitchers did Cingrani throw today? That was too good of a performance to not get rewarded with a win. I think his ERA is down under 3 now.

  19. and Choo wasn’t in the line-up today …uh why again? he was tired? all the pressure of Korea Day and you know says Dusty “it’s been a tough trip and his parents are here and they don’t speak English”…right that makes sense. ?? We wouldn’t want him to break down, even though he’s fit as an ox and gone in 4 months anyway…oh that’s right it’s a lefty-lefty thing with the mighty Capuano on the mound..he doesn’t stand a chance anyway. It would be stupid to rest him against the weaker Padre club wouldn’t it? let’s give him the day off with a four game series on the line, sure why not.
    The Reds aren’t gonna win with Cozart, Frazier, Heisey/4th outfielder, and whoever’s catching in the line-up every day. Aint gonna happen. Frazier might wake up somewhere down the line like Edwin Encarnacion but thats not now, and Cozart’s never gonna be anything more than a Castro or Janish. Ludwick’s not the answer, he’s a 4th outfielder on a contender and hasn’t played all year. I don’t have a solution but if nothing happens, bye bye 2013. Hell, id trade Chapman in a heartbeat but they won’t do it. The role of the closer’s over-rated anyway. Christ the way they baby these guys is a joke.

  20. Yes, Dusty should have used Chapman but that’s not why we lost yesterday. Whose to say Chapman might not have blown it too? The pitching was brilliant. Love Cingrani’s mound presence. Bryan Price deserves a bonus for the job he’s done turning Parra around. Or as George Grande calls him: Pair-ah.

    The offense went from so good in SF to completely shut-down in LA. Kershaw I can understand and maybe Ryu but Capuano? Come-on. Cozart just can’t deliver and Mesoraco has no clue on the bases. Somebody can look it up for me but what’s our record against teams with winning records? Can’t be good.

    • @sezwhom1:

      “but what’s our record against teams with winning records?”

      Reds are 17-27
      For comparison:
      Cards are 14-18
      Pirates are 21-20
      Atlanta best % at 19-13

      currently league average is 17-24

  21. One thought … Choo or even Izturis hitting for Robinson with 1 out and Meso on 3rd. Robinson (and I love the kid) had looked at 3rd strikes a couple of times. Both Choo and Izturis at least know a moderate fly ball gets Meso home.

    Frustrating …

    • @msanmoore:

      This is a spot where Dusty knowing what ‘statistics’ are would have helped.

      Of all Reds hitters, Derrick Robinson has the LOWEST (of 13 players) fly ball percentage at 24.2%. For comparison’s sake, Heisey is 1st (no surprise) with 45.4%. Bruce and Cozart are 2-3 at 37.5% and 37.4%, respectively.

      With a runner on 3rd, in that situation, Choo (28%, 8th of 13) was the best available choice.

      To some, 3.8% differnce may not be a lot, but the PERCENT difference is 15.7%, that is to say, Choo has hit fly balls 15.7% more often so far this year than has Robinson.

  22. Amazing stat of the day, courtesy of ESPN: The Cardinals could go 0 for their next 230+ with RISP and they’d STILL BE LEADING THE LEAGUE. The Cards are doing things no team has ever done with RISP, their 1B is batting almost .500 with RISP (that’s average, not OBP), and they still can’t shake us or the Pirates.

    Comforting stat, courtesy of me: Cardinals last 4 games: 6 runs. Reds last 4 games, against better pitching: 7 runs.

  23. Beginning with his first start in June, and moving forward to yesterday, here are the number of earned runs given up by Chris Capuano. Games marked with an asterisk are vs AL teams:

    0*
    0
    5
    5
    0
    5*
    0

    So, yesterday was one of his 0 days instead of a 5 day. It happens. It’s baseball. I feel pretty good: on the road, against the hottest team in baseball and with some great pitching, we were in every game. Beats losing 2 of 3 to Miami or getting swept by Atlanta.

    • @Eric the Red: Good stuff and makes me not quite as depressed. The next 3 games, the guys need to have their hitting shoes on.

      Capuano is like the Girl with the Curl………..

    • @Eric the Red: So lately, when Capuano has been good, he’s been very, very good. When Capuano has been bad, he’s been pretty bad. Good job pointing that out.

      • @LWBlogger: I just realized that may have sounded sarcastic when I was being serious. I should have said “Thank you for pointing that out.” as your data shows that when Capuano is on, he’s tough for anyone to hit. This should make at least a few people feel a little better about the game yesterday.

  24. Shut out by Chris Capuano? That is inexcusable.

    Now that I understand why Parra has turned it around, I no longer feel uncomfortable when he enters the game and he is definitely no longer the lowest man in the bullpen. My rank of most comfortable to least (when Broxton and Marshall come back?)

    1.) Marshall
    2.) LeCure
    3.) Chapman
    4.) Parra (What a change in my mindset!)
    5.) Simon
    6.) Hoover
    7.) Broxton
    8.) Ondrusek
    9.) Partch

  25. How long do the Reds have control of Leake, Cueto, Latos, and Bailey?

    Realizing the answer to that question might impact the next, given the Reds ‘window’ of opportunity to win and current lack of offensive production, what type of offensive production could they look for in return for either Latos or Bailey?

    My question is a kneejerk reaction to the lack of offense this past weekend…..feeling more and more in order to beat the teams with better pitching they will need more offensive ‘punch’ – and with Cingrani looking more and more like a top of the rotation guy, perhaps they give up some pitching (Latos/Bailey) to get some offense, and either push Stephenson (to AA now, and perhaps MLB by mid year next year) and sign a stop gap starter….

    I know its a crazy concept, but it does not look like Hamilton will be ready by next spring, and with the impending loss of Choo the run production is going to take another hit…..
    .

    • @zblakey: That senario is really a decision for the off-season rather than in a playoff run, but your point is very valid.

      FA 2015 => Homer Bailey
      FA 2016 => Johnny Cueto
      FA 2016 => Mat Latos
      FA 2016 => Mike Leake

  26. Robinson, 0-5 with 2 SO & Heisey, 0-5. Dusty inserted both players into the starting lineup to hit against a weak LHP. Kudos to Dusty for putting these players into the best positions for them to succeed. That’s Dusty’s responsibility and from that point, it’s up to the players and neither player produced.

    Dusty’s adjustment to the lineup left Choo & XP available on the bench for high leverage pinch hitting. I think utilizing Choo to pinch hit for the pitcher leading off the 8th inning of a tied ballgame qualifies as an appropriate high leverage situation so kudos to Dusty and Choo reached base successfully to lead off the inning although the Reds failed to score.

    Then Dusty started being Dusty in his game mismanagement by not leaving Choo, one of the best hitters on the team, in the lineup for what was shaping up as an extra inning game. Inserting Choo in CF and replacing either Heisey or Robinson with the relief pitcher keeps Choo’s bat in the lineup, but Dusty chose to send Choo to the bench rather than Robinson or Heisey. That was a bonehead move by Dusty.

    Then Dusty started being Dusty in his game mismanagement

    • @Shchi Cossack: Then Dusty continued being Dusty in his game mismanagement utilizing XP, his lone remaining high leverage pinch hitter, to pinch hit for a position player with one out and the bases empty in an extra inning game. How is that a high leverage situation? Even if XP reaches base (which he did), the Reds still need at least one more hit to score with the bottom of the order coming up. I don’t see that as a high leverage situation unless Dusty assumes the pinch hitter will simply hit a home run, in which case every pinch hitting opportunity is a high leverage situation. In addition, by removing a position player for a pinch hitter who can not play the position being removed, wastes another player off the bench in an extra inning game. If Dusty had pinch hit Izturis for Cozart (but why?) and Izturis (or Cozart) reaches base, then the pitchers spot coming up does become a high leverage situation and XP is available to pich hit.

    • @Shchi Cossack: I agree that Dusty didn’t necessarily err in having DRob & Heisey in the lineup versus a LHP. I think there is plenty of room to quibble that Heisey is unsuited for batting high in the order, since the guy NEVER walks. But since Dusty hamstrings himself with his own lineup construction, he could do a lot worse. Not optimal decision making, but not horrible either.

      However, since we’re talking about high leverage pinch hitter: What was more high leverage: 1) pinch hitting Choo for the worst hitter on the team (possibly the worst starter in the National League?) in Cozart in the 7th with runners on 1st and 2nd 2 outs, where the Dodgers don’t have a left handed pitcher ready to come in, or 2) Using Choo to pinch hit for the pitcher in the 8th with bases empty and 1 out?

      My personal view of Dusty’s management isn’t that he makes tons of huge mistakes, it’s that he quite frequently makes sub-optimal decisions. The Reds seem to suffer from a death by a thousand cuts…

  27. Its amazing how this team has gone from the Dunn-Larkin-Griffey years of the last decade, of no pitching and lots of runs, to this era now of great pitching and very inconsistent offense.

    • @Larry1980: I know which version I prefer. So much so that I wish we’d find a way to keep Bronson since you can never have enough pitching. Sadly, I’m pretty sure he’ll be a Giant next year, making full use of that huge outfield in SF and pitching a lot of his away games in those big NL West ballparks.

  28. Michael Young could be a good pick up for the Reds in a trade. He plays across the infield, but primarily 3B. Veteran right handed bat with post-season experience. It wouldn’t be a huge move, but he’d be a vast improvement over Jack Hannahan, who would get sent to AAA. On the one hand, Young is a free agent in 2014, so he wouldn’t be too expensive in the trade market. On the other hand, I’d expect several teams to be looking for a piece like that. So maybe a small bidding war.

  29. Call me crazy but here goes: If it is all but a certainty the Reds won’t re-sign Arroyo, they should at least consider (I said consider) trading him now. If they could get an A-list bat and beef up the minors, I saw go for it. They would probably still get a wildcard spot, and that’s what they seem destined for anyway. Shorten up the rotation in the playoffs. Yeah, it’s crazy I know, but this season is looking more and more like a limping to the playoffs and early exit type season to me anyway.

    • @vared: Arroyo is untradeable. When Arroyo signed at a very significant discount, his contract included significant deferred payments that immediately become due if he is traded. The Reds will still be responsible for those deferred payments after this season.

      • @Shchi Cossack: Yeah, and that’s why I don’t understand it when people say, “Arroyo’s contract is coming off the books next season, so…” in regards to signing extensions and free agents. It really isn’t coming off the books. It’s still going to be paid. It was a good deal at the time, and it remains one because of what the Reds could accomplish, but they used the money they saved in the short term to sign Ludwick, Marshall, and Broxton. Two of those three I could’ve happily let walk (Broxton and Ludwick).

  30. The Reds will not realize their full potential until Baker is out of Cincinnati. But Dusty is the owners man, so we know what that means.

  31. I love how everyone acts like absolutely everything is Dusty Baker’s fault no matter what he does. He could go win the World Series and you guys would still be trying to drive him out of the city. Listen i’m not a huge Dusty fan he makes a ton of decisions that absolutely drive me crazy but even when the team fails due to something that wasn’t dusty baker (like getting 3 hits in 11 innings) it’s still dusty baker’s fault. Or if he had brought in aroldis chapman, and then the reds wound up with a lead and needed their closer a few innings later and Chapman wasn’t available, dusty baker would be getting blasted for not saving his closer while he’s on the road. listen guys there’s a difference between acknowleding dusty’s mistakes, and absolutely throwing him under the bus for everything, especailly when it’s things he can’t control. i’m pretty sure he wasn’t in the batter’s box for the whole game but the players were. i understand that he has a hand in that because of his hitting philosophies and all that but just because he has his philosophies about baseball doesn’t mean the hitters aren’t allowed to try to draw walks unless they’re just mindless drones. all i’m saying is that it seems like a lot of you are really angry even though we have a team well above .500(and would be in first in essentailly any other division) and it seems like all the frustration gets taken out on dusty when it’s not all of it his fault(yeah a decent amount of it is) but just as much is on the players. because for the amount that we blame dusty baker for losing, whenever we win all i hear is that we won in spite of dusty baker. it just gets really old

    • @CorkyMillersMustache: Baseball is a game where a .300 batter is a potential hall of famer and a .250 average is a subpar player. That’s a .050 difference for the mathematically challenged. I think a lot of the frustration stems from the fact that, in baseball, such miniscule differences over the course of a 162 game season end up making a big difference. A “big difference” may only be 1-3 wins, but that could be huge – especially this year. Speaking for myself, I’m still very optimistic that the Reds can win the division and/or a World Series with Dusty, but I’m also a huge critic of Dusty because he makes it “that” much harder. His job is to put players in a position to maximize their potential for the good of the team. It’s been proven that he does not do that – whether it is Cozart batting 2 for so long, the use of Chapman, etc. Furthermore, it’s extra frustrating that he bases those decisions on antiquated beliefs, some of which have been statistically proven false, and which bums like me can understand. The Reds, as an organization, have done a ton to win now – except for their decision on who to manage the team.

      • @bohdi: No yeah i totally understand and like i said, i’m not trying to just blindly support dusty baker here because i agree with you he does make a lot of questionable decisions. honestly more than questionable. all i’m trying to say is that people seem to only to focus on the bad things dusty baker does and he never gets any credit for the things he does well like motivate players and get them to play better for him. Like look at manny parra. at the beginning of the season anyone in their right mind would have had him off the team or atleast almost never pitching. but now since dusty baker showed the confidence in him and was willing to use him in high leverage situations throughout the season and now he’s improved and everyone is saying oh well we didn’t see this coming from manny parra it’s an awesome surprise. well some of that may have the fact that dusty baker was willing to show that confidence and use him. all i’m trying to say is that yes, dusty baker does make bad decisions and sometimes(probably a decent amount of the time) he costs the Reds a win. But it seems to me like we focus too much on dusty baker costing us wins, and not when the reds players cost us wins. i just would like to see it be fair is what i’m trying to get at. if D-Bakes is gonna get thrown under the bus for not using aroldis chapman, why aren’t the hitters at least mildly at fault for only having 3 hits in 11 innings? it has to go both ways everything can’t always be dusty baker’s fault no matter what that just isn’t fair to him. i’m not really disagreeing with you at all because i’m tired of seeing cozart in the 2 hole and i’m tired of chapman only being used 3 outs at a time. i just think sometimes the anger and fervor towards dusty baker is a little unfair.

        • @CorkyMillersMustache: Sounds like we essentially agree. The only thing I’d add, is that you hear more about Dusty’s decisions because most of them are so easily fixable. People not getting hits is bad, but what can anyone say/do to fix it? A lot of issues are subjective but the decisions Dusty makes are so blatantly wrong that it creates the frustration you are seeing. It’s hard to give Dusty credit for his good attributes when they are so regularly overshadowed by his poor decisions.

        • @bohdi: yeah that’s totally fair and i’m okay with that i just think it gets sometimes to the point where it’s excessive to the point where people just refuse to accept that he ever does anything right and all he ever does is screw up or fail which isn’t true. to me there’s a difference between reasonable questioning or critcizing someone, and just plain hating him no matter what he does. and that’s where a lot of people are at at this point which isn’t fair.

    • @CorkyMillersMustache: I agree with a lot of what you say. But I sure hope we get to try out your theory about how people would react if we win the world series with Dusty as manager. The fear driving a lot of people is that we’ll never get to find out; last year’s historic collapse wasn’t exactly encouraging.

      • @Eric the Red: Yeah i agree. I mean i’m not trying to say that we will win a World Series with D-Bakes or that if we did it would be all thanks to him because it wouldn’t, it’s a team effort. I just know that if the Reds won the world series i don’t think you’d hear word one from fans about what Baker did right that season you would only hear about how the players put it together and won a world series etc, etc. Like i said i’m not trying to blindly support Baker at all, i’m really kind of neutral on the subject of dusty baker it’s just that he’s such a polarizing figure in Cincinnati sports and if you don’t like him you REALLY don’t like him and no matter what happens they still aren’t going to like dusty baker which isn’t entirely fair. i mean he has been a manager in the mlb for decades for a reason. for all the mistakes he makes he does have strengths that don’t ever get talked about because people just plain don’t like him, and are looking for a scapegoat when the reds aren’t hitting or whatever. and as far as last year’s collapse goes, dusty baker didn’t help that at all, but i blame that more on the giants turning shit around and the Reds hitters just disappearing.
        also if you want to go back to last year’s playoffs to point out dusty baker’s failures we need to be fair because in Game 1 of the NLDS in San Francisco Johnny Cueto went down 1 batter into the game. And then dust baker proceded to make one of the better managerial moves i’ve seen in years. without blinking an eye he went to Sam LeCure for a couple shut down innings, giving Mat Latos enough time to warm up at his own pace, then brought in Mat Latos and essentially from there on it was game over. and if the Reds has one that series that would be remembered as a brilliant managerial move that totally saved our butts in a horrible situation. but it’s not because history tells everything and we lost that series so instead it was just a collapse. at this point i’m rambling i just people would be a little more fair and less emotional in the case of dusty baker.

  32. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Reds have inquired about Giants’ oufielder Hunter Pence.
    The Reds are in the market for a righty bat, so Pence would be a nice upgrade. However, Heyman hears that there isn’t a match thus far. The Giants would likely make Pence a qualifying offer if they keep him around until he reaches free agency this fall, so it would take a substantial offer to let him go

  33. Man, would that be great. If nothing else, Pence would bring some much needed energy to this club. If the price isn’t high, I’ do it.

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