2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Hey, if you hit .333, you’re in the big leagues, right?

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

FINAL
Chicago (NL) 0
Cincinnati 6

W: M. Leake (13-8)
L: J. Samardzija (8-12)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Mike Leake has a solid start today, though he was a little wild. It was good to see after recent struggles. The win gives him a new career high.

–Jack Hannahan got his first homer of the year today, a three-run shot that really put the game away.

–Mes also homered and was 3 for 4 on the day.

NEGATIVES
–None. Good game. Maybe wish Leake had gone a touch longer, but you know. That’s minor

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–Back at the beginning of the year, I spent a lot of time defending Mike Leake. It wasn’t that I thought he was better than Chapman, but that I thought he was a very solid pitcher. And he is. He’ll get close to 200 innings this year, though he won’t quite top it. He makes all of his starts and occasionally has a blow up. He’s a young Bronson, and you can do a lot worse than that. I’m glad the Reds have him.

–If I’d told you the Reds would go 7-3 on this home stand, you would have taken it in a heartbeat. You know you would have. Every loss hurts right now, given how little time there is left to make up ground in the division. Still, this was a very successful stretch overall.

–The Reds now head out on the last road trip of the year. Three in Milwaukee and three in Pittsburgh. Those games against the Pirates should be fun, huh?

59 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Hey, if you hit .333, you’re in the big leagues, right?

  1. I can never fault 7-3 homestands and I suppose that beating a good team and losing to a bad one still comes out — you won a game, lost a game.

    What needs to happen is better performance on the road.

  2. I agree with you Jason “He’s a young Bronson, and you can do a lot worse than that”

    I like Mike Leake. It is just that we have reached his ceiling and I see 5 guys that I want in my rotation who miss bats and have higher ceilings. Yes, we may not be able to afford all of these but when you are building a world series team:

    Cueto, Chapman, Latos, Bailey and Cingrani strikes a lot of fear because you cannot duck anyone.

    Leake is a nice 6th starter. If he wins 15-16 games this year, I trade high and bring back a bat

    • @reaganspad:
      “Cueto, Chapman, Latos, Bailey and Cingrani strikes a lot of fear because you cannot duck anyone.”

      That would be an awesome rotation. But I don’t think I would be so quick to dump Leake. We’ve seen Cueto miss most of this season and Cingrani is now battling back spasms. Bronson with his 200 innings pitched is sure to be gone next year. And there is the issue of an innings limit if Chapman does start. The Reds just might need Leake to pitch again next year and I don’t see a capable replacement on the horizon in the organization.

    • @reaganspad:
      You have to expect the hard throwers unusually miss significant time here and there.
      Arroyo’s are rare in that they are consistently going to get you 15 wins a season and not miss a start. It is not the worse thing to have a mix, I kind of like Baker’s logic of mixing in Arroyo around the hard throwers, not sure if it actually works.

  3. Samardzila? I know he can be a beast on some starts, but not today.
    Now if you told me that the Reds would be 6-1 entering the Cubs series and they finished the homestand 7-3, yes that is disappointing.

    • @WVRedlegs:
      I thought he battled a bit and should have been pulled when Mes got the 3rd hit.

      I was sure the Cubs would have brought in a lefty and Dusty would have countered with Soto ( I find the whole use of him a bit baffling)

  4. Mike Leake’s last start, against the Dodgers, was probably more impressive than today, all things considered. It’s hard to not like him, given the way he plays the game. He is a great fielder, hustles, and is well above average in hitting/bunting, too. He’s plenty capable for the back end of a five-man rotation. I’d still much prefer to have Aroldis Chapman as a starter, especially in the postseason.

    Road trip includes 3 in Houston after Milwaukee and before the key trip to Pittsburgh.

    I hadn’t realized how bad Mesoraco had been slumping the past month until Dusty Baker mentioned it yesterday as one of the reasons why Hanigan started over Devin with Cingrani pitching. Over the past 28 days he’s been downright Izturian: .204/.214/.222. Glad to see him bounce back.

      • @reaganspad: Somewhat related… Izutis is mentioned in an article over on fangraphs called “A Replacement-Level Andrelton Simmons.” Basically, how bad would Simmons’ hitting have to be to bring his superlative defensive contributions to a replacement level package.

        Based on “batting run value per plate appearnce,” our boy Ceasar has only been the 4th worst hitter in the majors this year! His recent explosion likely helped that.

        http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/a-replacement-level-andrelton-simmons/

        I had to give it a chuckle as I read and imagined taking Simmons and making him bat like Izturis, and the product would STILL be a starting MLB shortstop.

    • @Steve Mancuso: I still believe he’s a .270/.320/.430 sort of hitter if he gets 120-130 starts a year without more than 1 game off consecutively. Those slumps reeaaaaally extend themselves when you are playing 40-60% of the time! I like Meso and hope he’s around for awhile.

    • @Steve Mancuso:
      I am thoroughly impressed with Leake, was set to lobby him off the playoff roster. I think at this point Cingrani is out as a reliable starter?

      Agree Friday’s start was more impressive but the back to back September starts are key. He battled today, did not give in, gave them almost 6 solid innings and got some good use of rested bullpen.

      I actually thought it was well managed yesterday,just nobody executed

      • @vicferrari: Leake was impressive today and I think you’re right to question Cingrani’s reliability right now. However, the Cubs will not make the playoffs. Where Leake really worries me is against the Cardinals.

    • @Steve Mancuso: Leake’s start today was impressive, especially given what Mesoraco said about his stuff (only the cutter really working) and the fact that he posted a zero. But Friday’s game was definitely better. After a rough first inning including the Hanley Ramirez home run, Leake shut down a strong Dodgers lineup. He posted zeros through 7 2/3 innings, including four (4!) 1-2-3 innings and a fifth that would have been but for a bunt single. He kept the Reds in what I thought at the time was possibly the most important game of the season, and they found a way to win that game (thank you Joey Votto). If the Reds had lost that game against a very tough Dodgers team, with Greinke and Kershaw looming, they could have given back all the momentum they had built against the Cardinals. Instead it paved the way for an unlikely but very exciting sweep.

      The three Dodger games this weekend were my annual pilgrimage from Atlanta to GABP, and I’ll say that it was easily the most exciting three game set I’ve ever been to. An unlikely sweep of a very hot team, two walk off wins and a dramatic come from behind home run, beating two #1 starters, with perfect weather, one sell out crowd, and fireworks and the Big Red Machine thrown in. Fantastic stuff. And a big part of that was the big game from Mike Leake.

      Anyone on this blog who doesn’t think he would be a terrific fifth or sixth starter hasn’t been paying attention. And while I admit that Jocketty may consider trading him I would suggest that first he has to lock down Latos and Bailey and second he better get a LOT of bat in return.

      • @Chris DeBlois:
        Did anybody follow the Reds in the lost decade, 2000 to 2009. Fans are getting spoiled with the pitching, no one is put off by the Wood trade (who figures Reds do not win the division without Marshall last year?).

        The talk of trading Mike Leake is outrageous. People were screaming for Bailey to be traded until last season, pretty loudly around 2008/2009.

        Take a look at the 25 year olds that are out there right now and see how long the list is of those who do not have a history of arm trouble (even Bailey has had his share).
        Things are pretty good when you feel you have a good 6th starter.

  5. With the news that Marshall and/or Cueto might be pitching again soon, I started trying to come up with a list of players over the past couple seasons who were known to have an injury, cleared to play, and then had to stop playing for some period of time because of something related to that injury. I’ve come up with Broxton, Marshall, Cingrani (if yesterday counts), Cueto, Hanigan, and Votto off the top of my head. Maybe Phillips early last year? Rolen? (I can’t quite remember their injury sequences.) I bet there are several I’m forgetting.

  6. A lot of people on here seem to question the athletic training and medical staff of the Reds. I am not in a position to know the inner workings of the athletic training room in the clubhouse, but I am in sports medicine and would like to give some insight.

    First off…baseball is a different sport when it comes to injury. The vast majority of injuries are chronic or “nagging.” Additionally, many of the injuries to players mentioned above are never black and white and rarely are similar from one guy to the next. Also, baseball is a long season, especially when you count spring training and the postseason.

    Second… being “cleared to play” in the business of sports medicine rarely means “cured.” Return to play decisions are made by the ATC (athletic trainer) in consult with the MD and many factors go into those decisions. Playing injured is sometimes inevitable and as long as the player can perform their job in simulation and do no further (i.e. disastrous) harm, then they will be cleared to play. That does NOT mean their injury is miraculously healed, or there isn’t a chance they could “tweak” the same injury again. However, if one waited for 100% healthy, many guys would never see the field.

    Third….A lot of speculation about Joey’s MRI last year. Most times, the MD and ATC will be confident the athlete has a torn meniscus without an MRI. And many times an athlete can play through a torn meniscus and you really can’t do further damage to it as once it is torn, it will remain torn until fixed. I would imagine the medical staff knew Joey tore his meniscus, but wanted to see if he could play through it and avoid in-season surgery. The MRI was most likely only ordered so the surgeon knew what he was going into for the repair and to be sure there wasn’t anything else damaged. To say they waited to order the MRI like they had zero clue what was wrong is simply not accurate.

    Finally to sum up some things, sports medicine is not perfect. Guys want to play and with the vast majority of injuries, they will be allowed to. Sometimes that works, sometimes that doesn’t. Most MD and ATC’s have the philosophy of quick return to play and pain/injury management pre and post game is way more beneficial than taking a long span of time off…especially in a “non-contact” sport of baseball. Other times, it may be a players mechanics or build that is causing the injury/issue and the sports medicine staff will identify that and work with their coach (see Cueto). Lastly, MLB athletic trainers are relied on heavily due to the length and grind of the season. They do know what they are doing and are VERY good. I would ask the forum members who do not have medical training or trained in sports medicine only to remember their lack of knowledge in this area before criticizing something you know very little about.

    • @abox03: Interesting and informative, but the question Reds fans have been asking isn’t “why aren’t these guys perfect?” or “why do players sometimes get re-injured,” the questions are “why do they seem to keep making the same mistakes over and over?” and “is it really so common to make these mistakes over and over, or is there something particularly bad about the way the Reds staff approaches these things?” I think the reason some of us are so quick to be critical is that we see the organization having such a lax attitude about almost everything. There’s no sense of urgency about anything with this club. No trades, players don’t seem to be held accountable for silly mental mistakes, manager will stick to the same bad formula game after game after game, etc. So I think we’re saying there’s a trend here, and there’s no reason to assume it doesn’t extend to injury decisions. If a guy says “I’m fine, coach,” does the organization just say “okay by us — whatever you say!” or do they say “no, wait a minute, you’re obviously still in some pain, let’s get you an MRI before we do anything else.” Of course we don’t really know for sure, but there’s a lot of circumstantial evidence suggesting they’re unusually willing to allow players to do whatever they want. From the outside, it seems that if a guy says he can play, no matter how bad he might look or how recently he’s injured himself, he plays.

      • @Baseclogger: Honestly, you are suggesting that licensed medical staff are just saying “eh, whatever the athlete wants/says, I’m gonna do” which is a pretty harsh accusation to be making about medical professionals. Dusty Baker and his lack of accountability and mind boggling in-game managerial decisions do frustrate me…as well as his seemingly lack of urgency and motivation to the club.

        Also, you’re missing my point a bit when you say:

        ” If a guy says “I’m fine, coach,” does the organization just say “okay by us — whatever you say!” or do they say “no, wait a minute, you’re obviously still in some pain, let’s get you an MRI before we do anything else.”””

        These injuries are exactly dictated by the pain and progression a player can tolerate. You do NOT want to do surgery/ DL for 3 months, etc when the player can play through the pain and still perform at a level satisfactory to all involved. What you are suggesting here is that with any mention of pain or injury, they should be immediately pulled, held out with no activity until they are 100% and I am telling you that is not how medicine is done.

        Lastly, I want to suggest one thing. We are focused on those injuries that we see back and forth on (Cueto, Cingrani, etc) but I am willing to bet there are many more injuries (Choo’s ankle, etc) that are handled in the same manner, but with more favorable results, most of which you do not see/hear about.

        • @abox03: Thanks for your perspective. I have some good friends in the sports medicine/athletic training business and my experience with them is nothing but positive. I certainly don’t question the competence of the Reds personnel, as long as their opinions are solicited and followed.

          Regarding the handling of Joey Votto’s injury last year, your take on it is certainly possible. But it’s just as much based on speculation as anyone else’s. You say that most of the time they know about a torn meniscus. The key word there is most. You said they may have been seeing if Votto could play through it. Given his significantly degraded performance that was obvious to everyone, that seems unlikely to me.

          If the situation was really handled as reasonably as you describe it, why didn’t they simply say that? Votto, the trainers, Baker, Jocketty, they would all look better if that really was their thinking. But none of them described the situation that way. They could have said it either right when he was injured, or explained their course of action after the fact. They did neither.

          Votto injured his knee on a slide. According to *the training staff and Baker* Votto insisted that he felt fine. They let him play for two weeks. They let him play in the All Star Game. They allowed him to play and, as it turned out, worsened his injury. Maybe that prolonged his recovery — which was still taking place in the postseason.

          I’m not sure where the breakdown occurred. But based on what *the people involved have said* they didn’t think it was serious until he worsened it after the All Star Game.

          And even if you’re right – that the staff knows most of the time when there is a meniscus injury – there is no defense of not doing an MRI immediately to determine how seriously their $200 million MVP was injured. None. You find that out with 100% certainty and you find it out immediately so you have all the information possible to make your decisions. And that was clearly not what was done in Votto’s case.

        • @Steve Mancuso: Let me say I am not here to defend the Reds staff. Many times injury reports that are released publicly are vague on purpose for a lot of reasons. My take is speculation in the sense that I do not have any idea what actually happened, but my take is the by the book approach you will see in almost every situation.

          Playing devils advocate, the organization really owes no explanation regarding players’ injuries to the media and in many cases players prevent the club from disclosing things, which is their right under HIPPA. I would also caution you to say that his injury “worsened.” I think Joey mentioned in media reports the injury got worse, but a tear is a tear and a small tear is the same as a big tear, any MD will tell you that. What can get worse is the pain, over time.

          Right or wrong, many times the immediate response is not to rush out to get an MRI in any sport, baseball, NFL, etc., especially when the athlete insists he is fine and can play. Back to my original point, upon physical exam they probably picked up the “clicking” that would indicate a tear, but the player insists he feels fine and wants to continue, and in that case an MRI is not indicated for all of the reasons in my first post. Of course you can get one, which would have said he had a mesiscus tear, but the end result would be continuing to play until Joey informed them it felt maybe a bit worse than he let on at first. Basically, getting the MRI, and confirming a meniscus tear the day after sliding into the base, would most likely not result in him being immediately removed from playing and put into the operating room.

          An off the cuff analogy…. you have an impacted wisdom tooth. The dentist, upon exam can visually see and feel in your mouth you have it. It does not really bother you right now to the point where you want to have surgery because you are a hot dog eating champion and have a few big events over the next few months. No real point in getting the pre-surgery extraction x-ray yet, because you are good and you really can’t do anything more as it’s already impacted. However, after your next hot dog eating event, it really bothers you more than you thought (after Joey’s days off, etc) and you tell the doctor and then it is decided that surgery is the best option and the x-ray is then performed.

          I am not saying this happened, and maybe, in fact, the Reds staff fumbled this one, but there are more likely scenarios that I personally believe.

        • @abox03: I’m not so much accusing the medical people of deferring to the player as I’m accusing the coaching staff and perhaps the GM and other Reds muckety-mucks. In the first place, does the player actually get checked at all, or does he just say “I’m fine, coach,” and that’s the end of it? I suspect with this team, that’s usually the end of it. I’m not sure if other teams wouldn’t be more rigorous and say “no, we can see you’re not fine, go get yourself checked.” The other issue is what happens when the medical staff says he can play through an injury and see what happens, or err on the side of caution and try to let it heal a bit. Let’s say the medical people say there’s a 30% chance an injury will get significantly worse if the guy plays through it, but with sufficient rest the chances will be much closer to 0%. (I doubt they’re ever quite so specific, but humor me here.) The player says “I feel great! You gotta let me play! I’m a quick healer!” What does the team do? It isn’t the medical staff that makes this decision; it’s the rest of the organization. And THAT is where I suspect this organization tends to err on the side of letting the guys play because it’s what they *want* to do. I seriously doubt every major league team approaches these things in exactly the same way. Some presumably are more likely to defer to players’ preferences, some presumably are more likely to disregard players’ preferences. Since we know the players almost always prefer to play if the medical staff says it’s theoretically possible, an organization that tends to defer to players is going to have more of these recurring injuries. That just makes sense, doesn’t it?

        • @Baseclogger: You cannot hold players out of playing with injuries that are not on the serious scale. Medicine, sports and otherwise, is a partnership between the patient/athlete and the health care provider. You would be amazed at what professional and college and heck, even high school athletes are able to play through and tolerate. You simply cannot remove everyone from play for back spasms, etc, unless there is a high indication of probability to reinjure or injure further.

          If in fact the organization simply overruled the MD and training staff, then that is a major issue and I would be shocked to hear of an ATC or MD tolerating that. If the MD and ATC are actually making the decisions, like in the vast majority of cases, I am sure they can defend their reasoning for everything. Especially in todays litgious society and when dealing with millions of dollars. Heck, I create a paper trail miles long and I only work in college.

          Personally, with what little information I have, if I were the Reds staff, I would probably not have returned Cueto after the first stint on the DL until he had healed a bit more and changed his mechanics. I have very little doubt his back/lat strain is due to the twist in his delivery. As the temperature heats up, the more problems he was/did have. However, I don’t know why the returned him, I assume they had a valid reason.

        • @abox03: If you can’t hold them out, then teams in every sport have been blatantly lying on a regular basis. I’ve heard many managers and coaches say things like “so-and-so could probably play today if we absolutely needed him, and he wants to be in there because he’s a warrior, but we’re gonna hold him out another few days and make sure this thing is fully healed.” Are those all lies? I don’t think so. I think there are MANY cases where the medical people have said “he can theoretically play through this” and the player has said “I want to play through this” and the organization has said “we’re aware you CAN play through it, but you’re not going to.”

  7. Concerning Chapman, is there any rule of thumb with his use as I thought today would have been an excellent day to use him.

    1. After 9 straight days without use, he looked pretty awesome on 4 straight days (a little shaky on the 3rd), so I guess he needed the off time?

    2. It will be once in 6 days if he is not used Friday, I really thought it was a mistake using him last Thursday and not using him in the blowout in St Louis. Is this wise to use him so sporadically?

    3. If he starts (as many want him to) next season, what is the expectation? Shut him down at some point, is he useful for the playoffs?

    • @vicferrari: The fact is, every pitcher in the bullpen needs **some** work, not just Chapman. The bane of the bullpen is that the starter goes 7 strong — which is exactly what you want the starter to do. Either way, you can’t just send guys out there willy-nilly. Over-managing a bullpen is worse than under-managing it.

      Which is not to say that getting Chapman regular work is a bad thing. He’s a closer and his situations are clearly defined.

      • @Johnu1:
        But when he blew the save in SD to Denorfia, everyone blamed it on lack of work. To have your best pitcher once in nearly 2 weeks, makes me think something was wrong, they had to shut him down last year late in the season.

        Just wondering if he is a little different in how you handle him

        • @vicferrari: I personally blamed the HR to Denorfia on throwing 98-mph fastball straight down the middle to a guy who was looking to drive a 98 mph fastball straight back up the middle. Lack of thinking was more obvious there than lack of work.

          Relief pitchers need to realize that their chances of pitching are almost always outside their control. Chapman, as the closer, knows his situational role. If he’s not up to it, the team and Chapman ultimately will fail.

          That is probably the dull unpainted reality. If the Reds are going to win with Chapman in the bullpen, Chapman is the guy who has to adjust. The game is being played without deference to him.

  8. WHY IS IT … just when the Reds have a chance to move up, the Parrots and Birds suddenly find teams on the schedule that can’t beat them?

    • @Johnu1:
      Pirate fans were probably about to write off the Reds and then they go 6 of 7 to the Dodgers.

      This is fun, but it will get a whole more fun if they can scrape off 2 games in the next 2 weeks.

  9. A big tip o’ the Old Cossack’s cap to @abox03: for the insightful comments regarding the handling of athletic injures from a medical, team and player perspective.

    To piggy back on that discussion, BP is slashing .11/.158/.111 with 1 BB, 4 SO & 2 GIDP in 19 PA since receiving his deep thigh bruise while turning the DP against the Birds on 9/5. From the Old Cossack’s perspective, this situation falls into the crux of what armchair experts (i.e. fans) find so frustrating. BP wants to play every game. The medical and training evaluation of his injury does not justify any intervention since BP can play through the injury without risking further damage. The final decision comes down to the coaching staff regarding BP’s playing time during his recovery period.

    BP should not be playing right now. Not because he is hurt or because he risks further injury, but because he can not play at a productive level right now with his current injury. BP says he can play and the coaching staff allows him to play, to the detriment of the team. The same situation occured earlier this season, to the detriment of the team.

    • @Shchi Cossack: A little of that seemed to be happening early in the year with Ryan Hanigan too. The guy had a bad thumb, a bad wrist and a bad slash line.

      The problem is having enough quality talent. This is where the Reds consistently fail, IMO. their bench is fine for a single getaway day. But over 10 games, they’d rather use an injured regular than a fresh reserve.

      The alternative is to have a payroll just north of the national debt to get players who don’t mind sitting 4 days a week. It’s a tough problem, but I agree — Phillips doesn’t play well with injury despite the belief that he does.

      • @Johnu1: you have identified a huge issue with this team. No real backup solutions. Joey, Jay, and Brandon play every day without a break. Brandon is injured ,but he is also tired. How do you find good backup players. Without a Yankee size payroll? The farm system is really the only answer for the Reds and the farm really produced nothing to help this season. My offseason plan for the Reds would be to somehow find a starting 3rd baseman and make Todd the super utility player next year filling in at first ,second ,third ,short and left and even right field on occasion. Dusty had no options this year other than to over play his stars

        • @littleleo1: I disagree with the notion that the stars (well, at least Joey and Jay) are overplayed. Plenty of players play in 160-161 games a year. Joey is on pace for 161 and I think Jay will do 160 if he starts the rest.

          The thing most important in all of this is their off-the-field discipline after and before games. If they are going home, getting proper rest at night, eating healthy, etc., there is no reason to believe they can’t play every day. The proof is in the pudding. Look across the majors. There will be a lot of folks playing 160+ this year. I don’t think Cal Ripken was necessarily a superior athlete, he just knew how to take care of himself. If Joey and Jay do the same, there’s no reason they can’t play 162.

          Also, as we can currently see, a slumping Votto is coming out of it w/o the day off that may folks wanted (including me).

    • @Shchi Cossack:

      I agree. A second tip of the hat to abox03. Good stuff. Very insightful. Because of the federal HIPPA law, fans have no right to any medical information on any player. None. MLB does not have an Injury Report much like the NFL. We all know why the NFL has one. It is my belief that because of the HIPPA law, news about injuries “leak” out into the media and sometimes those “leaks” contradict themselves. With nothing but conflicting reports, fans then grab onto the notion that the medical staff is incompetent or in disarray. I have full confidence in Dr. Kremcheck and his staff. Dr. Kremcheck is very well renowned. Almost as much as Dr. James Andrews, but not quite that much.
      These are professional athletes we are talking about. They would take the field with an arm or leg practically falling off if they could. This is when a team does NOT need a “player’s manager” to be the leader. That team needs a genuine leader. Not a Dusty Baker.

    • @Shchi Cossack: Thank you for the hat tips.

      The issue with BP is contusions reduce strength and power and can cause the athlete to “favor” the affected leg. The inevitable problem with injuries like these are: is BP at 70% better than Cesear at 100%? The Reds haven’t clinched anything yet and I would tend to say over a long period of time (ie more games, short sample size) BP is better off playing until the Reds clinch and then give him some time off, IF he needs it to rest and promote healing.

      It’s always a tough decision on return to play. The lack of a Reds bench makes the decisions even tough, IMO.

  10. Just a thought or two on the rest of the season. We can evaluate, re-think, out-think and go pink in the face … the fact remains, the ONLY way this team will win is to bring its A game to the stadium every night.

    If it’s a must-win game, then you have to win it.

    All the matchups and managerial strings aside, Reds need to play better than they did against the Cubs.
    Often.
    Against everyone, including Houston.

    • @Johnu1: I think I’m kind of with you… I’m all over this board talking about focusing on a “good process over the result” during the season. But at this point, the process window is about to be closed and I just want them to win, by hook or by crook. Not worth it to me to get overly worked up over the display of “heart” inning by inning and I just want to see some Reds wins.

      I’ll be there to see Mat Latos tomorrow. Looking forward to it, first time I’ve seen him pitch in person.

  11. Just pondering the remaining schedules, I think that if the Reds go 12-3 over their next 15 games they will have a really good shot to win the division. That would get us to 95 wins.

    It seems pretty crazy, but win 3, loss, win 3, loss, win 3, loss, win 3. You don’t need a crazy winning streak to go 12 and 3, you just have to win 3 out of 4 a bunch of times in a row. Tall order I know, but it could happen.

    If it doesn’t, I think we’ll be in the Wildcard. Hopefully we can at least get home-field advantage.

    • @al:
      Cards go 9-8, doubt it, even if they go 10-7 Reds lose in the playoff according to your pattern.

      I think about 90 to 92 wins is about it, need a complete Cardinal collapse for any chance.

      They should focus on seyting-up the rotation for the wild-card game, catch Pittsburg on the final 2 series. If they end in a tie, does it come down to head-to-head where they play the game?

  12. Gotta defend Leake a little bit here. His numbers are strikingly similar to Latos’. Hear me out.

    Same number of starts, 9 fewer innings for Leake. He’s given up 2 more hits than Latos, 4 more ER, 1 less W, 1 more L.

    Yeah, 8 more gopher balls for Leake, but 5 fewer walks. Leake’s WHIP is .04 higher than Latos’. Latos’ ERA is only better by 0.33 or so.

    Latos strikes out a bunch more guys, sure, and Leake is more prone to the long ball, but you have to admit that Leake, on balance, gets pretty much the same results that Latos has gotten this year. I’m not sure what else Leake has to do in order for people to take him seriously. Guy gets the job done. Is he a shutdown guy? Not quite. But he’s been very, very good.

    • @John:

      I’m not sure what else Leake has to do in order for people to take him seriously.

      I hope that everyone (except maybe the opponents) takes Leake seriously. He’s a marvelous pitcher and an asset to any major league pitching staff. The only issue I have with Leake is economics. The Reds have 4 starting pitchers (Leake, Latos & Cueto) who will be FA in 2016 and a fourth starting pitcher (Bailey) who will be a FA in 2015. I don’t think the Reds can financially keep all 4 starting pitchers past their current team control. I’m not sure they can financially keep any of them past their current team control. At some point, the Reds will need to consider the return value of those starting pitchers, rather than just letting them walk and gaining a compensation draft choice the following season.

    • @John:
      Leake is an excellent 4th or 5th starter, do not see him being the next Maddux but he is pretty much the next Arroyo. Possibly he is your number 3 guy after injures and finance wear off this deep staff in the next few years.
      Latos pitches against other team’s aces and outpitches them often. Leake is not in his class, I am sure there are sabermetrics to back this up

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