2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Reds drop two of three

Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 1
Milwaukee 3

W: M. Estrada (6-4)
L: G. Reynolds (0-2)
S: J. Henderson (21)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–You can’t ask Greg Reynolds for anything more than he provided this afternoon. Reynolds, starting in place of Tony Cingrani (who was placed on the 15-day DL today), gave up two runs on five hits over six innings. Much better than Reynolds’ last emergency start.

Let’s hope he has one more of these in him.

–Joey Votto hit a homer and a walk.

–Logan Ondrusek pitched a perfect ninth, striking out two.

NEGATIVES
–No offense until the ninth inning. Not sure what else to say here. Greg Reynolds and the bullpen put the Reds in a position to win the game, but the bats didn’t show up again.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–Wow, that’s a tough series to lose. You have to win every series against the also-rans at Great American Ballpark.

All will be forgotten, however, if the Reds can put together a big performance against St. Louis this week.

Source: FanGraphs

59 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Reds drop two of three

  1. LOL at the Reds winning the series in St. Louis. If you can’t beat the Brewers, who can you beat? All joking aside, Let’s hope and pray for a sweep!

  2. Cards & Pirates both lose today so no ground lost only a day.

    Reds could really turn a corner this week or…..not.

  3. All will be forgotten, however, if the Reds can put together a big performance against St. Louis this week.

    I’m all for eternal optimism and I hope a sweep of the Birds is in the ‘CARDS’. Today was just a bloody Sunday for all involved. The Reds go down, the Snakes go down, the Birds go down and the Bucos go down. After so many opportunities lost, I think reality will probably bulldoze optimism, but right now, let’s sweep the Birds and start a run for the NLCD crown.

  4. Rats went down, quietly, 4-0 vs. SF. Reds get a “pass” today and now have to put the foot on the Redbirds throat. Okay, then. Let’s see who shows up.

  5. Pitiful, as Jed Clampett would have said. Just pitiful.

    As bad as the offense was today, if the Reds end up losing the division by 4 games or less, a major culprit will have been their inability to figure out how to pitch the Brewers up from AAA like Davis, Grindl and Gennett. I realize they are not in the same league as the Bats but does no one scout them?

  6. One of Chad’s positives is important to note: Reynold’s pitching was worlds better than earlier in the year, in SF. For what he’s being asked to do, in the next two weeks: what he did today will more than do. Didn’t get the run support, but that could have easily been Latos, Arroyo, Bailey, Leake, or even Cingrani out there tonight, keeping the Reds in the game and getting nothing from the offense. I take that as today’s only positive. Well, that and Votto’s HR. Back-to-back: methinks he might be reading his critics (of which, I was not one, but happy to see the results, nonetheless). GO REDS!

  7. Jacoby is gone after this season regardless of Baker’s fate. Problem is that if Baker stays he picks the successor. Perhaps Hank Aaron? :-D

    • @Y-City Jim: From your keyboard to Gods ears I hope. Jacoby has to go but so does Dusty. Sorry to those who dont blame Dusty but come on, there are NO motivators in that dugout or clubhouse. Sparky or Lou would be chewing butts in there without fear of hurting some over-paid under-acheivers feelings. This has become a team full of Drew Stubbs, you could throw the ball toward the dugout and they’ll swing at it. We dont need a “players manager” we need someone to start kicking a** and yanking the leash now and then. But the sad part is if they make the wildcard, even losing the game, nothing will change. Two trips to the post-season only to be embarrased hasnt got anyone shown the door.

    • @Y-City Jim: Charlie Manuel is supposed to be a hell of a hitting coach and he’s available. He has been known to say that Bruce does not realize how good he can be, so maybe he could get him to stop swinging at outside breaking balls…

  8. WHY does Choo run? He would have been out at 2nd AND 3rd if the Brewers could hold on to a throw and he is thrown out at the plate for NOT SLIDING!! You learn in little league that if the play is close SLIDE!!!!

    • @stevechai:

      He was out slide or no slide….my question was, why wasn’t he running when the ball was caught, not waiting until after it went wide of the catcher. Bad break that it bounced straight back off the brick wall behind the plate, he was way out at the plate.

      As well as the Cubs play the Cards, that’s how well the Brewers play the Reds…losing 4 of 6 to them in a short stint is unacceptable.

        • @jessecuster44: Just watched the video. Choo is definitely safe if he slides. And why wouldn’t he slide ? He tried to politely put his foot on home plate, without perturbing Lucroy.

      • @Bill Lack: Just a small correction…the Reds lost 4 of 7 games in their short stint against the Brew Crew. A lot of people forget that we actually split that 4 game series in Milwaukee last week, forgetting about the initial Thursday win. Just seems like we lost that series, especially considering the crushing loss in game 2 on the Lucroy HR against AC.

  9. Pitching is not the Brewers strong point this year, but they sure have the Reds figured out. Votto’s 9th inning homerun kept the Reds from being shut out for the 4th time this year by the Brewers.

  10. Seriously, I have never seen so many off-balance swings at pitches that the hitters clearly don’t recognize. They’re falling over the plate, swinging and lunging at balls. The bats actually hit the dirt after they swing, particularly the “hitters” in the 6-7-8 spots.

    This isn’t something you have to watch much before you spot more than just a trend.

    Reds hitters are consistently fooled by off-speed stuff, are unprepared for the fastball, swing at pitches out of the zone, or … worse, can’t catch up to stuff on the knees down the middle.

    They’re usually caught looking on a 1-2 count, even if they are lucky enough to foul off some junk they gambled they could hit.

    They don’t even know when the fastball is coming. They don’t manage the count at all.

    For men who earn millions of dollars and who have more than an hour in pro ball, one would think somebody could figure out something.

    This is sad.

    • @Johnu1: It’s called an excellent change-up. Corbin of the D-backs had the same effect. When a pitcher–remember Mario Soto–is throwing an excellent change, he can make anybody look foolish.

    • @Johnu1: You are being way too hard on the Reds. I think you just don’t watch enough of other team’s playing to understand that baseball is hard. You watch the Reds play a hard game, and think everyone else is playing an easy one or something.

      The Reds pitching staff has the highest strikeout rate in the NL, 4th in baseball. The Reds hitters have the 11th highest strikeout rate in baseball, behind teams like the Red Sox, Braves, and Pirates.

      So clearly, taking off balance swings and having a tough time with tough pitches, is something the rest of the league, including three other playoff teams, does too. In fact, the Reds pitchers make other people miss better than anyone in the NL.

  11. We will get lucky to win one is STL. No chance we win this series. Get ready for another beatdown ppl. Friggin sucks!!!!

  12. When a team hits as inconsistently as the Reds, you’d think that they would try and take advantage of other aspects of their offensive options. Baserunning, something the 2010 Reds were very good at, is just such an aspect. Why then, are these Reds so terrible at baserunning? They get caught stealing far too often, and seem to have a TOOTBLAN every third day. I am absolutely puzzled.

    Lots of people probably noticed that Choo didn’t slide in the first inning, costing the Reds a run. However, I wonder if anyone noticed where the on deck batter – the person who is supposed to direct Choo to slide or stand up – was? If he’s where he is supposed to be, he tells Choo to slide and the Reds get an early run and one less out.

    Communicating whether to slide or stand up is a little detail(that players learn in Little League) that is simply inexcusable to miss at the Major League level, especially on a team in the thick of a pennant race. The Reds need to get the details down, and start playing smarter.

    • @jessecuster44: Perhaps Choo was watching his old third base coach, Chris Speier, in the dugout who was signaling him to come in standing?

      Seriously, I fully agree with everything you said. Go Reds!

        • @YorktownRed: The play was right in front of Choo. Wasn’t like he was trying to outrun a throw from the outfield.

          Good point. Big brain cramp by Choo when he could see the ball – maybe if he had a teammate gesturing for him to slide, he would have woken up. If I was on deck, I would remember that I wasn’t a spectator (Because that’s what my coach drilled into my head – just because you’re not in the play doesn’t mean you shouldn’t help)

        • @jessecuster44: All I can think of is that Choo didn’t think it was going to be close, then when it was, he was undecided about what to do. You can’t decide to slide at the last second.

          Choo shows a lot of smarts and focus as a hitter, and I haven’t seen him make any mental mistakes in the OF.

          So why all the brain farts, indecision, confusion, etc. on the bases ? A bigger question, who’s talking with him about it ? Maybe he’s told that as a leadoff hitter, he’s got to be “aggressive” on the bases, so just keep running.

  13. Man, this just does not look like a real good team. You can’t fail to win two series in a short period of time against the Brewers if you plan on winning the division, or winning in the playoffs. 3-4 against the Brewers in an 11 day span. Those are the games you need to win.

    Either way, I think Joey Votto might have heard me when I said a bit ago that if he got on a big hot streak to finish the season, he could still win the NL MVP. Good numbers + finishing the season strong + playoff team = good MVP recipe.

    …unless they give it to Kershaw, in which case what can you possibly do against an ERA under 2.00?

  14. Votto hasn’t been in the MVP conversations, which speaks volumes as to who isn’t going to get the award.

    That established, … I’d give it to Matt Carpenter. I doubt that message would be too clear in the Reds clubhouse, but it would be meaningful to me. You can take an average ballplayer and teach him how to hit.

    Next thing you know, he’s (d’uh) getting on base.

  15. Every time the Reds’ bats go silent like this underscores the fact that Walt didn’t find a RH bat when he desperately needed to do so. The trouble is, most people would remember Saturday’s homerfest over today’s 3-1 loss. I’d be curious to see which has happened more this year – Reds’ wins with 3+ HRs or losses where the opposing team has scored 3 or fewer runs.

    • @jessecuster44: That’s one of the fallacies. RH bat? Any other bat would be welcome. It doesn’t have to be a RH bat. Not to mention, after the years Frazier and Ludwick had last season, why would Walt need to get a RH bat? Not to mention, we may want to go get one, but first, you have to have:

      1) Another team willing to give one up
      2) Another team willing to take what we can give them

      That’s like some people talking like trading Chapman for Stanton man for man. It would take a lot more than that to get Stanton, a lot more. It took 4 players to get Latos.

  16. I recall commenting in the game thread that in the first inning, on a hot day, expect a lot of home runs. After that, when Gimpy hit his tater, I had no idea.
    Honestly, I think the need for a RH hitter is offset by the need to find a dugout strategy that works. I see no evidence that anybody has improved as a hitter under Brook Jacoby’s tutelage.

  17. The fact is, Reds pitchers do a nice job, all in all. Most teams get a few runs here and there, 5-6-7 hits. This is considered one of the better pitching staffs in the NL. Usually, we can expect a quality start.

    Opposing teams throw anybody they want at the Reds, including callups, TJ rehabs in their first start of the year, rookies, lefties, junkballers, guys with ERA’s in the 6.00 range … and the Reds go 11 or 12 hitters in a row without hitting a ball out of the infield.

    We are asking our pitchers to throw a shutout just to stay in contention because our hitters can’t hit the dredges of the league.

  18. My current pet peeve is the use of overall runs or average runs per game as a measure of offensive production. If a team scores 20 runs in half its games and zero runs in the other half, that team averages 10 runs a game and will obviously lead the league in scoring by an enormous margin. However, even if it has by far the best pitching and best defense in all of baseball, that team can win no more than 81 games. Repeat: Even if it has by far the BEST pitching and BEST defense, that team wins no more than 81 games and probably misses the playoffs. Why? Because the offense is absolutely terrible. By contrast, if the same team scored 5 runs every game, they’d almost certainly have the best overall record despite scoring about half as many runs. That would be a GREAT offense. True, a good offense is going to score a lot of runs, but scoring a lot of runs isn’t by itself the mark of a great offense. Consistency is arguably just as important as the overall number. The Reds will wind up with a decent number of runs scored this season, but the lack of consistency will significantly reduce the impact of those runs.

    • @Baseclogger: It seems like the Reds offense is very inconsistent, but somebody on the blog did a study in the first half showing that the Reds didn’t have any more variance than the Cardinals (who score more) or the Pirates (who score less). An update of that sort of data is welcome.

      • @pinson343: I remember the mention of that study, pinson. It was the whole feast and famine impression people were getting. And, while it did a pretty good job, it didn’t exactly prove that the Reds offense was a feast or famine offense. For example, like with what you said, “didn’t have any more variance than the Cardinals or the Pirates”, if they have feast and famine offenses as well, and we relatively compare to then, then we would have a feast and famine offense, also. That study never really did define what was meant by feast and famine. And, if you don’t define it, then you can’t be looking for it.

        Given that, the study did do a good job of comparing our offense to the other teams and that we weren’t any better/worse than the other teams with the parameters it did set. Still, this offense does still leave a bit to be desired. For me, it’s like, in general, last season, we had Ludwick and Frazier raking, even with Hanigan as well, towards the lower part of the order, while Stubbs and Cozart were trying something out in teh 1-2 holes. This year, with Choo replacing Stubbs, our higher end of the order is doing much better. But, now, our other guys are leaving something to be desired.

      • @pinson343: As records go, the Birds and the Parrots are both only just a touch better than the Reds. The problem, as I see it, and this is a homer-cam view … the Reds play like crap part of the time and are still hanging in there. What do we see and what do we wish we could see? If this team played better, how good is it? Or is it an overachiever?

      • @pinson343: It’s an interesting comparison, but I wouldn’t be comforted to learn the offense isn’t significantly different than other offenses. I’m not judging the offense against what other offenses do, I’m judging it against what I think this offense COULD do if every player approached every at-bat in a serious, sensible way. Yesterday’s game was easily winnable with a smarter approach. Just two of several examples: we saw an inning where Frazier and Votto made two outs in three pitches, and then BP did his fake bunt act as if to say “go ahead and throw down the middle,” which is exactly what happened. Another inning it seemed to me that four straight batters saw at least four pitches out of the strike zone, but only one of them (Choo) actually walked. The others got themselves out by hacking at bad pitches. And so on. I don’t care how any of this compares to the Cardinals or Pirates. I know it’s not representative of the talent on this team, not maximizing the team’s potential, and I know we see this kind of performance on a fairly regular basis.

  19. I didn’t see Ondrusek hit Aoki with a pitch. I wanted the Reds to back Aoki off the plate in the first game start of the series, he kept slapping everything the opposite way. If Ondrusek was trying to back him off the plate, good for him, but the 9th inning of the final game of the series seems a little late for that.

    • I didn’t see Ondrusek hit Aoki with a pitch. I wanted the Reds to back Aoki off the plate in the first game start of the series, he kept slapping everything the opposite way. If Ondrusek was trying to back him off the plate, good for him, but the 9th inning of the final game of the series seems a little late for that.

      Well, there are minimal opportunities for the Brewers to get revenge. It’s kind of milquetoast to wait till the end to send the message. Maybe that is designed to send the message the NEXT time we play Milwaukee. And yes, follow me on that line of sarcasm. The NEXT time will be the really important series with the Brewers. This one? Well, we didn’t know Aoki would do that, even though he’s done it every time I’ve seen him come to the plate.

  20. The Reds caught a break on Sunday. Brandon Beachy was originally slated to start for the Braves, but went on the DL. Mike Minor, a much better pitcher, took his place and shut down the Cardinals.

  21. I think what annoys me about the Reds approach is that while Estrada was pitching well, no pitcher who isn’t Bob Gibson can go inning after inning after inning getting hitters to swing at terrible pitches, get 10 popups … and convince me it’s all pitching. Whatever the dugout staff is seeing isn’t translating to the players, and the players are going up there looking like fools time after time … and the circle of inane hitting just goes on and on.
    The Reds hope to score 3 runs in an inning and hope the bullpen can save it for them. At times, that doesn’t happen and we start ragging on the bullpen.

    This approach is a system-wide failure and for Jocketty and Baker to blithely accept it is another recipe for a bitter end to a marginally interesting season.

    These Reds are NOT an exciting baseball team.

    I figure we top out at 88-90 wins this year … decent if you are rebuilding — terrible if the objective was to win THIS year. I am reaching a point where I feel like a Cubs fan after finally shaking the onus of feeling like a Pirates fan.

    • @Johnu1: What are you talking about? Bob Gibson? Pitchers do it ALL THE TIME. The Reds pitchers do it ALL THE TIME. Remember that Homer Bailey no hitter? Was that just terrible hitting too?

      The Reds struck out 10 times yesterday, and had some popups. Remember when the Reds struck out the Dodgers 20 times in a game?

      88 to 90 wins is “decent if you are rebuilding”!? That has to be the most skewed perspective I’ve ever read. Right now only 10 teams are on pace to finish with at least 89 wins, and they would all be in the playoffs if the season ended today. Since when did making the playoffs become “decent if you are rebuilding.”

      Finishing with more than 75 wins is decent if you’re rebuilding. Having a winning season is pretty darn good if you’re rebuilding. Making the playoffs is next to unheard of if you’re rebuilding, and should be considered either a total fluke or a remarkable accomplishment.

  22. Man, so much hand wringing over one game. You’re missing the forest for the trees, guys. If the Reds keep up their winning % of the last 3 weeks, we’re gonna win the division. One loss on a day when the Pirates and Cardinals also lost doesn’t mean squat.

    The trendline is positive. Let’s act like it.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: I agree. The level of negativity here after a WINNING HOMESTAND is pretty shocking. Go 5-2 on the road and 4-3 at home and Redleg Nation is ready to fire the lot of them.

      Seems like some people need to watch more college football or something. There are sports out there where teams go undefeated, maybe one of those would be preferable.

      • @Sultan of Swaff: I agree. The level of negativity here after a WINNING HOMESTAND is pretty shocking. Go 5-2 on the road and 4-3 at home and Redleg Nation is ready to fire the lot of them. Seems like some people need to watch more college football or something. There are sports out there where teams go undefeated, maybe one of those would be preferable.

        Or maybe some fans need a place to go for some self-therapy. Some use this to vent a little bit of frustration, I guess. Some steam release, if you will.
        I get a kick out of the schizophrenic bi-polar fan base at times. One week its, “We’re going to the World Series, baby.” The next week, its “Oh man, we suck.”
        Its the sniping between the Reds fans that we should be able to do without. We all don’t see everything the same ways, but we do have a common goal. A Reds World Series Championship.

        • @WVRedlegs: Agreed. Not sure why so many people feel the need to tell other people how they “should” or “shouldn’t” respond to any given game, or anything else for that matter. Rarely do I see anyone criticizing people for saying “What a great win!” or “Great at-bat by so-and-so!” Rarely does anyone complain about the blog being “too optimistic” when people come out of the woodwork to celebrate a good stretch of games. From what I’ve seen, the sniping usually begins with someone complaining about “negativity” or complaining about people being unfair to Dusty Baker, as if we’re all “supposed” to be happy and complacent just because the Reds — who were generally picked to win the division, and picked by many to play in and/or win the World Series — have a pretty good record and are in third place behind two teams with arguably less overall talent.

        • @Baseclogger: That’s fair, but my issue is that the negativity gets so extreme and out of proportion (to a winning homestand for example) that people end up saying things like this:

          “We are asking our pitchers to throw a shutout just to stay in contention because our hitters can’t hit the dredges [sic] of the league.”

          Now, if I was having a conversation with a someone who wasn’t a Reds fan and they said that our hitters can’t hit terrible pitching, I would have to argue with them.

        • @al: I’d call that comment an exaggeration, but not “extreme.” Regardless of the team’s overall record or its record in the homestand, the fact is that yesterday’s offense was absolutely putrid against a guy who started the day with an ERA of almost 5. In fact, the only way the Reds would have won that game would have been a shutout. On Thursday they scored 2 runs against a guy who entered the game with an ERA of almost 5. They won only because Latos held the opposition to 1 run. So how extreme is it, really, to say that we’re asking our pitchers to throw shutouts even when we’re facing bad pitchers? It’s an exaggeration, and not true EVERY day, but I think it’s within the bounds of poetic license. When people talk about “Super Todd” or say a hitter “never had a chance” against Chapman, or say Bruce got “every last bit of that ball” when he hits a 420 foot home run, does anyone complain about the “extreme” nature of those comments? Or do we just accept the fact that sometimes people use hyperbole to make a point?

  23. Runs sure are hard to come by for this Reds offense. They are about as elusive as the Moon Maidens were for astronaut Jethro Bodine.

  24. A lucky day for the Reds with everybody concerned losing. On ESPN tonight; hope the Reds show up better than they usually do on national TV.

  25. I tend toward the negative on these boards and I’d rather be wrong than right. The parts of Reds baseball that are consistently positive are the components that have been in place for a couple of years. Those, we rarely discuss — the great play of Phillips and Cozart, Frazier’s and Heisey’s infectious enthusiasm … Bryan Price, the maturity of Bailey and Leake.

    The parts that are inconsistent are worrisome and are a little more difficult to evaluate. When the team doesn’t hit, it’s not so easy to find a reason, as if there were only one reason.

    I think, more than anything, I expect the team to win every time it hits the field. The reality check is that nobody ever did that. But I do find myself throwing my cap at the wall when a Reds guy GIDP with the bases loaded.

    I don’t expect to change and I am just thankful that I have this forum to vent frustration. Again, I’d rather beef about the team and grin and swallow crow when I am wrong. I’ve been following the Reds since 1956. I’ve seen a lot of weird stuff.

    • @Johnu1: I guess I should clarify that we don’t discuss those positives much in the game threads. There’s plenty of discussion about it otherwise.

  26. Heard last night that Tampa allows no pitcher above AA without a change up…Calling Mario Soto!!!!
    Reynolds performance makes me think he deserves a shot at being a starter next year if they lose Arroyo and they can somehow keep him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s