2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: The Pupils Strike Back

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
St. Louis 3
Cincinnati 8

W: T. Cingrani (5-1)
L: J. Westbrook (7-6)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Devin Mesoraco went 2-4 with two homers and three RBI. He’s now hitting .257/.316/.414 on the season. I’ll take that.

–Joey Votto reached base four times, for the second straight night (1-2, 3 walks, 2 runs scored). Brandon Phillips was 2-4 with a walk and an RBI double. Shin-Soo Choo hit his 15th homer of the year.

–Absolutely brilliant work by the Reds bullpen tonight: four shutout, no-hit innings. Special kudos to JJ Hoover and Manny Parra, who were simply outstanding.

NEGATIVES
–Todd Frazier is 0-for-his-last-25. Ugh.

–The Redlegs had bases loaded with no outs in the seventh inning, yet they couldn’t plate even a single run. Fortunately, it didn’t hurt them, but the score was 5-3 at the time. A bit nerve-wracking.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–Sometimes you gotta give credit to the pupils. Or does Dusty get credit for the wins, with blame for the losses going to the players?

–Devin Mesoraco is turning into an excellent major league player before our eyes. If he gets really good, perhaps he can hit higher than eighth in the lineup?

–Not a great start by Tony Cingrani: five innings, three runs allowed on four hits and five walks. The young guy will have better days.

–This was the first time in ten games against St. Louis that the Reds scored more than four runs.

–Does everyone feel a little better today? Reds can win the series tomorrow, and that will be a big deal.

Source: FanGraphs

101 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: The Pupils Strike Back

  1. If the Reds can win tomorrow it will be huge, especially after the beat down they (and we) endured Friday night. The Reds need to show they can compete with the Cardinals. The proof is in the pudding, the more Mesoraco plays the better he gets. Parra has shown that he belongs, he is a force to be reckoned with. Looking forward to tomorrows game. Go Reds!

  2. “Or does Dusty get credit for the wins, with blame for the losses going to the players?”

    Funny, because around here, it seems losses are always his fault, and wins are always in spite of him. That’s the complete opposite of the notion expressed in the recap.

    • @renbutler: Dusty handled the bullpen well today, bringing in Simon and Parra at the right times. And BTW he had Chapman warming up early in the 8th inning in case Hoover ran into trouble. He showed some urgency, that’s what I want to see.

      And matching up Hannahan (instead of Frazier) against Westbrook was an important move.

    • @renbutler: I will give Dusty credit for getting Cingrani out of the game when it was clear he had nothing left. I give him credit for pitching Chapman in a non-save situation instead of letting him rot in the bullpen. I will even give him credit for sitting Frazier for the night.

      Like many others on the blog, however, I find his quote in the Enquirer an attempt to minimize his responsibility for the struggles of the last couple of months. I think that is the notion Chad was trying to convey.

      Let me be clear – not all of it is his fault, but good managers don’t try to shift responsibility.

      • @iw1967:

        I feel like he may be trying to get the players to take more responsibility for their own actions. Whether we like it or not, he’s right. He’s not in the batter’s box. I think he’s telling the players that they need to produce…it won’t just happen for them. Anyway, they looked good last night.

    • @renbutler: You took the words right out of my mouth (or off of my keyboard, as the case is). I think that almost always the players determine the outcome.

    • @renbutler: Here’s the difference: While I agree that the players bear the lion’s share of the the blame and credit for the losses and wins, the fact is that the athletes are going to fail a high number of times in this sport and we can accept that. The manager’s contribution may be minimal, but his fail rate should be negligible relative to the players’. When it is not, it is unacceptable, ergo, you get the Dusty-bashing you see here.

  3. I don’t think it was a bad night at all for Cingrani. He was getting squeezed pretty bad early. Of course the inconsistent ump never settled into a definite strike zone which didnt help matters. If he had only pitched 5 innings it would have been a great start. Especially if you consider that Jay walked on strike three in the first.

    • @RedTitan19: You’re right, thru 5 innings Cingrani struck out 7 and allowed only 2 hits. He got into a groove by the 3rd inning and was dominating until the 6th. At that point his pitch count was high, due to the 30 pitches in the first inning.

      • @RedTitan19: You’re right, thru 5 innings Cingrani struck out 7 and allowed only 2 hits. He got into a groove by the 3rd inning and was dominating until the 6th. At that point his pitch count was high, due to the 30 pitches in the first inning.

        Absolutely, Cingrani is a bonafide bulldog. He deserves to stay in starting rotation when Cueto comes back. And that would mean one heck of a starting five.

        Hope the Reds take the game tomorrow with an up and coming starter towing the rubber and send the Cards back out of town one game closer to the Reds.

    • @RedTitan19: Hey RT19 in answer to your earlier question about living in enemy territory, the answer is yes. Its known as Metro East. Think giant catsup bottle.

  4. Parra and Hoover were big factors in this win. The Cardinals seem poised to come back but Parra gets 5 outs. Then after the Reds load the bases in the bottom of the 7th inning and don’t score, I have a sinking feeling, with Holliday, et al. coming up in the 8th. Hoover gets them 1-2-3.

  5. Memo to Dusty you have monday and thursday off next week. Treat tommorows game like its an eliminaton game. All out for victory. Do not mess this one up.

  6. Just got home from the game and read through the game thread.

    It was great to see a couple veteran and wise commenters back. RiverCity Redleg predates me on this blog and I think Y-City Jim was one of the first commenters on the site back in 05 or 06. Good to hear from both of you guys!

    Chad mentioned most of what I was going to say. I’d add Brandon Phillips’ defensive play to stop a hit in the sixth inning. Also, how about Zack Cozart walking ahead of Mes turning that Hot Mes of a home run into a two-run jack.

    I have a slightly different take on Tony Cingrani. He had a rocky start, but regained his balance in the first inning. He was then plenty good through five against a tough, tough lineup, who was challenging him on every AB. He clearly lost it in the sixth. But overall, I was happy with his start.

    I really think the power arms help against the Cardinals – see Cingrani and the bullpen.

      • @pinson343: It’s funny you mention that. The comment-meter was the main reason this was the only Reds’ blog I went to. I was determined to get into and remain in the top 20 commenters (most loyal citizens, as Chad called it). It didn’t take long before I just identified with the site, the editors and many of the main commenters. I’ll never go elsewhere now.

    • @Steve Mancuso: Steve, appreciate your input about Cingrani. He definitely is not one to be intimidated and is a real bulldog when things could have fallen apart for him and the Reds in the first inning. He pitched quite a bit better against the Cards then BA did last evening – and thus should be considered the favorite for the remaining spot in the rotation when Cueto is ready. BA’s the past – Cingrani is the NOW and future of the Reds.

    • @Steve Mancuso: Thank you, Steve. I’m still on here almost every day, I’m just not able to comment as often as I used to. Happy to contribute when I can.

  7. My only point of real frustration in the game was D. Robinson’s AB with the bases loaded and 1 out, in the 7th, against a pitcher who had 5 major league innings, with 4 walks, and Robinson lifts a short fly on the first pitch. And it wasn’t even a good pitch to hit. The 8th inning showed how easily the game could have been broken wide open right there.

    • @pinson343: Oh yeah. That was awful. I can live with Bruce striking out against Choate but Robinson’s AB-one pitch-was worst case scenario. But how bout that decision from Matheny? How many managers walk BP to get to Bruce with no outs? Regardless of who is in the bullpen. Wouldn’t it be great to have a manager who is that far ahead of the game?

      • @RedTitan19: I’m really impressed by Matheny, both as a manager and as a person. Smart and level-headed. Overll I like him better than LaRussa as a manager.

        • @pinson343: Especially considering he had zero managing experience at any level before taking over the managing duties for the Cardinals.

    • @pinson343: Agreed. That was a disappointing AB. It made me think of Jocketty’s failure to improve the team at the trade deadline, even the bench. DRob has made a few plays and had a few good hits, but he’s overmatched in the big leagues. And it shows up at key times like the seventh inning. Can’t believe he swung at the first pitch with bases loaded.

      • @Steve Mancuso: Jocketty’s failure to improve the bench at the deadline mystified me. He can’t claim there was no opportunity there. He apparently thinks the bench is good enough for a championship team, it’s clearly not.

        • @pinson343: While I certainly agree that standing pat wasn’t in order, I don’t think that it’s at all clear that there were trade opportunities. I’m sure that Jocketty could have made a trade, but for a player who would help enough to offset the price? There wasn’t really much trading going on at all.

        • @greenmtred: It was a tough market for a number of structural reasons beyond Walt Jocketty’s control. On the other hand, that didn’t prevent the Tigers’ GM from making (a) a three-way trade to bring in a talented and young starting shortstop, and (b) a trade to bring in a solid relief pitcher. Or stop the Red Sox from acquiring Jake Peavy.

    • @pinson343: Pitch was in on his hands. I’m not sure if it was a cutter that cut in hard or what. I do know that if you have a guy who can be wild and you know he throws a cutter, you can’t swing at anything on the inner quarter on the first pitch as a left-handed batter. Awful.

  8. Don’t agree with you at all about Tony C having a less than a stellar outing – how quickly one forgets about Friday night’s game. To recap, the Cards scored 13 runs – 5 runs coming in the first 2 innings off BA. How did Tony C then do against a team that he watched knock the snockers out of BA last evening? He proceeded to surrender one run on 2 hits through the front 5. And although his control was less than stellar (4 or 5 walks), he kept the Reds in the game over the first 5. Did BA? Of course not, and that is why when Johnny C comes back, BA goes to the BP and Cingrani takes over his spot in the rotation. BA days are numbered and is close to being done as a Red, since he can’t beat a good hitting team and at 23 – Cingrani did just that this evening.

      • @vicferrari: So much better than BA, wouldn’t you agree? And at $13 million BA is as good as gone. The Reds need hungry players, not players who are merely concerned about filling their pockets late in their careers.

        • @cincyreds14: Kind of a low blow, I think Bronson Arroyo is of higher character than that. Bronson would make an excellent pitching coach if that’s the path he chooses to follow.

        • @Sergeant2: You may want to actually listen to BA the next time he talks about his future with the Reds before making off-handed comments. That way you would be better informed (BA mentioned his pocket 1st – with no mention of the ‘team’ he has played for a half dozen years – unlike BP has done on a number of occasions – just saying – mentioning his pocket first was actually the low blow to real Reds fans).

        • @cincyreds14: Did you really just chide someone else for making off-handed comments? Really? You’ve made a whole slew of them all night long. Bronson has been open and honest in interviews about his future with the Reds. He’s stated that this is his last chance to sign a multi-year deal and that with the current crop of talent the Reds have it’s likely they won’t value him enough to give him multiple years. There’s nothing greedy or snide about those statements, he’s just speaking the truth. He’s always been a class act for the Reds and any organization will love having him.

        • @cincyreds14:
          Do not agree (so much), talk to me next month if Bronson is not sitting at his usual 15 wins (getting paid market value.

          reds have the luxury of not missing his wins next year

        • @cincyreds14: I don’t understand why many people have determined that Bronson is having a bad year in the past 24 hours. He had a rough outing yesterday but has having an incredible year overall. He had a near-career low ERA heading into yesterday (with one of his lower WHIPs) and is still in the mid-3′s. Bronson has been an asset for this team on and off the field.

        • @Kyle: Its great if BA is an asset to the Cincinnati area – but why wouldn’t BA make more of a case about the area or the team when he was asked directly about his future for the Reds? And then when he has a bad game, he just shrugs it off.

          We have been reading for weeks about the Reds really needing a few team leaders. Just saying with BA being 12 years older than Cingrani and a veteran of the Reds, he could have been more of a team oriented leader than simply discussing what he would need financially to stay (for example, how much he likes working with the young Reds starters, how much he likes the area etc. Simply did not hear that. That’s all.

        • @Kyle:

          Last 7 games:

          BA 4.83 ERA (41 innings)

          Cingrani 3.00 ERA (42 innings)

          Just saying, when was the last game Cingrani (who is 12 years younger and is getting better) got hammered like BA did yesterday and again against Oakland (twice in his last 7 starts)?

          If you look at Cingrani’s pitching log – he hasn’t, just stating the facts.

        • @cincyreds14: That is completely cherry picking stats for Bronson. He had a bad start yesterday and 7 starts ago and was lights out for the middle 5. Here is my version of cherry pickign using the same data:

          In Bronson’s last 10 starts going into yesterday’s game (or if you’d prefer I phrased it “in June and July”), he had a 2.73 ERA over 66 IP OR

          In July, Bronson had 3 wins and a 2.16 ERA

          The big picture: He has a very good year. No need to spin the data. Cingrani has been great, too.

        • @cincyreds14: Bronson has been stellar for us all year. He got blown up in a game, it happens to the best of them. Overall he’s even better this year than he was last year so far. We’re not overpaying him.

        • @cincyreds14: I agree that Arroyo should be allowed to walk after the season but disagree with everything else you said about him. He was stellar in the playoffs last year and is a leader on the team. Being so negative towards a guy who will be enshrined in the Reds HOF and who has been active in the community just isn’t right.

  9. The reds do win in spite of dusty baker. That doesn’t mean everything or every loss is his fault. But the reds success they have had over the last few years is certainly not because of dusty baker. If anything, you have seen the reds go as far as they will under dusty baker. The day dusty is no longer in the dugout, is a day the reds get better. But no, that does not mean everything is his fault. But some things are his fault with this reds team not taking a next step over the last couple years.

    It will be a big day the day he is let go.

    • @brandon11: They don’t have the players to be much better, regardless of who is managing them. They’re good–about as good as they appear–but not favorites to win the WS with this roster.

  10. This shows once again that blowouts in baseball don’t mean anything. It’s just one loss and only carries over when one of the teams is overmatched.

    Recall that in their first series in St. Louis the Reds won the first game 13-4 and the Cardinals won the next two.

  11. I agree with an earlier post that Dusty needs to treat tomorrow’s game as a win or go home game! A series win would be huge going into the off day!!!!

    • @Sergeant2: I think Devin starts tomorrow with the day off Monday. I think Dusty will put his best lineup out there for game three. Wouldn’t be shocked to see Hannahan again at 3B because of his good game but don’t expect it.

      • @Kyle: You can’t teach a new horse how to drink water…. No, that’s not it… You can’ teach an old dog new tricks. If you can’t take the heat, get off the toilet! $&@” or get out of the kitchen!

  12. So many Dusty lovers and Dusty haters, like, “You blame Dusty for the losses but don’t give him credit for the wins.” The thing is, I don’t hear any of that. I hear blaming Dusty for the poor decisions, just like people give him credit for good decisions. Like tonight, Bakerman handled the pitching staff much better tonight. Has he done that regularly? Not even close. It was absolutely stupid to give players like Stubbs, Gomes, Patterson, and Tavaras so long of a leash. But, I always gave him credit for moving BP to the 4 hole when Bakerman first got here.

    Lord, there is so much that goes on during a game that can contribute to a win or loss that it rarely if ever makes sense to blame a loss on just one thing. But, that doesn’t mean any one of those things don’t deserve recognition during a loss or blame during a win. Couldn’t a player make a bad play during a win? Sure. But, that player still shouldn’t receive praise. A bad play is a bad play. The same goes with a manager’s decisions.

    Just like last season. We won the division. Yay! Our 1-2 hole hitters were some of the worst in the league. Boo! But, our manager kept rolling them out there each day. Repeatedly obviously poor decision even though we ended up winning the division. “But, we still won the division.” Yes, and just imagine how many more games we could have won if we had a real batting order, including the playoffs. Thus, many would say we won the division in spite of Bakerman’s poor lineup decisions last season. But, did Bakerman have some good decisions last season? Sure.

    I remember someone telling me that 90% of baseball managing is “by the book”. That last 10% would go toward what kind of team the manager wants to set up. Like, a “free-swinging” team (Reds) or a “smart-batting” team (Cards). It’s during this 10% (if not some of the 90%) that we have to worry about Bakerman. Bunting Stubbs over to 2nd against a soft-tossing right hander, absolutely stupid move. Would we still win the game? Sure. That doesn’t excuse Baker’s stupid move.

  13. Devin batting 274/312 the last 35 games. Seems pretty obvious to me he was a player who plays better when he plays more, getting into the routine, etc. Like I said, he went from being “the man” in AAA to a bench warmer at the major league level literally overnight. And, Baker’s reasoning, “The game moved much too fast for him.” So, Baker’s cure? Let him sit! How is anyone suppose to get use to the speed of the game by sitting?

    If he can keep this up, I believe Devin may make the Reds make a decision during the off-season between Hanigan or Devin. As in, go with Hanigan regularly, get an “Olivo” type for the 2nd stringer, and trade Devin off while he has some trade value. Or, vice versa. Not to say I want either one of them traded. But, they both deserve or need to be playing everyday. And, they both can’t be doing that with the same club. Either this, or Devin and Hanigan agree with the roles they have, even if Hanigan becomes the 2nd stringer.

    • @steveschoen: All I know is since the All-Star break, the Reds offense has been this:

      Votto- .340/.471/.566
      Mesoraco- .333/.346/.647

      Choo, Bruce, and Cozart have been okay (and just that). But really it’s Votto and Mesoraco carrying what little offense the team has had lately. Can you imagine if Hanigan were healthy? We all know Hanigan would catch 3/5 if he was healthy, regardless of what Mesoraco has done. So imagine Hanigan’s .193/.293/.276 the majority of the time rather than Mesoraco tearing it up.

      The Reds would be in the middle of a post All-Star break collapse of Pirate proportions.

      • @ToddAlmighty: Hanigan evidently hasn’t been healthy all year. Not saying Mes shouldn’t play, but Hanigan has been one of the Reds’ better contact hitters for years, so .193 isn’t likely what he hits when healthy.

    • @steveschoen: Oops, hit post without being done. Anyway… the point I was trying to make was that if Mesoraco is the type who gets better with more playing time then he needs to be the guy. He’s young and under team control. Hanigan isn’t going to be with the Reds after he hits free agency for the 2015 season and he clearly can’t handle being the majority catcher without breaking down.

      I could easily live with Mesoraco being the full time catcher with Nevin Ashley spelling him every 5th day to catch for Bailey since Bailey has some kind of problem with throwing to Mesoraco apparently. Ashley is a career .260/.354/.387 minor league guy and has 0 years of service time so he should be under cheap team control for awhile, right?

  14. There is an old adage about “The Big 162″ that Paul writes about in his Enquirer blog. Also, every team will win 54 games, lose 54 games, but its important what you do with the other 54.

    The laws of average in baseball are important. Baseball is a numbers game…stats and averages are kept for almost everything imaginable. The reds pitch well and consistently enough to win a lot of games (3.38 ERA in 2013, and 3.34 in 2012). Sure you have your clunkers (see game 1 of the STL series), but the Reds over “the Big 162″ will pitch more games giving up fewer than 4 runs than more than 4 runs.

    Last year, the reds averaged 4.12 runs per game. Hence the 97 wins.

    This season the Reds have 62 games in which they scored 4 runs or more (win or lose). It is not a coincidence, the Reds have 61 wins.

    My point is, as others stated above, the Reds should work on getting the best line-up that allows for consecutive hits and a big inning or two. When we have black holes in the line-up where they are loading the bases only to have 3 consecutive outs….those hitting with RISP numbers that everyone hates….thats where this team is struggling this year. I can’t stand it when Votto leads off because he gets on, phillips gets on, bruce gets on (or really any other combo at the top) then what??????

    • @abox03: Hit send before my last thought.

      Dusty should go into each game thinking 4 runs. What line-up can get him four runs for the night. Sure, it isn’t always going to work, but like 2012 and like 2013, score 4 runs, and you’ll win the vast majority of the time.

    • @abox03: And just to comment on this before someone else does. Yes 10 NL teams have an ERA under 4.00. However only 5 have under 3.50 and only 2 are better than the Reds’ 3.38.

      Once the team ERA goes over 3.50, it is more likely the pitching staff will give up 4 runs than 3, thus making 5 runs the magic number. Which is a whole ‘nothing ball game (and why those teams are in the bottom of the standings!)

  15. Was at the game last night also my observations:

    1) Club seats do not help you losing weight
    2) Cingrani didn’t have his best stuff, but hung in there
    3) Mesoraco should be catching 5 of 7 games the rest of the year, he’s the Reds #1 catcher now
    4) On the ball Phillips stopped, it should have been a DP, Votto’s got to catch the ball. It wasn’t perfect, but it was not that bad and it was on the glove side.
    5) The bases loaded debacle was frustrating, Bruce has to get his bat on the ball there. He struck out twice last night on 75 MPH pitches.

    • @Matt WI: Speaking of dreams, the Reds would look nice with Alexei Ramirez in the lineup, the 2 hole perhaps: 275/302/346, Fld 4.5 (better than Zach), and WAR = 1.6. But, he’s in yr 2 of a 4-yr $32.5 million contract…

  16. Oh, one other thing. There is no bigger Dusty critic than myself, but he managed the best game last night that he’s managed in my memory. He managed a big game like a big game and made the right moves (other than, IMO, the lineup, Mes hitting 8th?).

  17. Didn’t get to post this when Mr. Mancuso first wrote the piece about the contrast in quotes between dusty and matheny. While I definitely agree with your take Mr. Mancuso about everything Red I have to ask you a question. Don’t criticisms towards Dusty also reflect upon the whole Reds brass in general? I mean from what it seems like, everyone of the big wigs in the Reds FO loves Dusty and feels lke he could do no wrong. So a criticism towards dusty would have to also be a criticism towards the Reds big wigs in general? or am i way off base?

    • @zab1983: Baker has been fortunate in the timing of his two playoff seasons, both of which came at the end of a contract. No way the Reds are not renewing the contract of the guy who wins the division (2010) and wins again along with 97 games (2012). Objectively, you’d also have to say (as I did) that he deserved the extension.

      Where the support from ownership played a role was at the end of 2009 and, especially 2011. Whether they kept Baker on because they strongly support him (as it seems to be the case with Bob Castellini) or whether they don’t like the idea of firing a manager in the middle of his contract, the result is the same.

      While you may be overstating in places – it may not be “everyone of the big wigs” it may just be the CEO, and they may not feel he can do no wrong – the answer to your question is absolutely yes. Hiring and extending Dusty Baker as manager is a deliberate decision for better or worse. My guess is the CEO believes that’s been for the better, looking back at the last five seasons.

      Would a different manager have accomplished the same things? Probably. But that’s not an easy frame to use when you’re Bob Castellini and made the initial call.

    • @zab1983: After going to the papers to pressure the front office on Chapman and his own extension, I doubt everyone likes Baker. Like Steve said, Baker’s extensions more likely came from the fact that the team did win the division in those years, thus supported in the next years. It’s probably something like the difference between “agree’d to keep Bakerman” and “conceded to keep Bakerman”. I believe Bakerman is a BC decision, and thus, the others conceded.

  18. My observations from Section 110:

    1) Absolutely terrible pitch to Mes on his first home run. After Cozart walked (did I actually type those words?), I was willing to bet $100 Mes would take a huge cut at the first pitch if it was anywhere near the zone. Two outs, runner on first, and Cingrani on deck, you can’t thrown one down the middle to Mes. A very un-Cardinal-like pitch.

    2) WLB fan sitting next to me was dropping F-bombs all night. Or, I should say, until the 7th inning, which is when he left.

    3) Very pleasantly surprised to see Parra allowed to pitch to a couple righties and Chapman allowed to pitch mop-up. Congratulations to Dusty for doing something a normal manager would have done.

    4) Brandon Phillips really needs to reevaluate his huge uppercut swings on first pitches. I’m not sure the last time it’s worked for him, but it’s been quite a while. So many 0-1 counts that should be 1-0. Does he really not notice he isn’t getting hits on first pitch swings? Does anyone on the team have access to stats?

    • Very pleasantly surprised to see Parra allowed to pitch to a couple righties and Chapman allowed to pitch mop-up. Congratulations to Dusty for doing something a normal manager would have done.

      I agree completely about Chapman. I was hoping Baker would use him considering the upcoming schedule. I’d rather see Chapman pitch today having pitched yesterday than not.

      I’ll admit that I was a little uneasy about Parra pitching to the right-handers in the seventh. Dusty had handled the bullpen pretty aggressively until then. I had a great view of the dugout last night (section 119) and it looked to me — just speculating — that Baker was undecided, but convinced by how well Parra seemed to be pitching, to let him stay in the game. Kudos to Baker for making a call that worked out.

    • Brandon Phillips really needs to reevaluate his huge uppercut swings on first pitches. I’m not sure the last time it’s worked for him, but it’s been quite a while. So many 0-1 counts that should be 1-0. Does he really not notice he isn’t getting hits on first pitch swings? Does anyone on the team have access to stats?

      What people seem to miss about Phillips’ offensive contribution this season is that he adds absolutely nothing to the part of the lineup behind him. Yes, he has done an excellent job driving in the runners on base ahead of him, and I’m glad he’s having that success. But he admits that he takes a much more reckless approach when no one is on base.

      What? Doesn’t he see the importance of he himself getting on base for the people behind him? That’s why Votto’s contribution (and Choo’s) is so much more valuable. Not only do they drive in the runners on base ahead of them, but they also — like machines — work and work at getting on base so that Phillips and Bruce have the opportunity to drive them in.

      I wonder how many fewer RBI Phillips would have if every time that Votto came up, all he did was swing for home runs?

  19. Am I the only one who heard the Star Wars opening when I saw the recap title?

    Also, Mes needs solid playing time. Whenever he’s been given it, he goes on a tear. I don’t understand why Baker doesn’t just allow him to be the starter with Hani taking over main backup roles (meaning, catch 2-3 games a week).

    • @rhayex: Agreed. I believe that Baker entirely mishandled that decision. I will admit it wasn’t the easiest decision to make. Hanigan did deserve the playing time. But, Devin was probably and is showing that given the playing time, he will play better. Thus, Devin needs to play.

      Where I don’t like Bakerman with it was:

      - How he dissed Devin in the paper when the interview was about Olivo not making the team.
      - How he talked of the game was just too fast for Devin, so Bakerman’s cure for that was to bench him (idiotic cure)
      - Not giving Devin any sort of shot at some extended starting time, exactly like what Heisey didn’t get until last year during May/June, when Heisey finally got his chance starting something like 32 of 42 games and batting 288/324. Certainly not All-Star numbers but just as good as what we had going on in CF and LF during the previous couple of years. Unfortunately, Devin’s getting his playing time while Hanigan is injured.

      If this continues, I believe Devin may force the Reds into making a decision on him and Hanigan.

  20. Mes back in today …

    15m
    ctrent @ctrent
    #Reds lineup: Choo 8, Paul 7, Votto 3, Phillips 4, Bruce 9, Frazier 5, Cozart 6, Mesoraco 2, Leake 1

  21. Does Mes have to hit 10 hr in 10 games to get out of the eighth spot ? jeeze! and thank you for the replay mr mancuso!

    • @zab1983: He will bat 8th the rest of the season, I think. Baker can’t “shake” things up that much by moving him to 6th, where he should be with Frazier’s decline.

  22. The Cards score 4 in the 1st. inning. Not being able to get out of the first inning without being scored on is never a good omen.

  23. Let me walk you through the post game interview with Dusty in about an hour.

    Piecoro–”Dusty, a tough game to lose today. You came back and played great yesterday but it just wasn’t meant to be today”.

    Dusty–”We really struggled today and you just can’t allow a team like the Cardinals to score four runs in the first inning. They have a good ball club. We gave ‘em four runs and then Cozart hit that two run homer which put us right back in the game. But then here they came again and really added on to their lead. You have to get them credit.”

    Jeff–”Any concerns about the offense?”

    Dusty–”It’s coming around and we will have an off day tomorrow so hopefully everyone can get some rest and we will get after in on Tuesday against the A’s. You have to play one game at a time.”

    What??? Dusty says the same thing after every losing effort. Ugggh!

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