2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: TOS*

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 0
Milwaukee 2

W: Y. Gallardo (9-9)
L: M. Latos (12-4)
S: J. Henderson (18)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Strong start for Mat Latos, who allowed two runs on six hits over seven innings. Can’t ask for much more than that from the big guy.

–Logan Ondrusek pitched a perfect eighth inning.

–Brandon Phillips and Ryan Ludwick had two singles each. Those were Ludwick’s first hits since returning from the disabled list.

NEGATIVES
–The offense was nonexistent, once again. The Redlegs had five hits, all singles.

–The only time Cincinnati really threatened was in the seventh inning. The Reds loaded the bases with one out, and Dusty Baker sent Xavier Paul to the plate (to pinch-hit for Zack Cozart). Predictably, Paul grounded into an inning-ending and rally-killing double play.

Make your own judgment as to whether Paul should have been hitting there, but let’s note for the record that lefty hitters are hitting .141 against Brewers pitcher Brandon Kintzler. Well, actually less than .141 now that Paul was retired.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–Reds lose their second in a row. Time to panic again, I guess.

Source: FanGraphs

*This Offense Stinks

74 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: TOS*

  1. Sorry Latos you deserved a better fate!!! How about going out and getting a tatoo to make you feel better? The team should buy you a tat!!!!! :twisted:

  2. Does anyone know why Cozart batted above Mes, I thought we crossed that bridge, not sure if it really would have made a difference, but there were 2 rally killing DP’s out of the 7 hole

    • @vicferrari: I wish I knew. The batting order is a mystery from day to day! I would rather have heisey ph instead of Paul but what the hell do I know?

    • @Mutaman: was Hannigan available to bat? I know it’s very unDustylike to use both catchers in a game but given how bad lefties are hitting Kintzler Hannigan seems like a much better option

    • @Larry1980: More sad than amazing in my book!!! Brew City own us right now and just think Mr. all world Gomez is out w injury!!!!! YIKES!!!!

  3. Recap is perfect: T.his O.ffense S.tinks: NOBODY, even the eternal optimists can argue this. Whether it’s a one-game play-in, or the best of three: you have to score RUNS to WIN. Not a complex concept. Sorry to see that Reds’ brass assured us that Ludwick would, “blow it up”. So far, it’s not happening.

        • @wildwestLV: This is how it’s working out: they are 15 games over .500 and contending for the postseason. Having said that, I have to agree that they don’t seem to hit well. Of course, all batters are out more than half the time, but the Reds’ runs scored stat seems to be a case of lies, damned lies and statistics.

      • @wildwestLV: The Reds have the fourth most runs in the NL.(Might be 5th after Arizona’s showing today.)

        So maybe all runs are not created equally (i.e. of equal value) when it comes to evaluating a team’s performance. I think complex situational analysis and performance weighting is the next frontier stats will move across. Some orgs are probably working on those things now behind closed doors.

  4. What is Gallardo’s record vs the Reds this year. I think going in he was 2-0 vs the Reds in 2013.

  5. Lose two in a row? No panic needed.

    Lose two in a row to the Brewers during what was supposed to be the feasting on bad teams stretch of the final quarter of the season? At least a little worrisome.

  6. Its not so much that the Reds have lost two in a row, its who they lost them to. No need to panic, the team has been doing this kind of stuff all season.

  7. “Sorry to see that Reds’ brass assured us that Ludwick would, “blow it up”. So far, it’s not happening.”

    He’s played in 5 games and we won 4 of them. The one we lost, he had two hits. Tough Critic!

    • @Mutaman: I think he’s more referring to how they didn’t make a trade because they said he was going to come back and provide them with the right handed power bat they wanted. Then it seemed like every pregame for like a month before his return talked about how he was going to come back and save the offense.

    • @Mutaman: Yep! I’m a, “tough critic” . But Bob, Walt, & Dusty assured us that Ludwick’s return would catapult us to 1st place. Just still waitin’, that’s all ; )

  8. How is it that FSO can show a graphic that lefties are batting below .120 against the Brewers pitcher but Dusty not have access to the same information?

    Based off the numbers, Heisey would have been the more appropriate PH in that situation than Paul.

    • How is it that FSO can show a graphic that lefties are batting below .120 against the Brewers pitcher but Dusty not have access to the same information?

      Based off the numbers, Heisey would have been the more appropriate PH in that situation than Paul.

      Free advice: Go to the library, check out a book on statistics, and read the chapter on “sample size”.

  9. “Probably just his usual matchups, Kintzler is a RHP, so naturally Dusty sends a LH to bat.”

    As opposed to what other major league manager since 1900?

    • @Mutaman: Some managers are more inclined to play by the numbers (aka known as batting stats) and take their chances with someone who hits the pitcher better, or looks at the pitchers splits and sees that he is tougher on left handed batters than he is right, and will pinch hit a right hander because there is a slightly better, in theory, chance of a hit dropping.

      I don’t get into the advanced stats much, but going off basic stats like AVG, if righties are hitting better, even marginally, some managers have moved on from the 1900s, and don’t base their entire game plan on archaic thinking like Dusty does.

  10. “But Bob, Walt, & Dusty assured us that Ludwick’s return would catapult us to 1st place. Just still waitin’, that’s all ; )”

    1. I must have missed that quote when such assurances were given. Have a link?

    2. We were 6 games out when Ludwick returned last Monday, tonight we’re 3.5 out. At that rate we’ll be in first place by
    August 28th. Is that soon enough for you?

    • @Mutaman: That “quote” was pretty well inferred when they stood pat at the trade deadline and refused to get a bat that could play LF.

      Actions speak much louder than words do, and them sitting on their hands despite the black hole in LF, is a pretty good indication that they were banking on Ludwick coming back swinging the bat like it was pulled from a hellfire.

      • @TraviXDM:
        There wasn’t a lot out there in the trade market. It was a sellers market this year. They were all wanting a ton of prospects that would put our already diminished farm system in a bigger hole. No team made a huge trade. No team in the NL races did anything drastic… The cards and pirates stayed pat. Kind of hard to bash them for not making a trade as much as I would have LOVED for them to do so

  11. I agree, Paul wasn’t the PH to put up there. And, Baker always talked about how he’s looked over matchups, etc., so he should definitely have had that information on Kinzler. But, it wasn’t the reason why we lost. Or, it wasn’t the only reason why we lost. The offense was gone all night long.

    BP has got to understand, he’s not a 32 year old playing in a 22 year old body. He has to start playing with his head more. Instincts and abilities are great. But, as much experience as he has, he should definitely be playing with more intelligence. That ball last night was Choo’s; I don’t know what was said between the two, though. Being caught with the banana in the tailpipe by the Phillies, when was it, last season. His SB attempts, now 4 out of 7. Tonight being “picked off”. Where’s the guy’s head been at? I’m not saying at all I want him to play with less ability and instinct. Only saying that with his experience, he should be playing with his head in the game a lot more than he is showing me.

    • @steveschoen: I still like BP and will still take him over most every other 2nd baseman in the league. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have things he needs to improve on.

  12. What bothers me is that Dusty’s choice, Paul, was trying to pull a 1-0 pitch on the outer half of the plate. Unless the hitter is named Votto, he should be taking a strike with the bases loaded. Period. And if he absolutely MUST swing at the 1-0 pitch, he needs to be willing to hit the ball where it’s pitched and not necessarily try to yank it out of the park. XP may not have been the ideal choice in that situation, but if he had taken a thoughtful approach, instead of the Dusty approach, he could very well have knocked in a run or two. Heisey might have been the better choice, but unfortunately he would likely have taken exactly the same approach, and the outcome could very easily have been the same. The team’s approach to hitting is fundamentally flawed. They lack discipline, patience, and baseball intelligence. Dusty’s inability to understand statistics is but a small part of the team’s offensive inefficiency. Dusty’s inability to recognize the value of taking pitches and his apparent unwillingness to encourage more opposite field hitting is what’s really killing this team. Everything good (or at least sometimes good) about the offense — Votto and Choo’s ability to reach base, BP’s ability to collect RBIs, Bruce’s increased consistency, Ludwick finally getting two hits, Frazier sort of remembering how to hit — has been the direct result of taking pitches and/or hitting the other way. But other than Votto and Choo, nobody seems willing to do it on consistent basis. So pitchers keep throwing low and outside, our guys keep diligently try to pull, and the result is another double play and a loss.

    • @Baseclogger: Agreed that the bases loaded and only 1 out I wanted him to try and get into more of a count particularly when he got ball 1. I suppose his response would be that at 1-0, he felt certain he would get a pitch to hit. Of course he needs to be sure to go with the pitch.

      • @OhioJim: I’m sure most of these guys would say the same thing every time they’ve swung at a pitch two inches off the ground or a foot outside. At some point they need to reevaluate whether they should really feel quite so certain.

  13. I thought the situation in the 4th which ended up with the TOOTBLAN was also a legitimate scoring opportunity for the Reds.

    The Brewers came right back in the bottom of the inning and scored the only runs of the game off a similar circumstance from 3 spots deeper down their batting order nonetheless.

  14. Offense continues to offend — .214/.304/.350 this month going into today’s game, and 5-29 will bring that down further.

    The outfield is the main culprit. Feels like Bruce has been less streaky this year, but he picked a bad time to slump — .196/.315/.370 in August. Choo’s been just as Cozartian this month — .217/.345/.326. LF has been the worst of all, though, as Heisey/Paul/Ludwick/Robinson had a combined 9 hits this month going into today’s game (.134). Just awful.

  15. I have a feeling we are going to get our wish of no longer having Dusty Baker as the manager and Brrok Jacoby as the hitting coach. Unfortunately, it won’t come true until after October.

  16. “Actions speak much louder than words do, and them sitting on their hands despite the black hole in LF, is a pretty good indication that they were banking on Ludwick coming back swinging the bat like it was pulled from a hellfire.”

    Or it might have meant that waiting for Ludwig was a better option than Jeff Francour, et al.

    • @Mutaman: There were plenty of other serviceable outfielders on the market at the deadline, while some for a team like the Reds would have been rentals, it would have helped with the “win-now” philosophy they seem to have going.

      It is entirely possible that Ludwick was the best option, but let’s face it – the man got two hits tonight, so who knows – he may see the ball better now, and I believe outside a performance or three now, he has made solid contact, but have been right at fielders. Tonight, two dropped for a hit.

      As far as Dusty Baker/Brook Jacoby getting fired, and the nation no longer existing, that simply isn’t true in my opinion. A lot of people have irked opinions about the manager and the hitting philosophy because they are both outdated. Dusty’s belief in age-old “unwritten rules” such as breaking up the lefties in the lineup, which we seen how well that worked a couple nights ago against Lohse, who simply pitched around them. Closers not working more than one inning etc.
      Toss in the hitting philosophy of swing early, swing often, walks are evil, and the guy who is probably the worst candidate for batting second, is normally in that slot and the list goes on.

    • “Actions speak much louder than words do, and them sitting on their hands despite the black hole in LF, is a pretty good indication that they were banking on Ludwick coming back swinging the bat like it was pulled from a hellfire.”

      Or it might have meant that waiting for Ludwig was a better option than Jeff Francour, et al.

      Perhaps, you will learn how to use the quote function by then. :D

  17. At this point, it’s a win-win situation for the Reds. If the Reds manage to choke their way out of the playoffs, then there’s a decent chance Dusty will be fired, while if the Reds make the playoffs, then they well, make the playoffs. I think we would all be happy if the Reds made the playoffs for the second straight year, although what the Reds do in the playoffs is anyone’s guess.

  18. This game-by-game whining stuff is getting silly.

    I’m not a Dusty fan by any means, but questioning Dusty pinch hitting XP over Heisey…child, please.

    • @CP: Exactly. Arty (Bruce ) had gotten a hit off him a mere 2 batters before. He’d had a BABIP of about .167 against a sample size less than 60.

      Dusty doesn’t have a “walks stink ” philosophy or a “go-ugly-early” theory. He has a “Jesus, guys, if you get a good pitch to hit early in the count, mash it” philosophy. The same one that Pete Rose and every Hall of Famer had.

      There is nothing new here. The Reds have 3 excellent LH hitters and ought to destroy RH pitching. They don’t because their RH hitters can’t hit righties. And now, Choo is hurt (hand). It may well be time for the DL and a Hamilton call-up.

  19. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=kintzbr01&year=2013&t=p

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=heisech01&year=Career&t=b

    Scroll down to Platoon Splits.

    Kintzler vs. RH batters, .231/.279/.289—–vs. LH batters, .141/.192/.211. Those are stats over four seasons and 209 plate appearances.

    Heisey vs. RHP, .261/.316/.438——vs. LHP, .225/.281/.405. Four years and 1,095 PA.

    On the surface, it is obvious that Heisey, who hits RHP better than LHP, vs. Kintzler, who is more successful vs. LH batters, was the better matchup for the Reds.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=paulxa01&year=Career&t=b

    All of Paul’s success has been vs. RHP. That must have been what Baker saw. We don’t have the inside knowledge of how the guys were feeling, or whatever, today. Based on numbers alone, it is perfectly reasonable to question Baker’s selection of Paul over Heisey.

  20. 1) Bruce probably needs a day off. Even if it is against the Brewers, a team he usually hits well.

    2) Their closer didn’t hit 99MPH even one time. Yet the Brewers haven’t lost a game this season that they were leading after 8. I’ve given up on Chapman starting, but letting his over-usage/under-usage be dictated by a stat is ridiculous.

    3) Dusty is in a bind with Ludwick. Admit it: we were all thinking it might be a good idea to PH for him just before his bloop loaded the bases. But realistically Dusty couldn’t, just like he can’t drop him in the order. We just have to hope Ludwick plays his way into shape. (Why Mesoraco was hitting behind Cozart is a little more of a mystery.) If Ludwick is going to keep playing, Heisey needs to start in center every time against LHP.

    4) Speaking of Heisey, one of Dusty’s worst mistakes this year was trying to play 3 guys in LF after Heisey came back. Heisey, Paul and Robinson all performed worse once that platoon started. He should have stuck with Heisey, or chosen Robinson or XP to be the platoon partner. (Robinson would have been my choice.)

    • @Eric the Red:
      3 & 4) Agreed. Heisey should have gotten more playing time between starting in left and resting Choo sometimes against LH pitching. He started out pretty good right after his return. He’s the only one of the three that might be capable of producing regularly and he is a good fielder. The start/stop of juggling 3 players produced predictably poor results. An alternative might have developed to waiting out Ludwick.

  21. I’ve never lost a game Managing from my widest side on the couch.

    Most of us would have no clue if we actually had to make a decision during the game. Like, pinch-hitting. If Paul gets a hit, Dusty’s a genius. If he hits into a DP…well, raked over the coals.

    • @sezwhom1: I don’t think he’s exactly being “raked over the coals.”. Personally, I can live with the choice of XP even knowing the numbers RedLeg75 posted above. I do wonder/worry that Dusty might have chosen XP without knowing the above numbers, which would be worth raking him over the coals for. But we have no way of knowing.

      Most of the “raking over the coals” on this site seems to be diected at XP for his hitting approach in that AB. Which is fair, IMHO.

    • @sezwhom1:
      Well said… Let the fans watch and cheer and let the coaches coach… And let the stat guys do their thing and second guess everything! As for me. Just glad I got to watch 3 games this weekend when taking a trip back to reds country

  22. A win today puts us 7-3 vs. the Pads/cubs/brewers. Before this stretch started, I’m sure most of you would’ve taken that.

    • @Sultan of Swaff:
      For being in a rut over the past 20 games since winning the 1st in LA, they have suffered a 5 game losing streak, 2 Chapman 9th inning meltdown’s, a devastating series loss to the Cards that seemed to doom the season, scored more than 3 runs in only 6 and 2 or less in half and somehow managed to split them. Winning 8 of 9 sure helps, but it could have been a lot worse.
      Win today and start peaking in September.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: Yes, and I think the 5-2 on the road would be outstanding even considering the competition because they had to win at least 3 games in one of the cities to do that.

      The Cubs have won over 43% of their games and the Brewers right at 45% of theirs. While they may be doormats in this year’s NL Central, those aren’t historical doormat numbers. Going over .700 (i.e. 5-2) against those teams on the road in consecutive games isn’t a bad road trip.

  23. Just scored super cheap tix for section 106 for this afternoon. Taking my 5 yr old daughter, going to watch Homer time!

  24. Not sure it is “game by game whining stuff”. This team should be winning games like these against the Brewers and other sub .500 teams and instead are struggling against some pretty pedestrian pitching. That falls on the manager and hitting coach. I think Reds fans are frustrated with the head scratching moves and archaic approach taken with this team, myself included. I would love to see what a good manager and hitting coach could do with this line up. But we are stuck with Baker and Jocoby, so this team will continue to struggle against inferior teams , and to tease and win games despite a glaring lack of coaching.

    • @RedsfanPa:
      Pretty easy to manage a pitching staff when everyone is lights out for the most part (somehow you feel the need to use someone 5 out of 6 days), I can live with Paul choice as PH, but what really puzzles me is that if you are willing to pinch hit a a .230 batter for a .230 batter in the 7th inning, why are you batting Mes behind him to begin with, especially when you had not been doing that?
      It is the little things like this and unnecessary double switches that drive me crazy

    • @RedsfanPa: On Friday night, the Reds scored six runs. Three Reds pitchers gave up the lead 4 times (the starter twice and two relievers once each). That’s the game the Reds should have won; and, that they lost it isn’t on the offense.

      Gallardo was coming off an injury, but, I think otherwise he hardly is a pedestrian pitcher. A lot of people thought that minus the injury he was going to be moved for a kind’s ransom at the trade deadline.

  25. Dusty is trotting out the Sunday special lineup. Gack

    John Fay @johnfayman
    #Reds lineup:

    Choo 8
    Izturis 6
    Votto 3
    Phillips 4
    Bruce 9
    Heisey 7
    Hannahan 5
    Hanigan 2
    Bailey 1

    • @AnnapolisHoosier:

      Trying to get out of town with a split (against a BAD baseball team) and Dusty takes out 2 starters (one of which has just started to come around a bit at the plate) and put the worst hitter on the team in the #2 spot.

      Ok, Dusty backers….please explain.

      • @Bill Lack:
        Gotta get Itz going, just imagine if a lefty comes in to face the top of the line-up what are going to do leave him in to get to Votto, oh the dilemas

  26. Seeing Izturis batting second makes me want to pound my head on the desk. There are 372 players in the major leagues with at least 120 at bats. Of those players, Cesar Izturis is DEAD LAST in hitting. And yet our manager decides to give him the second most at bats today.

  27. Another depressing stat on Izturis – As bad as he is overall as a hitter – the WORST in the major leagues, he is performing nearly 100 points worse in OPS against right-handed pitchers than against lefties. Needless to say, today’s opposing pitcher, Wily Peralta, throws with his right hand.

    Baker’s lineup is breathtakingly terrible.

    Headwinds.

  28. One more on Izturis: he has 33 plate appearances this year batting second (!) in those PA, he has three hits (all singles) and one walk. His slash line: .094/.121/.125.

    You could not come up with a worse player to bat between Votto and Choo and get the second most AB.

  29. There is no excuse for Izturis batting 2nd, but at this point, there isn’t much of an excuse for him being on the roster either. It’s bizarre.

  30. Is it possible Cozart is dinged up? That might explain Dusty’s surprising sense of urgency when he pinch hit for him last night. (Nothing can explain why Dusty would think it’s a good idea to bat Izturis 2nd.)

  31. Nothing was done to up the offense except wait on Ludwick. It is what it is. With 6 weeks to go, and three and a half out (4 in the loss column) we need a win today and at least a split with Arizona. If the offense comes alive combined with the good pitching, we can overtake the Pirates.

  32. @OhioJim: Yes, I’m aware of friday’s game, as i said they will have games where they score despite the archaic approach to hitting. Wasn’t basing my thoughts on one game, but the season collectively. As vicferrari points out, the double switches and other decisions continue to plague this team.

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