2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Happy Happy Joy Joy

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Oakland 1
Cincinnati 3

W: M. Latos (11-3)
L: D. Straily (6-6)
S: A. Chapman (26)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–So, as it turns out, Mat Latos is pretty good, eh? Tonight: 7.1 shutout innings, four hits allowed. The kid can pitch a little bit.

–Shin-Soo Choo reached base three times in four at-bats, going 2-3 with a double, a walk, and two runs scored. That’s a perfect line for a leadoff hitter.

–Joey Votto had two hits in four ABs. Jay Bruce only had one hit, but it was his 23rd homer of the season. Bruce also made a beautiful running catch on the warning track that saved a run.

NEGATIVES
–None.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–A win after an off-day means that we are on a two-day streak during which the Reds haven’t disappointed us. Hurrah!

–I think we can all give credit for tonight’s win to Teddy Kremer, who served as Reds batboy again. Good job, Teddy!

–I’m fine with Dusty Baker using Aroldis Chapman tonight, especially since the Reds have an off-day on Thursday. But Chapman’s appearance tonight was yet another illustration of the absurdity of the “save” stat. Chapman entered the game with a 3-run lead, and he was set to face the Oakland 6-7-8 hitters. That’s a tough situation?

–Aaaaahh, who cares? Reds win, and that’s a good thing. Homer Bailey will pitch tomorrow afternoon, going for the sweep of this short two-game series.

Source: FanGraphs

70 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Happy Happy Joy Joy

  1. Beautiful night. Big, active crowd for a weeknight game against AL West team (thanks, bobblehead night). Overall, great game.

    Mat Latos did not have the best stuff tonight. He struggled with his breaking ball all night and his command of the fastball wasn’t consistent. Yet, he fought hard and got timely outs. The A’s plate discipline seemed to drop off as the game went on.

    I liked seeing Devin Mesoraco hitting sixth. It’s progress. He didn’t have a hit, but did have one long line drive out. Tomorrow will be Corky Miller and probably the return of Todd Frazier, although Jack Hannahan had a hit.

    Kind of getting tired of Derrick Robinson’s game, other than his defense. He shouldn’t be hitting second when he plays.

    What’s even more idiotic about the save statistic is that Chapman gets rewarded for pitching an inning where he gave up a run. Hoover came in for a tighter spot in the eighth – runner on second, heart of the lineup. He’s the pitcher who deserved the meaningless statistical reward tonight.

  2. I was OK with sending Latos out for the eighth inning. Unlike other times when Baker does something like this, he wasn’t trying to get Latos a win or a complete game. I think he just felt that Latos had been on a roll and was the best guy available to get the three outs of the eighth inning. If he got them 1-2-3, chances are he’d be well below 120 pitches, so that part is fine. When Latos gave up a hit, Baker pulled him.

    • @Steve Mancuso: I too was OK with Latos going out there for the 8th inning. And agree that Dusty pulled him at the right time.

      Latos has become the Reds stopper. Even when he’s not real sharp, I feel the Reds are going to win when he’s pitching.

  3. Glad to see Mez hitting 6th. I hope that lasts. Gotta wonder if tonight was the beginning of a platoon at third base.

    Pitching pitching pitching. You can’t give up on this team for that reason alone. We’re just hitting the dog days, when (in theory) the Cards and Pirates should be more exposed than us. That said, unless we start hitting the ball, it won’t matter.

  4. Long time reader and follower on this site but I never post anything.I finally got an account after we acquired Latos in the trade and I thought I would make a really cool screen name until I realized I spelled intolerant wrong, jokes on me! Anyway, just wanted to say that I really appreciate all the work and research you guys put into this site. I come here first for everything Reds. I used to go to Redreporter but as a Christian I got tired of the foul language and the continual anti-God/Christianty sentiments that are expressed. Again, thank you guys for the great job you do. Keep it up!

    -Joey

  5. Not to nitpick on a night that a) was one pitch away from a shutout and b) saw Devin batting 6th, but the first inning was a microcosm of 2013. Choo gets on, D-Rob can’t execute a bunt and wastes an out, Votto gets a hit and BP hits into a double play. Bunting is bad enough to begin with, but bunting in the first inning is ridiculous. Why even bat someone between Choo and Votto if all they’re good for is sacrificing?

    Here’s hoping Corky has a nice send-off game tomorrow (although I’d expect to see him back in September), and Frazier finally awakens from his coma.

    • @Davis Stuns Goliath: The first inning bothered me too, in deja vu sense. It’s even worse than having a number 2 hitter who can only sacrifice: he failed to sacrifice, which cost the Reds a run.

      And Robinson’s sac bunt which led to the 3rd run was right back to the pitcher, who just threw it away.

    • Not to nitpick on a night that a) was one pitch away from a shutout and b) saw Devin batting 6th, but the first inning was a microcosm of 2013. Choo gets on, D-Rob can’t execute a bunt and wastes an out, Votto gets a hit and BP hits into a double play. Bunting is bad enough to begin with, but bunting in the first inning is ridiculous. Why even bat someone between Choo and Votto if all they’re good for is sacrificing?

      Here’s hoping Corky has a nice send-off game tomorrow (although I’d expect to see him back in September), and Frazier finally awakens from his coma.

      To show you how bad the sacrifice is the Reds were probably better off that it failed because if it was successful they would have pitched around Votto and it would have been first and second one out instead of first and third. Sacrifice was a lose-lose.

  6. As soon as I saw “Happy Happy Joy Joy”, I knew Chad had posted the recap. I can’t define Chad’s sense of humor, but I know it when I see it.

  7. Jay Bruce looked like greatness on that HR. He takes an easy swing on an outside pitch, as if he’s just trying to hit a bloop single to left CF. And it flies over the fence.

    On the other hand, he’s been swinging at a lot of breaking pitches in the dirt lately.

    • @pinson343: I remember shouting at my TV for that ball to drop, off the bat it looked like a 240 foot blooper between the outfielders. I don’t know if the pitch selection will improve, but maybe we are just spoiled by Votto’s near-perfect eye. I am very pleased with his hitting against LHP this season too.

  8. At this point, do you guys think Latos is our Wild Card Game starter if it comes to that? I think he passes the gut test slightly more than Homer for me, at this point.

    • @prjeter: Definitely. Especially if it’s the Cardinals. He’s beaten them 4 starts in a row, 3 of them this year.

      Matt is terrific as long as he keeps his head when umps squeeze him and players make errors behind him.

    • @prjeter: Well, he should be, but you have to throw in the Dusty factor. Might need some veteraniness for that start leading to Arroyo getting shelled in STL.

  9. Marty was raving about Bruce’s catch. Said that he needed an excellent jump and to run a perfect route to even have a chance to make that catch.

    He was not so kind to Votto on the ground ball out by Moss to end the 8th. Said that the ball was right to Votto, Votto screwed up, and luckily BP “was backing him up” and Hoover covered first. Can someone fill me in on what happened ?

    • @pinson343: Even if Marty exaggerated Votto’s ineptness on that play, Joey has been losing focus on defense a lot this year.
      His being Ted Williams on offense is a good thing. But not on defense. Ted Williams used to stand out in LF taking practice swings.

      • @pinson343: They showed a replay on the eighth inning play in the stadium and it looked like Votto went all out, but just couldn’t quite get to it. Phillips made the play but it was no sure thing. Hoover made an outstanding play covering first.

        There was a play earlier in the game that Votto didn’t make. The ground ball looked to be just a foot or two to his right and he just watched it go by. I didn’t see a replay on that one, and my angle is bad to judge the distance/playability on that one without a replay. But it sure seemed like that was one Votto should have made or at least tried for.

        Votto had a couple nice plays on ground balls tonight, but he also looked poorly or just short on a few. He’s not really an exceptional first baseman. He’s just serviceable. And that’s OK, but that Gold Glove he won has probably raised our expectations unrealistically high.

        • @Steve Mancuso: Thanks for the reply, Steve. On the 5th inning ground ball by Vogt, the mlb.com recap states: “first baseman Joey Votto watched Stephen Vogt’s single sneak through the right side.”
          I assume that’s the play you’re referring to.

          After that of course came BP’s error, I was afraid Latos might melt down after those 2 misplays but this time he handled adversity really well.

        • @Steve Mancuso: I remember how Joey was subpar defensively when he first came up, and improved dramatically thru sheer hard work.
          He continues to work hard on his defense, that’s all you can ask for.

        • @pinson343: A skeptic might suggest that at least part of Votto’s seeming regression on defense arises from his knee being less than it used to be. Maybe he can’t move to his right effectively because he can’t push off and twist with his left knee; so he turns his back or reaches usng his right knee and takes those backhanded swipes which are leading to most of the issues.

        • @pinson343: They showed a replay on the eighth inning play in the stadium and it looked like Votto went all out, but just couldn’t quite get to it. Phillips made the play but it was no sure thing. Hoover made an outstanding play covering first.

          There was a play earlier in the game that Votto didn’t make. The ground ball looked to be just a foot or two to his right and he just watched it go by. I didn’t see a replay on that one, and my angle is bad to judge the distance/playability on that one without a replay. But it sure seemed like that was one Votto should have made or at least tried for.

          Votto had a couple nice plays on ground balls tonight, but he also looked poorly or just short on a few. He’s not really an exceptional first baseman. He’s just serviceable. And that’s OK, but that Gold Glove he won has probably raised our expectations unrealistically high.

          Votto absolutely should have had the ball you are talking about.

      • @pinson343: Votto has always seemed to struggle with balls in the hole-going after some balls that Phillips would get and, last night, balking at one he needed to go for. It probably looks a lot easier than it actually is. He had three balls up the line on him last night, but I can’t really fault him for those. He is great at digging throws, but otherwise average defensively.

        Good win, but they could have played “add on” a bit better. The downside (as a TV consumer) is that there are no games for more than 48 hours, on top of the off day Monday. The Reds should be fresh heading into a part of the schedule where they can make up some ground.

    • @pinson343:

      I’m not sure if this is the play I’m thinking of…there was one where Votto should have gone for the ball, but retreated to the bag and it basically dribbled through the infield for a hit…Chris said it was misplayed by Votto and I agree. His defense has always (IMO) been over-rated, but it’s been basically awful this season.

    • @pinson343: It’s awful hard to tell up in 536, but it sure seemed that he should have gotten to the one ball to his left. I also thought that the two hits down the first base line were balls that he could have gotten a glove on. Both would have been extremely difficult plays, but just getting a glove on them keeps them as singles rather than a double and a triple.

  10. In the Cardinal-Dodger game today, Brandon League faced 4 batters and gave up a solo HR to Beltran and a 2 run HR to Matt Adams.

    In their 1-0 11 inning loss to the Dodgers, League was obviously having command problems, but shut the Reds out for the 2 extra innings.

    • @pinson343: Matt Adams can hit. You wonder what the Cardinals will do next year to get his bat in the lineup more often. If they don’t resign Beltran, which is unlikely, they could put Craig in RF and Adams at 1B. That still leaves budding superstar Oscar Taveras out of the equation, though. First World baseball problems, I guess.

      • @Steve Mancuso: That’s a good problem for a team to have. If Beltran asks for too much, the Cardinals won’t re-sign him. It’s surprising that he’s had (so far) two injury-free seasons at his age after his injury-plagued seasons with the Mets.

  11. Ludwick hit a 2 run HR for the Bats today against Brandon Cumpton. Remember Brandon ? Pitching for the Pirates, he held the Reds to 1 run in 5 innings on June 20.

    The bad news: Ludwick now 2 for 26 (.077) for the Bats.

  12. They talk about hitters getting “pull happy”, in the first half maybe Votto got a little “opposite way happy”, popping inside fastballs up to LF. Now he’s ripping inside fastballs to RF, love to see that.

  13. In the mlb.com game recap, Latos praised Mes highly, both for his blocking sliders in the dirt and for calling the game to exploit “what we thought was a weakness with them”. That is, they worked the A’s hitters with fastballs up and in.

    Latos made his preference for catcher clear. Corky has been catching Homer, when Hanigan returns, he’ll be catching Homer. What about Bronson ? I’d like to continue to see Mes in the lineup 4 games out of 5.

    • @pinson343: I read that Latos actually requested Mes to be his catcher, due to the hard work he saw Nes doing to improve defensively. That’s being a good teammate, and bodes well for his maturity. Also, he probably enjoys the offense Mesoraco can provide, lol.

    • @pinson343: You have to think that Mesoraco will continue to catch Cingrani, Leake and Latos after Hanigan returns. I doubt Baker will break up the Arroyo-Hanigan match, and probably not Bailey-Hanigan, either. The Reds are desperate for some pop from the right side, but my bet is 3 (Mesoraco) for 2 (Hanigan) is as far as Baker is willing to go.

      We’ll have to see how Hanigan hits, it may work out.

  14. Dusty took a shot at the fans in his post game comment, when talking about Teddy, “I wish everybody was as positive as Teddy is. He’s a homer in every sense of the word. He’s for the home team. Sometimes its appears everyone is not as positive as Teddy.”

    Also, was in the media yesterday that Dave Parker is fighting Parkinson’s…all of us at Redleg Nation send prayers out to the Dave and his entire family.

      • @Steve Mancuso: Agreed. What are we suppose to think when Bakerman strolls Patterson, Tavaras, Stubbs, and Gomes out so many times for so long when they are doing literally nothing? What are we suppose to think when of the first 15 relief appearances of the season, 12 of them went to Hoover and Chapman?

        I would be confident to state that we all cheer for the Reds during the games, winning or losing, aka being positive (I don’t know of any Reds fan, well maybe one that was on here a while back, who would say something like, “Well, they’re just going to lose again. It means nothing.”, or “So what if we won, we are just going to lose tomorrow.”.). But, that has absolutely nothing to do with holding Bakerman accountable for his stupid decisions.

        • @Steve Mancuso: That was a very uncomfortable interview. Even Dusty was uncomfortable with what he wanted to say, realizing almost immediately that he had once again opened his mouth and started spewing nonsense and he couldn’t figure out a way to just stop talking, so he just continued spewing nonsense and trying to avoid what he really wanted to say. I just wanted to reach out and gag him. Dusty should never, ever be in any kind of leadership position. That interview may have been a new low point for Dusty and he has had many very low points as a manager.

    • @Bill Lack: I wonder if Dusty bothered to notice that the A’s pulled their pitcher in the 5th after giving up only two runs in an effort to actually win. Dusty would never do something that makes that much sense in an effort to win – he’d leave the pitcher in the game in a quest for a meaningless statistic or he’d bail on the game altogether and bring in his worst relief pitcher.

      I cannot wait until he is gone.

  15. was surprised DRob didn’t make the negatives section…after being a little hopeful about him, I’m ready for him to be sent back down (3 for 8 stealing, with his speed, seems criminal…especially the way he has killed rallies getting thrown out)

  16. One bit of good news. It looks like both Latos and Bailey are lined up to pitch the next two series against the Cardinals. No mental gymnastics required to arrange it.

    • @Steve Mancuso: Mez batting 6 yesterday. Frazier batting 2 today. While these are fairly obvious changes that most of us would have made a long time ago, I can’t help but think Dusty got a little bit of scolding during his talk with Walt on Monday.

        • @Shchi Cossack: Why would you want Mes to tire himself out catching more than 2 games in 5 days? I’m sure there’s no risk his timing in the batter’s box will be disrupted. No risk his offense will be needed against one of the best–cough, cough–pitchers in the AL. No possibility that if Homer is lined up against a LHP in a one game playoff we’ll wish Mes had more experience catching Homer this season. No reason that our MANAGER should MANAGE getting Homer and Mes to work well together. (Sarcasm off/depression on)

    • @Steve Mancuso: Does it seem to other people, that at least anecdotally, Dusty becomes a little more flexible when he finally realizes his own back is against the wall? Lineups start to shake up more than usual when it finally starts looking bad for him. Either that or he’s just patient to a ginormous fault as a player’s manager. Remember thinking before he signed his extension that he finally became open to changing the leadoff issue and whatnot when things weren’t going well and he didn’t have a parachute yet.

      • @Matt WI: It does seem that way, but that’s a pretty human trait, isn’t it? His patience and stubbornness seem to have paid off with Hoover and Parra.

  17. Anyone know if they activated Broxton? I really hope that when he comes back Dusty doesn’t automatically slot him in as the “8th inning with a lead” guy. First, he hasn’t pitched well enough to “deserve” that role. Second, the bullpen has been much better when roles are a little more fluid and the guys are used flexibly. Hoover has done some great 8th inning work–like last night–LeCure is generally dependable, Parra can be used vs a lefty, etc. Guys can be kept fresh–and sharp–and we can get the right matchups at the right time. (For example, need a DP ball in the 6th: maybe Broxton is the right guy, rather than saving him for the 8th.) Rigidly assigning Broxton his usual 8th inning role really handicaps things.

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