2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Reds beat the Cardinals?

Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
St. Louis 2
Cincinnati 7

W: M. Latos (14-5)
L: A. Wainwright (15-9)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–The Reds beat up on Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright for the second straight time. What’s up with that?

–Mat Latos pitched his first complete game of the season, allowing just two runs on four hits. He threw exactly 100 pitches and lowered his ERA on the season to 2.98.

–Shin-Soo Choo was 2-5 with his 19th homer, two runs scored, and two RBI.

–Jay Bruce reached base four times, with two walks, a double, a run scored, and an RBI. Joey Votto walked and hit his 21st homer, an opposite-field shot.

–Ryan Ludwick, Zack Cozart, and Todd Frazier all had two hits and drove in a run. Frazier and Ludwick each doubled, and Ludwick also made an excellent defensive play in left field.

–Several Reds sported the high-cuff sock look today. They aren’t stirrups, but they look almost as good. I approve (and I’m sure the clubhouse will rejoice that they have my approval).

NEGATIVES
–None.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–Yes, the Reds have had success against Wainwright, but is anyone confident about facing him in the one-game wild card playoff, if that ends up being the matchup?

–Mat Latos is good. If you will remember, before the season, I predicted he’d win the Cy Young. That’s not going to happen (Clayton Kershaw will win), but Latos has pitched awfully well.

–No, Dusty Baker shouldn’t have used him today, but here’s an interesting note: Aroldis Chapman has pitched precisely one inning in the last twelve days.

–The bats have started working over the last four weeks. If the offense can spark, this team could go on a run. Unfortunately, that has happened only rarely this season, and I wouldn’t bet the ranch on it happening now. (optimism) But imagine if it did! (/optimism)

–As I said yesterday, if Cincinnati could somehow win three of these four games against the Cards, it would go a long way toward curing many of the ills that this club has been suffering lately. I’m still not confident that they can do that, but today was a great start.

It’ll be up to Homer Bailey tomorrow to ensure at least a split of the series.

Source: FanGraphs

76 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Reds beat the Cardinals?

  1. The Reds can only beat the Colorado Cardinals, not the St. Louis ones… (check your score recap, Mr. Dotson).

    This looked like a team that cared today. I don’t know what the difference was, but there was some urgency. Hopefully it continues.

  2. Was this the Reds’ single best game of the year?

    Tremendous pitching performance. Lots of hitting from all through the lineup. Five walks. Immaculate defense. No base running mistakes.

    Even both the runs that Latos gave up were a bit of a fluke – from not getting out Wainwright.

    • @Steve Mancuso: From what I have seen it was. They looked sharp. the big key they got out in front. It was wierd seeing Latos pitch count. the Cardnials usually drive up the pitch count todat they didnt. If this is the team we can see the rest of the way i like their chances in October.

      • @CI3J: We were actually talking about that game today. It was a pretty warm one at GABP today, and we were remembering that night because we were in coats, gloves, sock hats, and blankets and the breeze was still chilly. Made us pause to think how long baseball season really is. I hope the Reds are still playing when it turns cold again in late October!

  3. *Bruce has two doubles. It says one double. Can’t be stiffing Bruce a double! Hah

    He looked really good up there today. Then again, who doesn’t when they’re 2-3, 2 2B, 2 BB? I still say that despite his lower HR total, this is definately Bruce’s best season of his career. No prolonged slumps, opposite field ability, and the return of his great defense. He might have had better final results in a previous season, but the way he’s gotten to his this season has been so much better.

  4. Anyone notice how fired up Latos was after the game, shaking hands with his teammates?

    Maybe Latos can step up and lead. I know he’s been immature at times, but today he looked like a guy his teammates can rally around.

  5. That line about Chapman is so discouraging. 1 inning in 12 games? What a waste. Dusty has his paradigm and refuses to shift away from it. Which probably means, in the next close game that Chappy appears he will walk a few and give up an RBI or three.

    Sigh.

    • @tpteach: I’m concerned about Chapman’s next outing. Hopefully he gets some work before having to save a close one.

      He did warm up today (hurray he’s still alive) and Marty and Brantley felt he would come in if a runner got on. I was fine with letting Latos finish it today, but there have been other recent opportunities to let Chapman pitch.

  6. One intresting though it will be intresting too see what the pitching matchups would be in that one game playoff. Hopefully the Reds wont play in it. I bet if its Reds vs Pirates Homer will pitch. If it is Reds vs Cardnials it will be Latos.

  7. Were it Wainwright pitching in a play-in game and he did what he’s done vs. our Reds, he’d last less then 2 innings. It was a joy to watch (even with Thom on the mic) and we did look like a team that cared. One at a time this week – we know everybody is tired and hurting. We can get through this series and the next and then even the one with the Cubbies. Our odds of game 163 are very high, but I’d still rather avoid that if possible (or at least play it at GABP.

    • (even with Thom on the mic)

      Can anyone recall Vin Scully talking about cleaing supplies over a two inning period during a game broadcast like the Reds TV crew did today? Jeesh, even Mrs. Cossack gagged and rolled her eyes in disbelief during the broadcast today.

  8. Does anyone know what happens if say two teams tie for best record in the division or what if all 3 tie with the same record?

    • @dn4192:

      I imagine they would use in-season records to determine the division winner. However, what if you have teams A, B, and C and A won the season series against B, who won the season series against C, who won the season series against A?

      Maybe they would go by total wins against the other two teams…. I don’t really know.

      • @CI3J: I don’t think so. The tradition in baseball is to have a playoff game, not a tie breaker rule, when it matters, and this would certainly matter. I have no idea how a 3 way tie would be handled though.

  9. Our offense needs to STAY HOT the rest of this home stand. The next 6 games will determine where the Reds will end up. NOW is the time to make a serious run. Bailey must be terrific tomorrow and at least ensure the Reds a series split.

  10. The Old Cossack really enjoyed the last AB for the Reds today:

    The Birds bring on their big aquisition, John Axford.
    Cozart singles to open the inning.
    After two outs, BP walks.
    After a pitching change to the Birds’ LOOGY, Votto walks.
    The the Cards pitch around Bruce with 2 outs and the bases loaded :!: and Bruce walks, driving in the final run.

    Ah, The Old Cossack will sleep good tonight, but Mrs. Cossack may have a long night tonight. 8)

  11. Some random thoughts of my own for today’s game:

    - I was pretty disappointed in the crowd size today. 32,000 for a holiday day game versus our arch rival is kind of sad. Today should have been a sell out. Not sure why it wasn’t.

    - While Ludwick did make a diving play, I must respectfully disagree with Chad that it was an excellent defensive play. He actually misplayed the ball by taking two full steps back and then having to bum rush in to get to it.

    - Early in the game there was a horrid blown non-call on a check swing. I was almost sure that Mat Latos would go into full melt down, and he did momentarily, but he regained his composure and got out of the inning.

    - Speaking of plays in left field…..the play by Robinson was truly spectacular. If Heisey is out for any extended period of time then having Derrick out there is a huge bonus in the late innings.

    - My family travels from the Columbus area for pretty much every Sunday/Holiday day game during the season. On the ride home, we are subjected to the worst radio show in the history of radio – Extra Innings with Doc Rodgers. This guy may know something about baseball (he apparently played and worked in the Reds’ front office) but he is putrid on the radio and really out of touch with the current team. We no longer even try to listen. I think Chad and Bill should do the show! Their podcast is a thousand times better than Doc at this best.

    - The absolute first priority for Walt Jocketty in the off season should be to lock up Mat Latos for as long as possible. Another season like this will price him totally out of reach of the Reds and tempt him to test the market. Latos is showing many signs of maturing and now is the time to make him the long term ace of this pitching staff.

    - It’s hard to believe with all the blown opportunities but this club remains right in the thick of the division race. I still believe those tickets for the last weekend versus Pittsburgh might be really meaningful!

      • @Bill Lack: It’s really not that much of an exaggeration to call it one of the worst programs in the history of radio. WLW should be ashamed to put it on the air.

        Plus, you and Chad do a fine job!

    • @Kyle Farmer: Yeah, Doc Rogers was once a Director of Scouting & an Assistant GM. But now he is a Real Estate Agent. Not saying there couldn’t be some extenuating circumstances, but…

    • @Kyle Farmer: Doc Rodgers is quite terrible. He can spend 15 minutes on a topic that nobody in the world could possibly find interesting other than perhaps himself. But he’s also been dealing with brain and lung cancer, so we might want to limit our complaints about him and stick with insulting Thom et al.

      • @Baseclogger: I’ve not listened to Doc much in the last several years. I would say before that I looked for ward to the weekends and hearing him. I thought he was very interesting and well spoken. He tells how things really worked on the inside of orgs he was involved with versus how a lot of folks want to believe orgs do or should work. I can see where some who wasn’t particularly into the nuts and bolts of player development and movement might find him off the deep end sometimes.

      • @Baseclogger: I have all the respect in the world for cancer survivors and if his cancer is back then I certainly hope he beats it again. However, with that said, he shouldn’t have a post-game radio show on the flagship station of the Reds.

  12. Too bad the Brew Crew couldn’t take care of business today. We have to take advantage of the opportunities the other teams give us.

  13. I think the potential for the offense to start clicking is increasing. Ludwick had a few bad games early on, but he’s been putting together good at-bats for a week now. His pitch recognition is way better, and let’s remember, he had a great playoff run last year—really gave professional at-bats vs. quality pitching. Between him and Mesoraco, the lineup suddenly looks a little deeper and more dangerous than just a few weeks ago.

    That said, pitching is our calling card. There’s so much baseball left to be played, we can’t be talking about the play-in game like it’s a fait accompli. I still we can win the division. 3/5ths of the Cardinal and Pirate rotations are rookies and has-beens. The likelihood of them plodding along is high. A week of great baseball by the Reds could be all it takes……and this would be a great week to do it.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: Don’t look now but Cozart’s numbers are also stronger over the last month. Hopefully the offense can keep it up and give the pitching staff some much-needed support.

  14. I was at the game also, kinda wonder if maybe heat and it being the last holiday of the summer families were out of town.

    Also figured most here were not happy when Brandon bunted in the first, but wondered what they thought of the Cards sac bunt…

    • @dn4192: BP bunt in the 1st inning was goofy against a team like the Cards, but the Cards sac bunting down by 3 with a pretty good hitter was crazy.

  15. Don’t look now, but Cozart’s batting over 300BA, almost of 350 OBP. And, Ludwick batting over 300 for the last 2 weeks, also. Just keep your heads in the game, guys. You are doing it.

  16. If the entire rotation takes their turn in the remaining games, the final series against the Pirates will be Arroyo, Reynolds/Cingrani, Leake.

    If after that game we play the wildcard game it means we would have Latos set to pitch it.

    Win that and we face whomever with Bailey, Arroyo, ??, ?? (not sure how Dusty would set this up).

    Do we like that?

    OF course, win and we get to use Latos twice!

    • @tpteach: Assuming those last 3 games are meaningless, it’s okay.

      But if the Reds go into the last 3 games down with the potential to take the division, they should take every step necessary to do so. Probably skip Reynolds (but not Cingrani), and maybe Leake. Gonna have to save Latos or Bailey for the WC game….

    • @tpteach: Having Reynolds available and pitching well really gives the Reds options when it comes to setting their rotation. There are so many variables that can happen that I have no idea how it will play out, but I sure hope Jocketty forces Baker to think outside the box a bit.

      For me, Latos pitches the first playoff game with only two exceptions. If the game is in Pittsburgh then I might have to consider giving the ball to Bailey based on the fact that he has pitched so well there in the past, or if the last game of the season at home against Pittsburgh is for the division then I pitch Latos in that game if he’s available in order to avoid the play-in game.

  17. ARI and WSH both lose today to drop them 7 and 7.5 games back….cool standings puts the Reds playoff chances at around 96%

    The reds have 24 games remaining and lets assume an average .500 record of 12-12 which pits them at 89-73 (Cool standings expected 90-72)

    That would mean ARI would have to go 20-6 just to tie the Reds.
    That would mean WSH would have to go 20-5 to tie.

    The Reds are all but “in.”

    If the Reds do not win the division, I think the best case scenario is facing PIT @ GABP in the WC game and then moving on to face ATL in the division series.

    • @abox03: The surprising part is just how often somebody gets really hot in the last 5 weeks and puts together one of those runs. In the last 5 years or so in the NL, the Rockies, the Cards for instance. And last year the Brewers strung together a similar run in the last month+ (20-11 for Sept and Oct) but started from so far back that it only got them to within shouting distance of a WC spot

    • If the Reds do not win the division, I think the best case scenario is facing PIT @ GABP in the WC game and then moving on to face ATL in the division series.

      Which would you perfer:
      A – Latos faces the Cards in the WC game and Reds play best of five/seven vs. the Pirates
      B – Bailey faces the Pirtaes in the WC game and Reds play best of five/seven vs. the Cards

    • @abox03: What some don’t understand, is that when a team is chased down by another, that the lead team doesn’t play .500 baseball. It’s usually something monumentally bad, like losing 15 out of 20, or something like that. The chase team would win 15 of 20. It’s a combination of 1 team playing great and the other playing horrible. Collapses don’t happen because one of the teams plays .500 ball.

  18. Truism: The Reds would have a better record right now if Cueto had been healthy all year.

    Agree? Disagree?

    Discuss.

    • @CI3J: The Reds record would probably be a little better – 2 or 3 more wins. If Cueto stays healthy, Cingrani stays at AAA until recently. Cingrani’s had a lot of value.

      I realize 2-3 wins is a lot, but we can’t be sure of that. Cueto was not necessarily going to be as good as last year.

    • @CI3J: I would tend to say even.

      Cueto (ERA 3.33) played in 9 games and was 4-2, but the team overall was 4-5.

      Cingrani (ERA 2.76) started 16 games an is 6-3, the team overall is 10-6.

      Reynolds is 1-2.

      If you combine Cueto, Cingrani, and Reynolds you get 11-7 record. In 2012, Cueto was 19-9. It can be argued there might have been a few more wins, especially when you consider reynolds starting when Cingrani went down, but Cueto would have to be his 100% 2012 form, which wasn’t going to happen this year. Cingrani has stepped in and performed well at 6-3 and the team winning 10 of 16 with him starting.

      IF Cueto was able to stay in all year, I think the reds would be about 2 games better at most. However, given Cingrani’s ERA of under 3 and his record, it could be argued the Reds could of had a better chance to win had Cingrani been starting when Cueto was showing signs in late June and lost games to ARI and TEX.

      I truly think it is a wash. This season.

        • @CI3J: Can’t agree. Losing Cueto has finally taken its toll on the rest of the pitching staff. The hitting, awful anyway, just looks worse now since the bullpen has come unraveled.

        • @CI3J: Losing Cueto and Ludwick have both been big for the Reds but I give the nod to the absence of the cleanup hitter for the overall anemic offense. Phillips has had a great year but he is not a natural cleanup hitter. The second spot is where he belongs. The front office did nothing to energize the offense in terms of a trade and waited for Ludwick to return. We’ll see how the last month goes.

    • @CI3J: If Johnny is 2011/2012 healthy, no brainer that we win more games and he is still the #1 starter for this club. Maybe with the exception of LA, Reds would have had the best top of the rotation in MLB. Let’s not forget how consistently effective JC has been before the injury.

  19. You guys do realize that if the Reds win 2 of their next 3 against the Cards, they will only be 1.5 games behind them?

    Then you realize the Cards and ‘Rats play each other, right?

    If things fall just right, the Reds could be playing for 1st in the division when L.A. comes to town.

    • @CI3J: Big issue is the end of the season. Reds and Pirates play each other 6 times in the last 9 games. That means STL is guaranteed to gain on one team, and guaranteed to keep pace with the other, with any win. And they close @ Brewers, vs Nats, vs Cubs. IMO this really benefits STL as unless either PIT or CIN win both series or sweep, a 3-3 split could mean 1-3 games STL picks up on both teams assuming they handle the bottom feeders.

      • @abox03: And again, just my opinion, I think that fact will allow STL to win the division, and I think the last 3 in CIN vs PIT will be a battle for the home WC game.

        • @abox03:

          Of course the flipside is, with every loss the Cards would be guaranteed to be losing a full game on either Cincinnati or the ‘Rats.

          Me personally? I think the ‘Rats are going to fade hard this month. They haven’t had the pressure of being in a playoff chase since I was in middle school, so I think their inexperience will cause them to stumble a bit. I can honestly say I expect them to finish 3rd in the division while putting up a losing record for the month of September. Dare I say, they may have to fend off a late charge from Washington or Arizona just to make it to the playoffs.

          St. Louis vs Cincy is again going to be the battle for the division, which is why this current series is of paramount importance.

        • @CI3J: I don’t know. I think the idea that a team needs “experience with winning” is overblown. It’s not always a step-wise function. Teams have gone from worst to first. Shoot, in 2010 the Reds hadn’t been in the playoffs since ’95 right? They got swept by the Cards in early August and then went gangbusters. There’s no major indicators, beyond strength of schedule, that says the Pirates should be anything other than they’ve been most of the season.

  20. I repeat from yesterday’s recap that the Reds have the best starting rotation in the NL other than the Dodgers, especially the top 3 – Latos, Homer, Cingrani.

    The lineup is now what is was supposed to be all season.

    For September anyway, the bench is much improved. In addition to Heisey and XPaul, now that they have Corky, Hanigan/Mes can PH. DRobinson adds some late defense, and maybe Hamilton can steal some bases.

    The bullpen is still a little iffy, I don’t understand how LeCure is used. Don’t even want to mention Chapman’s non-use. Marshall’s return would help. Also in the postseason a couple of the surplus starters could help in the pen.
    I don’t think Leake would be effective in relief, but I trust the others in that role.

  21. Now. Reds offense did good today, but as you can see from the last week to couple weeks, the offense is inconsistent. If somehow, the Reds can change that, then fine. But, the season tells us that the offense will be inconsistent. So…we traded a bunch of players for Latos and that has worked out. Next step is for Walt to either pick up a big bat or two in free agency next season, or he will have to make another big trade (similar to Latos) to land a big bat that is consistent!

    • @JEFFMO:

      The question is, and always has been, what bat could they get that would be an upgrade to what they have now?

      Sure, they’d probably like to upgrade 3B (although I haven’t given up on Frazier just yet…) and SS, but have you seen the FAs available?

      Shortstops
      Alfredo Amezaga
      Clint Barmes
      Willie Bloomquist
      Jamey Carroll *
      Alexi Casilla *
      Stephen Drew
      Yunel Escobar *
      Rafael Furcal
      Alex Gonzalez
      Cesar Izturis
      Derek Jeter *
      John McDonald
      Jhonny Peralta
      Brendan Ryan

      Third Basemen
      Wilson Betemit *
      Eric Chavez
      Mark DeRosa
      Mike Fontenot
      Jerry Hairston Jr.
      Brandon Inge
      Placido Polanco
      Mark Reynolds
      Juan Uribe
      Kevin Youkilis
      Michael Young

      I would call both those lists pretty underwhelming. A trade is a possibility, but that depends a lot on what happens with Choo.

  22. Go Reds, go. We’ve been at this point so many time… “if they just catch fire, they can get over the top…” Last month to go, it’d be a great time to peak. I’ll be at one more game in Milwaukee to help bring it home. Meanwhile… keep cooking up some birds.

  23. Interesting tidbit from Jayson Stark this morning on ESPN radio—the Reds have the best record in our division since the All-Star break.

    Who knew?!?

  24. Reading these comments, comparing them to the last time the Reds won a game, and the last time before that … the predictability is that winning a game gets everyone sooooo excited. This team needs to prove it can start winning 2 out of 3.
    If they plan to catch the Parrots, they have to first catch the Cardinals.

  25. I think it would also be prudent to not get all oozy about Billy Hamilton. He is a fast runner. Dusty already said he’s not going to play much. We know that in advance.

  26. This lineup is MUCH better with Ludwick back in the middle of the order, and seemingly having found his swing. Also helps that Cozart is on a tear, hitting .391 over the last 13 games.

    It would be a great time for the team to get hot. Would love to see the Reds get on a roll like the Cuds did in 2006, who won the WS after winning only 83 games during the regular season (a season that bugs me to this very day).

    Go Reds.

    • @earmbrister: I am more disjointed over the 2011 debacle, having listened to their arrogant fans ever since. All we needed was for Atlanta to win one more game sometime in May that year.

      Last year tended to suck too when I saw the Nats within one ground ball away from dispatching the Birds.

      This never seems to end well.

  27. The notion that the Reds can upgrade this winter with the “big bat” is amusing. Dusty will always be one bat short. His offensive philosophy is one bat short. The offense, period, is one bat short. Exactly where do we get this bat? Ludwick is signed. Hamilton is going to CF. Find me a 3B who is an upgrade on Frazier for equivalent money.

    One bat short.

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