2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Egads

Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
St. Louis 15
Cincinnati 2

W: L. Lynn (13-5)
L: M. Leake (10-5)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Zack Cozart was 2-3 with a two-run homer.

NEGATIVES
–Everything else. This was nothing less than a beatdown by a superior team. The pitching stunk. The offense stunk. The defense stunk (Jay Bruce made his first error of the year, and Todd Frazier made his 6th).

Speaking of Frazier, he’s now 0 for his last 28 at the plate, and hasn’t had a single hit in nine straight games.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–Mike Leake gave up four runs in the first inning, and everyone shook their heads knowingly. Well, the Reds got two of those back in the second inning, on Cozart’s homer, Leake settled down, and the score remained 4-2 until the sixth inning. The Reds were still in the game at that point, right?

Wrong. Leake couldn’t record an out, St. Louis scored five in the sixth inning, and the rout was on. For the day, Leake pitched 5+ innings, surrendering seven runs on eight hits and two walks. The bullpen wasn’t much better, including Sam LeCure, who gave up four runs on five hits in the ninth inning alone.

–The Reds have lost six straight series against the Cardinals. Embarrassing.

–Cincinnati has lost seven of nine, and they are fading fast. This team is just not fun to watch. They make mental mistake after defensive mistake after baserunning mistake. I tire of this circus.

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

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

169 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Egads

  1. This beat down the Cardinals gave the Reds this weekend would have been even worse if Yadier Molina were playing. I hate to say this, but we all know it’s the truth.

      • @Larry1980: Unfortunately, I completely agree. For years, I was a Dusty apologist — thought he was good manager for this team and the right guy for the job. But this year has shown he is completely lacking in the tough decisions department and, without a “lieutenant,” completely devoid of real leadership skills in the clubhouse. The 2013 Reds’ problem is mental more than anything else — and that has to fall on the manager, ultimately.

        Also, bringing in Ondrusek when the game was still well within reach when you have LeCure, Hoover, Parra, and, God help us, Chapman in the ‘pen is mind-boggingly stupid. Ondrusek has struggled for the entire year. Why sacrifice the win like that? A completely indefensible move that has come to characterize Dusty’s 2013 management style.

        I think he needs to go.

    • @bohdi: Ondrusek hasn’t been that bad lately. Simon, whose acquisition was universally panned by those of us who know more about personnel than the does the Reds’ front office, was the only pitcher who didn’t stink. Lecure stunk, and we all like him. We aren’t hitting. End of story.

  2. After praising Dusty’s managing last night, I will go the opposite way today. IF he felt the game was still in reach when he pulled Leake, why would he go with his second worst guy in the BP? And THEN, after Ondrusek let it get away, why use Simon for 2 outs, when you knew the game was out of reach and you were going to have to PH for him in the bottom of the inning? Why not bring in Villarreal then? It wouldn’t have made any difference, but there is just no logic to the moves he makes, that’s what annoys me so much.

    Before the season started, Chris Welsh said (either in our interview or in a conversation before/after, can’t remember) that this team could be very good, if they didn’t read their press over the winter. Maybe they did? There is no doubt this team is missing SOMETHING. I’m not a big believer in clubhouse leadership, rah-rah, stuff…but this team is definitely missing something and is not getting it from the manager/coaching staff. There seems to be no drive to win from this team, they don’t appear the least bit upset when things go badly. I would have thought last night’s big win would have carried over to today.

    LeCure had some stuff on Twitter today, he’s embarrassed by their performance. I’d hope more than he is…Dusty was unavailable after the game, meeting with Jocketty, but no one was fired and nothing will likely come of it.

    I see this team spiralling downward and I wouldn’t bet much on them being a playoff team when the season ends. I hope that I’m wrong and they can turn this around.

    • @Bill Lack: The game was within reach when Leake left in the 6th, 5-2, third and first, 0 out. Unfortunately, Dusty does not see the obvious, and he probably honestly believed that Ondrusek was the “go-to” guy. As we all saw, Ondru is simply not MLB quality. Managerial Malpractice. Game over. Will Dusty learn from that mistake? I doubt it.

    • ll Dusty did last night was what anymanager should do – make the most logical moves. The problem is he doesn’t always do that. That said, this team has bigger problems.

      • @redskaph:

        I would disagree about the “logical move”. I don’t think anyone, even Dusty, would claim that Ondrusek is a better option than Simon. He used Simon, but not until Ondrusek had allowed the game to be blown open. If he was willing to use Simon, why not use him first? Please explain the logic to me b/c I don’t see it.

        • @Bill Lack: You certainly may be right, but the flaw and safety of second guessing is that we’ll never know: the guy you would have used to pinch hit might have hit into a double play. It’s what fans do, though.

        • @greenmtred:

          By your logic though, no one is ever accountable for anything b/c you can’t disprove a negative. My point is the logic he used made no sense based on the information available. Simon is better than Ondrusek, which I don’t think anyone would argue…if that’s the case, it’s only logical to use Simon when the game is still within reach, rather than after Ondrusek had allowed it to get away.

        • @Bill Lack: I did say that you certainly may be right, and you certainly may be. My point about second guessing stands, though: it’s fine and it’s what we do, but our unspoken assumption is that the move we would have made would have worked, and it probably wouldn’t. I agree that Simon is better than Ondu, but I also remember clearly how his acquisition was greeted here. A rare example of second guessing being tested.

  3. Agree with Chad’s postgame summary. It’s interesting how another one of the staff writers belittled posters who expressed frustration when Leake gave up four runs in the first inning as “boneheads” and questioned their loyalty to the Reds. A lot of us are extremely disappointed at how this team is so underachieving, listless, and rudderless. Perhaps much of the disappointment we’re experiencing is a hangover from last year’s heartbreaking elimination from the playoffs. When I read the postings expressing frustration about the Reds this year, I’m reminded of a famous line from MLK: “There can be no great disappointment where there is no great love.” Go Reds!!!!!!

    • @santa barbara reds fan: Whatever. I was referring to the people who come on and say “game over” or “season over” when something goes wrong. Or they come on and express embarrassment or attack the team as a whole (Not Ready for Prime Time). Those same people only comment when bad things happen. They love posting about misery. Pretty sure everyone was “frustrated” that Leake gave up four runs so quickly.

      • @Steve Mancuso: the way this team had been playing (and not just the last 9 games), they are not ready for prime time– which means the playoffs… A one game showdown against…. (at this point) the cardinals.

      • @santa barbara reds fan: Whatever. I was referring to the people who come on and say “game over” or “season over” when something goes wrong. Or they come on and express embarrassment or attack the team as a whole (Not Ready for Prime Time). Those same people only comment when bad things happen. They love posting about misery. Pretty sure everyone was “frustrated” that Leake gave up four runs so quickly.

        This. Friday’s nights thread was unreadable. There is plenty to criticize but most of the drive by posters don’t even know what they are criticizing. Saturday there was one poster that said he wouldn’t even watch then proceeded to post 100 times about the time. I didn’t even read today’s game thread.

      • @Steve Mancuso: Big Mike Leake fan here. Listened to WLW after the game today and they were questioning whether Mez has been giving away the Red’s signs recently. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the Cards found a way to steal the Red’s signs especially since I have utterly no respect for the LWB’s character and stuck up fans and announcers except for the fact they are a talented baseball team and organization (doesn’t say much about character – especially after the Cards employed one of the original admitted PED players, Mark McGwire):

        ST. LOUIS —

        “Cards’ offensive prowess speaks well of new hitting coach John Mabry”

        “He arrives early, seven hours before most evening games. By the time his players have checked in, he’s pored over video of opposing pitchers for tips and tells. He then moves back and forth between the field and the batting cage hidden below Busch, throwing batting practice or watching, arms crossed, from behind the plate. Then the game starts, and he coaches in real time.

        But if you trail John Mabry for a series, you might catch him with four minutes to spare.

        Daniel Descalso will have just finished drilling a steady stream of pitching-machine fastballs into the back of the cage. Mabry, having watched from a folding chair a few feet away, will wander out to a hallway lined with bats and wait on whoever comes next.

        “You’ve got to look at things differently,” the player turned head hitting coach says. “You’ve got to look at how things affect them, how things can fit into their game, not your game. It’s all about them. It has nothing to do with you. When you’re playing, you’re worried about yourself, how you can take your four at-bats and play your position. Now, you’re worried about everyone else, the game plan, where they fit and how it works.”

        That’s about all you will get from Mabry. He enjoys talking about himself about as much as he likes watching one of his guys strike out looking.

        Ask around though, and the men he works with will sing his praises. Mabry, who shifted from assistant hitting coach to the head role when Cardinals legend Mark McGwire vacated the spot to join the Los Angeles Dodgers, is doing a heck of a job.”

        When was the last time you read anything positivie from a player about Jacoby?

        And I definitely agree with other posters, why wasn’t the Red’s rotation set up for this series any better (where was Latos?).

        Dusty B seems to care less about his organization (the Reds) then any C level executive I have ever met or read about in my life. No fire, no immediacy, no concerns (we’ll get them next time)…

        Just praying with good old dinosaur Dusty that there won’t be a next time, as I’d be happier than punch if the Red’s canned him – NOW!

        In addition…

        Frazier needs to be sent down tot eh minors.

        The Reds need to acquire the Phillies Michael Young (who isn’t even starting for the Phils anymore).

        The Reds need to get more immediate.

        This week-end had Sparky rolling in his grave wondering what in the world DB is doing to his beloved Reds.

        The season isn’t over – but something big needs to happen in the next 24-48 hours or it will be.

        • The Reds need to acquire the Phillies Michael Young (who isn’t even starting for the Phils anymore).

          You’re wrong there- Young has been starting at 1st base and is starting at 3rd tonite. In fact he’s started every game since the all star break.

        • @LVW: sorry for the error, just wish he was with the Reds – Frazier, although a super guy, should actually start looking for another way to make a living…

      • @Steve Mancuso: I actually agree with you. We have many good commenters, who share opinions and viewpoints and have fair discussions. The problem is with all the unnecessary negativity as soon as something bad happens. When bad/stupid/unlucky things occur, I tend to want to take some time to cool off, as opposed to commenting on it right away.

      • @Steve Mancuso: Good perspective. I suspect that the doomsayers are trying to implement a complex counter-jinx to get the not-so-big Red Machine running. Might work.

  4. This team has fallen so low, they need to collectively wake up in a ditch, like Josh Hamilton did, to get their act together and turn it around.

    • @wildwestLV: I still miss him…

      Even if he is doing badly this year. That was a horrible trade even at the time it was made. Even after Volquez had his 17 win season, I still regretted it.

      *Sighs*

        • @YorktownRed: I would argue that we would still have him, we’d simply not have a different pitcher. It might’ve been Wood instead, and then we wouldn’t have traded for Marshall. Honestly, I’d have rather had that outcome.

  5. It’s been awhile since the media started playing the blame game. It’s about time they started focusing on some real issues rather than whining about team’s best player who has a 161 wRC+.

  6. This team has completely taken on the personality of their manager. They play like he manages – constant mistakes, messing up the little things, and giving up on games when they are still very much within reach. What else should we expect?

    Considering hotel, travel, tickets, food, etc. I spent probably close to $800 this weekend at/around GABP. Why do I care so much when it seems that the manager doesn’t care at all. I know that’s not true, but he certainly doesn’t manage that way.

    On the way home, my daughter kept talking about the Pirates. I finally had to explain to her that it’s no longer about the Pirates….it’s about the Diamondbacks. And, I don’t see this team hanging on to that spot with the way they are playing.

    I think I’d be willing to give up the playoffs this year if it meant getting rid of Baker.

    • This team has completely taken on the personality of their manager.They play like he manages – constant mistakes, messing up the little things, and giving up on games when they are still very much within reach.What else should we expect?

      Considering hotel, travel, tickets, food, etc. I spent probably close to $800 this weekend at/around GABP.Why do I care so much when it seems that the manager doesn’t care at all.I know that’s not true, but he certainly doesn’t manage that way.

      On the way home, my daughter kept talking about the Pirates.I finally had to explain to her that it’s no longer about the Pirates….it’s about the Diamondbacks.And, I don’t see this team hanging on to that spot with the way they are playing.

      I think I’d be willing to give up the playoffs this year if it meant getting rid of Baker.

      If it was guaranteed that Baker was gone I would give up the playoffs too. I know that might sound crazy, but that’s how much he drives me crazy.

  7. Was anybody else as bewildered as I was that Votto, Phillips and Bruce all played the field in the top of the 9th only to be lifted for pinch hitters in the bottom of the inning?

    I can understand not wanting to risk injury by having them play in a blowout, but, jeez, it was 11-2 before LeCure imploded. Why risk playing them in the top of the inning?

  8. This team has suffered some key injuries, combined with 3B and SS regressing and you have the team we have. Take the month of May away and this is a .500 club. They are what they are. I dont see anything changing. This team probabbly wins between 85-88 games and maybee makes the 2nd W.C. It’s just like 2011 all over again. This team still has a window. What they are going to have to do in the offseason is trade Chapman and one of the Starting Pitchers and rebuild the farm system. Fireing Dusty would help too. We can all look back at opening day when Ludwick got hurt. That was a sign that this season was not meant to be.

    • @Larry1980: I agree on the trade Idea. As a close, Chapman isn’t worth the money the Rdes pay him. The team definitely needs another strong bat, and the system needs prospects.

  9. I have the perspective of looking at this two different ways. The Reds are currently the fifth best team in the NL, which means that they would qualify for the playoffs. Also, the teams chasing them are frankly not complete teams either, so it appears that, in spite of themselves, they’ll make the playoffs. My other perspective involves comparing the Reds to the Indians, who are enjoying a lot of recent success and talk that “getting into the playoffs” is all that’s needed to do great things. Both teams were built to win games this year, regardless of the talk that the Indians wanted to be competitive again. Still, the Reds have demonstrated that they aren’t capable of playing good baseball for an extended period of time, and the only offensive reinforcement on the way is Ludwick. Improving the bullpen could help and having Cueto healthy would be great, but this team lacks consistent offense and doesn’t appear to have a strong leader in the clubhouse. It appears that, unless something radically changes, Dusty will remain as the manager for the foreseeable future. The question is: would another manager make that much of a difference? In Cleveland, it appears that the answer may be “yes”…

  10. All these two losses proved is that the Cardinals can hammer the soft-tossing part of the rotation and the back end of the bullpen. They may be a better team than the Reds right now.

    Well, they also proved that Dusty Baker still hasn’t figured out how to manage an important series.

    • @Steve Mancuso: Agree. Hope Homer Bailey is stellar in that 1 game play-in game. Hope the pitching rotation allows for one of hard throwers to pitch that game.

        • @redskaph: Depends on the rotation set-up. Perhaps Cueto could be nursed back to health for a 1 game appearance (7 innings) and then be shut down again after re-aggravating the lat injury? We need 1 of the hard throwers. Arroyo or Leake will not get it done.

      • @Larry1980: Part of Dusty Baker still having not figured out how to manage a big series is that he didn’t do anything to line up either of our top two pitchers for this series. Obviously there is no guarantee that the outcome would have been different if Latos and Bailey would have started. But you saw what a difference it made when our pitchers could strike out their hitters.

        It wouldn’t have been that difficult. They needed to have someone else pitch the last game in San Diego. That bumps Homer to game one on Friday and Latos could have pitched today on normal rest (because of the day off Thursday).

        • @Steve Mancuso: Has one of our beat writers even bothered to ask Dusty about this? We talked about it in the stands today. Absolute managerial ineptitude to not have either of the first two starters throw a pitch in the series.

          Nobody actually needs to answer that question. I know that the beat writers haven’t asked him. They are far too busy being apologists for his ineptness on Twitter.

        • @Steve Mancuso:
          Before the series started, someone posted their concern about Arroyo and Leake pitching to the Cards. His concern was that the Cards are a patient bunch at the plate and would not chase the baffling pitches these two throw. Guess he was right – 28 runs in 2 games.

          On another note…is Villareal the only other option to Partch available to call up from the minors? He was bombed the last time the Reds brought him up.

        • @Steve Mancuso: Does this managerial team actually sit down and do a little “plotting”? Pre-game as you talked about in the game thread? Or weeks in advance to maximize the opportunity to win? You would think that Jocketty can sit back, analyze series weeks in the future, look at off-days, and attempt to catch Dusty’s ear and properly advise about what may work better. Or does Dusty worry too much about hurting players’ feelings and just goes with the current rotation set-up no matter what?

        • @YorktownRed: No way to know that. Do the coaches meet often or even daily? Sure, the GM could intervene and call up a pitcher for the last game in San Diego. On the other hand, they may view those kinds of meetings/intervention as unnecessary since everyone involved is “a professional” and should know what to do. I’ve been part of situations where the assistants are afraid to make suggestions to the head coach. Just depends on the specific dynamics.

        • @Steve Mancuso: Steve, as well as all the other posters who are still struggling to give Dusty the benefit of a doubt …

          Dusty Baker simply doesn’t care about the Reds – I heard that a Red woke him up on a road trip one night only to find DB dressed in Dodger blue pajamas, just like his buddy Tommy Lasorda.

        • @Steve Mancuso: Dude, do you really take yourself that seriously? Relax a little bit, people on this Board said they were going to lose sleep. Gosh darn, it’s just a game – by no means is it life or death and it definitely doesn’t have anything to do with the hereafter.

        • @cincyreds14: The Reds have been losers for years (20 of the past 22 years), so another year in the whole make-up of things isn’t going to matter much. Below .500 since Memorial Day, its been long enough – definitely not to be mistaken as contenders. Just like another poster, throwing the towel in on another horrible effort by hometown Reds. Won’t let it bother me anymore – they have been in my head long enough.

          G O
          B E N G A L S!!

        • @cincyreds14: Citing an incorrect record for the Reds as losers for 22 years, then turning to the Bengals (who that stat may well be accurate for)…. Bwahahaha.

          Still, true fans will welcome you back on the band wagon when this team makes their run…

        • @CP: Thank you CP – I have been all in on the Reds for a long time ever since I got Pete Roe’s autograph at Crosley Filed in 1967 at the age of 7 – nothing could keep me away – even putrid management.

        • @CP: Sorry CP, for the exaggeration.In an effort to correct my statement, the Reds officially have 7 winning records in past 22 years.

    • @Steve Mancuso: I think it also proved that the offense does better when it doesn’t try to hack at everything in site.

      Not that it would have mattered on Friday or today, but

      Friday – 6 hits, 3 walks = 3 runs
      Saturday – 9 hits, 8 walks = 8 runs
      Sunday – 4 hits, 2 walks = 2 runs

      There were a ton of strikeouts, I’ll grant you, but one of these things in not like the others.

      There is an organizational aversion to “clogging the bases.” I’ll even concede that Dusty is right when he says that hits are better than walks. But walks are better than outs, especially when the offense is scuffling as badly as this one.

    • @Steve Mancuso: It was inexcusable that, in a series like this, in a division race this tough, neither Latos nor Bailey were made available. I’m not even sure Dusty is capable of adjusting the rotation when or if the one-game playoff comes. Incredibly frustrating.

      • @wildwestLV: He’s capable of it, but I don’t know why he doesn’t. (Speculating) it seems like he doesn’t ever want to admit to the urgency of a situation. He probably also doesn’t want to hurt the feelings of the pitchers who get passed over.

        But yeah, I can easily see him just pitching whoever is next in line during the play-in game. He’d talk about how “all five of our starters…” blah, blah, blah.

    • @Steve Mancuso: good points. But my main concern/source of frustaration is the offense. Even with good starts Friday’s and today’s games would have been hard to win. Worse, it’s hard to see the production getting better. Of course, we can always hope.

    • All these two losses proved is that the Cardinals can hammer the soft-tossing part of the rotation and the back end of the bullpen. They may be a better team than the Reds right now.

      Well, they also proved that Dusty Baker still hasn’t figured out how to manage an important series.

      The problem is if they do make the playoffs you know he will pitch the soft tossers and move Cingrani to the bullpen. Leake has been great this year, but his stuff is just so so. I would go Latos, Bailey, Cingrani in the playoffs and if I had to go to a 4th I would go Leake over Arroyo.

    • @Steve Mancuso: May be a better team than the Reds right now? Uh, I am pretty this series and a look at the standings will show that the Cardinals are a better team than the Reds right now. There is no maybe about it!

  11. I officially cancelled my MLB.tv subscription today. I will continue to check in on the team as the season plays out and hope that they stay in playoff contention, but I can’t rationalize spending money on watching games. This is a joke. And I don’t blame injuries a bit. What would Ludwick, Cueto, and Marshall have honestly done so far? My money is in them losing a one game wildcard playoff right now. Go Bengals!

    • @eric nyc: Cueto certainly wouldn’t have done anything for the Reds in this series because the manager probably wouldn’t have had him pitch any.

    • @eric nyc: Eric, been following the Bengals a lot closer especially with the Red’s season just about over. And good idea on cancelling the MLB package – can’t seem to bring myself to do it.

      And with the Pirates coming to town (Denver) next week-end and the Reds in 3 weeks, this might simply be another year in which I pass on seeing them – the Reds are a disgrace.

    • @eric nyc: You don’t blame injuries a bit? Everybody says that injuries are part of the game, and they are, but most teams are negatively affected when they have injuries to key players. It’s not the whole story, not at all, but given a lineup with only 2 or 3 dangerous hitters, the injuries to the ace and 2 top set-up men had to hurt–they were going to need to win with pitching.

  12. pretty sure mike leake wouldn’t even be starting in the american league…..It’s amazing how the NL can make a below average pitcher look OK

    • @zab1983 I think that’s a bit extreme. Leake is a fine pitcher and would be so in either league. He has a smaller margin of error due to his lack of a real power repertoire certainly, and some teams will handle him better than others (same can be said for Chapman and other power pitchers.

      Small sample size of course, but in three games against AL teams this year, he’s got a 2.79 ERA, 0.776 WHIP, K/BB 13/2. I’ll take that anytime……and two of those games are Cleveland and Texas (Seattle being the third) so not against the dregs of the league for sure.

      • @Steve Hanshaw: Good man Steve, fans now picking on my player and really don’t appreciate it. Mike is a bulldog as he has done more with his limited abilities than any other Red. The Reds sure could use more types like Leake.

        • @cincyreds14: I’m a big Mike Leake fan, and don’t agree with statements like “He couldn’t pitch in the AL.” I would have been fine with Cingrani-Leake-Latos in this series. The point is that hard throwers are a better match vs. the Cardinals than finesse pitchers, and either Latos or Homer should have started one of the games.

        • @pinson343: Pinson, after this week-end, could not agree with you more. Ten years ago (in 2003)after Paul Wilson was the staff ace (4.75 ERA)the Reds finally bought in on hard throwing pitchers. Since then the Reds have added Cueto, Latos, Bailey, Cingrani and Chapman.
          It has worked out well – now they need to be thrown at the Cards who don’t appear to be able to play their brand of finesse ball against hard throwing pitchers. Now the Reds have to realize that and throw Latos, Bailey, Leake and Cueto at the Cards next time through.

          Now will they, probably not.

        • @cincyreds14: I like him, too, and am not certain how limited his abilities are. A 100mph fastball is one of many abilities, but just one. Pitchers have been great with stuff similar to Leake’s.

  13. People always talk about how Dusty’s value is that players love him and want to play hard for him.

    It’s impossible to deny that players like dusty.

    Do players respect Dusty?

    • @ToledoRedsFan: You just have to wonder what the regular players like Votto and Bruce think when they see Baker bring Partch and Ondrusek into still-close games in important series like this. They have to second guess him. Then Baker leaves Partch and Ondrusek in until the game is essentially lost. It’s like he gives up because doing anything else would be too out of the ordinary. I’m sure they love their coach, but they’re also super competitive and want other pitchers in those situations.

      • @Steve Mancuso: Right, that’s what I think too. They like him, but in the same way I liked/loved my grandfather when he was getting up in years. I don’t see the respect factor, except from Phillips, and even then I think BP’s the type of guy who just goes with the flow. Charlie Manuel, Bob Melvin, even Ron Washington seem to get more straight-up respect from their players.

      • @Steve Mancuso: Wow, that’s a good point. Thinking about it, whenever the coach seemed to give up on a close game (down by two, three runs), and brought in guys that were sure to be destroyed, everyone seemed to sigh and kind of give up when the inevitable occurred. At least, that’s how it was when I played.

        You’d think that a major league manager would understand that, though. If the manager doesn’t want to put the team in the best position to win, why in the world should the players play their best for him? Mental focus is at a low for the Reds.

        • @Steve Mancuso:

          I don’t have as big a problem there, the odds of coming back in a 5-0 game are pretty remote (especially the way this team is hitting), makes more sense to me to save the BP for the following two important games.

        • @Bill Lack: No need to save the bullpen with an off day on Thursday and Monday. They could pitch all three games if necessary. Votto hit a three-run homer. Could have been 5-3 if the bullpen had helped. How about bringing in the better part of the bullpen in the fourth inning and fifth and if they offense doesn’t score you can bring in the AAA pitcher at the end of the game. They’re all going to pitch anyhow.

          No excuse for giving up the game in the fourth inning only five runs down.

  14. I have two tickets for Wednesday’s day game against Oakland that I can’t use. Section 136, row Y. I can leave them at Will Call when I’m there on Tuesday night. Leave your email address if you’re interested. I’ll sell them well below face value.

  15. One step forward, two steps back — and more proof of their inability to hang with the big boys. A shame.

    This is a mediocre team that played above-average this season for one month, which feels like an eternity ago. Only 2-3 guys get on base with any consistency. The manager is hapless. And now, even the pitching — the year’s primary bright spot — is regressing. Instead of finally putting it all together (as we’ve all hoped for months), it seems like everything is falling apart, and quickly.

    Personally, the frustration stems from not fulfilling potential. You take a great 2012 team and make them better (on paper, at least), and of course it’s a bummer when things don’t work out. Perhaps some competition for the 2nd Wild Card spot will light a spark, but unless Ludwick can magically resume being The Man, I see no reason to believe things will improve.

    This team — this organization — has problems. Joey Votto is not one of them.

  16. This game featured plenty of bad managing, but the thing that still bothers me the most was the first inning. Cardinals have three straight hits, two runs in, a guy on second, Adams at the plate and a very weak-hitting right handed hitter on deck. Given the circumstances, someone HAS to go talk to Leake at that point. Calm him down, remind him he’s still very much in the game, and emphasize that he doesn’t need to throw a strike to Adams. Maybe think about intentionally walking him, but certainly emphasize that nothing goes within a foot of the plate. Get Mes and Leake to agree on that. What did Dusty do? Nothing. Sat there and watched the game (and perhaps season) slip away without bothering to leave his perch. What was to be lost by sending Price out there? Are they concerned about using their free mound visit too early in the inning? Dusty is a terrible manager. He has absolutely no feel for his players or the game, and at this point I’m not convinced he really even cares. He got his extension and I get the impression he’s more or less running out the clock and thinking about his next gig or retirement. I’m sure he’d LIKE to win here, but only if winning comes easily. How do you NOT go talk to Leake in that situation if you’re really worried about winning this game? How do you let Adams put your team down by 4 runs with a .217/.270/.290 hitter on deck?(Who, incidentally, grounded out weakly to third to end the four-run inning.) How uninterested must you be to let that happen?

  17. Just saw that the Angels, or somebody, have signed Dontrell Willis. Hope it works out for both parties, but I doubt it will.

  18. Steve M.: “Part of Dusty Baker still having not figured out how to manage a big series is that he didn’t do anything to line up either of our top two pitchers for this series.”

    wildwestLV: “It was inexcusable that, in a series like this, in a division race this tough, neither Latos nor Bailey were made available.”

    Before the series, I commented on Steve M.’s preview thread that we were facing the Cardinals without our two best starters. My bigger point was that Latos and Homer should not be starting on consecutive days in the rotation, because that will also mean other critical 3 game series without either of them pitching. So it’s not just a matter of altering the rotation for one series, it’s about altering the rotation for the remainder of the season. With the two upcoming days off, Dusty could easily do that.

    Will he ? No, because for one thing he has never shown that he thinks Homer is a better pitcher than Bronson.

  19. Matheny isn’t really known for being a great in game tactician, but I actually like the guy.

    ‘‘That’s what I challenge these guys to do… Demand from ourselves greatness. Have a consistent approach, regardless of score or who you’re playing or facing (on the mound). If you go about the game that way, you’re going to have some pretty consistent results.’’
    :cry:

    • @CP: I like Matheny too. I don’t understand why Lynn was out there for 115 pitches though. Lynn’s endurance will be an issue in September.

      • @pinson343: It may be an issue, BUT, this is why Matheny is so different to Baker. Lynn said that he lost all the weight so that he could go deeper into the season. I see leaving him in @ 115 pitches, in a blowout, as a, somewhat risky, but understandable move to “toughen”/ “test” Lynn. Far more meaningful than Dusty’s, “We wait until the docs clear them off the DL, and then wait an extra day, on top of that.”

        Reminds me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbVKWCpNFhY

        (Sorry, my second Spinal Tap reference, this series, but I’m trying to cheer some of us up)

  20. The Reds are not interested in a bench player like Matt Adams (obviously he’s not available, but let’s say a “Poor Man’s Matt Adams”) because he can only play one position.

  21. I wonder how Sam LeCure felt about his role in the series, twice the 9th inning mopup guy in routs. I’m sure he was trying his best today, but his body language, etc. did not look good, right from the start.

    • @pinson343: He probably felt the same as when Dusty sent him out to talk to the press and send a… “message”… to the team for him. In related news: “Sam LeCure undergoes Dusty Baker’s scheduled root canal.”

    • @wildwestLV: Hanley Ramirez out and Puig hurting. Those are the two guys who lifted the Dodgers out of their doldrums in the first place.

      Yes the Dodgers are still good and I don’t want to sound like a whiner, but the Cardinals will not be playing the same Dodger team that has won 14 in a row on the road.

  22. A lot has been written lately about the lack of leadership on the Reds. Some are critical of Joey Votto because they feel his high salary mandates he be the leader of this club. Many want to see a Kevin Mitchell-type leader who gets in the face of players he feels are not giving it their all.

    Leadership is one of the most misunderstood aspects of any organization, particularly sports. In reality, leadership can come from anywhere but ideally it should come from those who are hired or appointed to fill that role. Otherwise, it is simply leadership by accident. In sports, that would be coaches and managers. Whoever is the person that has taken on that leadership role, one thing is essential – vision, a shared vision. All members of the organization believe in that vision. The Reds have a person that fills that role perfectly – Bryan Price. Reds pitching has risen to a level of quality despite injury setbacks because Bryan Price has established a vision that all of his pitchers believe in. Yes, he is good at teaching mechanics and setting game plans but for that to be successful there can be no discontent. Everyone is on board and it is because they share his vision.

    On the other side, we have Brook Jacoby. Very hard working. Played MLB baseball so he knows hitting. Trouble is he hasn’t established a shared vision. Choo and Votto are doing everything they can do get on base and have quality at bats. Heisey and Cozart are swinging at first pitches regardless of location. Todd Frazier doesn’t know what he is doing. Everybody is doing their own thing, Offensive chaos. Compounding the situation is a meddling manager who won’t let him do his job as he sees fit. Yes, you need someone who can develop players into student of hitting but as we saw with Jim Lefebvre that alone isn’t enough. Chris Chambliss on the other hand clearly had a vision and I believe it was one that most of the players bought. An example of a team with a shared vision of hitting? The St. Louis Cardinals.

    Finally, we come to Dusty Baker. I have no clue as to what his vision might be. I don’t think the players do either. He’s just chillin’ and that’s the root of the problem.

    • @WedgieSanders: My guess it wasn’t, “great job Skip”.

      More along the lines of, “the boss (Mr. C) isn’t really crazy with the way things are going and if the team doesn’t move in a different direction, there will be changes”.

    • @WedgieSanders: I think about when McKeon took over the Marlins and turned them around midseason. He did it because Jack always has a plan and everybody was on board with the plan. If they weren’t then they were soon gone.

  23. About a month ago, I posted a portion of my list of 25 deficiencies existing in the Reds. Well, a month later, the malignancy in the Reds organization has grown to immense proportions as that list has grown to approximately 75.

    Folks, this is a deep seated systemic problem (the Reds going so far as to grossly over-estimate a player’s value (Cozart and Frazier) as well as complete and utter failure to properly assess and develop bonafide major leaguers. At the same time, the Reds organization have stripped their minors of any actual talent to work with. And with these recent developments, the Reds have now become the poorest managed major league sports team in Cincinnati.

    Don’t look now, but the Bengals are coming soon (HBO’s – Hard Knocks – where’s Dr. Danny Santino when you need her).

  24. From today’s postgame:

    Dusty: Everyone’s gotta be accountable for the job they’re doin’ or not doin.’

    I agree Dusty. I agree.

  25. The only thing I want to hear from this organization is that Dusty Baker has been relieved of his duties as field manager and is no longer with the organization in any capacity whatsoever.

  26. I think today was such an embareessement for the Reds ownership and W.J. I think this yr will be Dusty’s last yr. I think today was the last straw.

  27. Has anyone even see or heard from Jocketty in months? Except for 1 comment about the trade deadline, he has been completely absent from view.

  28. 5-2, 2 people on with 0 outs and his first bullpen choice is Ondrusek. Now that’s a guy who really wants to win right there.

  29. Interesting statement on the Dodgers mlb.com web page: “the club inserted Fife into the rotation to give the other five starters an extra day of rest. A secondary motivation was to have Zack Greinke pitch in St. Louis for the upcoming series instead of Capuano, who has had little success against the Cardinals.”

    Bronson and Leake, for those who haven’t noticed, have had little success against the Cardinals.

    Seems like Don Mattingly has a clue.

    • @pinson343: Great find. It’s not that Baker et al. don’t know this. It’s that they don’t want to do it. They either don’t want to upset the pitchers that would be bypassed, or they don’t want to come out and say some pitchers are better than others or they just don’t want to rock the boat. It’s the same complacency that has plagued the thinking of this organization since the day they assigned Chapman to his 60 innings in the bullpen. Chapman has pitched four innings against the Cardinals this year.

      • @Steve Mancuso: Hi, Steve. I have to think this comes from Baker mostly, again. He primarily states who plays; Walt and them primarily state who’s on the roster. Bakerman pressed the FO for a decision on Chapman. Bakerman could have redid the pitching rotation so that we had Latos and Bailey going against the Cards. Not that it would have helped. I wanted to see how Leake did. I was hesitant about Arroyo, though. It’s just, there’s no thinking like that from Baker anywhere.

    • Interesting statement on the Dodgers mlb.com web page: “the club inserted Fife into the rotation to give the other five starters an extra day of rest. A secondary motivation was to have Zack Greinke pitch in St. Louis for the upcoming series instead of Capuano, who has had little success against the Cardinals.”

      Bronson and Leake, for those who haven’t noticed, have had little success against the Cardinals.

      Seems like Don Mattingly has a clue.

      Bailey(3-9 5.61 career and 0-2 9.58 this year) hasn’t exactly been a world beater vs St. Louis either and he is the one who would have been pitching(Friday) instead of Leake(today) if we had moved everyone back a day and inserted random 6th starter the last game in the Padres series(which would have likely been a loss and then we would have come into this series on a 6 game losing streak).

  30. The Reds needed Frazier & Cozart to play well this year to be competitive with the Cardinals, Pirates, Braves, and Dodgers. I know losing Ludwick hurts alot, but one man is not going to make a big big difference when playing the big boys. With the Cardinals having Beltran, Holiday, Craig, and Molina, the Reds are no match with that lineup. I am not sure even next year, or the year after if Frazier and Cozart will improve? It’s a chance you take. If the Reds want to semi compete, they can keep the same players and rely on a pretty good pitching staff, or if they want to get to the next level, they HAVE to make a big trade for a proven bat or two. Just like people thought Stubbs would come around, but he still is about the same player as last year with the Reds, as this year with the Indians. Just like the Reds made a bold trade to get Latos, they are going to have to do something like that or land a free agent that is a proven player like Beltran or Holiday.

  31. Some talk of losing Ludwick hurt this team. I doubt seriously Ludwick’s presence would have turned this around.

    I have to say, regardless of how we finish, the first priority in the offseason, get rid of Bakerman and Jacoby. Like others have said, I just don’t see any fire, any urgency, etc. The batting is horrible. Only glances of players betting better. For example, I have seen some improvement in Bruce this season, but then he regresses to what he showed yesterday, during a win, where he looked horrible. BP’s and Bruce’s RBI’s are coming from Votto and Choo getting on base, that’s all. The bunting is horrible. Position by position, can anyone really say the players’ batting has gotten better over the last season? 2-3 seasons? At best, I only see “constancy”, as in the same thing over and over again (again, at best). Some like to say managers and coaches don’t matter at this level? Shoot, even Stubbs has improved his numbers, maybe even dramatically, over last season.

    Does one player on this team even understand what it means to “make an adjustment”? That’s one of the staples at this level, making adjustments to your offence, defence, etc., on a daily basis, even with each AB and every pitch. That’s one thing I think I may see. The players seem to only be worried about how good their swing looks. But, they don’t seem to be able to pick up pitches very well, adjust for a high pitch, low pitch, fastball, breaking ball, etc. We said for years how Bruce needs to be able to adjust and hit the ball the other way with the outside pitches, etc. He seems to finally have done that more this season. But, his numbers are still right about the same, even with the K’s.

  32. Regarding leadership, meant to mention this before now, maybe it was on a game thread??

    On Friday night’s pregame show, Marty asked Dusty about whether the current state of base running was below the standards of Dusty’s era as a player. Marty seemed to think it was as he asked the question. … Dusty said it was worse nowadays and the reason is that in the 70s, the “veterans” would make sure that stuff got corrected real quick.

    Gee, Dusty, you are the manager. If anybody is entitled to enforce what should be done, maybe it’s you?? Especially on a team when “veteran leadership” isn’t too obvious??

    • @vegastypo: Goes to show what kind of players manager Bakerman is again. Or, should I say simply what kind of manager? He’s not concerned with getting the players to play better. He’s concerned with being the players friend. He let’s them coach and manage each other, apparently with this comment.

  33. Remember when the Reds had a top-3 record in baseball? Those were good times. I just looked at the standings in MLB and the Reds are now tied for the 11th best record in baseball.

    • Remember when the Reds had a top-3 record in baseball? Those were good times. I just looked at the standings in MLB and the Reds are now tied for the 11th best record in baseball.

      You mean back when we were padding our win total vs the Cubs and the totally hapless version of the Marlins. Since we last played either one of those teams we’re 21-24 and if you take away the games against the we got swept at home by the Cubs and Mets version of San Francisco it drops to 15-23.

  34. So this might be a little off topic but I don’t really think talking about this terrible series is going to help my mood any. Does anyone know why Bryan Price pulled his name out of the Marlins Manager job? And I think we should fire Dusty and make Bryan the manager. He has done a stellar job with the pitching and the man obviously knows baseball. I’d rather keep him in the organization instead of losing him to another team. Also, can anyone post a link to where they saw Dusty and Walt had a meeting after the game?
    Namaste

    • @I Like Frogs: It’s on twitter. ctrent posted: “Walt & Dusty met for about 20-25 minutes after the game. Not the usual procedure. (No, nobody has been or is getting fired).”

      Don’t know if you’re a twitter person. If you want to see the original, just make yourself a follower of ctrent.

  35. When cincy gets down by 3 or more runs they just quit! This the the main thing that makes me angry! I remember under different managers this team would seem to at least still fight!!! Now I just know when they are down by 3+ they are finished! It’s really sad too see. If cincy would have been the team up 4-0 stl would’ve probably came back and won. Now way they get beaten to a pulp! Even cozart 2-run shot gave me no faith!

    • @666wolverine:

      When cincy gets down by 3 or more runs they just quit!This the the main thing that makes me angry!I remember under different managers this team would seem to at least still fight!!!Now I just know when they are down by 3+ they are finished!It’s really sad too see.If cincy would have been the team up 4-0 stl would’ve probably came back and won.Now way they get beaten to a pulp!Even cozart 2-run shot gave me no faith!

      Quitters!

    • @666wolverine: Now that you mention it, I don’t know for certain (as in no numbers to back it up, this is sheerly a feeling statement) but it really seems like the Reds don’t have comebacks this season. I know if you’re down 2-3 in the 7th inning your chances of winning aren’t great. It just seems like the Reds chances of winning is none in those situations and not much better any other time they have to make a comeback.

      • @ToddAlmighty: I don’t want to look up the numbers either, it would be boring and depressing, but the Reds have not been a comeback team in 2013. There was the thrilling nite that Mes and Choo hit back to back HRs with 2 outs in the 9th off Kimbrall, but nothing else comes to mind.

        The Reds have a “comeback tradition” based on good offenses, and it was a big part of their success in 2010 and 2012. Even a lot of their pitching weak teams in the 2000-9 decade were dangerous comeback teams.

        Part of the reason it’s not happening this year is that the bench is so weak offensively.

  36. Sam LeCure: “That’s not a situation that anyone wants to be pitching in, but that’s my job. You have to understand you can’t just go out there and throw your hat in the ring, especially not me. I go out there and compete and I try to get people out as hard as I can every time I pitch. To just go out there and throw the ball up there and hope they hit it, that’s not my style, that’s not what I do. That cost me today big time and I think, I don’t want to say complacency, I know there’s effort, I know everyone knows these games are big.”

    Sam owns up to a loss of focus and is unhappy with himself. I don’t want to see it again under any circumstances, but he’s a standup guy to admit it. Also he did not say a word about how he was used in this series, although he had to be unhappy (to put it mildly) about that.

    His being used as the 9th inning mopup guy in the Friday and Sunday games, while Partch and Ondrusek are brought in before the game is out of control, is …. well, plenty has been said about that.

    • Sam LeCure: “That’s not a situation that anyone wants to be pitching in, but that’s my job. You have to understand you can’t just go out there and throw your hat in the ring, especially not me. I go out there and compete and I try to get people out as hard as I can every time I pitch. To just go out there and throw the ball up there and hope they hit it, that’s not my style, that’s not what I do. That cost me today big time and I think, I don’t want to say complacency, I know there’s effort, I know everyone knows these games are big.”

      Sam owns up to a loss of focus and is unhappy with himself. I don’t want to see it again under any circumstances, but he’s a standup guy to admit it. Also he did not say a word about how he was used in this series, although he had to be unhappy (to put it mildly) about that.

      His being used as the 9th inning mopup guy in the Friday and Sunday games, while Partch and Ondrusek are brought in before the game is out of control, is …. well, plenty has been said about that.

      I agree completely. I think LeCure is a great pitcher to have in the bullpen and I really don’t want to see him leave the Reds organization. Dusty’s decisions to use Ondrusek and Partch instead of LeCure really really burned me up. I just don’t understand how this man has a job or even got an extension last year. What can we do as fans to see him gone ASAP???

  37. This isn’t complicated. The Reds don’t have a right-handed hitter who is having a good season, other than Mesoraco. Here are the OPSs for the right-handed hitters:

    Mes .721
    Phillips .718
    Frazier .712
    Heisey .663
    Cozart .653

    Frazier is pretty much Joe Charboneau. The league has figured him out–get him with low outside sliders–and if he can’t adjust, he’ll be coaching at Rutgers in 2016. So far, he hasn’t adjusted.

    There is no relief in sight for the right-handed hitting issue. Phillips would hit 2nd or 7th on a good team; Heisey plays sporadically; Cozart is what he is, although he has stablized a bit hitting 7th; Ludwick is 35 years old and 1-18 in AAA.

    Michael Young? A-Rod? Ron Santo? They are going to have to plod through.

    • @Big Ed: I like the Santo idea, though I admit that his being dead and all might hurt his power numbers a bit… still, sometimes you just gotta roll the dice.

  38. Someone else said it. I’ve said it. This team has taken on the behavior of the manager, a common aspect in athletics. No urgency, no emotion, lack of decision making, etc., and thus, no drive to do better/become better, sloppy baseball, etc. I get the idea that these players would play exactly the same for the Marlins rather than an organization whose history is rich in the annuls of baseball. It’s like they don’t care they are playing for an organization with the history the Cincinnati Reds have.

    Somebody posted something where, when Bakerman was approached about something like this, he responded with the veterans would get things done. What, Bakerman, you can’t do it yourself? You’re the freakin’ manager of the team. Wake up or step down so someone else can step in and get the job done.

  39. This series reminded me of the one in Toronto a few years ago when the Blue Jays tagged Arroyo for double-digit runs. Some alleged there was sign-stealing there, too, so there certainly could be something to that argument.

    Regardless, the Reds didn’t collapse after that series in Toronto, and few thought that the Jays were actually a better team.

    Still, the Cards sure look like a much better team than the Reds right now. Jocketty must be pulling his hair out, considering that this team looks so much better on paper than their recent results show. I’m not a constant Baker-basher, but when a team has that much talent and appears so lifeless, I’d have to consider making a manager change. I’m not sure what other change you could make to seriously shake things up.

    • @RedZeppelin: One change that would help would be better hitters. I don’t see so much talent–the Reds are 10 games over .500, about where they should be with this roster and these injuries.

  40. I’m sorry to be proven right about the pitching setup for this series. All they had to do to start Latos was flip flop him and Leake right out of the All Star break–which also would have had Latos pitch in SF where he dominates instead of in LA where he’d never won before. Even easier, since we had an off day Thursday the MANAGER could have gone to Leake and said “we think against this Cardinals lineup Latos gives us a better chance to win” and pitched Mat on regular rest.

    If you felt like rolling the dice, given 3 off days in a week you could have started Leake and PREPARED to have a quick hook in the middle innings, then use LeCure, Hoover, Simon–and two innings of Chapman?–to try and win the game.

    Dusty’s failure to MANAGE this situation is a grave indictment of his fitness to be the MANAGER of the Reds. Maybe we still would have lost–since Dusty’s other decisions like starting Paul over Heisey continue to handicap the team–but those are the kinds of things an effective MANAGER are expected to MANAGE to put his team in the best position to win.

  41. It’s easy to see how bad this series hurt given the post game comments.

    I attended the only win and despite an odd strike zone and an out of control starting pitcher, the Reds looked like the better team.

    The problem is that the rarely look like a better team than the Cardinals, win or lose. That is a managerial deficiency in my opinion.

    Someone else said it, and I concur that this team doesn’t appear to have the horses to clear a playoff series. If retaining Dusty comes down to missing the playoffs or not then I am okay with the Reds spectating this October.

  42. It’s time to consider that this team has a talent gap wrt the other top teams. That just maybe they are not good enough.

    That being said they could still (easily) win the second wild card and get hot for the playoffs. A good plan, no, a reliable plan, no, but it’s all they have.

    When you take a team with the current talent mix, then add a manager who’s concern with his player/personel relationship could be on the same order of magnitude as his desire to win games, you get a situation that can deteriorate in a hurry (circa 2011).

  43. anyone else going to be paying attention to this biogenesis crackdown at noon? (biogenesis thread RLN editors?) Last I was reading about it was that there are 3 “mystery” names on the list. How sweet would it be if those 3 names were ummmmmmm Mccutchen, Craig and Alvarez? LOL

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