2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL — 11 innings
Cincinnati 6
Chicago (NL) 4

W: J. Hoover (3-5)
L: E. Sanchez (0-1)
S: A. Chapman (29)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Brandon Phillips went 3-6, scored a run and drove in another run. BP was the only Red with more than one hit.

–In many ways, JJ Hoover was the star of this game. Hoover pitched 2.1 innings in the 8th, 9th, and 10th, and allowed just one hit and no runs. He kept the Cubs in check long enough to give the Reds a chance to win this game.

–The rest of the bullpen was pretty good too. Sam LeCure, Manny Parra, and Aroldis Chapman were perfect.

–Joey Votto doubled, walked, and scored two runs. Shin-Soo Choo drove in two runs with a single in the 11th inning that won the game.

NEGATIVES
–Homer Bailey wasn’t great (for the second straight start since I declared him to be an ace): 6 innings, four runs allowed on six hits and three walks.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–So, after the worst stretch of the season (culminating in the beat-down delivered by St. Louis), it appears that the Reds are on a roll again: six wins in their last seven games. It couldn’t come at a better time. Is there a chance this team can get back into the division race?

–Happy 26th birthday, JJ Hoover!

–Hoover was magnificent tonight. Hoover hasn’t allowed a run in 21 games, covering 24.2 innings. Where are all the morons who were calling for Hoover to be released in May?

–The good ol’ Cubbies: good for what ails ya’.

Source: FanGraphs

60 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’

  1. We are absolutely still in the division race, and I never thought any differently. The Pirates have been incredibly lucky so far this year, and luck doesn’t last forever. As for the Cards, they are a scary team when healthy, but unfortunately for them the injury bug has bitten in a major way this year.

  2. Foe the last several weeks, I have felt more confident when Hoover pitched out of the pen than any of the others. He has really matured as a pitcher, and that trade looks like one of Jocketty’s better ones.

  3. 6 out of 7 and we must keep it going. Should be 7 straight wins, but I will take it. This team is getting healthy at the right time. The next 12 games are very favorable and we must take advantage. Just imagine if we had a healthy and productive Cueto and Marshall coming back soon, pray that’s the case. We need Choo, BP, Votto and Bruce to carry this offense the rest of the way, guys like Frazier, Mesoraco, Ludwick and Cozart gotta contribute.

    • @Josh: Entirely agree. I would love to see/hear that Cueto and Marshall were close to coming back.

      I can’t help thinking, I do like Price and what he has done. However, a hair is still out with my about him. I mean, it seems like, his first year, no problems, like a feeling out process, getting to know everyone. His second year, many injuries to pitchers, like he started to integrate come conditioning or training programs that the pitchers weren’t use to. Last season, awesome staff, but we don’t see hide nor hair of Masset. This season, still going strong, but then Cueto, Marshall, and Broxton has shown injuries, 2 of them still out. It may not even be Price. But, I can’t help thinking something is going on with the training/conditioning of the pitchers. Anyone with some input?

      • @steveschoen: How could you possibly be serious with a comment like this? Players get injured, especially pitchers. Incidentally, the Reds seem to have few major injuries to their staff than most teams have.

        • @kywhi: I did specify “a hair”. Not to mention, in 2011, and most all of our injuries were from the pitching staff? Or, you don’t remember how we were having such difficulty in simply finding arms that year? This year, Ludwick got hurt hustling on a play. Hanigan got hurt taking the foul balls, BP by getting hit by pitches. But, they all are back now. Cueto and Marshall got hurt simply by pitching and are still out; we haven’t seen Masset in 2 years. Some on here love to talk correlations. I can’t help seeing a correlation here, though a weak one.

        • @steveschoen: Steve: I think that the difference between injuries like Ludwick’s and injuries to pitchers is that pitchers use arms/shoulders/legs/etc. with great force many times every time they pitch. Repetitive motion. That sort of thing brings out structural weakness but, also, reveals the truth that the human body is not well designed for high-velocity overhand throwing. Training regimens can certainly help or hurt, but injury to pitchers is inevitable.

        • @steveschoen: Wow. How can you draw even the slightest correlation with anything Bryan Price is doing? Marshall and Masset are two relief pitchers who pitched a lot of innings and warmed up even more over their careers. Their injuries are quite typical of much-used relievers. It happens to EVERY team. Cueto’s injury is almost certainly related to the exaggerated wind-up he adopted a couple years ago.

        • @vicferrari: Never did say that, never alluded to that.

          Boy, I ask for some simple constructive input, and I’m getting dissed? Maybe this, does anyone have anything constructive to say, agreeing or disagreeing? There is no need to be dissing.

        • @steveschoen:
          To me it is like saying, Chapman has been good but he has blown 4 saves.
          In both cases I think you have to expect it, look at the injuries the Braves have had, and the Cardinals, good teams bounce back
          Last year was a bit odd in that there were none to the starters

        • @steveschoen: Here’s constructive input: there is no logical reason to think a pitching coach has anything to do with pitcher injuries.

      • @steveschoen: I’m at Purdue now, woot!

        Anyway, I’ll be completely honest here. This comment is completely absurd. Since Price came in, our pitching has been better than ever. I don’t see how you could blame the injuries on him, especially when the Reds had such good luck last year. I think the good luck gave some people a false sense of health.

      • @Josh: Entirely agree.I would love to see/hear that Cueto and Marshall were close to coming back.

        I can’t help thinking, I do like Price and what he has done.However, a hair is still out with my about him.I mean, it seems like, his first year, no problems, like a feeling out process, getting to know everyone.His second year, many injuries to pitchers, like he started to integrate come conditioning or training programs that the pitchers weren’t use to.Last season, awesome staff, but we don’t see hide nor hair of Masset.This season, still going strong, but then Cueto, Marshall, and Broxton has shown injuries, 2 of them still out.It may not even be Price.But, I can’t help thinking something is going on with the training/conditioning of the pitchers.Anyone with some input?

        LOL

      • @steveschoen: Then I guess you would have to also say the same thing about Lilliquist in St. Louis as his staff has been decimated the last couple of years. While we are at it, lets blame Strasburg’s injury on their pitching coach and we can blame Ludwick’s injury on Hatcher since he coaches baserunning. By the way, did anyone gasp when Phillips slid head first into second on the stolen base and then lay there a minute.

      • @steveschoen: Wow. I feel like this is so off base. Injuries happen to all pitching staffs. Pitching is not a nature thing to do.

        1.) My feeling is that Cueto his own worst problem. Did he not rehab it in the offseason. did he just rest it? What!? I also question why the medical staff cleared him to pitch when an MRI showed he wasn’t fully healed. “Great you feel better, let’s get an MRI and take a look at it.” That should have happened.

        Broxton should have never pitched injured in the first place. That has to be on Lessard. Obviously Baker and Price would have never pitched him it the full extent of his injury had been discovered.

        Marshall’s long recovery is a mystery. I believe it is precautionary which is a luxury the Reds now have with the sudden dominance of Manny Parra.

        Massett’s injury was a shoulder/nerve injury. They are notoriously complicated and often career-ending. I feel for the guy. At first it didn’t seem like a major issue. His MRI was clean so it seemed like a quick trip to the DL then back to action. Nerve problems don’t show up on MRIs. Two years and several surgeries later he is still not out of the woods. His is the only major injury during Price’s stint.

        I really don’t understand your problem with Price. He and perhaps Mark Berry are the best at what they do. My perception of Lessard is less than positive. With everyone else I’m neutral.

        • @TC: Fast typing, non-proofreading typo and grammar errors aside, I hope you read my reply with a softer tone than how it came across when I reread it.

    • @Josh: Man, even your rare positive posts have a bit of negativity. It’s funny you say it should have been seven in a row, because based on your game thread comments you’d think we’d have lost seven straight. You’ve been ready to throw in the towel in about the 5th or 6th inning everyday.

      • @mdgwsu: Careful. If you say anything about some people’s obsession with negativity, you’ll get chastised for being obsessed with their obsession with negativity.

        LOL

  4. Cards just won. Even though I don’t like them, I do respect them and was pulling for them to win. We are 3.5 games back now.

    • @steveschoen: The Pirates blew that one. Big error in the 9th by Marte. Looked like McCutcheon should have scored in the 13th.

      He’s on 3rd with none out. Kozma has to dive to field a ground ball. McCutcheon was not running on contact, OK with me. But he stands only 2 steps from 3rd, still as a statue, while Kozma throws to first. No one was covering 3rd, so he could have moved well down the line before the throw. The Pirate broadcasters felt he could have scored on the throw if he had.

      Weird game, a Cardinal reliever had to bat with the bases loaded and 1 out in the 11th (GIDP) and again with the bases loaded in the 13th (K).

        • @vicferrari: I think many here agree. But I think the Pirates won’t collapse this year. If they do, they are about a month late. No, I’ve watched many Pirates games this year. They are hard, tough-minded fighters, they are for real and they will be competitors for the next few years. The Reds are chasing the two best teams in the NL.

        • @TC:

          I’ve watched many Pirates games this year. They are hard, tough-minded fighters…

          The Bucos are a direct reflection of their manager and the mindset and environment he has instilled in the clubhouse. Clint Hurdle manages through sheer will and his intensity is infectious. I don’t think Neal Huntington could have made a better selection to manage that particular team in that particular city. The plethora of top prospects approaching major league readiness within the Bucos farm system should make every team in the NLCD stand up and take notice.

        • @Shchi Cossack:

          At a Reds/Pirates game I was at a few weeks ago, I was talking to a Pirates guy on the way out, my opinion was, “We have more talent, but your guys play harder.”

          Just my opinion.

      • @redmountain: I can’t figure out which one to root for, particularly since I’ve never been good at seeing into the future. My instinct says that we would be best served by gaining on both of them and by neither of them building up momentum. And, oh yeah, by winning every game we play. So if they play each other close to even…?

        • @greenmtred: Since it is a toss-up, I’m rooting for the Pirates. It is an equal measure of liking the Pirates and not liking the Cardinals. Besides, wouldn’t you rather see the Pirates win than the never-ending rerun of watching the Cardinal always win.

        • @TC: I’ve always liked the Pirates, too. Don’t hate the Cards, either, but, yes, they’ve had enough fun for awhile.

        • @cincyreds14: I’m thinking about the best way for Reds to win the division, so gaining on both of them is necessary. Agree that I’d rather face the Pirates, but also agree with the Cossack that the Pirates are for real.

  5. Super-happy they got the W, but the 4 runs in regulation tonight were misleading. They still only got 6 hits through the first 9 innings, which means that outside of BP, the starting 8 got a total of 3 hits before extras. That’s not going to get it done. Whether it’s Ludwick, some jumper cables or a defibrillator, something needs to jump-start this offense, and fast.

    Like the 2013 team as a whole, Homer is a bit of enigma. Just when you think you’ve got a read on him, he throws you a curveball, no pun intended. There are stretches where he seem mediocre, and then out of nowhere he starts pitching like the ace we’ve always hoped he’d become. Then, when you think he’s got it all figured out, he starts drifting again.

    • @Davis Stuns Goliath: The back of Homer’s baseball card says he’s a .500 pitcher with an ERA around 4. I suspect that’s what he’ll turn out to be. Reminds me of Jon Garland a little in that respect. Which is fine in this rotation. I’m a big Homer fan and always will be because he’s an absolute competitor. But I don’t know that he’s the leader of a pitching staff, for whatever reason. I still think he should be traded this off-season while he still has some value.

  6. Not going to lie, I felt we were done with the Central race. 3.5 games isn’t bad at all. Honestly, all you can hope for is we get hot in the playoffs.

    Also over the past 3 years, the Reds are enjoying a HISTORIC domination of the Cubs. Not sure I can think of any other sport where a team has won so many against another division opponent. Maybe Yankees/Blue Jays or something along the lines of that.

    Go Reds

  7. We play St Louis 7 more times and Pittsburgh 6. They play each other 8 more times. It’s going to be a fun final stretch in this division!

  8. Speaking of historic, how about the Dodgers winning 39 out of 47 games ? The last run I can remember like that was the Reds winning 41 out of 50 in 1975.

  9. Hoover’s coming out to pitch the 10th, which I loved, was a big surprise to me. It meant his staying in to pitch a 3rd inning (not 3 full innings but still).

    Dusty deserves praise for this. Simon had warmed up and I just assumed he was coming in to pitch the 10th. Keeping Hoover in to get the 3 outs was taking advantage of an opportunity to win it in the 11th after the Cubs had run out of good relievers.
    I don’t think Dusty would have done this earlier in the season, it showed some urgency about winning the game.

    • @pinson343:
      Curious game today, need Bronson to go deep. Do not see Chapman being used, Hoover may be called like Lecure was used, Broxton probably is the closer and will not be used in a tie game.
      Simon is probably the set up guy, Parra can only face lefties. Might see Ondrusek pitch in a tight game and the Reglegnation blows up…
      But excellent use of pinch-runners leaves a fresh legged Mike Leake available today, so glad he was not used up when Hannigan walked.

  10. I haven’t read the game thread, but I imagine that Mes bunting in the 11th with Izturis up next was not a popular move. I didn’t like it. Luckily, he bunted foul and then walked. But what especially bothered me about it had nothing to do with who was batting, who was on deck, etc.

    After a 4 pitch leadoff walk, managers (not just Dusty), if they’re thinking bunt, have the next hitter try to bunt on the first pitch. Even in a case where a bunt is a good idea, a walk is a better idea. Make the pitcher show he can throw a strike !

    I’ve seen it help a wild pitcher many times. Seeing that the hitter is going to bunt makes him feel more comfortable about throwing a strike right down the middle.
    And most batters seem to widen their strike zone when bunting. Not to mention that the easy out helps the pitcher settle down.

    • @pinson343: Yes, those are excellent points. Another thing to consider, though: batting average by pitch is highest on first pitches, obviously because pitchers usually try to get ahead early. Average bunters probably have much better success against dead-bang strikes (don’t know this for sure), so if the bunt is a good idea in a given situation (again, don’t know for sure), maybe first pitch is the one to go for?

  11. Dusty is definetely managing more aggresively now than he has all season. Imagine how many more wins this team would have if he was like this all the time.

    • @WedgieSanders: There’s no way of knowing. Maybe a lot of the players would be completely worn out, for one thing. I don’t believe–and haven’t all year–that the Reds are much better than a 15 game over .500 team. Not enough hitting.

  12. Where are all the morons who were calling for Hoover to be released in May.

    Personally, I never said that. What I did say was: if Dusty doesn’t ease-up using him so much, his arm will fall off in May. Bullpen’s been great. Who’d of thunk we’d ever say Parra and Hoover were really good in mid-August.

    • @sezwhom1:

      I still want Hoover to close if/when the Reds trade Chapman.

      I rarely wish ill will on anyone, but I do wish Chapman would go on the 15 day DL with a tired arm or something (not sure how that can happen when he pitches about once a lunar cycle) and Hoover takes over his role and pitches complete lights out, thus proving: 1. The waste of Chapman’s talent in that role since others could do it just as well, and 2. that Chapman is expendable.

  13. I think we need to come to the realization that while a good pitcher. Homer is not an ACE or even a low one. I think its pretty clear the Reds top priority in getting signed Latos to a 5-6 year extension over Baily at this point.

    • @dn4192: Beyond performance, you have to focus on Latos because Bailey will not resign with Cincinnati. He obviously harbors extremely hard feelings for the way he was treated by the fans and the media early in his career, and I firmly believe he will look for the first train out of town the second his contract expires. Hopefully, Stephenson will be good to go by then.

  14. Hey! Been a while since I’ve posted. Just wanted to say today would be another good day to give Votto some time off. Sure, he doubled, walked, stole a base, and scored a run, but he’s had some pretty funky at bats lately, not the least of which was his first infield popup this year. Swinging at bad pitches, missing hittable pitches.

    He’s always responded well after some time off. Let’s give him some and let him clear his head.

  15. Ah, extra innings combined with an 8:00 start time and the Old Cossack goes horizontal again while Hoover is pitching…ugh. With a bushel and a half of kids now starting school, mornings come very early again so late night games generally get cut off by the Old Cossack’s eyelids. There was significant criticism or critique directed toward Ludwick and his aggressive approach at the plate during Monday’s game, especially after seeing just 2 pitches in his 1st two PA. His last PA on Monday was better after working the count to 2-1 before grounding out and in his lone PA yesterday as a pinch hitter Ludwick worked a 4 pitch BB. I’m actually looking forward to see how Ludwick does today against the Cubbie’s LHP making his 13th MLB start.

  16. The Cubbies are just a bad team except for some of their pitching. Pulling for the Pirates to take the Cards. The Reds need to be in second place before they can overtake Pittsburgh.

    • @Redsfanx:

      The Reds need to be in second place before they can overtake Pittsburgh.

      Technically not accurate and I’m not even sure this will happen, but not because the Reds won’t overtake the Bucos and Birds. I really see the Birds catching the Bucos at the same time the Reds catch the Birds, resulting in a virtual 3-way tei in the NLCD heading into the final month.

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