2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: One step further into the abyss

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
St. Louis 13
Cincinnati 3

W: S. Miller (11-7)
L: B. Arroyo (9-9)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Joey Votto reached base all four times he came to bat, going 2-2 with two walks and a three-run homer that represented the entire offense for the evening.

NEGATIVES
–Do we really need to categorize all the negatives? Tonight’s game was a joke.

–Bronson Arroyo was simply awful, giving up four runs in the first inning and finishing with 3.2 innings, eight hits and seven runs allowed.

–The question of whether the Reds would try to fight to win this important game, even after getting behind early, was answered when Dusty Baker brought in Curtis Partch to be a sacrificial lamb in a game that he’d given up on. Partch gave up five runs on three hits and four walks in an inning and a third.

–Other than Joey Votto, the offense was awful. Again. Everyone else managed just four singles.

–Todd Frazier went hitless for the seventh straight game.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–What a complete and utter disaster. The Redlegs, stumbling home after a disappointing finish to the recent road trip, needed to make a good showing in this weekend series against the Cardinals at Great American Ballpark. Instead, they laid an egg. Embarrassing.

–Dusty Baker just gives up on more games than any other manager in the National League. This team is on the brink of falling out of playoff contention. They can’t afford to concede any games. Period.

–The Reds have been held to three or fewer runs in six of their last seven games.

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

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

90 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: One step further into the abyss

    • @Larry1980: I know Ohio Jim disagrees, but I think I agree with Larry on this. The Reds are not a team to show emotion, and I do think it’s a result of Dusty. The closest I can see to an “outburst” is Joey unleashing profanities, and Dusty chastised him for that….. Dusty’s approach is Don’t Worry, Be Happy, always play it cool and keep waiting for that hot streak. It never came in 2011, but did in 2012, surprisingly after Joey got hurt. And if it doesn’t happen this year, oh well. No urgency here. There hasn’t been any urgency here all season, so why start now? If there had been, maybe we’d be closer to first place in our division than we are to the wild card team chasing us. … Dusty thinks this “urgency” thing is like a light switch that can easily be turned on and off. I have my doubts.

      • @vegastypo: I don’t hold the manager blameless but I think the issues start on up the food chain from him.

        At the MLB level is isn’t the job of the manager and coaches to teach players how to play. It is the manager’s and coaches’ job to keep them tweaked and prepared. When you got a group out there that looks incapable, it is hard to know where to draw the line for the blame; but I was saying all the tweaking and preparation in the world in the end is not going to overcome lack of ability.

        • @OhioJim: I agree with you. I’m usually in the position of defending Dusty. I don’t really know whether he’s a good manager or not, but saying that he “gives up on more” games or is responsible for more losses than are other managers is emotional and not supportable. The players do the playing. The lineup matters, but not as much when you only have a few decent hitters. Does it really matter whether one .240 hitter replaces another? Could he play different guys? Sure, but looking at the bench doesn’t make me think that there is a diamond in the rough waiting for playing time. The Reds would not, with this roster, be the best team in the league no matter who was managing them.

  1. At this point we can still hope that the homeboys will pull out the last two games of the series but there isn’t really much of a reason to be encouraged that will happen.

    I felt like in LA the Reds competed well for the most part and just came up short to a home side that is playing some of the best ball in the league.

    In SanDiego, I started to wonder why it was that this team just didn’t seem to be able to compete aganst a team they should have been successful against at the least and perhaps even have dominated.

    As had been said by several folks here, the left side of the diamond (and now catcher) is being manned entirely by guys who are AAAA hope to be more types and bench types.

    I’ve pretty much reached the conclusion that it isn’t that these guys don’t care or don’t try, they simply aren’t up to getting the job done, at least not at point of their careers. And, given their ages, I think it is fair to seriously ask if they are at their ceilings (except for Meso)

    • @OhioJim: Well before Chris Denorfia hit that game winner versus the Reds the other night, he had been mentioned in several places as a type of guy that could help this year’s Reds team. I think of him as sort of an advances Heisey who went to school learned his trade and made a niche for himself as a role player sometimes starter.

      Per the Reds GM are we to believe that Denorfia or somebody like him really was not available and wouldn’t have been an upgrade to what they are running out their every night?

      • @OhioJim: I can’t really see a great advantage to Denorfia over Heisey. Denorfia has slightly more OBP but a little less SLG. They can each play average or better defense in all OF spots. Heisey is 5 years younger. Denorfia is owed 2.25mil next year while Heisey is still arbitration eligible. Would rather stick with Heisey as our 4th or 5th OF and use that money to lock up some starting pitching.

      • @OhioJim: I too don’t see Denorfia as a guy who would make much of a difference. The Reds don’t need another bench player who can play good defense. Some old guy who can still hit the ball 400+ feet and can take a walk, now that would help the bench.

        • @pinson343: And didn’t Denorfia do both of those in the lastest series in SB :)

          I was just holding him up as a type of player that had to be available. Not saying specifically he was the one they should have targeted.

      • @OhioJim: The question would have to include the cost, though. Denorfia might have been available, but only for people the Reds didn’t want to give up.

  2. I’d be willing to sacrifice this season if it means getting rid of Dusty, Jacoby, and the other dinosaurs whose philosophies are holding the franchise back. The starting pitching, the bullpen, and Votto/Bruce/Phillips are enough of a core to build around. Choo is an inevitable loss. Beyond that there isn’t a single player on the 25 man roster who couldn’t be replaced. Go out and get some guys who can get on base and work pitch counts to plug in around the stars, then put a management staff that makes competent decisions around them and this team would be awesome.

    • @Jason1972: It’s pretty simple – the Reds are shorter (or more inexperienced) in talent than they originally realized. To boot, this is a young team in # of ML years. Frazier, Cozart, Mez, and LF are not the least bit proven or experienced. Decent, experienced pitchers have a field day with those types of players. The Reds needed a solid batting coach this year – and don’t have one. Reds lost Rolen and his experience in working the count and those 4 players (Mez, Cozart, Frazier and LFer) have continued to flounder night in and night out. Not being able to hit Capuano in LA last Sunday was the beginning of a rapid demise. With Dusty’s incredible inability to mold a young team and emphasize fundamentals, this team has now sunk to new lows.

      Due to their demise, Reds fans, this season is now officially over.

      • @cincyreds14: The Reds needed a solid batting coach this year – and don’t have one. Reds lost Rolen and his experience in working the count and those 4 players (Mez, Cozart, Frazier and LFer) have continued to flounder night in and night out.

        Yet they watch Votto work a count to get a pitch to hit every day. Either Cozy and Fraz are incapable of doing this, or they’re not paying attention. Or maybe they’re capable, but haven’t been given the proper motivation. I’m with you, they need a different voice in charge, in the dugout.

      • @Jason1972:

        Due to their demise, Reds fans, this season is now officially over.

        It is August 3rd, the Reds have a decent cushion on a wild card spot, but the season is “officially over”?! You’ve got to be joking. This team may not be a World Series caliber team right now, but once the playoffs begin you just need to get hot for a couple weeks.

        It is a long season. It is baseball, where even the best teams lose 35% of their games. Appreciate the fact that our Reds are one of the better teams this year and we have the pleasure of enjoying 162 (and hopefully more) of their games this season.

        Sheesh. Go Reds.

        • @dc937: Shoot, this was in response to cincyreds14, not Jason1972. That’ll teach me from trying to post from my phone while still waking up.

        • @dc937:
          Good point no matter who it is directed at. It stinks to be down 4 runs before you even bat, it stinks to get pounded or blow leads, it stinks to not score runs, but this team is a few series wins away from fans acknowledging the Reds are one of the best teams

    • @Jason1972: You are exactly right, but for the brilliance that has been Coach Price and the fantastic pitching staff. This is the best pitching staff we have had, probably in Reds history, (at least since the 39-40 pitching and defensive teams).

    • @Jason1972: You inadvertently (I assume) make the point I make: the Reds have some talent, but not enough. Getting rid of Dusty won’t change that, even if a better manager were available.

  3. I wasn’t able to watch the travesty so fortunately couldn’t experience the emotional devastation first hand, but we haven’t lost the series yet. A blowout is a single loss.

    I’m much more angry that Dusty put in Patch in the 10th and 11th innings in a 0-0 against the Dodgers than using him as the long man in this game. Not that I liked Dusty’s business as usual approach in this game.

    I’m also more upset by Jocketty’s not doing a single thing, not even upgrading the bench, at the trade deadline. He most likely didn’t upgrade the anemic bench because he and Dusty think it’s a good one. After all, you have several guys who can play multiple positions.

    • @pinson343:

      I have to agree about Partch’s use against the Dodgers in extra innings. He was able to get through one inning, but Dusty sent him back out again. It seems like Dusty uses his good relievers for one inning stints while exposing his lesser ones to multiple innings.

  4. I don’t like it that the Reds are playing this series without either of their two best starters pitching. Not saying that they should have reshuffled the whole rotation for one series. The point is that having Latos and Homer pitch on consecutive days in the rotation leaves them unavailable for 3 game series on a regular basis. For 3 game series against any of the best teams, one of them needs to be pitching.

    All 3 wins vs. the Cardinals this season have been won by Latos.

    • @pinson343: Couldn’t agree more. The Cardinals have an excuse for not getting their pitching lined up for this series – five games in four days with the Pirates. The Reds have no such excuse. Dusty Baker probably didn’t want to hurt the feelings of any of his SP. The way the Cardinals hit, you need power arms to get the ball by them. If Cingrani is on tonight, he has a chance. Leake, I’m not so sure.

  5. Saturday’s pitching matchup is the most favorable one for the Reds in the series,
    Cingrani against Westbrook.

    There are some concerns, as always. The Cardinals’ patient approach at the plate will force Cingrani to throw strikes. And if on top of that he feels the home plate ump is squeezing him, trouble.

    As for Westbrook, he depends on hitters chasing low sinking pitches and hitting one ground ball after another. Uh oh.

  6. Marty and Brantley were talking during the game broadcast that it seems like the Cardinals are in the Reds’ heads. The Reds are intimidated, don’t really have much confidence they can beat the Cardinals, etc. …. I just think the Cardinals are a better team.

    But it’s just one game. Maybe tomorrow.

  7. This team is making me sick! Dusty has got to go and take his staff right with him! I’m sick of hearing all the crap I hear about Votto making too much money! He is the only real heart this team has and Dusty put the clamps on this which is bs!!!! This team needs a shot in the arm and I would love to see Votto just say heck w you Dusty and just go off on this entire dang team!!! They should be ashamed of themselves! They should’ve booed them off the field!!! Ppl at BW-3 were giving me weird looks because I was so angry and I donot give a crap! I love this team with my whole heart and I know they should and could be winning this stupid division if we had Dusty, Jacoby Bologna etc out of there!!!!! Bp need to shut his trap and look at himself in the mirror instead of crying about Votto’s contract!!! You signed your contract BP so slap your own dang self in the face fool!!! I’m still angry with last nights crap!!! Where the hell is the fire??? I’ve got so much that I could pass mine out to this whole orginization and still have plenty to spare for myself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Man I cannot stand Dusty and his so-called style! You have 2 outs and you pitch to Puig? Really!!!!!!!!!! Walk him you moron!!!! I’m still not over that crap either! If Molina was in the line-up it may have been 20-3!!!!!

  8. I have a bad feeling that even if we don’t make the playoffs, their are enough injury related excuses to allow Dusty to keep his job…

  9. Today is the Reds biggest game in a couple of years…lose today, and the division (at least) is gone, IMO. How they respond to this thrashing will say a lot about the team’s ability to come back.

    That said, I don’t agree with Chad about using Partch. Down 7-0, the game was gone. I would have used my last reliever also, hoping to save the better end of the bullpen for the rest of the series. What didn’t make sense to me was then using Simon (who Dusty seems to see as his #3 guy in the BP right now) after the game was completely out of reach.

    It is interesting to watch the hitting approaches on the two teams though..it seems to me that the Cards are not afraid to go deep into counts, hitting with 2 strikes. The Reds seem to hack most of the time…yet, when they do work counts, they seem to be successful. You’d hope they’d notice that.

    • @Bill Lack:
      Simon had not pitched since Saturday.
      I feel like I am watching a team stubbornly execute an unsuccessful old school hitting approach despite having 2 batters successfully execute the consistently successful approach that teams like the Cards practice.

    • @zblakey:
      Is this a remote possibility? If it is just wishful thinking let’s dream big, I want Rose back and bring Bench back to catch. I believe both work out with Rolen staying in playing shape.

  10. Frazier: last seven days, 21 AB’s and ZERO hits. He hasn’t hit a HR since July 1st. Let’s not forget, he had 6 HR’s in April. He has 4 since. Dude is on a serious decline yet Dusty loves that .237 average. His “D” has been good but this isn’t going to get it done.

    I’ve been watching the Reds a long time. There just seems to be something missing this year. Granted, they could turn it around and squeak into a playoff spot but I just don’t feel it this year. Dusty’s too easy on these guys. Cozart getting doubled off 2nd twice in the Padre game yet Dusty gave him a fist bump is burned into my memory. That just doesn’t fly with me.

    • @sezwhom1: Who should they play? Hannahan? A less experienced minor leaguer?

      The last few years have all had the same problem. No leadoff hitter and no cleanup hitter. One problem was solved this year, but the other wasn’t. Joey will get more pitches to hit and less walks with a good cleanup hitter.

      Bruce could probably do it but that is forbidden based on an illogical fear of late game situations where the opposing team can use a left-handed reliever in back-to-back at bats.

      If the time really is NOW offer: Robert Stephenson, Billy Hamilton, Aroldis Chapman, Nick Travieso for Giancarlo Stanton. We know what he can do.

      We don’t know if Stephenson or Travieso will be good, Chapman might as well not be a member of the team, and I believe Billy will have some serious growing pains.

      • @nelly33: We don’t really know what anybody will do. The package you suggest would pretty much guarantee the Reds years of obscurity–a repeat of the Dunn years. No thanks.

    • @sezwhom1:
      Frazier has a higher wRC+ than BP over the last 30 days. Phillips is rated around 13 th among 2B in 2013 in wRC+

      Several weak spots in the lineup.

  11. With all this hand-wringing and despair about this team’s condition right now, I have to ask: What did all of you see at the beginning of the season that made you think things would be otherwise?

    I mean, just like for the last few years, the Reds are a good team with great starting pitching and a handful of good bats that seem to go quiet late in the season. But other than Choo they failed to add anyone who would help make them a great team.

    So when so little changes, why did we expect the team to finally make it over the hump this year? What made us think the same bats wouldn’t go silent late in the year and/or during the playoffs? Did we predict more maturity? Better conditioning? A change in philosophy? More drive?

    • @RedZeppelin: This is easy. The Reds won 97 regular season and two post-season games last season. They added the best lead-off hitter in the game. They returned a strong, deep starting pitching staff and one of the top bullpens in the league.

      • @Steve Mancuso: Right, but where is the trophy they got for those 97 wins? What happened in the first round of the playoffs after those 97 wins? Great pitching, silent bats. Why does that sound familiar?

        • @RedZeppelin: You’re changing the question. You asked why anyone would have expected the Reds to be a great team in 2013 and that’s what I answered. Start with 97 wins and add Choo plus the continued development of the starting pitchers, which we’ve seen. That’s the answer to your question.

          What happened? Ludwick injury. Sean Marshall injury. Sophomore slumps for Frazier and Cozart.

          Add in a large dose of complacency on the part of the organization – Chapman to closer, no replacement for Ludwick in April, no moves at the trade deadline.

        • @Steve Mancuso: I see what you’re saying, but when the year began I didn’t see a fundamentally different team than we’ve seen in years prior.

        • @Steve Mancuso: Are we really calling this a sophomore slump for Cozart?

          Looks perfectly in line with the projections, perhaps on the bottom of the range, but I don’t see anything that screams that Zack will be egressing to the mean anytime soon.

      • @Steve Mancuso: Mr Jocketty and myself are about the same age but I guess he has forgotten about the aged term “sophomore slump”. Otherwise he might have had lined up more viable alternatives for his two “slumping sophomores” than Hannahan and Izturis. And its not like the signs weren’t there, looking at their entire bodies of work last year, that this might happen with one or both of them.

  12. Just want to confirm that the sun did come up in Cincinnati this morning. It is raining, though, with more forecast throughout the day into the early evening.

  13. I want to pile on the “giving up” criticism by pointing out that not only did the Reds have an off day on Thursday, they have another off day on Monday. Dusty Baker literally had the luxury of using every single pitcher in the bullpen in each of the three games in the unlikely event it was necessary.

    I was actually pleasantly surprised that he came out to get Bronson when he did. The score was still 5-0 in the fourth inning and there were two outs. Granted, it’s not likely the Reds will come back five runs behind, but *given the importance of the series* you have to play it that way.

    Bringing in the worst pitcher in the bullpen into the game and then leaving him in while he walked three consecutive batters was a horrible decision. How can the team take any other signal other than Baker had given up and the game was only in the fourth inning!

    It’s a recurring theme that Dusty Baker doesn’t manage with urgency in big situations, and last night in the fourth inning was a classic example. It certainly wasn’t his fault that the Reds lost, but that doesn’t make him immune from criticism.

    • @Steve Mancuso: I’m going to defend Dusty here ( I can’t believe I just typed that.). The way the team has been hitting lately did anyone expect that the game was really in reach when he brought in Partch? There is no difference in losing 13-3 or 5-3. I say save your strong guys for a winnable game.

      • @RedZeppelin: No reason to save anyone given the off days, that was my point. All the relievers could have pitched all three games.

        There may not be any difference in losing 15-3 and 5-3, but there sure is a big difference in the likelihood of coming back to win. Are you really saying that the Reds can’t win a game trailing 5-3 in the sixth inning?

        • @Steve Mancuso:
          I kind of see the logic in that Partch would probably have to pitch at some point in the game, why not eat up some innings if it is not going to matter. He used 4 others as Partch was not effective and it backfired. It would have made the most sense to me to let Bronson face one more batter if eating up innings was the issue, he had not allowed a run in the inning.
          I still do not see all the issues with using Partch in the Dodgers game over Chapman, what I did not realize is that Simon had not been used. That makes no sense at all…
          The real issue is that Baker tends to give up and it is a valid point

      • @RedZeppelin: I’m with you on this. And I think if the lead had stayed at 5, the Cardinals win 5-0. Miller hadn’t given Votto anything to hit the entire game. I don’t think he would have challenged him only up five, but of course I don’t know that…

      • @RedZeppelin: Agree with this. If the Reds have to win in 13-innings today, I want the best pitchers available. To know that we wasted some of them in a game we were don 4-runs in the 5th the night before, would be stupid. Reds just can’t score 5 runs at the moment. Granted they can and will break out of it at some point but there are zero signs we are there yet.

        Hate they used Sam in that disaster last night. IMO, he is the best reliever they have and it isn’t even close.

        • If the Reds have to win in 13-innings today, I want the best pitchers available.

          Sounds just like Dusty Baker. Suppose we have to go 13 innings tomorrow. Suppose we have to go 15 innings with one armed tied behind our back. Suppose everyone in the bullpen wakes up with the flu tomorrow. Ridiculous.

  14. I agree that Dusty is a big part of the problem. Given his sometimes bizarre lineup and in-game decisions, players may doubt that Dusty is putting them in the best position to win. So they may like him, but not respect him. Many of us have had experience working for an incompetent boss. It’s demoralizing.

  15. Through the first four innings, while the game was still on the line, the Cardinals hitters were patient and disciplined. It was the worst possible match-up for Bronson Arroyo. I’ve always felt (but no stats to back this up) that veteran hitters who have seen Bronson a lot before, have a much better chance against him.

    Meanwhile, behind 4-0, but with two runners on base ahead of him, Brandon Phillips struck out on a pitch at his eyes.

    When you combine the patience with the willingness to hit the ball the other way, which the Cardinals have, and it’s a recipe for disaster. The hitter can sit back and wait on Bronson and just line the ball to the opposite field. Beltran’s hits were to the opposite field. So was Allen Craig’s in the first inning.

    I’m concerned that Mike Leake has the same kind of stuff, unable to over-match the Cardinals hitters.

    Last night was the toughest of the three pitching match-ups in the series. That’s not to say that Westbrook and Lynn can’t shut down the Reds, because they have on occasion in the past. That’s the first I’ve seen Shelby Miller in person and I was impressed.

    • @Steve Mancuso: In general I agree. I think a major difference however is whether the hitters feel a pitcher has a pitch he can physically just throw by them. At this point Arroyo doesn’t have the ability to beat a guy with his fastball so he is only effective against hitters (like those on his own team ironically) who aren’t willing to wait the pitcher out and then deep in the count to just take the pitch and serve it toward an open area. I don’t know what Arroyo’s fastball was at last night but this is why he openly says that 88 or 89MPH he is fine but at 85/86, he is in a heap of trouble.

      • @OhioJim: Yes, but even more importantly is his location. He was getting squeezed last night and/or could not put the ball where he wants to, which is of utmost importance to him (he’s on one extreme in that area, and I think Bailey is on another extreme when it comes to location).

  16. I don’t think Dusty “gave up” when bringing in Parch, who has been actually very good lately. It just looks that way in hindsight because he was terrible. It happens.

    You know, the Reds beat the Cardinals by a similar 13-4 score earlier this year in the first game of a series, I believe. The Reds lost the rest of the series. Let’s see if our guys can turn it around and return the favor.

    • @Cincinnati Dave: I don’t know how good Partch is, but in concept I agree. Partch came in and walked the first two guys, and Jay knew he owned a clearly rattled, young reliever. That certainly wasn’t Dusty’s intention. If we had a healthy Marshall and Broxton, then Simon (who with those two guys healthy is the 5th best reliever, not the 3rd) would have been a more viable option. Partch has thrown some stinkers but also has a few games when he came in and tossed a perfect inning. The hope would have been that he had shaken off the walk-off the Puig and pitched well. He did the exact opposite.

      It just can’t always be only Dusty’s fault.

  17. You know what the crazy part of all of this is? Even after that demoralizing beatdown, the Reds are only 5.5 out of first place… Now it could be a different story in the next couple days if this team doesn’t start hitting, but strange things happen in this game. Just looking for the positive…

      • The 5.5 is an illusion.

        Umm, no, I’m pretty sure its real. The illusion is people giving up on a 6-month season after one bad week.

        • @dc937: 1-week or 2-months? What’s the difference? This is your 2013 Cincinnati Reds. We do get to play the Brewers & Cubs soon so we can go back to the illusion that we are following a playoff caliber team.

        • @dc937: In principle I agree. I haven’t abjectly thrown in the towel like several folks here. However I am discouraged that nothing was done to try and help the team at the trade deadline. So now I am crossing my fingers and hoping that sone nice piece might fall their way during the waiver trade period.

          I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Chase Utley at 3B would cure most of what ails this team, at the plate, on the field in general, and in the clubhouse.

        • @vicferrari: Times like these separate the real Reds fans from the Bangals “fans” et al who move from season to season and team to team based on what they feel the outcome is likely to be.

  18. This is why the manager gets paid the big bucks, the ship is on fire, you got to put it out and get it back on track and get some production out of what you got.

    They got to get through these two games with the Cards and then two more with the A’s. After that they got SD, Cubs and Brewers for 10 games. They just got to get back to getting wins on the board from here.

  19. I think, as much as anything, the vast difference in the philosophies of the teams was evident last night. St. Louis has learned to win the long season and now — after they had a funk that all teams have — they’ve fixed their problems by doing a couple of things:
    — Paying attention to how to get good at-bats.
    — Scoring early off a starter.

    Most starters are slow in the first inning. Even Miller was shaky. Guess what? The Birds start hitting, the Reds start hitting … um … well, no, they don’t.

    If a team can’t get up for this series at home 40K in the seats after a dismal road trip, nope … this isn’t a contender.

    We are all wise to just consider it a lost season … and realize that things are not going to change next year either.

    The injuries are an excuse. Getting 50 hits in 10 games is not an excuse. It’s a bad dugout strategy.

    Bronson is the senior rotation guy and he coughed on it last night.

    Do the Reds NOT study game films of opposing teams? Regardless of conjecture, the evidence strongly suggests they don’t.

  20. Cheer up, Nation. With all our injuries and how much of a struggle it’s been lately, I can only suggest that we need to start sending positive vibes the Reds’ way. Go get ‘em Reds!

  21. I think we should get Milton to hang out in the dugout w the team as their unofficial mascot. He could be the inspiration they need right now. How can we make this happen?

  22. Might I remind The Nation that at the beginning of the season the Reds went to St. Louis and drubbed the Cards in their home opener. Cards fans declared this a lost season right before the birds beat our Reds the next two. I’m not saying the Reds will do the same thing but this is baseball and it happens pretty often.

    Lastly, if the Reds tank, that is the only way we may not see Baker here next year. While I’m not sure that’s a good thing, most at The Nation think so. So, if they tank then maybe we can roll the dice with another manager. With our ownership I worry we’ll end up with another manager similar to Dusty but without his intangibles however, we could end up with the next Joe Maddon.

    • @LWBlogger: If they “really” tank very badly and Bob has seen enough, I would like to see Price finish out the year as manager

  23. To listen to most of you guys you’d think the ship had sunk with all hands on board. Odds are very good that regardless of what happens in this Cards series we still take a wildcard spot. We’re still not out of a shot at the division either with a sweep. Yeah the division is the real prize but as has been proven time and time again, you don’t need to have the best regular season to win the dance. You just need to get there and get hot. When they’re hot the Reds can beat any team in the league.

    • @Mwv: I’d like to bet on that and I may be persuaded to give you odds.

      If the team plays like it has the last ~60 games, it doesn’t have a chance. If they make it through August in one of the two WC spots, I will be pleasantly surprised. All you do is have to watch them play game-in, game-out.

  24. My point on bringing Partch in for the fourth inning is this: That was probably the last time the game was going to be winnable. If we hold them to five runs, we have a chance, but if they blow it open from there, we don’t. So why not bring in a better pitcher? Partch has been decent lately, but there’s no denying we had several better options for that spot to keep the game within reach. But wait, those are our “8th inning” pitchers, not our “fourth inning” pitchers. Forgot that.

    • @Steve Mancuso: I think the concept of “last time the game was winnable” is a byproduct of thinking about the game in terms of odds. Perhaps if we get out of the inning 5-0, we have a 10-15% chance to come back. If it gets out of hand, as it did, we have a 0.5% chance to come back, or so.

      Equating that 10-15% chance to win over a whole season and saying it will add 1 or 2 wins for the year is what a lot of us would do (and a lot of good managers). Dusty sees that even with a 5-0 lead, he has an 85-90% chance to lose and thinks “Why bother?” That thinking, rather than “putting my best guy in during times like this will get me 1-2 wins a year” is exactly why most of us can’t stand the way Dusty makes decisions. It’s all about here and now with no thought given to the term implications of letting your best players get the most/best playing time (i.e.-winning games).

      • @prjeter: That’s an interesting way to look at it. Sounds right. I think Baker is also constrained by his “roles” view of baseball – or at least the way he draws up the roles. To him, bullpen roles are based on (a) are the Reds ahead or behind and (b) what inning is it.

        So the fourth inning of a game trailing 5-0 calls for the last person in the bullpen.

        Too bad one of the roles isn’t “most important time of the game” for the best pitcher in the bullpen, or something close to that.

  25. Hopefully the Reds have more mental toughness than the Reds’ fanbase, because this is pretty ridiculous. I know the Bengals & Reds have taken a toll on the fanbase, but this is sad.

    It’s that time of year where dn4192 start opining about the Colts. :lol:

    • @CP: They need to start providing some reasons to believe. We are fans not blind followers into the “abyss”.

  26. The fact that they’d qualify for the playoffs if the season ended today doesn’t make them any less frustrating.

    We’re now four months into the season. In terms of wins and losses, they’ve only played above average in one of those months (May, when they went 19-8). Sure, the starters have been great all year (last night’s Badroyo sighting notwithstanding), but if you waste their efforts by not getting any hits, what’s the point?

    This team is treading water, and something needs to change. Hitting coaches are usually sacrificial lambs (you can’t fire the players), but Dusty’s nonchalance and old-school methods aren’t getting the job done. Seeing them flail in person here in L.A. last week and seeing how Mattingly — much like Bochy last October — made bullpen moves as if the season depended on the result of every game really drove it home for me. There’s not going to be a tomorrow to play for if the listlessness keeps up, and other than fanboy blind faith, there’s no reason to believe things will change.

  27. The comments are unreadable today. I wonder what The Nation will be like if they lose the series or Lord forbid, get swept. Yeah, the team has struggled since June but this team is still in the 2nd WC spot and is within striking distance of the 1st. People were ready to start a fire-sale after the last road trip. Do any of you remember when this team was truly bad? Heck, this team playing like poo is better than many of the teams since 2000. There were some horrible teams in the 80s too. They are stinking it up right now but I’ll take this over dreaming that my team might actually be over-.500. This team is in the hunt and will be until the end of the year. They have a chance. So many teams I’ve watched were dead by July.

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