2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Baseball is stupid

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 1
Milwaukee 5

W: K. Lohse (10-9)
L: M. Latos (14-6)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–None that I can think of.

NEGATIVES
–Mat Latos gave up five runs on seven hits and three walks in six and two thirds. In fairness to Latos, very few balls were hard-hit, but those bloops still count as hits. Oh yeah, and the ball that Ryan Ludwick lost in the lights counted as a double, but should have been an out. Sheesh.

–Pretty shoddy defense by Ludwick and Shin-Soo Choo tonight.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–After the first and only fun week of the season, the Reds have followed it up by laying an egg. First, they lose two of three to the Cubs, and now they look lifeless in yet another loss to the Brewers.

You can recap this one if you want. As for me, I don’t really want to think about the Reds right now. Good night, Nation.

A terrible showing tonight, Redlegs. Just awful. Milton looks happy, but he's disappointed.

A terrible showing tonight, Redlegs. Just awful. Milton looks happy, but he’s disappointed.

Source: FanGraphs

67 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Baseball is stupid

  1. Not to blame Latos for tonight because he had absolutely no help from his team mates tonight, but, one thing stands out from watching the post game highlights. On every ball that fell for a Brewer’s hit, even the one’s that were misplayed for bad luck, Latos left the ball up in the strike zone.

  2. Horrid play tonight, they looked lifeless and had no sense of urgency. 14 14 games left and we are 3.5 out of 1st. No division championship for us in 2013. Best case is we catch Pitt and host the one game playoff at GABP. Either that or we travel to Pitt for the wildcard game, but honestly I worried about the Nationals. 18-5 in the last 23 games, they beat the Reds in the season series, so they are only 4 games out. We are in trouble, big time.

  3. Fitting, Kool-Aid-Free, Recap. Worried in the game thread that if anybody had any negative feelings about the “game plan”, they’d be banished from the Nation. I’m done waiting up, late hours, to “determine” if this latest Reds’, embarrassing loss, doesn’t “matter”, because the two two team above them lost. Losers always will think (and act) like losers.

  4. Not so anybody noticed, but the Birdies won on a passed ball. A loss costs you 2 days in the standings.

  5. I suggest that the Reds come to the plate with a flyswatter because they aren’t swinging the bats they have. I am a staunch defender of this team but I am sick and tired of watching this team play with no drive or sense of urgency. They claim they have “unfinished” business this year. The boys are playing like they do not care or are saving playing until something is on the line. I have news for this team: The Nationals are catching you and unless it is your plan to put the Pirates out of the playoffs by winning the last three games of the season-you will be finished. I am now going to refill my medications and slip into a coma….

  6. I’m just angry with myself that I got sucked into actually thinking this team was a legit playoff team after taking care of stl and la back to back!!!!!! GRRRRR!!!!! Reality really bites!!!!

  7. I have been worried that the Reds would not win the division and lose a one game playoff. Now I am worried that the Reds will choke away any chance at the postseason by continuing to lose to bad teams.

    Where is the urgency? Will Dusty keep spouting that everyone is tired? This sucks.

    • @jessecuster44: Surprisingly, this team played as many games as any other team. We also had multiple injuries, as many teams have had. But IF this team is simply (yawn) tired, then, it should step aside, and allow for a more enthusiastic team to make a run for the Championship. Dusty already had his magical, injury-free year. He blew it. Do what you can, with what you have, or shut up. Now. I’m really tired of the excuses.

      • @wildwestLV: They won’t really have to step aside; they’ll be pushed. It seems to be a truism that injuries don’t count as excuses because all teams have them. I think that they count; the Reds have little hitting–no consistent mashers at all, and their only decent hitters are table-setters (love them cliches). To win, they must have superior pitching and defense (inseparable), and the injuries they’ve had (#1 starter, his replacement, both 8th inning guys) could have been more crippling than they have been. They look awful sometimes, but are still there, so I’m not quite ready to give up. What a mercurial bunch we are!

  8. To some end, I think finishing out of the playoffs is what we all deserve — maybe, as fans for falling for the numbers game that is shoved down our throats — top 5 in average, 3rd in this, top 5 in that, low ERA, high OBP … and all the other metrics that supposedly play out over 162. If you are 150 games into the season and can’t muster more any more offense than we saw tonight, it’s pretty easy what the problem is. Lohse should NOT throw 7 perfect innings in the middle of a game.

    But I’m sure I will keep reading how we’re 18 over .500 and one of the league’s leaders in runs scored. You know, over the whole season, that is …

  9. Jocketty has made three big mistakes IMHO:

    1. Not firing Baker and Jacoby after the playoff collapse last year

    2. Giving Broxton 21 M

    3. NOT drafting Michael Wacha instead of Travieso

    • @Josh: agree w/ wasting money in Broxton, amongst others… even BP and Votto make way too much money…

      We need to move Bronson, Broxton off season.. Choo will go play for big bucks in NY probably because we can’t afford him..

      my devil in me says miss the playoff and clean the house.. tired of watching Dusty baseball… not worth it.

  10. Third in the NL in runs scored yet offensive performances like tonight are all too common. What leads to such a discrepancy in scoring? Quality pitching? Flawed hitting mechanics? Fundamental errors leading to giving away outs? Lack of an identity on offense?

    I think there is little doubt that there will be a change at hitting coach next season. This team needs someone that can create an offensive vision for the entire team. Can they get the right person as long as Dusty Baker is the manager? Can a hitting coach with at 21st century vision of hitting coexist with Baker?

    • @Y-City Jim: Replying to your post, but could as well have replied to any number of others: I read the other day about a study of managers and what effect they actually have on their teams’ fortunes. Conclusion was that some managers may be able to coax a little more production out of a few players, but that other than that largely unquantifiable attribute, they have little effect. I agree with that. Dusty irritates some of you, many of you, but he’s not the reason the Reds don’t hit.

  11. Every team plays 162 games.. every year.. being tired et all is non-sense. shouldn’t even be talked about from manager’s point of view.

    essence is do you want to win? overcome adversity, focus, bring the will to win games no matter who we play and how it starts out and who gets injured.

    when manager talks, all year long, about excuses, players as human beings will do the same. When we go home either not making the playoff (if that happens, that would be mother of all comebacks for the Nationals in catching the Reds), or lose 163rd game and go home, what will they say? “oh we had a great year, despite injuries?” I am sure that’s what the manager will say and some players… they take their millions in paycheck and go home and enjoy the off season.

    I think if we do not make the playoff or go home after 1 WC game, not only does Baker get fired, but we need to move some players.

    As many have said, we’ve been through losing years for a long time.. so we can handle losing. But w/ this team, w/ talent, having paid some people so that they don’t get distracted w/ contract issues, play the way they play is a shame on the city of Cincinnati and poor reflection of the entire orgniazation.

    No leadership. No energy. Poor fundamental plays in the field, bad management – lineup, pinch hitting, bunting, etc.

    Nationals are just 4 games out on loss column and we are 4 games out against Cards.

    Anyone in Reds land think that we can catch 4 games against cards? i doubt it..

    But does anyone doubt Nationals’ ability to catch 4 games? Absolutely. Nationals are psyched… (still might be too late, but… )

    Last few games – absolutely pathetic on BP, Votto, Bruce… I know there are a lot of Votto fans, but he has absolutely under-performed this year. He’s becoming a strike out prone these few games like he’s frozen at the plate watching strikes go by. When he strikes out, he is like “oh my gosh, they used to throw balls to me, what’s up with strikes all of a sudden”.. glad he’s being paid 200M multi year contract for that. we’ve paid too much money on BP and Votto. They are good but they aren’t that good to lead this club into championship.

  12. This team is going nowhere in the post season. The best thing that could happen is they blow the wildcard to the Nationals and Dusty gets the boot. A guy can dream.

    • @desertred: When they just won 6 of 7 against two of the teams sure to be in the post season, it isn’t very logical to say they are going nowhere in the post season.

      However, getting the way they are currently playing might be a struggle.

      • @OhioJim: That last sentence was supposed to have been, Getting there (playoffs) might be a real struggle given how they are playing right now.

  13. Dusty says cheap hits did us in tonight..

    can you imagine manager uses that as a reason for loss?

    does ownership watch/listen to Dusty’s excuses night in and night out?

    do they say anything to Dusty about it? or do they say “yea.. that’s right… what he said..”

    what a waste

    • @desertred: I don’t think a pitcher who has been out all year with an injury that appears to have been a carry over from the prior season rates as untouchable. If somebody wants to take his contract, you at least listen seriously and ask for what you think is slightly more than fair return. If they agree, take the deal

      Votto has full no trade protection as I recall; and, even if a team is blowing it up to rebuild, I think he is still one of the building blocks.

      • @OhioJim:
        You do not rebuild a young team 10+ games over 500, I do not think a playoff collapse gets Dusty out of here.
        In the end the players are not getting it done, the middle of the order has not produced this week and the bench is awful. They have no speed, poor plate discipline and seem to hit a lot of solo HR.
        Latos had a substandard unlucky performance, Hoover did not get the job done, but the one game play-in cures all.
        The Nats will not catch the Reds.

      • @OhioJim: It would be good to know if this year is an example of what we’ll see for the rest of his contract, though: 14 errors and 65rbi don’t cut it, even with the lofty obp.

  14. wow, this is a depressing thread. i think TOS suffices. no need to bash the entire season with doom and gloom

    • @CincyGuy: It is a depressing thread and it must have been a depressing game to watch (I missed it). It isn’t just TOS, it was also TDS.
      In addition to Ludwick’s misplay in the first, Choo looked awful on the bases loaded single off Hoover. On video anyway it looks like Choo had a chance to catch the ball but pulled up short to set up a throw to cut down a second run from scoring.

      He ends up bobbling the ball, but that’s not the point. With two outs and two runs down late, it made no sense to play that short fly conservatively.

      • @pinson343: PS Maybe Choo judged correctly that he couldn’t catch that fly, but a good CFer charges it and traps it, maybe even gets an out call.

  15. Major positive from this game has been overlooked: Latos executed a BEAUTIFUL sacrifice bunt with one out and the tying run at third. Of course it actually reduced his team’s chances of winning the game, but it was a thing of beauty. One of the best executions of a counterproductive play we’ve witnessed all season.

      • @pinson343: I didn’t see it but I heard it on the radio. It sounded like a straight up SAC. As I recall Hannahan was the runner on 3rd. He’s no burner but there is not reason they couldn’t have hand him coming on contact if they wanted.

        The real salt in the wound was that Choo K’s on 3 or 4 pitches following.

      • @pinson343: Sacrifice all the way. And he didn’t even need a hit to bring in a run. A medium fly ball, a slow grounder, a grounder not hit directly to an infielder… any of those would have tied the game. Worst case scenario is a double play and Choo leads off the next inning. (And of course it’s also possible to bunt into a double play, so that possibility wasn’t remotely eliminated by having him sacrifice.) Clearly the intelligent play with one out is to let him swing (or try a suicide), which I guess explains why Dusty opted for the sacrifice. This game is just too complicated for him. He sees Choo’s .326 average against righties and apparently thinks “Choo will probably get a hit.” I honestly think he doesn’t fully comprehend what these numbers really mean.

        • @Baseclogger: I agree. With a runner on 3rd and 1 out, you can’t just give up an out that doesn’t even try to score the run. Once there are 2 outs, regardless of who’s up next, you probably don’t score.

  16. The long baseball season is a test of the entire organization. The Reds regulars may well be tired; and more so than the guys on he other teams simply because they have played more than the individuals on other teams. That’s a cost of not having a credible bench and no help coming up from AAA.
    Look at how many of the guys that have done damage to the Reds in the last several weeks are call ups. The experience of being in the majors overpowers their physical tiredness I suspect.

    • @OhioJim: Agree that the Reds have had a bad bench all season. My major disappointment at the trade deadline was that WJ didn’t upgrade it. It would have been so easy to upgrade this bench, it’s not credible for him to say there was no opportunity to improve the team.

      In any case, no team can use “tired” as an excuse. Everyone is tired.

      • @pinson343: Tired AND injured, as in Phillips. And, does anyone really buy that Votto isn’t dinged up in some way shape or form? He can’t play the defense like he used to and his plate coverage is shadow of what it has been in the past.

      • @pinson343: I’d add that it actually doesn’t take a whole lot of energy to not swing at every pitch. Even at this stage of the season, standing motionless for a few seconds really shouldn’t be too hard for anyone.

  17. I think the Reds’ best chance for advancing in the playoffs is to hope that the Pirates and Cardinals tie for the division and have to play each other to see who wins the division, and who gets relegated to playing the Reds in the wild card game. … I’m having trouble seeing the Reds throw away the second wild card spot, but games like tonight’s aren’t very reassuring …

      • @Johnu1: Actually, I think they WILL play a tiebreaker game if they end up tied for the division title. There is a list of tiebreaker procedures on mlb.com. Among them:

        Two-Club Tie for Division Championship and Wild Card:
        One tiebreak game will be played on Monday, Sept. 30 (tentatively) to determine the Division Champion. The loser of the game will be declared a Wild Card. Home field advantage will be determined by the rules above for a two-team tiebreaker.

  18. Not in the mood to say anything positive about the Reds, but here’s something negative about the Pirates, whom the Reds could still catch, if only they’d get their act together. The Pirates took a tough loss tonite, at home against the Cubs (sound familiar ?) on a HR by Rizzo off Grilli, who hasn’t pitched well since returning from the DL.

    Melancon is still closing of course, and although he hasn’t been giving up a lot of runs (did give up a couple to the Rangers), he’s been more hittable recently, not getting 1-2-3 innings. The Pirates had to go with Kyle Farnsworth to close a game against the Rangers.

    Pirate-Reds games are almost always close, if the Pirates pen has weakened, could be a big factor.

  19. Can we please stop using Hoover with inherited runners? That is Sam’s area of expertise. Let JJ get a clean inning or don’t use him. That is all.

  20. Bummer of a game. Kept wishing to see Dusty throw Robinson out in LF as the bloopers fell. Freakin’ Carlos Gomez. My nemesis. Lohse is a tough beat and Milwaukee plays the Reds well. Had a good time tailgating in the parking lot before the game, not so much in the stadium. Go get ‘em today Homer. I will not worry about losing the Wildcard.

  21. In a microcosm of a single game, the Old Cossack didn’t have as much angst about yesterday’s game as other members of the Nation. The Reds had a LOT of hard hit balls off their bats that found leather and Latos had a LOT of hard luck ‘hits’ that found grass. That is baseball.

    I thought Latos did a pretty good job of maintaining his composure in the face of adversity. That has been a concern prior to this season and this game was another example of the mound maturity he has developed. Latos wasn’t getting strike calls at the bottom of the strike zone so he tried to use the top of the strike zone to get his outs and that just didn’t work out for him yesterday.

    In the context of the entire season, yesterday’s game sucked pickles. The same lack of urgency by the players and manager. I just keep thinking about all those early games that simply weren’t as important as these games in August and September. Just a few of those early games and the Reds would be in a completely different position. The Reds are 4 games in the loss column behind the Birds, 3 games in the loss column behind the Bucos, 4 games in the loss column ahead of the Nats and the Reds continue to play ‘not to lose’ rather than playing to win games. Yesterday’s game shouldn’t have been a factor but instead it put the Reds in a position where they may have to fight for their post-season lives and I haven’t seen a lot of fight in this team.

      • @Matt WI: You would have a better view of this watching the game in person. It did seem in the last series that the Brewers were pretty aggressive about their defensive alignment. Not necessarily shifting (as in fully changing positions) but shading. Last series, they seemed to play lots of balls to be hit up the middle and it worked for them.

        We have no way to know if it’s the case with the Brewers, but I’ve read that some teams are using data to line up their defenses a lot more than others. It’s one explanation being floated for league hitting averages being down a bit.

  22. I will remain positive but the glass of water looks to be about 51% full. In hockey, I always keep an eye on the team which gets hottest down the stretch. RIght now, that would that would be the Nats. Reds better step it up.

  23. The Nationals have four series remaining after this one with the Phillies. Three of those series are against Atlanta (home), the Cardinals (road) and Arizona (road). So their schedule gets a lot tougher after this weekend.

    The Reds still have well over a 90 percent chance of making the Wild Card game or winning the division.

  24. If there’s a scandal in the coming years about betting on baseball, last night’s Seattle-Cardinals game will probably be on the list if questionable games. Watch from the bottom of the 8th in and tell me it’s more plausible the Mariners threw that game or lost it legitimately? Dropped pop ups, muffed easy DPs, silly unsuccessful stolen bases, failed bunts, a 2 out “rally” featuring a couple of walks and a walk-off passed ball. If they weren’t trying to lose it was astonishingly awful.

  25. With all the relentless negativity on the threads, I’m surprised Dusty hasn’t taken more heat for leaving Latos in after Segura reached in the 7th. The game situation absolutely dictated a pitching change, and Dusty clearly left Latos in purely to give him a shot at picking up the Win. 3-1 would have given us a fighting chance; instead Dusty left him in and we eventually coughed up 2 more runs. Yes, we had some bad luck, Choo should have tried to catch the ball, etc. but the bottom line is Latos should have come out with 2 down, a man on 1st, and a 3-1 game.

  26. I’ll admit it: Sometimes in my moments of weakness/disgust with this team, like last night, I think to myself – Just go ahead and choke this thing away to the Nats because that kind of a jolt may be the only way they ever get another manager.

  27. A lack of a solid offense is the story of this season for the Reds. After Ludwick went down on opening day, the front office did nothing, and here we are: a team with no leadership or spirit. And a manager who shows none of the above.

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