2013 Reds / Havoc / Reds - General / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Home is where the wins are

Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….rntitanic-copy

FINAL
Los Angeles 3
Cincinnati 4

W: J.J. Hoover (4-5)
L: Brian Wilson (1-1)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES

– The Reds victory gives them a sparkling and hard-earned 5-1 record on the home stand against two quality teams. They are 19 games over .500 (81-62) for the first time all season and have won 11 of their last 15 games against teams with a winning record.

– The Reds started the day a total of 3.5 games behind the Cardinals and Pirates. After today, they’ll be 2.5 games (total) out of first. They’ll gain a game in the standings against one of those two teams.

Mat Latos pitched seven solid innings against the top lineup in the NL. He gave up nothing after the second inning.

– The Reds’ bullpen was outstanding again, adding three shutout innings. Zack Duke and Alfredo Simon shared the eighth, Sam LeCure put the Dodgers down in order in the ninth, including striking out Yasiel Puig and J.J. Hoover pitched the tenth, earning the win.

Joey Votto continued to break out of his slump with two hits, a walk and two intentional walks (another offensive category where he leads the National League). He’s reached base in all nine of his at bats this series.

Cesar Izturis, who was substituting for a dinged-up Brandon Phillips, had three hits, including a crucial, game-tying double down the left field line in the seventh inning. He’d had all of one hit the entire month of August.

Shin-Soo Choo had two hits and scored the tying run in the seventh. Jay Bruce had an RBI single in the first inning.

Ryan Ludwick drew a walk to start off the Reds’ tenth inning. His personal pinch runner, Billy Hamilton, came in and stole second, where he was driven in by SuperTodd Frazier’s ground ball single through the right side of the infield.

NEGATIVES

– None.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS

– In front of a sold-out Great American Ball Park, the Great 8, and a national television audience, the Reds won a thrilling extra-inning game against the media-darling Los Angeles Dodgers. The Reds lost heartbreaking one-run games to the Dodgers in LA in July and it’s great to return the favor. The Reds have won this series against the Dodgers and go for the sweep behind Homer Bailey tomorrow night, again on national television. Be proud of your Reds, Nation.

Zack Cozart did what he’s done all year in the field. He made an error and he made several outstanding plays, including a diving catch of a line drive up the middle in the tenth inning off of Andre Ethier.

– Has Billy Hamilton earned a postseason roster spot, even though he hasn’t had a single at bat? Conventional wisdom had been that the Reds would add Derrick Robinson (Dusty Baker has said so) when they trim their pitching staff from 12 to 11 for the postseason. Hamilton’s pinch-running role seems to rattle the opposing team and inspire Reds hitters.

– Another failed attempt to sacrifice an out with a bunt in the tenth leads instead to a run-scoring hit. Stop trying to give away outs, please.

– Go Blue, beat Notre Dame! (just had to)

TOP GAME THREAD COMMENTS

Kyle: Devin is struggling badly. 3 k’s today, 0 his last 12, 2 for his last 25, one extra base hit since August 3rd (71 ABs) when he had the 2HR game vs. STL.

Eric the Red: Remember the other day when Adams beat us, and he was only in the game because Craig got hurt? How would you like to feel that way, except it’s Izturis killing you instead of Adams? Yeah, I don’t feel bad for those Dodger fans, either.

ToddAlmighty: LeNasty

pinson343: According to plan ! Why on earth would Dusty have Frazier bunt in that situation ? Maybe Frazier was smart enough to miss his bunt on purpose in that situation.

Johnu1: We would have settled for 2 of 3 as we would have been ecstatic over a 3 of 4 against the Birds. Now we’re wanting a sweep and are upset we didn’t get one against St. Lou. Now that’s what I call a pennant race.

104 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Home is where the wins are

  1. I can save the rest of you some time and money – our family has already begun legal adoption proceedings with Billy Hamilton. Sure, he’s got family and he may be an adult, but at least he can come for Thanksgiving and possibly Christmas Eve.

    I might suggest Marry Parra instead. We hear his wife makes a lovely cranberry relish.

  2. Anybody know the roster rules for the Wildcard game? Is it a separate round of the playoffs, so we could drop a couple of starting pitchers and have Hamilton and others on the roster for that game at the very least? (Hopefully, it’s moot because we win the Division….)

    If there’s a playoff for the Division, is it played with September roster rules or some sort of playoff roster?

    Fantastic game today. Great job by Latos, great job by the bullpen, and of course….all Hail Cesar!

  3. So two questions:

    1. If Hamilton can be made eligible for post-season (and he should be) … who do we replace?

    2. We need a nickname for the kid. I see he wears No. 6, which was once worn by Ed Bailey, later by Drew Stubbs. There is no other connection. (No, I don’t advocate B-Ham.) I reckon “Fasty” might work.

  4. Since June 22, only the Red Sox and now the Reds have beaten the Dodgers two games in a row.

  5. Huge win. Without a doubt, the Pirates and Cardinals feel the Reds breathing down their necks.

    After all the eggs the Reds have laid on national TV this season, it sure would be nice to make a good showing tomorrow night.

    Hopefully Dusty pulling Homer early (for Homer’s tastes) from his last start will mean he’s fresh.

  6. Does this Reds team remind anybody of last yrs Tigers. They took until September last yr to put things into high gear.

  7. If I’m running the team, I’m perfectly happy leaving Hannahan off the roster. Izturis can back up at second, short, and third. Hamilton can play second in an emergency. I’m not using a roster spot for a guy who’s a bad hitter and is really only potentially backing up at one position.

    • @Baseclogger: Just wonder if this why Baker held Billy out, in the 9th. Maybe trying to win the game without using Billy to avoid any controversy with a playoff roster spot? Otherwise, I know of “plausible” reason he didn’t pinch-run for Heisey in the 9th, to begin with. He changes the whole dynamic of the game.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: So you would have us believe Dusty Baker is sitting in the dugout with the game on the line thinking, “I better not play Billy Hamilton right now, because if I do he will look good and there will be controversy over the playoff roster?” Believe in conspiracy theories much?

        • @kywhi: Here is my overriding theory on method of Dusty’s management: he wants to win on his terms only. If something works that bucks his philosophy, then it is to be ignored and disregarded. So yes, I do believe he would carry both Robinson and Hannahan over Hamilton. And will unless the picture is so clear and the ridicule so bad, that he will have to consider the fans, teams and management’s desires. Obviously, I could be wrong but that is how I view it.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Dusty said he didn’t pinch run Hamilton because he didn’t want him in the OF in the 9th: “I haven’t seen him out there yet.” (Apparently he didn’t want Paul in the OF either.)
        He added that Heisey is fast and then, believe it or not: “We were going to bunt anyway.”

        • @pinson343: The ironic thing is that if Hamilton pinch-run in 9th, Dusty would not have to see him in the OF either as the Reds would have won the game.

          Oh well, got the win and we go for the sweep tomorrow.

        • @pinson343: Heisey is a much better choice for a defensive LF in GABP. Hamilton would not be a good LF choice at this point in his career.

          As for putting him on the playoff roster to run, that’s feasible. I would like to see the guy get a few ABs first. Maybe in Houston.

        • @Johnu1: You really care if he can hit right now? I have seen enough, he is far more valuable to this club than Robinson, Hannahan, or XP for post-season. The only downside is he is of little or no value in one-sided games. Right now if he is no more than a designated runner, I’m happy. Gives Dusty the flexibility when to use him. Of course, I am referring to 21013 only. He should have every opportunity to make the big club next spring.

  8. Hamilton wouldn’t have to replace any position players. Typically, teams reduce their pitching staffs from 12 to 11 for the postseason. The Reds did this last season. So Hamilton would take the place of the position player who otherwise would have been added and based on Dusty Baker’s previous statement, that was going to be Derrick Robinson.

    • @Steve Mancuso: Is the Wildcard a separate round? If so, we can really cut down on the starting pitchers and keep Hamilton and others for that game at least. Unless we win the Division, of course.

  9. How fitting on a day the Reds honor Joe Morgan that the Reds win be set up with a stolen base.

  10. I find it interesting how those who don’t coach are anti bunt, but I am willing to bet every manager in the game would have called for a bunt in that situation, so are they all wrong?

    • I find it interesting how those who don’t coach are anti bunt, but I am willing to bet every manager in the game would have called for a bunt in that situation, so are they all wrong?

      It doesn’t make sense to put an obviously phenomenal base stealer into the game, then waste an out bunting him to second.

    • @dn4192: Yes. They are all wrong. See Steve Mancuso’s main page post from a few days ago. Bunting reduces your run expectancy in ALL situations. It is from actual data collected, it isn’t “sabermetric voodoo.”

  11. Ok… Giving Billy Hamilton a nickname I think is off target. Rather, we need to give the two headed hydra that is Ryan Ludwick and Billy Hamilton the moniker it deserves. “Rilly Hamwick”

  12. You have to like this comment from Bob Castellini concerning the Great 8: “They are the team of this franchise. (We are) the 29th of the 30th smallest market in baseball with the best team ever. That was a surge of pride that I will never forget.”

    When you remember that the Reds are the next-to-smallest market in all of baseball, it makes all this franchise has achieved — including the success since 2010 — even that much more special.

    • @kywhi: I always wonder what people mean by “market.” It doesn’t mean “city” otherwise they’d say “city.” I think I read something a few months ago saying Cincinnati is one of the top 7 or so TV markets by household, since Indy, Cincy, Columbus, and Northern Kentucky are all in there.

    • @kywhi: According to the 2010 metro area population totals there are three teams with smaller population totals than Cincinnati. They are Cleveland, Kansas City and Milwaukee.

  13. I just watched the bottom of the 10th on the archived game … WOW. I swear Hamilton was in everybody’s heads. The Bearded Idiot was already struggling and his catcher couldn’t even make the transfer from glove to hand. And Yasil Punk was so amped up he couldn’t find home plate even though he was charging straight at it.

    Love 2 of 3 … would LOVE LOVE LOVE a sweep with the Cubbies coming into town.

  14. Best game I have been to in 2013, unbelievable outcome. Man oh man can Billy Hamilton run, what a weapon he is. I really really really hope he can hit ML pitching consistently. I also want Choo back next year and Hamilton in the 2 hole. The Reds need to get GREEDY tomorrow and SWEEP to send a major statement. HUGE win today. This team needed a walk off and we got it.

    • @Josh: Lucky guy. This is a different team than left Colorado. Honestly thought they were through after the west coast trip but I was wrong, wrong, wrong. I expect them to win tomorrow. This team is on fire as is Homer Bailey. Not to mention the MVP too.

  15. Collins Comet is good, specific to Billy but also traditional in a baseball, nickname way.

    I also have a fondness for Breezy, as in Breezy Hamilton. Fun stuff.

  16. And speaking of baseball nicknames and mildly ironic historic connections, I hope we all remember the Cuban Missle Crisis was in October. If the spirit moves, discuss.

  17. NEWSFLASH: After the last two games, Votto has taken over as the *highest* OPS in the NL. No joke, he’s 1st.

    Can we stop having people freaking out about Votto and his contract now? He’s good. Very good.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Agreed. I always thought if he could have a smoking hot September and Goldschmidt and McCutchen had so-so Septembers he might sneak in there.

        Something like .318/.440/.515 with 26 HR and 77 RBI, while leading the league in walks and OPS, could get the job done. He’s not too far away.

        All depends on the RBI debate everyone has been having all year. Goldy’s numbers are similar to Votto’s but with more RBI/HR and less OBP.

        Also, I think Bonds/Pujols have been the only recent people to win MVP on a team not making the playoffs. I think McCutchen has it in the bag if he has a good Septemer.

  18. I don’t think that any September call up player has had anywhere near the impact that Billy Hamilton has had this year! The effect that he has on the opposing pitchers, his teammates and the crowd is palpable. Unfortunately we had to leave the ball park at the end of the 9th to be somewhere by 5:00. So we didn’t get to see Billy’s late game heroics in person! He’s such a weapon that I hope the Reds take him into the playoffs with them!

    Great atmosphere at GABP today. The ceremony for Joe Morgan was amazing. It was so great to see Pete Rose on the field. Hopefully his being allowed to participate in this great event will be a springboard to him being allowed in the Hall of Fame. Seeing the mutual respect and admiration all of the Great Eight has for each other was truly an amazing sight! Makes me wish I had been around to witness the Big Red Machine.

    Following up the pomp and circumstance with an exciting and hard fought victory for the Redlegs was the cherry on top! Latos settled down and threw a nice game, Izturis came up with a huge game and a clutch hit, and of course the Luddy/Hamilton show to cap it all off. What a weekend! Lets bring home the sweep tomorrow. Go Reds!

    • @Mike Martz: Generic.

      Should try to incorporate the fact that he makes people make bad throws/plays. Bad throw from Molina, fumbled exchange by Dodgers catcher, bad throw by Puig.

  19. Even though I’m not terribly optimistic about tomorrow, I’m looking forward to making the 100+ mile drive to attend the next couple games. From what I’ve been told, being in attendance will permit to be express disappointment if the crowds are as small as I’m afraid they might be. I’ll be the one yelling “PLEASE don’t bunt!” and “PLEASE take a pitch!”

  20. If Billy Bates somehow got a spot on a postseason roster, I see no reason Billy Hamilton can’t. And I’d love to see him race a cheetah.

  21. Just able to check in now – great game, great win. Regarding nickname for Hamilton , how about “Billy Blaze”

  22. dn4192: “I find it interesting how those who don’t coach are anti bunt, but I am willing to bet every manager in the game would have called for a bunt in that situation, so are they all wrong?”

    By “that situation” are you referring to Frazer up with Hamilton on 2nd and none out ? I’ll take your bet and give you heavy odds that NOT “every manager in the game would have called for a bunt in that situation”. Very few would have.

    I’m not “anti bunt”, but that was a terrible situation for a bunt. If Frazer sac bunts Hamilton to 3rd, then the Dodgers can intentionally walk Cozart and pitch to Mes (struggling badly) and a PHer. Then instead of Frazer and Cozart – who have both been hot – and a PHer (let’s say Paul) having a chance to drive home the winning run, it’s left up to just Mes and XPaul.

    There are other factors: Hamilton can score from 2nd on any single. Wilson was obviously struggling, ripe for Frazer (or Cozart) to drill him. If he’s given an out and just has to deal with Mes for the big runner on 3rd and 1 out situation, he’s got to feel a lot better.

    • @pinson343:
      Just curious what the splits are with runner on 2nd no out vs. runner on third 1 out?

      I would suspect success rate is much higher for the latter if you are specifically addressing one run, but the amazing run of failed bunt attempts putting the hitter down in the count & that they actually get a hit

    • @pinson343: Right – the idea there is to move Billy to 3rd with one out and let Cozart hit a fly ball (which he actually an do).

      But it’s a moo point (meaning even a cow would get it) now … onward to Sunday night!

  23. I liked the way Dusty handled the bullpen today. As far as that goes, he’s been on a roll recently.

  24. Today Ludwick held up on Wilson’s outside breaking pitches, similar pitches to the two he swung and missed on from Wilson yesterday.

    • @pinson343: I hadn’t thought of that, but you are correct. Ludwick would have walked with a little patience yesterday … just like he did today.

  25. Today’s game wasn’t even really close to national. Most of the country got Red Sox/Yankees, and a few areas received White Sox/Orioles. But that doesn’t make today’s win any less sweet.

    BTW, Sunday night’s game is truly national.

      • @Johnu1: It was chosen before the season started, as were the other two games.

        CIN/MIL next Saturday was also slated for FOX regional before the season started, but it has been removed so that the Reds aren’t maxed out of FOX regional games. That way, one of the Reds/Pirates games on 9/21 or 9/28 can be added to the FOX schedule. (FOX keeps the last two Saturdays open on the original schedule, to guarantee meaningful games.)

  26. The Hamilton County Comet! Tape a Cheetah to his back. I was forced to listen to the game today because we had to go to one of the corny “homecomings” here in western Illinois so the kids could ride those ridiculous 5- minute-setup rides. I pulled into the driveway just as Hoover was wrapping up the tenth. Luckily My TV warmed up and I got it over to FOX in time to see Ludz on his way to first. I was pretty furious listening to the way things went in the ninth but I forgot all about in when I saw Billy come out of the dugout. Good times!

  27. Billy Hamilton currently has a WPA (win probability added) of approximately 0.3. This is good enough for 5th place among position players for the Reds.

    Also, Fangraphs is showing his WAR at 0.1 (though baseball-reference is still showing it as 0.0). At current rates, a WAR of 0.1 would mean that he has been worth approximately half a million dollars so far.

  28. The Cards have polished off the Pirates 5 nil. A Pirates win tomorrow coupled with a Reds win would make the division past crazy.

    However in looking at the Cards schedule the rest of the way, a person has to like their chances because of the 6 head to head between the Reds and Pirates while the Cards will be done with both after tomorrow.

    Counting Sunday, the Reds have 13 games not with the Pirates. I think the Reds have to win 10 or more of them to win the division even if they can win 4 or 5 of the 6 versus the Pirates.

    I got to these number by figuring that the Cards are likely to win every remaining series. With no sweeps (counting Sunday versus the Pirates),that gets them to 13 more wins since one of the series is a 4 gamer. They also have a game in hand to the Reds; so, a split in the 4 gamer would basically make it almost as good as winning the series. However that 4 gamer is in Denver and thus is probably also the Reds best chance that the Cards would lose a series.

  29. I’ve said for awhile now it will be tough to pass STL due to how the schedule unfolds. I think 95 wins will get you the division title (93-94 may win it, but 95 is a safe bet).

    STL : needs 13 out of 20 (has 4 @ Colorado and still 3 vs Washington that could be series losses, and finish with Cubs who always play them tough)
    PIT: needs 14 out of 21 (has 3 @ Texas and 6 vs Reds)
    CIN: needs 14 out of 19

    I think the division is STL’s to lose.

    I think the final standings will look like this:

    STL: 94-68
    CIN: 92-70
    PIT: 91-71

      • @abox03: Or the game the week before in StL where the Reds gave up the early 4 nil lead.

        It is all part of the game; but, I think in Cincy the Reds get the called third strike on Holliday (for the third out) on the walk ahead of the grand slam by Craig. The various projection systems don’t even seem to agree whether it was a ball or strike. Which is not to say that play alone would have saved the game for the Reds. The Cards still had six outs coming to them if needed….

        • @Lost and Found: Every game that is lost will count, even those in May that we’ve gotten past. The walkoff HR to Denorfia in San Diego hurts too as does the 1-0 loss to LA in extras. FWIW, we could have swept the Angels!

          In all, gotta win 16 games a month to take a division. If you win 15 a month, you are in contention. Any less than that, you are in the shadows.

    • @abox03: I think the Reds will get more than 11 additional wins from where they are now (11 puts them to 92).

      I’ll concede the Sunday game versus the Dodgers but believe that with the Metz and Cubbicles both at GABP for 3, they’ll end up with 5 of those 6 (yes counting on a sweep is always dangerous). They’ll get 4 of the 6 combined with the ‘Stro’s and Brewers on the road and (at least) 4 versus the Pirates. That’s +13. By your accounting of the Cards, that would still leave the Reds a game short I believe (though the night is old or morning young and thus my comparative math perhaps frazzled)

      My caveat would be that if the Birds would need to get swept by the Cubbicles or lose the last two after the final Friday for the Reds to overtake them; and if the Reds have already secured home field for the WC, they might not make a maximum effort the last weekend versus the Bucs.

    • @abox03: And I am not really expecting the Nats to put up that much resistance at the late date they go into StL.

      The Rocks are a +500 team on the road and showed that versus the Reds when they already had nothing to play for. If the Cards are going to come to grief that will be the series.

  30. Great win yesterday. Playing with a little bit of house money tonight. While a sweep would be sweet, I will be very happy with 2 of 3 from a quality team playing good baseball the last 8-10 weeks.

  31. This is a link to a SI.com article about Hamilton. His WPA is 0.31 so far. The article has video clips of Hamilton’s stolen base and Frazier’s game winning single last night. One of the things I noticed on Hamilton scoring the game winning run was that his approach to the plate was wide. If the ball had beaten him to the plate, the catcher would have to swing his glove out pretty far to swipe him with a tag. Nice base running.

    http://mlb.si.com/2013/09/07/watch-billy-hamiltons-game-changing-speed-changes-another-game/#more-11065

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