2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Paul Redeems, Votto Earns Paycheck, Baker Steps Outside Box

Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

FINAL (13 innings)
San Diego 2
Cincinnati 3

W: S. LeCure (2-1)
L: T. Stauffer (1-1)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Let’s start with the pitching which, minus one glaring exception which I will address in a moment, was excellent. 13 innings. One earned run. That’s gettin’ it done.

–Xavier Paul homered in a pinch hitting appearance to give the Reds a fresh start. It took a while, but they made use of it.

–Dusty pinch hit Ryan Hanigan. I know, I know, there was no one else left, but still, Dusty never uses his extra catcher.

NEGATIVES
–Poor fielding today. Fortunately, they overcame it, but if the fielding is clean in this game, it’s over in 9.

–Logan Ondrusek escaped by luck. He was not good today. This is normal for him.

–Not much offense today against a not very good pitcher.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–I’m going to be honest, I wish Votto had walked to drive in that run just so I could tease people. I’m not complaining about the sac fly, though.

–I do not care that Sam LeCure pitched yesterday. There is no reason – none at all – to use Ondrusek before LeCure. I’m sure Ondrusek is a nice guy, but he should be the mop-up reliever. Big deficit, send him in to eat innings. Otherwise, he sits until you have no other options.

–However, I do not have a problem with how Chapman was used. He felt a twinge in his leg or whatever, but finished the inning. If I’m Baker, I don’t take that chance either.

–I was listening to the game today and found a particular bit of the conversation with Sheldon interesting for what it reveals. The topic was where Ludwick bats tomorrow. Marty and Jeff were piling praise on BP for the job he’s done as the clean-up hitter, but initially only acknowledge that Bruce had been okay in the five spot. There are zero ways in which Phillips has been a better hitter than Bruce. That includes RBI as he’s had more men on than Bruce. It just speaks to the ridiculous narrative that’s been created in the broadcast booth that Jay Bruce is some kind of lesser hitter. He is an excellent hitter and, frankly, a much better choice for clean-up than Phillips.

–Paul made a case for staying on the roster today. If it were up to me, I’d keep him. He’s not much in the outfield, but what the Reds really need is a pinch hitter, and he can do that. UPDATE: Robinson has been sent down.

–The Cards are reeling right now (though it looks like they’ll win today), absolutely reeling, and the Reds have a real shot at catching them for the top wildcard spot, thus insuring a home game for the right to enter the Division Series.

Source: FanGraphs

158 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Paul Redeems, Votto Earns Paycheck, Baker Steps Outside Box

  1. Home game for the play-in will be important if it is St. Louis or the D-Backs. I know we can win in Pittsburgh, but I just don’t see them imploding that hard. Then again, we do finish up with them 6 out of the last 9 games. If were close, we could still “control our own destiny” as long as this deep blue hitting funk clears up.

    Take the lessons from this series, take the series win, and beat the Stupid Cubs!!

  2. I just watched the highlight of Joeys walk off sac fly a couple times. Was anyone at the game? Votto completely disappeared from the field. Everyone ran out of the dugout and were congratulating Hannahan at the plate and there were even shots of Choo roaming around but there wasn’t a single shot of Votto anywhere. It looked like the cameras were trying to find him but I didn’t even see him trotting towards first base. In the slo no of the actual hit it looked like he was mad he didn’t get more of it – it was a pitch he could have driven for a grand slam. Did he just duck off the field?

    • @eric nyc: He pretty much got to first, then after the catch was made and Hannahan scored, he made a mad dash for the dugout. Avoiding the mobbing perhaps? I dunno.

  3. I find it hilarious that, after the outcry here last night, two guys who “should not even be on the team” each did more in a single at-bat today than the two guys they replaced last night could each do in five at bats.

    It really proves the notion that whatever happened yesterday means little or nothing today. But I’m sure the lesson will be long forgotten the next time a backup has a bad game in a spot start…

      • @renbutler:
        Great point… People are quick to condemn and slow to forget on here.

        Says the guy who remembers what people post on here and is quick to condemn those postings.

    • @renbutler: Yep … and yet we’d have a hard time finding another 2 to fill out the roster. Yes, Jack had the “yips”, but the rest of the guys didn’t hit and score either. It is a team game …

    • @renbutler: Who are you talking about? Paul? He is a pinch hitter. That’s his role. Starter? No way.

      Don’t know who else you are talking about. Many did nothing today.

        • @steveschoen: Hannahan walked and scored the winning run.

          And surely you wouldn’t suggest that XPaul never should get a start, right?

          Bragging about a guy drawing a walk and scoring a run??? Do you work for the Reds??

        • Bragging about a guy drawing a walk and scoring a run??? Do you work for the Reds??

          You know nobody on the Reds has the sense to praise something like that. :) That’s as much as a positive contribution as making an error is a negative. Can’t have it both ways.

        • @renbutler: When we are needing to win most every game and there are better outfielders than Paul around, at this point in the season, yes, I do mean that.

  4. Pirates may get swept by Colorado. Next for them is three games in St. Louis, then three games vs. Arizona, then a west coast road trip. Are we possibly watching the start of their annual collapse?

      • @Mwv: Definitely on board with that. Pirates taking down the Cards in Saint Louis this week would be great. By next Sunday, this could be an even closer race. Reds visit Chicago and Milwaukee. How about winning 5 of 7? And then the Cards go 3-3 and the Pirates 2-4 this week. If that happens, Reds 2 1/2 out of first and a half game behind the Cards for the home wild card game (as the Cards would close within 2 of the Pirates). Then home to Cincy for a 4 game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The next 7 weeks could be a lot of fun, Reds fans. And whoever said this Division race is over for the Reds may end up looking very silly with egg over their face.

        • @steveschoen: Thanks for your comment. And it’s funny but it seems there are many Reds fans out there that are really struggling to have any faith in this 2013 version of the Reds (count me among those minions since this team really has no offense to speak of).

          Somebody posted it would have been even more prolific if the Reds had won the game on a walk (a passed ball or wild pitch would have conveyed the same message to management). And after the Reds struggled once again to hit another pitcher with an ERA around 5.00 coming into the game, the Giants series seems like a total mirage.

          And where did Rios actually end up btw, well in Texas for a minor league player to be named later or something like that. Once again great work done by Walt Joker-tty.

  5. 2nd and 3rd with 1 out in Denver … a K followed by a double that didn’t score the guy from first.

  6. BTW, regarding “Dusty never uses his extra catcher,” this is the 16th time this year that a second catcher has been used. Mes has entered 12 games, and Hanigan four games.

    I seem to recall that a couple might have been injury related, but the majority weren’t.

    So, although it’s not common, it’s not really “never,” even as an exaggeration.

    • @renbutler: I was thinking somebody (from the dormant starters) should be running for Hannahan … until I remembered then we’d have nobody to play 3rd.

    • @renbutler: Sure. With the number of extra inning games we have had, the second catcher has probably been used several times. That’s nothing new. Let’s see the Bakerman use the 2nd catcher in the 6th or 7th inning. Much more of a rarity there.

      You need to quit taking things literal. Most everything people post here you could begin with “Essentially. . .”.

      • @steveschoen: Oh, jeez, come on. I was just submitting facts for people to chew on. If you don’t think they’re pertinent, just move on.

        Speaking of which, two of Hanigan’s late-game appearances came in a non-extra inning. Eleven of Mesoraco’s and both of Miller’s were the same.

        So, 15 out of 18 were not extra-inning substitutions. Essentially…

        • @renbutler: I will come right out and say I’m glad you looked it up. It proves a point I’m always trying to make that our memories and our eyes are liars. I honestly don’t know if I can remember Dusty using a catcher like he did tonight, and I’ve been paying attention to 80 or 90 percent of the games this year.

          And I was totally wrong. I should have looked it up.

        • @Jason Linden: And thank you for understanding that I wasn’t trying to prove you wrong. I found it an interesting comment and decided to look it up myself. I didn’t have a preconceived notion of what the answer would be, but I thought it would be interesting to others here.

        • @Jason Linden: Dusty is on record as saying that he can’t use his backup catcher as a pinch hitter, but this season he has really loosened up his approach regarding the use of his backup catcher. I think Mesoraco forced him to reevaluate what Hank told him.

        • It isn’t uncommon for the 2nd string catcher to be the last player to come off the bench. Not common, it’s just rare.

        • @renbutler: And, what pinch hitters were available? Were there any other pinch hitters available? You want to talk details, then you need to go into details, not just enough to where they support your premise.

        • @steveschoen: But that’s not the point that was being made in the recap. That’s all I was addressing.

          I had no premise to support. All I was doing was sharing facts that one can take however they want.

          You are in a challenging, arguing mood, but apparently nobody wants to take you up on it.

  7. I know I’m probably in the minority, but its too bad Robinson got sent down. I don’t have any other option, so I can’t say I disagree with the move, but I really liked him being on the bench. He had options left, so he was the odd man out.

    • @BearcatNation: He is fast and a switch-hitter. He needs a little more consistency at the plate and maybe he can get that for the next couple weeks. I’m thinking we’ll see him in Goodyear next spring.

    • @BearcatNation: Cannot say I disagree with the move either. Baker addressed this in his post-game, talking about options and “sometimes you do what you have to do, not necessarily what you should do” (or something like that). Had DRob clearly outplayed XP, I’m thinking he still gets sent down because of the options.

    • @BearcatNation: I like Robinson, and he added something from the bench that the Reds don’t have now. But the Reds have a greater need for guys who can PH with a little pop. With Heisey and Paul on the bench, they’ll now have that from both sides of the plate.

      We’ll see DRobby in September and next spring. I predict he’s on the roster next year. Once he improves his approach at the plate a bit, learns the pitchers’ moves to first more, and cuts down on the “rookie” mental errors, he’ll be valuable off the bench.

      • @pinson343:

        I predict he’s on the roster next year.

        Heisey and XP both start arbitration next season. Ludwick will be the LF and Bruce will be the RF. Either BHam or Robinson will be the starting CF, unless WJ makes an offseason move for another OF. I don’t see another OF in the minor league system even approaching major league readiness. I also still think BHam will need additional time at AAA to complete his development to major league readiness.

        • @Kyle Farmer: Me too, but I really think that’s a fantasy. I was thinking yesterday after all the Dusty bashing (and much of it well earned) that if Dusty does not come back to manage the Reds next season (maybe they win the WS this season and he chooses to go out on a high note), that the Reds will be in the market for another manager. I’m not sure how I feel about Manny Acta as a manager and I am not a fan of recycling managers, but I think he would at least be an interesting candidate. Acta never had the horses in Cleveland to compete. Acta has a brief history with Choo and I believe they both like and respect each other. Could that be the impetus to possibly resigning Choo?

        • @Shchi Cossack: If Dusty moves on after this season, I’d put my money on Price getting his shot. In fact, if Price doesn’t get his shot with Cincy, I’d say we’re going to be finding a new pitching coach for 2014.

        • @pinson343:

          Heisey and XP both start arbitration next season.Ludwick will be the LF and Bruce will be the RF.Either BHam or Robinson will be the starting CF, unless WJ makes an offseason move for another OF.I don’t see another OF in the minor league system even approaching major league readiness.I also still think BHam will need additional time at AAA to complete his development to major league readiness.

          There is a lot of baseball left in 2013, but it is interesting to think about what the team will look like in 2014. I think Hamilton is your CF’er…that’s a done deal. Choo is going to command a big contract and I just don’t see the Reds spending that kind of money with Hamilton waiting in the wings. I also think if the Reds continue to wimper along – it’ll be the end for Dusty. The window is open right now for the Reds to maiximize this current group of players. Most eveyone is under team contral for the next couple of years so the sense of urgency should be high.

      • @pinson343:

        My only problem with Robinson is (and again, as stated earlier, this is memory, I haven’t looked anything up), but his seemingly constantly swinging at the first pitch…

        • @Bill Lack: Just a thought here, but I agree that it does seem that way. However, in his defense, as a guy who is a borderline player maybe he is just going out of his way to please his incompetent manager.

          Dusty is constantly talking about taking too many pitches and so on. Robinson would be smart to go up there hacking in an attempt to please Dusty which would be key to his not getting sent back to AAA.

  8. As bad as the Reds have played of late and as much criticism as they have gotten, and deserved a lot of it they are only 5 games back in the division. It is not crazy to suggest that they can win this division.

    • As bad as the Reds have played of late and as much criticism as they have gotten, and deserved a lot of it they are only 5 games back in the division. It is not crazy to suggest that they can win this division.

      It’s crazy when you consider how poorly they’ve been playing for awhile. Thank goodness the pitching is holding up. Mostly.

  9. I don’t know how many of the Nation watched Votto’s post-game interview. They always try so hard to make Votto take credit for his accomplishmants and proclaim what a great hitter he is. Votto’s assessment of his game winning RBI was that there were three people responsible for the game winning RBI (he did not include himself at all): Choo for the lead off double, Hannahan for the BB and Hanigan for the HBP. That’s how little Votto cares about the RBI. Get on base and good things happen, no matter who is hitting.

    • @Shchi Cossack: In further admiration of our man Votto, I took a moment this evening to look at his stats w/r/t the rest of the league. He 7th in WAR at 5.0, 2nd in OBP, top in BB%, 5th in wRC+, and 7th in BA. OK “only” 17th in SLG, but the guy is a delight. And August has often been when his numbers tick up a bit, so potentially we may see him rise in these tables. No matter what, I’m glad he’s our guy and not someone else’s.

      • @joelie1274: Those are “in the majors” rather than “in the league.” :) That third baseman in Detriot is pretty good, eh? Looking at his stats vs NL only is even more impressive, given the idea that some folks have that he’s having an off-year. (I, of course, don’t believe that for a second.)

        • @prjeter: well, there was one game this year that Votto didn’t hit a home run when everyone thought he should have, so I can understand thinking that he’s underperformed. (Kindly note the sarcasm). Anyway, that Detroit guy is probably the ONLY one I’d rather have instead of Votto. Maybe Trout. But I like our guy nonetheless.

  10. Votto didn’t improve his batting avg. with RISP < 2 outs or in "clutch" situations today. What a bum.

  11. XP & Heisey are role players and they are very good when they can be utilized strictly as pinch hitters and utility OF, rather than being forced into starting extended starting roles. With Ludwick’s return, XP and Heisey will resume their roles as high leverage pinch hitters and utility OF and the team will be better with that change alone. I don’t expect much from Ludwick, but he should be able to produce offensively at least at the level coming from LF recently and the bench just got a lot better.

    • @Shchi Cossack: Exactly. Ludwick’s return will improve the bench. The Reds now have decent RHed and LHed PHers.

      And to quote Jason: “If it were up to me, I’d keep Paul. He’s not much in the outfield, but what the Reds really need is a pinch hitter, and he can do that. UPDATE: Robinson has been sent down.”

      • @pinson343: But I hope they find a way to get DRob into the playoff eligible pool. With a reduced sized pitching staff, there should be a spot for a guy whose speed could save or win a game as a pinch runner.

  12. Ludwick did not play for the Bats today, so I guess he is already in transit, if not already with the team in Cincinnati. I would have preferred for him to get as many AB as possible during his rehab assignment and played today (the game between the Bats and Clippers is still underway), at least getting 2-3 PA.

    • @dn4192:
      I think the issue is the Padres bailed him out and why put yourself at a disadvantage when you have a better pitcher available.

    • tpt

      He got the job done????

      Refresh your memory: Ondrusek comes into the game and does the following: Single, Single (after the batter couldn’t get a bunt down), Popout Bunt (whew, thank you Padres!), Balk (questionable, but it was called), Flyout, Strikeout. Yes, job done but two singles and a balk ain’t great pitching my friend.

      He follows that up the next inning (Dusty, what are you thinking?!?!) with a: Walk, Strikeout and Stolen Base, Intentional Walk, Flyout, Walk. He is then pulled, leaving the bases loaded. LeCure relieves him to secure the final out.

      So your “unjust” comment doesn’t bear up. In 1 2/3 innings Ondrusek gave up TWO Singles, TWO Walks, ONE Int. Walk, ONE Balk, ONE Stolen Base, and was pulled with the bases loaded. What exactly did he “get done”???????

      • He got the job done????

        Refresh your memory: Ondrusek comes into the game and does the following: Single, Single (after the batter couldn’t get a bunt down), Popout Bunt (whew, thank you Padres!), Balk (questionable, but it was called), Flyout, Strikeout. Yes, job done but two singles and a balk ain’t great pitching my friend.

        He follows that up the next inning (Dusty, what are you thinking?!?!) with a: Walk, Strikeout and Stolen Base, Intentional Walk, Flyout, Walk. He is then pulled, leaving the bases loaded. LeCure relieves him to secure the final out.

        So your “unjust” comment doesn’t bear up. In 1 2/3 innings Ondrusek gave up TWO Singles, TWO Walks, ONE Int. Walk, ONE Balk, ONE Stolen Base, and was pulled with the bases loaded. What exactly did he “get done”???????

        In addition to the fact that he went to 3 balls on about half the hitters he faced and was CONSTANTLY pitching from behind 2-0, 3-0…ugh.

  13. Good recap, A few things
    1) On the comment…”–Not much offense today against a not very good pitcher.”
    Ian Kennedy just having an off year, he won 36 games the past 2 seasons and has just dominated the Reds in 3 previous career starts.”
    2) Curious decisions…
    a)I do not know why it bothered me that Baker double switched Hannahan for Frazier when Lecure was brought in. Of course it did not matter, just like bringing Ondrusek in before Sam didn’t matter. I had praised all the moves through the 9th but felt this double switch was over managing
    b) So is Chapman hurt? meaning would he come out for the 10th if there were no issues.
    c) How many Padre fans are wondering why Street was not in this game considering he has pitched only 2 times this month?

    • @vicferrari: His career ERA+ is 102, so he’s about average. He had a great 2011, with a 137 ERA+, so what we have is a pitcher with 1 good year and the rest average to below-average. So he’s not having an “off year,” in my opinion. His one great year is skewing perception. In 2010 he led the league in wild pitches, and in 2012 he led the league in HBP. So he’s prone to wildness. This year, his BB/9 is the highest of his career, so his control hasn’t been there. The one thing true of his 2011 season? Much better control.

      • @prjeter:
        I guess I interpret not very good = bad, your stats make some points and we are arguing about semantics as I think we have gotten to a point of being able to redefine what average is, given the great seasons the Reds starters are putting up. I guess I recall facing Kennedy several times and he has just dominated them. This was his worse start of the 4.
        I would not say either one of these pitchers lines are below average, guess which one is Kennedy’s and whose is the other’s

        GS W L IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP BAA
        132 50 38 813.2 760 385 360 97 269 710 3.98 1.26 .247

        134 45 43 793.2 809 413 384 90 255 654 4.35 1.34 .264

        • @vicferrari: I don’t think that’s a valid comparison. Bailey, the bottom line, has had a very clear career progression. His peripheral numbers have steadily improved as he’s aged/matured, so of course his career number make him look worse than he actually is. Put it this way, for much of his career to this point, Bailey hasn’t been very good.

          With Kennedy, the peripherals aren’t so good. The more salient point, then, is to ask who is good right now. Bailey is. Kennedy isn’t. He’s not terrible, but he’s not very good either.

        • @Jason Linden:
          I just made some additional comments that I felt were bigger issues than how they particularly performed against Kennedy. Comparing Homer to him was just clarifying what I perceive as borderline above average stats. Speaking solely of Reds starters, I would probably describe only Latos or Cueto as very good pitchers. But I would not describe the Reds starter today is not a very good pitcher, nor tomorrow. So it is just how I would use the phrase and what we classify as not a very good pitcher.
          The real issues are what we agree on, the Reds were awful offensively against so not very good pitchers and they still won despite some awful late inning management.

        • @vicferrari: Fair points, Vic. I agree, a lot of times we caught up in semantics of what is “good” and “average” and “bad.”

          Also agree with Jason. If we had our one game playoff tomorrow and could choose Kennedy or Bailey, I’d choose Bailey. (Ask me in 2011 and I choose Kennedy)

        • @prjeter:
          I definitely would also, but the Giants’ fans probably felt they got no hit by a not very good pitcher. They would be wrong. Not my intention to compare the 2 pitchers for preference sake. Possibly the consensus is Kennedy is below average, but I feel the Reds have been ineffective against worst.

  14. Leake had the only Red’s hit up until the 8th. After Paul’s HR, they had 3 hits. And their final 2 hits came in the 13th. It feels like the Reds stole one today. I like it.

    • @MikeC: Agreed. Playoff teams dont always win decisively. Gotta have a few you sneak by each year to get that win total up there.

  15. Two tough pitchers coming up, Wood and Samardzija. Probably gonna have to squeak them out to take the series. To be honest, the next two weeks of Pirate baseball is probably going to be more telling for the Reds chances than our next two weeks.

    I’ll be in the bleachers at Wrigley tomorrow. Beat those stupid Cubs!

    • @Sultan of Swaff: I am not sure I agree with your assessment of the relative importance of the next two weeks. The Reds have 4 with the DBacks at GABP. Plus the Reds are playing the Brewers and the Cubs the rest of that time.

      If the Reds would do as well as 10-4 over that stretch with at least 2 wins versus the DBacks, they would likely have realistically knocked the DBacks out of the WC race, be past the Cardinals and have picked up two or three games on the Pirates.

      Then add in those three with the Birds to get them to their next off day on the 29th; and this seems like a pretty big two week stretch for the Reds to me. It is where they can set the table to take the division versus maybe just having a wing and a prayer or little chance at all of getting the job done.

  16. By the way, Mark Sheldon is the one that said Jay Bruce has only been OK in the five hole not Marty or Brantley. He also said Phillips has been great in the 4 hole. That was 100 percent Sheldon.

    • @AnnapolisHoosier: Mark first said he’s been only OK, but then came right back (talking over Marty) and said somethign like “actually, he’s been good.” I think he meant to originally say Bruce had been good but the word “OK” came out of his mouth and he realized it sounded a bit low for an assessment of Bruce’s job thusfar. IIRC!! :)

      • @AnnapolisHoosier: Mark first said he’s been only OK, but then came right back (talking over Marty) and said somethign like “actually, he’s been good.”I think he meant to originally say Bruce had been good but the word “OK” came out of his mouth and he realized it sounded a bit low for an assessment of Bruce’s job thusfar.IIRC!!

        Fair point. He did do that.

  17. “He is an excellent hitter”

    George Brett was an excellent hitter. Hank Aaron was an excellent hitter. Jay Bruce is an adequate hitter.

    • @Mutaman: Hank Aaron? Really man? That’s your standard for excellent? Hank Aaron was an all-time great. Also, career wise, there’s as much distance between Aaron and Brett as between Brett and Bruce.

      By any comprehensive measure you can find, Jay Bruce is, offensively, about 20 percent better than league average, which makes him one of the 20 or 25 best hitters in the NL. Maybe that doesn’t meet your standard for excellence, but I don’t see how you can label him adequate. Phillips is adequate. Jay Bruce is, at the very least, good.

      • @Jason Linden: There’s only one stat that has a 100% correlation to wins. “Who has more runs at the end of the game”. No description about OBP, RBI’s, etc. Just which team has the most runs at the end of the game.

        From a math person, everything else is just math people trying to justify their math.

      • @Jason Linden: Not to mention trying to say a player on pace to K 200 times in a season is being an excellent hitter. BP may have more RBI’s than Bruce but given the BP isn’t a HR nor doubles machine, that means BO is getting his RBI’s with singles, which means he and other runners are most likely still on base for Bruce to drive in and get an RBI, which Bruce doesn’t have as many as BP. Which probably means Bruce isn’t being as successful as BP in driving in runs. Which, when one looks at a stat like RISP BA/OBP, BP’s is approx. 80 points higher than Bruce’s. And, BP isn’t doing as good a job as Bruce? Only when there aren’t any RISP.

        • @steveschoen: Do you really think there is no correlation to getting on base and scoring runs? Yes, OBP and scoring runs are not an equality. I don’t think anyone ever said they were.

          Choo and Votto get on base the most. Consequently, they score the most runs. BP hits with the most men on base. Consequently, he drives in the most runs.

          This is not hard. Perhaps I’m just feeding a troll at this point. Oh well.

        • @prjeter: I hit reply on the wrong post. Sorry. This was meant to be tied to your “OBP never equals scoring runs. Crossing the plate = scoring runs” comment.

        • @prjeter: I never said there was “no correlation” with OBP and scoring runs. I specified, “There’s only one stat that has a 100% correlation to wins. “Who has more runs at the end of the game”. As for scoring runs, there is a 100% correlation there, also, actually crossing the plate. But, there isn’t a 100% correlation between scoring runs and OBP. Like with the Cubs, 9th in the NL in scoring runs but 13th in the league in OBP. But, then, in turn, the Dodgers are 2nd in the league in OBP but 6th in the league in scoring runs.

          Remember, with stats, rarely is anything ever 100% correlated. There will most always be exceptions. As well as, the data would never tell “why”. It would only tell there is some degree of correlation. More data and research would be needed to tell why.

  18. I wasn’t able to watch the game today, but there was a feeling in the force when Votto got the sac fly that millions of OBP worshipers all cried out and were suddenly silenced. Good for Joey to realize he is an RBI guy at the end.

    • @Tony Larussa’s Tissue: Well, of course the “OBP worshipers” weren’t crying out. In that instance one run was all that mattered (though, notably, in that situation, a walk would have been just as good).

      The whole thing is this…

      Basically, a few years ago, people took the time to figure out how valuable certain plays were. That is, how much did they affect your chance of winning. And it turns out that with relatively few exceptions, it is better to not make an out. It makes you more likely to score one run, or multiple runs. It makes you more likely to win the game.

      Their are exceptions, and anyone who knows what they are talking about will tell you that. There are times when it makes sense for the pitcher to bunt. There are instances like what happened to day. There are plays that increase your odds of scoring one run, but decrease your odds of scoring more than one (think bunting a man to third).

      Votto didn’t realize anything. He knows the situation.

    • @Tony Larussa’s Tissue: The OBP worshipers were thankful that Jack Hannahan started the inning by getting on base with a walk. Then two more hitters got on base, loading the bases so the Padres had to pitch to Votto for the first time all day. That run scored was a classic example of the value of OBP.

      • @Steve Mancuso: You’re being silly. Votto’s fly ball was the only thing that mattered in the inning. It’s time to accept reality: fly balls to medium left are the most potent offensive weapons in baseball. Period. Walks and doubles are irrelevant.

      • @Steve Mancuso:

        Are we to believe that we are statistically more likely to win with 4 walks to score the game winning run than a sac fly? I have been watching baseball since 1978 and have seen more games won with a sac fly than 4 walks.

        Without the sac fly, Hannahan’s walk had zero value (remember kids, the W-L is still determined by runs scored)Keep trying, you’ll get there someday.

      • @Baseclogger: @Steve Mancuso: One more time. The only 100% correlation to scoring a run is crossing the plate. There is no description to how that is “suppose” to be done, as long as it is done. Bottom line, since Hannahan was the one who scored the winning run, it is probably important however he got on base. Since Votto was the one who drove him in, it is probably important that Votto was able to drive him in, via any way, shape, or form. Either piece missing, we don’t get the winning run in, period.

        • @steveschoen: Steve, you are either being willfully obtuse, or I don’t know. These aren’t difficult concepts, but you’re unwilling to listen to others or present actual evidence for your opinions. Your mind is closed, so there is no further point in arguing.

        • @steveschoen: Steve, you are either being willfully obtuse, or I don’t know. These aren’t difficult concepts, but you’re unwilling to listen to others or present actual evidence for your opinions. Your mind is closed, so there is no further point in arguing.

          And, I sound like I am being unwilling?

        • @steveschoen: In the history of the game I don’t believe anyone has ever scored a run without anyone reaching base somehow or another. Even on a home run the batter is given credit for reaching base. But there have been countless runs scored without anyone being credited with an RBI. For that matter, there have been countless runs scored without a batter ever putting a ball in play. So the NECESSARY component of scoring a run is for someone to reach base somehow or another. Having a guy drive someone in is frequently a component of scoring a run and is therefore valuable, but it isn’t the NECESSARY component, so it isn’t AS valuable.

        • @Baseclogger: Necessary component, yes. But, 100% correlation, nope. Just posted this above:

          Like with the Cubs, 9th in the NL in scoring runs but 13th in the league in OBP. But, then, in turn, the Dodgers are 2nd in the league in OBP but 6th in the league in scoring runs.

          The relation with OBP and scoring runs is exactly backwards for each team.

          “Necessary components” is an entirely different aspect/concept than “making correlations”. It’s like saying to make a car go fast, it has to have some gas. But, that doesn’t mean one iota that if the car has some gas, then it is has to go fast. For the car could go slow as well.

        • @steveschoen: You are correct that it’s theoretically possible for a team to have a lot of runners on base and not score a lot of runs, but it’s absolutely impossible for a team to have a lot of RBI without having a lot of runners on base. Without someone reaching base, an RBI can’t even exist. But without an RBI, a run can still score. Every run in baseball is contingent on the existence of a base runner, but NOT 100% contingent on an RBI. Ergo, the runner is the more important part of the equation. It’s really quite simple. If nobody ever got on base, the Reds would score zero runs. Literally ZERO. If nobody ever had an RBI but lots of guys were getting on base, the Reds would score some runs. So which is better? Zero runs or some runs?

        • @steveschoen: Incidentally, nobody is saying a car will necessarily go fast if it has gas in the tank. What people are saying is that it definitely won’t go very fast if the tank is empty, and the more gas it has, the better its chances of maintaining a reasonably high rate of speed over a long period time. If you have a choice between a Ford Focus with a full tank of gas or a Porsche 911 with one gallon, which one of those cars is going to get you 162 miles in the fastest time?

  19. RenButler is spot on. Great post. By the way, I guess Dusty pushed the right buttons having Paul PH and then the double switch with Hannahan who walked the scored the winning run. I’m sure very few will acknowledge it.

    Great pitching again. Well, don’t say I’m going to stop drinking if Ondrusek is coming in. However, he survived! Nobody likes to hear it, because it’s dull, but the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching. Earl Weaver

    • He got the job done????

      Refresh your memory: Ondrusek comes into the game and does the following: Single, Single (after the batter couldn’t get a bunt down), Popout Bunt (whew, thank you Padres!), Balk (questionable, but it was called), Flyout, Strikeout. Yes, job done but two singles and a balk ain’t great pitching my friend.

      He follows that up the next inning (Dusty, what are you thinking?!?!) with a: Walk, Strikeout and Stolen Base, Intentional Walk, Flyout, Walk. He is then pulled, leaving the bases loaded. LeCure relieves him to secure the final out.

      So your “unjust” comment doesn’t bear up. In 1 2/3 innings Ondrusek gave up TWO Singles, TWO Walks, ONE Int. Walk, ONE Balk, ONE Stolen Base, and was pulled with the bases loaded. What exactly did he “get done”???????

      RenButler is spot on.Great post.By the way, I guess Dusty pushed the right buttons having Paul PH and then the double switch with Hannahan who walked the scored the winning run.I’m sure very few will acknowledge it.

      Great pitching again.Well, don’t say I’m going to stop drinking if Ondrusek is coming in.However, he survived!Nobody likes to hear it, because it’s dull, but the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.Earl Weaver

      I think those of us who are frustrated with Dusty are consistent whether the Reds win or lose. Why? Because his decisions can be good or bad regardless of the outcome.

      A good comparison would be poker. I’ve played enough poker to see idiots make terrible decisions, very LOW percentage decisions, only to get lucky and hit something on the River. Some say, “Well, see, they should get credit for that.” Wrong. They got lucky. It was a dumb move. The wrong move. The math was VERY against them. They didn’t understand or calculate it correctly.

      The outcome doesn’t determine a smart move. It’s the move itself. Ondrusek for two innings, especially in a tied game, was the wrong decision. Period. Did it work out? Well, actually, not really. Even Dusty had to give up on him and bring in LeCure after LO walked two (three including the Int. walk), gave up two singles, balked, and had trouble locating his pitches, as usual.

      My point is, many on here try and prop up Dusty when a particular decision works out. And sometimes that’s fair. But mostly, it’s not the way to gauge his managerial decisions overall and ongoing. Math agrees that some of his decisions are bound to work. But I’d prefer a manager who understands percentages and odds when putting together lineups and making switches.

      • @tpteach: Though I’ve heard it many times, I’m always a little surprised when I hear people say a move was “smart” or “correct” because the outcome happened to be good. It’s hard for me to believe people can really think this, but apparently some do. If a kid runs out into the street without checking for traffic, and instead of getting hit by a car he finds a dollar bill on the street, does anyone think the kid made a wise choice and should be congratulated for being so smart? Apparently some Reds fans do.

      • @tpteach: Managers almost never win or lose a game for a club. That isn’t their place. The manager can put out an all hall of fame line up and lose, or could put out a terrible single A line up and win. The job of the manager is to put the club in the best possible position to win the game. That is everything from line-ups, to pitching changes and orders, to motivation, to attitude, to setting expectations.

        The reason I, and many other people, feel Dusty is not the best at being a manager is that he fails in putting the club in the best position to win. Today, Dusty made decisions I thought were very bad and put the team in a bad position, but they won. Yesterday, the same thoughts, and they lost. Where it gets frustrating is when those decisions seem to lack any form of logic and are at times, in fact, contradictory to sound logic…almost to the point of blind stubbornness.

        If Dusty put in Sam LeCure before Ondrusek, Sam might very well have given up the game winning run(s). Logan, although did not pitch well and left bases loaded, did not in the end give up a run. Those facts do not change the fact that Sam was the BETTER choice in the situation than Logan. And as manager, it should have been Dusty putting Sam in, not Logan. On Saturday, the better choice was Frazier, who had just broke a slump and probably would have liked to keep it going. Not to mention defense. Maybe Todd goes 0 for 4 and makes 3 errors himself. Even still, he was the BETTER choice for that day.

      • @tpteach: Some just show how little they understand baseball decisions with the Bakerman. All they look at are the win/loss records then don’t understand how others enjoy looking deeper into the games decisions and individual plays (sort of the reason why things like all the shows with the baseball pundits even exist). Like last season, hitting Cozart and Stubbs in the 1-2 holes was just a stupid decision, period. “We still won the game, though, didn’t we?” That doesn’t mean it still wasn’t a stupid decision. So much goes into deciding a game that one play/player/decision rarely if ever decides it. But, that never means that one single play/player/decision couldn’t be a good/bad decision unto itself, something that later could benefit the team even more as well as hurt the team even more. Like last season, with the lineups the Bakerman was putting out, we were starting the game in the hole before the first pitch was even being thrown.

        It’s fine if those who only want to look at the winning and losing of a game want to do that. That’s fine; I don’t know anyone who has any problem with it. It’s when these people start complaining about when the fans who enjoy going deeper into the individual decisions/plays/players of the game, there’s no reason for the “basic” fans to be complaining about the “more in-depth” fans. If they don’t want to participate constructively in those discussions, there is a scroll bar on the right side of the screen. There is an X button on the top right corner of the screen. There is an on/off button on the computer. They should probably be using those items.

        • @steveschoen: The purpose of the game is to win or lose. Now, any individual game can have poor decisions that turn out well — just as you can lose after making good decisions. IT ALL EVENS OUT.

          And the fact that the Reds have won 13 more than they’ve lost tells me that the Reds are doing more things right than wrong this year. And, yes, I’ve looked in depth, so the notion that everybody who disagrees isn’t studying as hard as you is ridiculous.

        • @renbutler: I entirely agree. But, that doesn’t mean it’s the Bakerman who’s responsible for those 13 wins. Remember, it’s still a team sport. And, given the fact that the Bakerman kept putting an easy out in the 2 hole for most the entire season (I said myself, who if not Cozart? Most anyone else would be better in the 2 hole than Cozart), that would mean the team is already starting with a negative before the first pitch is even thrown.

        • @steveschoen: Of course it’s a team sport. Which is why I normally don’t blame the manager when they fail (nor credit him when they succeed).

      • @tpteach: I see your point, but criticisms leveled at Dusty after a win do look like sour grapes. As said before, the problem with second guessing is that it assumes that the second-guesser’s preferred solution would work. In baseball, most things don’t work–even Joey gets on base less than half the time.

      • @tpteach</@tpteach:

        Fyi: Ondrusek in July: 0.87 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and opposing batters win .225 off him. The conventional wisdom on this site that Ondrusek has been horrible is simply not true.

      • @Baseclogger: I didn’t realize that you could get guys to hit by pushing buttons! Maybe the problem isn’t Dusty at all! Maybe the Reds just need to pony up for a new keyboard!

    • @sezwhom1:
      I think the double switch was a terrible decision. It essential did nothing and (had Votto not come through) would have cost 2 position players to leave the game. They already were weakened defensively with Frazier’s exit.
      Hanahan would have pinch hit for Lecure in the exact same spot anyway!
      I see no reason why that move needed to be made.

        • @renbutler: This is actually true statistically, as well. Over parts of 6 seasons at 3rd base, his fielding percentage and “range factor” are both above league average.

        • @prjeter:
          Hannahan probably is a good first baseman too. Just curious if you would also have thought of putting him in place of Votto. Votto made the last out when the double switch was made, so this would have been an even better move.
          The point was not that Hannahan replaced Frazier (though I feel it was a downgrade offensively and defensively), why make the move in the first place?

  20. Suddenly, the Reds’ prospects are looking a bit brighter. Consider if the Reds sweep the Cubs and the Cards sweep the ‘Rats (quite a few ifs, I know), then the Reds will suddenly be 2 games out with a month of baseball to play.

    Things COULD get mighty interesting mighty fast aroud here.

    • @CI3J: Oh, entirely agree. I believe we all hope it happens. Many are just realistic and are accepting that we are getting one of the WC spots.

    • @CI3J:
      I know it does not matter as far as who we root for, but the Reds are chasing the Cardinals.
      If the Cards sweep the ‘Rats, it will be a bad thing.
      Its August- time for Pittsburgh to collapse

      • @vicferrari:

        The bottom line is, for the next three games, everytime the Reds win, they are guaranteed to pick up a game on SOMEONE. For me personally, I don’t care who it is since right now the Reds are chasing both teams.

        Of course, the flipside is every time the Reds lose to the Cubs, they are also guaranteed to LOSE ground to someone. So these next three games are actually somewhat pivotal, as they represent a golden opportunity for the Reds to make a quick move in the NL Central race (something about “momentum”…)

        I’m just glad the Reds get to play the Cubs during this stretch.

  21. Of the Reds next 14 games, 10 are against the Brewers and the Cubs (with Arizona thrown in there for 4 games).

    I think the Reds should look to win 10 of these next 14. Do that, and they will be in pretty good shape, especially since the ‘Rats have a west coast swing coming up.

    Here’s what I would like to see happen:

    Reds sweep the Cubs.
    ‘Rats take 2 of 3 from the Cards.

    Reds are 4 games out of first, tied with St. Louis. (68-52)

    ‘Rats take 1 of 3 from Snakes.
    Cards take 2 of 3 from Cubs.
    Reds take 3 of 4 from Brewers.

    Rats record: 73-50
    Reds record: 71-53
    Cards record: 70-53

    Reds in 2nd place, half a game up on St. Louis, 2.5 back of the ‘Rats before they go on their West Coast swing. I’d like the Reds chances in that scenario.

    Hey, it could happen. But the Reds have to take care of business, basically winning 6 of their next 7. If they fall flat against the Brewers or the Cubs, well…..

    Keep the dream alive. This ain’t over by a long shot.

  22. A lot of yuk in these here posts. Reds win. It’s mid August, the playoffs are in site. Some si.com article from not long ago has the Reds of at 92% chance of making the playoffs. Is good. Sure I’d love for them to win the division, but at the end of the day if the NL Central sends 3 teams to the playoffs, I’ll tip my cap and look forward to the playoffs.

    • @Matt WI: They’d better not win the division, and God help us all if we win the World Series. That will mean another year of Dusty Baker.

      It sounds ludicrous, but I sense that there are actually people here who think like that.

      • @renbutler: I understand that thinking. I don’t want Dusty as manager of the Reds, BUT I’d rather have a World Championship. Think of it as a tin lining.

        Can’t have everything. :)

  23. The winning run was scored by a guy who didn’t hit the ball. Ergo, not hitting the ball worked out very well in that at-bat, as it often does.

    • The winning run was scored by a guy who didn’t hit the ball. Ergo, not hitting the ball worked out very well in that at-bat, as it often does.

      This comment was intended for the earlier conversation. Not sure what happened there.

  24. I like the Reds chances going forward. But please no one jump off a cliff if we struggle vs the Cubs. Unfortunately we drew their 2 good starters, so if the Cubs don’t shoot themselves in the foot we may have trouble scoring. It’s kind of like losing those close games to the Dodgers: good pitching can make life tough. I hope for a sweep, but let’s not sell Chicago short. (And I agree with the above poster: I think the best outcome for the Reds is if the Pirates take 2 of 3 from the Cardinals. Whoever wins, I hope all three games go at least 15 innings.)

  25. Can you please stop with the groupthink that Ondrusek is a horrible pitcher? He had a 0.87 ERA in July. Perhaps that’s why Dusty used him. Of course those are facts and this website never lets facts get in the way of it’s storyline of “Dusty as bad manager.”

    • @chrisb57: Bottom line: LeCure is a much better pitcher than Ondrusek. Those complaining about Dusty believe the better pitcher should have been in before the worse pitcher.

      Personally, I believe that having gotten himself in a mess with no long man available and only 2 pitchers left, Dusty actually did the right thing. (I very rarely write the last part of that sentence!). He tried to pitch Ondrusek as long as he could with the lower part of the Reds order set to bat; then he Let LeCure bail Ondrusek out, with the top of the order coming up for Cincinnati.

      The mistake was made earlier, not managing Parra and Hoover to get more out of them since Simon was unavailable and we were in a tight game.

    • @chrisb57: His ERA was 4.81 when he entered the game and would be higher if he didn’t have much better pitchers like LeCure and Simon bailing him out from time to time. That ERA is almost a full run higher than anyone else on the team, and would be even higher if he weren’t surrounded by more talented pitchers. His previous two outings he’d given up 5 hits and a walk in two innings. No question he’d be in the minors right now if Marshall were healthy, and I imagine if Cueto were healthy they’d bump Cingrani to the bullpen and send Ondru down. So, while he isn’t the world’s worst pitcher, he’s obviously the worst pitcher on the team, and anyone who denies this would be ignoring a statistical fact — probably hoping to make Dusty seem less wrong than he was.

  26. Here’s another example of what a great hitter Joey Votto is: for two weeks he’s been pulling everything. That was a clear adjustment he’s made based on the way he’s being pitched, and it’s been working pretty well. In the game-winning at bat, needing a fly ball to score the run, he adjusted again and hit the ball in the air to left field. I don’t have a spray chart in front of me, but I’m pretty sure he hasn’t hit more than a handful of balls in that direction in the last two weeks. But he did what he needed to do, and the Reds stole the win. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what he’s paid to do.

  27. Since we’re starting to do some “schedule watching” to go along with “scoreboard watching,” I offer this:

    —Looking ahead, I find it interesting that the Cardinals have a stretch, starting Aug. 22, when they are: home for Atlanta and Cincinnati on back to back series, then go to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, then come home for the Pirates.

    —During that same stretch, the Reds won’t have it easy either: a home series
    against Milwaukee, at St. Louis and at Colorado, then home for St. Louis and the
    Dodgers.

    —Pittsburgh will begin that stretch by finishing a road trip in San Francisco,
    then home for Milwaukee and St. Louis, and at Milwaukee and St. Louis.

  28. It’s time for the Reds to make their move. The starting pitching has been amazing. Just 5 games out with the Cubs and Brewers coming up this week.

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