2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Reds get back to their old tricks

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 6
Colorado 9

W: J. De La Rosa (15-6)
L: B. Arroyo (13-10)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–None.

NEGATIVES
–Bronson Arroyo was bad: 3.1 innings pitched, nine hits, six runs. The curve ball wasn’t curving at Coors Field tonight.

–Logan Ondrusek gave up three runs on four hits in 1+ inning.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–With a chance to cut their deficit in the NL Central to 2.5 games, the Redlegs laid yet another big fat egg. It’s the latest in a series of those.

–BP and Hanigan did have two hits and two RBI each. Ryan Ludwick homered. It didn’t matter, because Peyton Manning’s backup quarterback hit two three-run homers.

–I’ve watched a lot of Reds baseball over the years, and most of it has been bad baseball. This year’s team, in line for a playoff spot, has been one of the least-fun teams to watch in my life, if that makes any sense. I wish I could explain that, but this club is difficult to watch most nights.

–Game thread comment of the night, from Steve:

I wonder how this game would have turned out if Dusty Baker had been managing to win instead of preserving his bullpen for tomorrow. I would have liked to have seen that.

Source: FanGraphs

43 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Reds get back to their old tricks

  1. I have to agree 100 percent with your description of this team being hard to watch. That’s a great description, and “hard to watch” is something those of us who are also Kentucky basketball fans were already accustomed to coming into this past April. 2013 may well be the year of the “unwatchables.”

  2. Questions that the beat writers should ask Dusty Baker tonight (but don’t hold your breath):

    1. Have you given any thought to not playing Shin-Soo Choo against left handed pitchers, or at least not having him lead off, since he basically hits like a pitcher (no offense to Leaky) against lefties?

    2. Since it was Ondrusek’s second inning, did you consider having a left-handed pitcher ready to face Todd Helton in the seventh inning if there were runners on base when he came up to bat?

    3. Since you decided to have him bat fourth tonight, what is it about Ryan Ludwick’s approach at the plate that resembles a major league clean-up hitter to you?

    • Questions that the beat writers should ask Dusty Baker tonight (but don’t hold your breath):

      1. Have you given any thought to not playing Shin-Soo Choo against left handed pitchers, or at least not having him lead off, since he basically hits like a pitcher (no offense to Leaky) against lefties?

      2. Since it was Ondrusek’s second inning, did you consider having a left-handed pitcher ready to face Todd Helton in the seventh inning if there were runners on base when he came up to bat?

      3. Since you decided to have him bat fourth tonight, what is it about Ryan Ludwick’s approach at the plate that resembles a major league clean-up hitter to you?

      #1 was asked to Fay on twitter and he responded that Choo had the fifth best OBP vs. lefties.

  3. It just feels like everytime this Reds give us all hope with a nice little winning streak they follow it up with a bad strech. It seems like its how its been all year. Chad’s point about this not being a fun team to watch is spot on.

  4. I’ll reiterate the list from the game thread:

    -Wrong guy starting in center
    -Wrong lineup
    -Too slow to notice Arroyo can’t pitch in Denver, left him in too long
    -Izturis pinch hits with a runner on base, with Heisey and Mes both on the bench (this happened to work by some fluke)
    -Allows Ondru to start a second inning and face Helton with two runners on, essentially ending the game
    -Allows Duke to throw a lot of pitches, effectively killing a left-handed option tomorrow
    -Does not get Chapman any work (when did he last pitch? July?)
    -Will not ask Ludwick to take a pitch under any circumstances, no matter how many times he hits into double-plays on borderline first pitches.

    These are just the mistakes specific to this game. They don’t include the ongoing mistakes, such as insisting catchers hit 8th and center fielders always lead off, discouraging walks, etc.

  5. This team is 15 games over .500 and folks who have never played the game anywhere near this level somehow think they are better managers. For a franchise that for the most part was not very good pre Dusty, they would enjoy winning baseball.

        • @standage: Nope. It is like a movie critic. Can the critic act, direct, or produce a movie? I doubt it. But he has probably seen thousands of movies and has a least some insight if a movie is good or bad. Of course, his opinion is “”subjective” as is all of ours but nearly all posters here have watched hundreds if not thousands of games. So, their opinions are well informed if not always right and we are not always simpatico.

          You are an example of this and seem to think Dusty is a good strategist. Guess what? You may be right but I disagree with that opinion.

        • @standage: I think it is a very fair observation that this is not a fun team to watch. There isn’t anything that resembles a clear-cut championship caliber team.
          Dusty has yet to make an informed decision that could be ranked as “managerial acumen.” Moving a guy around in the batting order worked — ONCE.

          This team hasn’t shown it can win 5 in a row. Whoever above suggested that it couldn’t get a “streak” going is exactly perception. We win ONE game and suddenly think the team has turned it around.
          Then get hammered by a team that has the worst pitching in league history.

    • @dn4192: We’ve all seen this point made before. The counterpoint is the Reds of the last 4 years have much, much more talent – especially in pitching – than any Reds team since the mid 1990s, and this year’s team in the opinion of many should be easily more than 15 games over .500.

  6. I assume it was in the Cincinnati Enquirer also, but in the St. Lo. Post-Dispatch Dusty was quoted as saying he was tired of being asked about everybody and everything. I can’t quote the article word for for word but Dusty mentioned how they’re big boys , they’re in the big leagues now, go ask them all this stuff. The way I took it was that Dusty was distancing himself from the players lack of plate discipline and base running blunders. It was like Dusty was saying its not his job to teach these guys the fundamentals of the game because they’re major leaguers now, their supposed to know that stuff, don’t blame him. I think Dusty thinks his job begins and ends at making out the line-up and making pitching changes.I have said before that the players have to manage themselves on this team. It seems the players are left to their own devices to make any necessary adjustments to what ever aspect of their game needs improvement.

    • @Sergeant2: Ha. Funny. During the BP-Trent blowup, I criticized Dusty for not intervening because I see BP as, in effect, one of his employees.. But maybe if Dusty treats them like 25 independent contractors, it’s a more revealing perspective.

    • @Sergeant2: I’ve said that before. I have to question what the Bakerman has these guys working on, on what he tries to actually teach them and has them adjust.

    • @Sergeant2: @Sergeant2: The Steveschoenman and others: Do any of your all’s criticisms here apply to last year when the Reds won 97 games? I don’t recall anyone making those claims about Dusty’s attitude and managing style last year.

        • @redskaph: Not the exact criticisms presented directly by Sergeant2 et al. Last year, Dusty was pretty hands-off with the players and they won 97 games. Many might have said that Dusty’s hands-off approach was a detriment last year, but the fact is they won 97 games with Dusty. There are many different managerial styles that can work. And, at least last year, I so no evidence that key adjustments weren’t made by Reds players when needed.

  7. I’ve asked this before, and I’ll ask again: Has Baker ever admitted making a mistake as manager of the Cincinnati Reds? Does anyone recall ONE?

    • @Baseclogger: At the moment, I can’t think of one. So what’s your point? I can’t think of a time when you admitted a mistake and that doesn’t make me think any less of you!

  8. Dusty lives in his own weird world – sadly. should not have extended his contract, so i place bulk of the burden on the ownership. As much as I hate to say it, we won’t win the Series under this type of game management. We will surely win more games than lose, but if the goal is to win it all, then you need to manage games actively, and DB is a zombie in games. But WTFDIK…. he gets millions for doing what he does ( or doesn’t ). who says life is fair.

    Where is Heisy? Where is Chapman – at least getting him some action Why is Choo hitting against lefties when he has a pitcher’s batting average against them? Why is Lud playing regularly and in the 4th spot? Why is Itz on the professional baseball team at all (despite his hit today)? Why DB always intent on going 1-2 batters more with a starting pitcher than he needs to?

    Pete Rose would be a better manager for this team…

  9. Dusty lives in his own weird world – sadly. should not have extended his contract, so i place bulk of the burden on the ownership. As much as I hate to say it, we won’t win the Series under this type of game management. We will surely win more games than lose, but if the goal is to win it all, then you need to manage games actively, and DB is a zombie in games. But WTFDIK…. he gets millions for doing what he does ( or doesn’t ). who says life is fair.

    Where is Heisy? Where is Chapman – at least getting him some action Why is Choo hitting against lefties when he has a pitcher’s batting average against them? Why is Lud playing regularly and in the 4th spot? Why is Itz on the professional baseball team at all (despite his hit today)? Why DB always intent on going 1-2 batters more with a starting pitcher than he needs to?

    Pete Rose would be a better manager for this team…

  10. It was an especially bad matchup for Choo today, with De La Rosa’s splits being .207 lefty and .282 righty. And Heisey has been so hot.

    Even with the HR, bad day for Ludwick. A line drive hit right at him costs the Reds 2 runs. Three first pitch outs, including 2 GIDPs. It was too soon to promote him to cleanup.

  11. This series might get even uglier. The Rockies have two fairly good starting pitchers going for the next 2 games.

    Reynolds has a lot of experience with high altitude pitching, having spent almost his entire pro career prior to this year pitching home games for the Rockies and mostly for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. But then again, he pitched poorly until this year.

  12. Giants-DBacks. First inning for Giants: single, sacrifice, ground out advances runner, sac fly. 1-0 Giants, thanks to bunting in the first inning.

    Final score: 1-0 Giants. Making this, I believe, the one game this season where bunting in the first inning helped the Reds in the standings :-)

  13. Just when I think Dusty cannot possible become more inept as a field manager, he does something to lower the bar yet again. What was it about the Reds’ 10 run performance that made him think that changing the lineup was a good idea? What about Ludwick’s performance (and I in no way blame Ludwick for this) makes him think that he’s a viable clean up option?

    It’s just pathetic. This team is held back in so many ways by Dusty. Why can’t the ownership see that?

    • @Kyle Farmer: It really is amazing how this team is handicapped before it even takes the field. Any one of these moves is questionable, but to make ALL of them at the same time is amazing: Start Choo vs LHP; bat Choo lead off vs LHP; mess with chemistry that produced an early-inning offensive explosion last time out; don’t start Mesoraco vs LHP; do everything possible to make sure Heisey cools off; bat Ludwick cleanup; don’t bat Bruce cleanup because late in the game the other team might bring in a LHP; play a weaker defensive outfield threesome in a park with a huge outfield and a contact pitcher on the mound.

      Did I miss anything? Did Bob C miss everything?

  14. Here’s what happened with the lineup in the last St. Louis game. Dusty was getting irritated with the Cardinals because they were starting to show some swagger after winning the first two games of the series. So he decided to show them what could happen if he bunched his best hitters together in the lineup without out makers sandwiched in between. And…… boom, the starting lineup put 9 runs on the scoreboard. Then, just to let them know it could have been worse, he brought his best hitting RH outfielder in off the bench to hit a homerun in the 9th, making it a 10 spot.

    I don’t know why any of you are getting upset. Dusty proved his point and is now going back to his regular lineups.

  15. Most of this has been said before, but let me pile on. I watched the game late last night on TiVo and felt like it was a “how not to manage a lineup” lesson for prospective managers. Okay, students, pay attention:

    What happens when you’re crafty right hander who depends on breaking balls pitches in the thin Denver air?
    What happens when you leadoff a left handed batter who can’t hit lefties instead of your capable right handed backup?
    What happens when your cleanup batter swings at the first pitch (almost) every time with runners on no matter what or where that pitch is?
    What happens when you use the worst hitting bench player as your first option to pinch hit? (And see, there is an element of randomness in this game so every once in a while a strategically poor decision can still turn out well).
    What happens when a tired reliever grooves a pitch to an aging but still dangerous veteran, at altitude?

    Let me throw in a couple of positive comments, too – Hannigan had a great night, and I have to remind myself that Mesoraco can’t play every night but that the Reds still have a very capable alternative – Cozart continues to hit the ball hard and that may make a huge difference at the bottom of the lineup in a stretch run – there’s still a full month of baseball left and MUCH crazier things have happened (right, Atlanta? Boston?) and that’s just very recently. Go Reds!

  16. Actually, I would gladly take Pete Rose’s last year playing stats vs. LH pitching instead of Choos. Don’t forget that Rose was a 45 year old during his last season!

    Choo 2013 vs. LH pitching: .187/.321/.219/.540
    Rose 1986 vs. LH pitching: .273/.304/.364/.668.

    Which one looks better to you?

  17. I think Bronson’s pitches pretty much never curve at Coors. He had a 6.48 ERA at Coors before last night.

      • @Y-City Jim: Those #s are not surprising. Reds should have considered not throwing Arroyo in Denver. What’s worse, we can expect much the same for Reynolds, and maybe Leake.

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