2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Reds’ kind of town

Let’s recap this afternoon’s titanic struggle….rntitanic-copy

FINAL
Cincinnati 5
Chicago
(NL) 0
W: B. Arroyo (11-9)
L: C. Rusin (2-2)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES

– The Reds finished their sweep of the Cubs, who had just taken two of three from the Cardinals. The team is now three games out of first place and one game behind St. Louis. The Reds are sixteen games over .500 for the first time this year. 9-1 in Wrigley GABP North in 2013.

Bronson Arroyo flat out toyed with the Cubs in a way you will rarely see in a professional baseball game. Seven shutout innings, giving up only two hits, seven strikeouts and no walks. Lifetime 8-1 record at Wrigley Field. Lowered his ERA to 3.35.

Super Todd Frazier broke his homer-free streak that stretched back to July 2. He also doubled for another RBI. Pretty soon he’ll be hitting too well to bat second in Dusty Baker’s lineup.

Zack Cozart had a single, double, an RBI and a run scored. Ryan Hanigan, had a double, walk and RBI. JoeyMVP doubled and knocked in a run.

Alfredo Simon and Jonathan Broxton pitched two dominant innings to complete the shutout. In total, Reds pitching allowed only three base runners.

NEGATIVES

– Reds leaving Chicago.

– Ryan Hanigan had a painful run in with a foul tip.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS

– The Reds have won seven of eight since the Cardinals series that ended their season.

– The team heads north for a four-game series in Miller Park. Milwaukee, you’re next.

– Jeff Brantley: “Bryan Price challenges the pitching staff at every turn. That’s why they continue to get better.” Perhaps he could talk to the hitters every once in a while. Bryan Price, über alles.

– So far the Reds haven’t needed Ryan Ludwick‘s offensive contribution, which is a good thing. Hopefully they can keep the pressure off while he works to get back. Ludwick still looks a long ways away.

Alfredo Simon has become a great asset in the Reds’ bullpen. On Walt Jocketty’s balance sheet as a GM, the acquisition of Simon, who was cut by the Orioles at the end of spring training in 2012, is a big plus. The scout who recognized Simon had the talent and the pitching coach who developed him, also deserve recognition.

TOP GAME THREAD COMMENTS

msanmoore: Choo needs at least part of the day off anyway. And Mes caught nearly 2 games given his work last night and the beating he took on Monday. He’s certainly stepping up to be our “catcher of the future” and has made me forget about Grandal completely.

CI3J: (first inning) Wow, Bronson’s ball is dancing today. Hope he keeps that up, gonna be a lot of frustrated Cubbies.

Shchi Cossack: Culbreth is calling a very legitimate strike zone, possibly even a little extended, and the wind is blowing in a Wrigley. Bronson should be good to go today. A HR by Frazier and a BB by Heisey portends good things to come. If the Reds continue their dominance of the Cubbies today, you think the the Birds and Bucos will take a serious notice of that steamroller coming up quickly from behind?

ToddAlmighty: I think the encouragement part is the key. His (Chris Heisey) playing time entirely depends on a manager who wanted the team who was already the most aggressive first pitch team in MLB to be even more aggressive.

Mwv: Frazier/Cozart have a good game and we score 5 runs. If the guys not batting left handed show up, the Reds go.

Matt WI: I love the sound of a broom in the afternoon.

52 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Reds’ kind of town

  1. Outstanding series, keep it going against the Brewers.

    After the cardinal debacle, all the Reds could do at that point was just win ballgames and let the other chips fall where they may. They’ve done that and hopefully can continue. It’ll still be tough to pass two teams for the division, but not impossible.

    • @Lost and Found: I really think the Cardinals series was less important than we as fans made it out to be. All those runs felt awful but the end result of the series was simply us dropping 1 game back of the Cardinals. As long as the players didn’t let it get into their heads in a bad way (which seems obvious now that it did not) it overall doesn’t matter a whole lot unless we lose the division by 1 game to the Cardinals.

      • @Mwv:

        It was a bad series, no other way to spin it. My point then and now was that all the reds could do was bank wins, thats what they’ve done. The games they made up in the interim were a result of other teams actions and out of their control.

        They’ve been handed another opportunity, but trying to pass two other teams ahead of you is still a tall order, so whatever happens, happens.

  2. Will be at the game Saturday with some friends from church. $13 dollar ticket with a $10 food/merchandise voucher to make up for Roidyn’ Braun. Can’t beat that, go Reds!

  3. Reds can only get stronger from here on out.

    If Ludwick starts hitting…..

    If Cueto comes back…. (although Cingrani has been great too)

    If Marshall comes back (replacing Ondru)

    Add in Todd Frazier seemingly heating up and the long awaited emergence of Mesoraco, and the Reds might be a team that is getting hot at just the right time.

    • @CI3J: I love Todd but it’s too soon to say if he’s getting back into form. When we start seeing a little more controlled swing on those outside breaking pitches, that’s when he’s going to start putting some fear into pitchers again. There’s a strong upside to what’s going on now but the schedule ahead, chock full of games versus Pirates and Cardinals will be what makes or breaks us. Beating the stuffing out of Cubs and Brewers would just put us in a position for those games to be meaningful.

      • @Mwv:

        Of course, Reds still gotta beat the big boys.

        But to wit, at the end of the night, the Reds are either going to be 2.5 games behind the Pirates and 1 game behind the Cards, or 3.5 games behind the Pirates and .5 of a game behind the Cards.

        Both scenarios are positive, and one of them is going to come to pass. The Reds are in a much better place than they were even just 10 days ago.

    • @CI3J: It wouldn’t matter for the regular season since the roster expands Sept. 1, but if Marshall AND Cueto would both come back, who gets bumped from the postseason series roster? (Yeah, I know, I know, there’s no postseason spot yet, but just sayin’.) OK, Ondru loses a spot, but who else? And the Reds might carry one few pitcher anyway, right? Good luck trying to tell a guy who pitched so well for the season that he lost out. …

    • The Reds have won seven of eight since the Cardinals series that ended their season.

      I love this statement so much.

      I don’t like to call out specific people, but after that Cards series someone here said he had to explain to his child that “it’s not about the Pirates anymore, it’s about the Diamondbacks.”

      I know hindsight is 20/20 and, to be fair, the commenter in question had spent enough money on going to those disappointing games to by justifiably unhappy, but that attitude seems so pervasive here that it is hard to read through any game thread without seeing DOOM and GLOOM.

      I want to be naively optimistic. I want to get excited and BELIEVE!

      • @DatFan:

        I second that. The division is and has been ours for the taking, and we will. Conversely, many naysayers find the constant cheerleading annoying, but I love it. I watch baseball for fun, and wins are fun, and we’re winning! Go Reds go!

  4. “The Reds have won seven of eight since the Cardinals series that ended their season.”

    Great line.

    • @Y-City Jim:

      No reason to push them. Guys are getting tired, last thing we need is another injured player just when it seems like everyone is getting healthy.

    • @Y-City Jim: Some people have suggested that the Pirates main vulnerability now is that their highly effective pitching staff has been overworked and will wear out at the wrong time (is there ever a right time?). Dusty takes a fair amount of heat (I assume some should go Price’s way, as well) for his use of pitchers, but the Reds don’t seem to be dealing with a worn out staff at this point. I doubt that this is purely fortuitous circumstance.

  5. NEGATIVES

    – Ryan Hanigan had a painful run in with a foul tip.

    That shot made the Old Cossack double over just watching the replay. I’ve said it before and I repeat, “Catchers are a tough breed and the Reds have two of the toughest.”

    Jeff Brantley: “Bryan Price challenges the pitching staff at every turn. That’s why they continue to get better.” Perhaps he could talk to the hitters every once in a while.

    Now that sounds like a manager-in-waiting! When Price withdrew his name from consideration for the Miami job this past offseason, did anyone else get the sense that BC made a gentleman’s agreement with Price regarding the Cincinnati manager vacancy after Dusty’s contract expires?

    • @Shchi Cossack: I also think that is why we hired Jenkins as the assistant pitching coach. To learn the job from the best so he can take over when BP2 becomes manager.

  6. I sure did you Cossack you. That is exactly what I think, that Price is the manager in waiting.

    now, if they would just name him hitting coach in addition to pitching coach, assistant manager and assistant to the regional manager, we would be ok.

    You could still have Dusty in the dugout since you now have to pay him for a few years anyway, just let Price make all the decisions

  7. 7 out of 8 is exactly what we needed. Need to carry this momentum into Milwaukee. Ludwick just needs to knock the rust off and he’ll be fine. I really hope we can at least get Marshall back for the stretch run, it would be HUGE for our bullpen.

    I completely agree that Bryan Price should be the next Reds manager, a hitting coach is the biggest thing this organization needs, Eric Davis/Joe Morgan/Barry Larkin should be options.

    If Marte would have caught the ball last night, we’d be tied with the Cards going into tonight’s game. I am rooting for the Pirates to win the next 2.

  8. How about Paul O’Neill for hitting coach? Or Sean Casey

    I would guess that Larkin and Morgan make too much money

    • @reaganspad: Think Casey is making the big money on TV right now. He seems to be everywhere. On the pre-game shows, guest commentator for games, at the All Star Game interviewing guys… but that would be the kind of guy you’d love to get in your clubhouse to help the young guys if he were interested.

      Think that Junior has too much skill to be able to coach guys on hitting? I know sometimes the guys with the most natural talent don’t always make the best coaches. Normally the guys with some talent and a lot of hard work and studying are the better ones.

    • @reaganspad: How about Hal MacRae? Learning to hit from both Ted Kluszewski and Charlie Lau. Did a great job in St. Louis but got ousted because they wanted McGwire in the position.

    • @reaganspad: All fine players, but it is often said that good hitters don’t necessarily make good hitting coaches; a lot of what goes into hitting at mlb level–eyesight, concentration, reflexes–can’t be taught. Larkin, for example, clearly has superior physical and intellectual ability–would he (or any other great former player) be able to tailor his teaching approach so that it would work for guys not as talented as he was?

      • @greenmtred: Ted Williams supposedly had exceptional talents (eye sight being the most common one touted) as well though some of that may have been propaganda perpetuated by Williams himself to get inside pitcher’s head. Regardless, Williams did well at teaching hitters.

        Talent takes you only so far. It takes an intelligent approach as well to be a successful hitter. You have to understand how you are being pitched and be able to make those adjustments. That’s why. along with the mechanics of hitting, a hitting coach has to articulate a philosophy and a plan for the team’s hitters. Jacoby and Baker seem adequate at the mechanical end of things but seem to fall short on the philosophy and planning part.

  9. How much will Arroyo likely make next year? What is the amount the Reds have to make as a qualifying offer, in order to receive a draft pick should he sign elsewhere?

    • @zblakey: borrowed this from mlbtraderumors.com

      The value of the qualifying offer, which is determined annually by averaging the top 125 player salaries from the previous year, will be worth $13.3MM this offseason. All qualifying offers are for the same duration (one year) and the same amount ($13.3MM for 2012-13).

    • @zblakey: Any possible contract would be a pure guess at this point, but I believe Arroyo would slot as a middle-of-the-rotation addition and the Lohse contract (3 years, $30MM-$35MM) would probably be close (+-) to what Arroyo would expect.

      • @Shchi Cossack: I just think it would be interesting to see if he gets a third year from somebody. He’ll be, what, 40, when that third year begins?? … He looks like he could pitch forever, but losing just a few mph off his fastball could make him hittable, which is what he said happened because of the valley fever and back problems and whatever else he endured a few years ago.

        On Reds pregame the other day, they were asking Bronson about whether he felt extra comfortable with the mound in Wrigley since he pitches so well there, and he said the only place where the mound felt especially comfortable to him was LA. Hey Magic, maybe he’s sending a message there!

        • @vegastypo: @Y-City Jim: When Arroyo had the season dealing with mono or valley fever or whatever the Reds medical staff decided to call his illness, he suffered from fatigue and loss of strength, not just velocity. He lost his velocity prior to that season and had already compensated for that loss of velocity. The split on his curve and fastball can be 20 mph and then he’ll throw in that splitter or slider between those pitches and hits his spots with every pitch. He does not get injured. He has a long, smooth delivery that will continue to be productive. He really gets in trouble when he gets squeezed by a poor home plate umpire and has to pitch in the hitter’s zone rather than the actual strike zone. Put him in a left coast stadium where those situations don’t automatically translate into HR and he will put up very good numbers for the next 3 seasons. I also don’t think this will be his last contract either, but it will be his last big, multi-season contract.

          Shoot, Harang got $19MM for 2 seasons and Haren got $27MM for 2 season. Arroyo can pitch much better now then either of those 2 pitchers could when they signed their last contract and he does it in GABP. I believe an astute GM with the available budget will recognize the value and he’ll get a 2-year deal for $24MM+ or a 3-year deal for $30MM+.

          The normal pitching decline just doesn’t translate to Arroyo. I think the same will hold true for Votto too. The normal hitting decline will not impact Votto the way it normally impacts pure power hitters. I don’t necessarioy expect it, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Reds pick up Votto’s option year at the end of his contract.

  10. Sean Casey would be a great hitting coach as well, great idea. The Reds need a new approach and a new voice. Jacoby needs to go. Patience and plate discipline need to be reinforced in 2014.

    I really want Arroyo to retire as a Red, he is awesome to watch when he’s on. If Jocketty wouldn’t have passed on Michael Wacha they’d have more depth and more options in 2014, just in case Arroyo walks and they trade Bailey.

    Cueto
    Latos
    Cingrani
    Leake
    Wacha

    Would be one of a rotation in 2014, along with draft picks for Arroyo and Choo and you were able to reload and restock the farm system for Bailey.

    I would honestly call Texas and offer Bailey for Profar straight up

    • @Josh:

      My problem with the patience and discipline talk is that it doesn’t seem to be being taught at any level of the organization…which is very troubling. We’ve got a few promising guys, but their approach seems to be the exception, not the norm.

    • @Josh: I like Casey but I always thought he sort of underachieved as a hitter. He had a quick bat but if he had worked a little harder in the weight room he could have had some impressive power numbers.

  11. Pirates better keep an eye (since Pirates have only one) out behind them because a big red battleship is about to torpedo them.

  12. Do you all get the feeling that if BA opts for free agency, that he just might be pitching for the Cubs the next couple of years? They have the money to overpay on a contract for BA. And an 8-1 record in Wrigley. If the Cubbies would grab him, it would be a nice high 1st round pick in the draft next year (supposing a qualified offer is extended to BA). The first round of next years draft is already being called a deep one. A possible extra pick for BA and a possible one for Choo if he leaves. That could possibly be 3 first round picks in a deep 1st round of talent next draft. That certainly will help the Reds catch up to the Cards and Pirates minor league systems.

    • @WVRedlegs: A common misconception with the compensation pick is that the team that loses a FA gets the 1st round pick of the team that signs the FA. That is not correct.

      A team that signs the FA loses their 1st round pick (or highest pick available) except for the 10 protected picks. The team that loses the FA receives a compensation pick after the 1st round is completed.

      The Cubbies will probably have a protected 1st round pick (top ten), but that wouldn’t matter to the Reds in receiving a compensation pick after the 1st round. I think Theo and Jed have brilliantly structured their situation to take advantage of a top 10 draft pick this season and international signings this season while reducing the contracts that have seriously hindered the team from prior management decisions. The NLCD is stacking up to get very good, very quickly and for a very long time.

      • @Shchi Cossack:

        Thanks. With the new CBA, it is a little confusing. I agree with you, Theo and Jed are stockpiling prospects. Good ones too. They will have to be reckoned with in a couple of years.

  13. Tony Gwynn for hitting coach. Either with the big league team or as a roving instructor in the minors. Gwynn loves the SD area, so the Reds would have to lure him away with $$$. I’m not sure how far that battle with cancer he had is in his rear view mirror though. He was the closest thing to Pete Rose that there ever was. The man could hit.

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