2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Oh yeah, the Astros. Remember them?

Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 6
Houston 1

W: J. Cueto (5-2)
L: E. Bedard (4-11)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Johnny Cueto got that elusive fifth win tonight. Of course, he hadn’t pitched since June, but he looked pretty good in five shutout innings.

–Zack Cozart drove in four runs with a two-run homer and a two-run single. Jay Bruce reached base three times, going 2-4 with a walk, two runs scored, and two RBI. Joey Votto also reached three times, with two hits and a walk.

–Logan Ondrusek pitched a perfect inning.

NEGATIVES
–Same old nonsense: brain-dead baserunning. Bruce was nearly out at home when he didn’t slide, and Cozart and Ryan Ludwick combined on another classic Reds TOOTBLAN.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–Good win against a bad team. I haven’t changed my mind about anything I said yesterday. But the Reds are my favorite baseball club, and I like when they win games against other major league baseball franchises.

–Pirates lost, so the Reds picked up a game on those guys. Still waiting on a Cardinals final score. Not that it matters. The Redlegs aren’t going to win the National League Central division.

–Remember the Astros? It’s strange to be playing these guys while using a designated hitter.

–I’m glad the Reds didn’t trade Votto for tonight’s Houston starter, Erik Bedard, as some people advocated a few years ago.

Source: FanGraphs

73 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Oh yeah, the Astros. Remember them?

    • @Sergeant2:

      The Rockies elected to pitch to Matt Carpenter with 2 outs and the tying run on second. Of course he was going to get the hit. The question is why was he allowed to?

  1. I haven’t given up on the division championship. The Cardinals are sputtering to the finish line with injuries and a shaky rotation. It looks like they’ll lose tonight and they have three more games against the Rockies. Then three on the road against Milwaukee then three against the Washington Nationals.

    • @Steve Mancuso: me too.. but IF we do win the pennant, then it will likely be due to Cards and Pirates’ sudden collapse / struggle than Reds doing the job… but of course Reds nation will take it..

      • @tae: Most definitely we will take it. As a matter of fact, even though I bemoaned my “giving up” on this team essentially this season but still will watch and cheer them on, I hope they prove me wrong. I pray to the Lord that they will get at least to the NLCS if not the WS and bring back home the big gold. With how this team has looked this season, I just don’t see much past the WC game.

    • @Steve Mancuso:

      I agree, we can still win the division. If we can take care of our own business, I think these next 9 games (at Rox, at Brewers, Nationals) will gives the Cards trouble.

      And we have ample opportunity to catch Pirates head-to-head.

    • @Steve Mancuso: Steve, we have had our differences this season, but for once I wholeheartedly agree with you. The Reds could go 4-1 this week, while the Cards go 2-4 (as they struggle in both Denver and Milwaukee) and the Pirates go 3-3 (2-1 SD, 1-2 Reds). What would that do – put all 3 teams within a game of each other going into the final week of the season. And with the Reds remaining games at home the final week of the season, they could finally demonstrate their excellence by almost running the table by defeating the Mets in Cincy while the Nats, still dreaming of the playoffs, rattle the Birds cage.

      Then for the Red’s coup-de-resistance, they finish off the Pirates (after the Cubs toy with the Pirates next Monday through Wednesday at Wrigley Field) the final series of the season.

      GO REDS!!

      Baseball is all about dreaming – and then having the gumption to follow through. This season ain’t over yet!

  2. where would we be if we didn’t drop 4 of 6 against cubs and brews…

    maybe 1/2 game out? instead of 2 1/2..

    anyway, doesn’t do any good to think this way, i know.. but..

    2 1/2 out 3 games out on loss w/ dozen games or so…hmmm… well, pirates and cards need to go on a Reds like struggle next week or so… then we have a chance

  3. Reds gotta sweep Astros – nothing less will do – Cards still have 3 more with Rocks and Reds control their destiny with the Pirates head to head 6 more times- Yes , things got to fall just right but still possible- keep the faith!!!

  4. Early this month when I saw the Cardinals had 4 games coming up at Coors, I was happy to see it. The Rockies are always tough at home (41-31 this year going into tonite) and they have a good lineup.

    Tonite the Rockies went with an emergency starter (McHugh, a 10.80 ERA in 5+ major league innings) to replace De La Rosa, so the Cardinals were supposed to win this one. This could be a very tough series for them.

  5. Still, a lot of ducks have to fall in place and Sunday’s game seems to take on real importance.

    Actually, there was a game back in June that was just as important, but that one, I don’t recall right now.

    What I liked about the Rockies in the 8th was they attacked the ball and drove it … wish I’d see our Reds hitters do that instead of pop it up on the infield.

    • @Johnu1: The Rockies have some very good hitters with good approaches – Tulo, Cuddyer, Rosario. Helton is a smart hitter. Right now I wish Cargo were healthy.

    • @Johnu1: John, that is what Rockies hitters do – as their offense is -Rock- solid (always has been). They simply lack quality pitching. The Rockies have even attempted to resurrect Roy Oswalt’s floundering career – as the Rockies are always desperate for quality pitching.

      Plus this is Todd Helton’s final homestand in Denver- and he has no plans to go out a loser.

      GO ROCKIES!!

      And I just might get into a fight with a Cards fan tomorrow night as I will definitely have my CINCINNATI REDS colors on (tic).
      :D

      • @cincyreds14: Helton has a real “feel for the moment,” it seems. I was at the game he hit two 3-run homers and came up to bat with 2 men on base for a 3rd time. No one was seated. It was a pretty cool thing. He didn’t get the 3rd HR, but hitting the 2nd was something you don’t see every day. He was chasing 2500 hits at the time, too.

        Hopefully, his last homestand will amp him up to do damage!

  6. I like the Reds playing with a DH, because Ryan Ludwick gets to do it, and doesn’t play LF. Heisey made a nice play out there, shoestring catch of a line drive.

  7. Houston announcer said Votto has 131 K’s this year, as opposed to 86 last year (adjusted for missing 45 games).

    Watching the games all summer, what I think has happened is that hitters like Votto aren’t getting beat — the strike zone is impossible. Those pitches up around the letters are impossible to hit … and the umps are calling a strike zone to the Fx computer, not to common sense.

    Of course, the three that Phillips fanned on were just crappy pitches.

  8. Cueto looked as good as could be expected. His stuff was not as filthy as usual, but he was easily in command until the 5th. His control was good until the 5th.

    His maximum simulated game pitch count was 60, I think. He’d thrown 59 pitches after 4 innings, and had to throw 23 as he labored thru the 5th. After he’d faced 5 batters in the 5th, the only two outs were on balls that were scorched but were outs on very nice plays by Heisey and especially Frazer. In fairness, there were two cheap IF hits.

    So he faces Altuve with the bases loaded, which might not sound so scary but Altuve is batting .500 this month. Cueto style, he bears down and strikes him out with a nice slider.

    In summary, I have mixed feelings about his pitching the 5th inning. The main thing is that I hope that 23 pitch inning does not have an adverse effect on his lat.

    • @pinson343: Sooner or later, he’s gotta throw 100 pitches. I thought he was marginally effective, a little up in the zone. Good hitters would probably have lit him up a couple of times. I guess he’s staying with the Twist (come on baby ….)

    • @pinson343: Agree with you, pretty much, though I thought the changeup looked great early and he did hit 95mph (I think). He is going to have to stretch it out a little to be useful in the post-season, and he does seem to have modified the twist a little, so who knows?

  9. Nats have 2 at home tomorrow … today’s game was postponed. It will be interesting to see how Davey adjusts his rotation with a lot of callups on the roster.

  10. Some of us lived through and remember 1964 and know anything can happen in the last two weeks.

    In 1964 it was a three team race, Reds Phillie and Cards and the “third place” team (Cards) ended up getting by the other two on the last weekend to win the pennant.

    Actually if you drop in the Pirates in place of the Phillies, the last two weeks set up a fair amount like 1964 as far as the schedule.

    Just in a quick nutshell, the Phils blew a 5 or 6 game lead in the last two weeks starting with being swept by the Reds in Phillie.

    The Reds meanwhile ran off a 9 game winning streak which started the day before the Phillies series. Then just when it appeared the Reds had taken control and were on their way to the pennant, they dropped 4 of their last 5 (all at home) to the Pirates and Phils.

    The Cards meanwhile got into the race by running off an 8 game win streak which started roughly about the middle of the Reds 9 game streak, and included a 4 game sweep of the Phils (the part of the story that doesn’t dovetail with the 2013 schedule)

    On the last weekend, the Reds lost to the Phils at Crosley Field on Friday nite (I was there in the crowd. That was the triple play game which has been discussed on RL Nation several times) while the Cards also lost. In a quirk of scheduling, the Reds and the Phils were off on Saturday while the Cards lost again which left the Reds and Cards tied for 1st and the Phils a game back.

    On Sunday the Cards won and the Phillies beat the Reds. That made the Cards the pennant winners and left the Reds and Phils tied for second.

    • @OhioJim: As I recall, the Reds lost a 1-0 game in about 13 innings to the Pirates somewhere along there that was a coffin nail. I might look up the box scores to see if I can find that one.

    • @OhioJim: I’ve talked about 1964 and that Friday nite game a number of times here. Had no idea you were there. Have you read David Halberstam’s book 1964 ? It’s mainly about the 1964 WS but covers the great 1964 NL pennant race.

      Just out of memory: The Phils led by 6 1/2 over the Reds with 2 weeks to go. Their collapse began with getting swept by the Reds in 3. The first loss (I think) came when Chico Ruiz stole home with Frank Robinson up. Gene Mauch, Phillies manager, sounded off about that: “Chico (obscenity)ing Ruiz” and generally went nuts, pitching his best starters from there on two days rest, not pitching young Art Mahaffey.

      Going into the Friday nite game, the Phils had lost 10 in a row. The Reds took an early lead. Alex Johnson robbed a HR (I read, couldn’t watch it) and turned it into a triple play. The Reds still had a comfortable lead late. Then Leo Cardenas got ticked off about an ump’s call when he batted. He was still stewing about it at SS, and let a pop up drop. That pissed off Jimmy O’Toole, who melted down. After the game Cardenas and O’Toole had to be restrained from going after each other in the locker room.

      The Reds players wanted badly to win it for Fred Hutchinson. So did Casey Stengel, Hutch’s old friend. Stengel’s hapless Mets beat the Cardinals on Friday and Saturday, leaving the Reds and Cards tied, Phils one game back, going into the last day. Cardinals win, Phils beat the Reds 10-0 behind Jim Bunning and Richie Allen.

      Any corrections are welcome.

      • @pinson343: Pinson, all I can say is thanks!!

        Its all about the long standing Reds fans that really understand, from their past personal experiences with the Reds, that its all about keeping the faith and believing team that just about anything can, and often does, happen in a pennant race. So many have posted about the Reds possibly losing out on a playoff birth, how about if the tide turns and the Reds end up going the other way and win the Central?

        What then??

        And Todd Helton has always been a total class act during his entire career here in Denver. He will certainly be missed as fans truly appreciate classy players. Men cut from his mold are always needed to keep the game going since there are so many other players with clay feet who struggle to embrace greatness(Peter Edward Rose). Always has and always will.

      • @pinson343: I was in the LF field boxes about half way between the field and the start of the grandstand seats pretty much in front of the Reds pen. So, the triple play ball was right in front of me.

        I don’t recall the batted ball as anything that was going to be a HR. It was a very hard straight liner (little to no hump)to AJ’s left (CF side) that looked destined to hit off the scoreboard. AJ ran into the short gap and lunged up and toward CF at the ball. The ball must have been cutting back into him because my recollection was that it was a reverse snow cone catch with the ball hitting almost on the heel of his glove nearly falling out of the bottom of the glove (of course AJ was the Kevin Mitchell of his day and not known for his defense). IK looked back towards the infield and the Reds runners (I checked in BR and it was Vada and Robbie) apparently had been off with pitch because Vada was standing in the area of 3rd and Robbie some where around 2nd. The play by play transcript says they recorded force outs on both at the respective bases (2nd and 1st). My memory wants to say that in actuality Robbie had passed 2nd and never recrossed it after the catch.

        AJ caught the ball running along and slightly up on the famous Crosley field terrace. I’ve wondered over the years if the only way he was able to reach the ball was thanks to the elevation of the terrace. think how much that most likely would have changed not just that game but baseball history if that ball had not been caught.

    • @OhioJim: :Thanks for the memories! Didn’t remember all of the details, just that (except that the Reds didn’t prevail) it epitomized the greatness of baseball. Phillies and their fans were crushed–a good team overcoming years of futility and coming up short.

      • @greenmtred: The Phils, in 1961, were 47-107. They had come a very long way in a very short time during the early years after expansion. They weren’t very good anyway. They had actually done the evil thing and had let Richie Ashburn go to the Mets in ’62, and he became part of the worst team ever — partly because he and Gus Bell, a few others, were insulted that they were cut loose that way at the end of their careers.

        Actually, the ’62 Reds were almost a winner. I recall the Sport mag headline (The Reds is Dead!) after Freese broke his ankle in ST.

        The Giants-Dodgers were just too tough combined for Cincy to catch up. Also note: Freese was playing 3B for the Parrots on that fateful 16-inning tragedy in 1964.

        That was the very early beginnings of the BRM if you look at some of the players in that game. No, Chico Ruiz doesn’t count.

  11. Reds will win the division.

    There, I said it. Reds sweep, Cards get swept, Reds are tied for first.

    It’s really that simple.

  12. Dodgers have lost 9 of 12. Puig looking lost at the plate. Kemp PH and K’d for the last out.

    Rangers in a free fall even worse than last year. Ron Washington not a good manager.

  13. If the Reds take the first 2 games against the Pirates this week-end – would they possibly consider moving Cueto up a day to pitch the finale in Pittsburgh? It would be awfully tempting with a chance to go into the final week of the season with only a game separating the Reds, Pirates and Cards and the final week’s games all at home in Cincinnati. And it could definitely happen – as stranger things have gone down in the waning days of a pennant race – especially during the last 2 weeks of a baseball season with a team’s playoff spot (or seeding for that matter) on the line.

  14. Wow, 82 pitches for Cueto. That was an aggressive performance. Personally, I thought Villar should have been the last batter Cueto faced, just to err on the side of caution, but Cueto made a statement against Altuve to finish the 5th.

    The Reds now have their rotation set and Cueto is a mjor factor in that rotation, if he comes back healthy following yesterday’s performance. Latos, Bailey and Cueto will face the Bucos in the 1st series with Latos set to pitch the WC game or (dare we still hold out hope) start the NLDS playoff game if the Reds win the NLCD, followed by Bailey and Cueto in the playoffs.

    The 1st 3 games of the NLDS should have Bailey, Cueto & Latos on the mound or Latos, Bailey & Cueto on the mound. That is a formidable playoff rotation with Cueto’s health being the key factor. I would still have Cueto on a pitch count limit for his next start against the Bucos and for his last start against the Bucos, but that pitch count should allow him to pitch through the 7th inning.

    Dag Gum It Chad! I just can’t let go of that last ray of hope. :? I know that I’m setting myself up for a severe end-of-season crash and burn. My head says NO, but my heart says GO REDS GO! 8)

  15. For some of those who posted on here yesterday about not seeing this Reds team doing much in the playoffs this year, again, including me, I do feel confident enough to say this. . .

    I will still be watching and cheering the Reds on. I hope they prove us wrong. I pray to the Lord they prove us wrong and make it to at least the NLCS if not the WS, even bringing home the big gold. Please, prove us wrong. I think we all would love it. We just don’t see much reason to expect it this season.

    • @steveschoen: Steve: the thing is, all of the contenders have feet of clay, to some extent (one foot? Just the toes?), and the Reds’ largely well-rested pitching, particularly if Cueto and Marshall are actually back, makes them a legit dark horse (not that dark, either). Wish they’d hit better all year, but pitching and defense are big in the postseason. A little cautious enthusiasm won’t jinx them.

  16. Owing to all the vitriol I’ve read from some of the more challenged Cardinals fans over the erstwhile Cueto-LaRue confrontation, I think nothing would be more appropriate than have JC shut down the Birds at some point in the playoffs.

    Just a good clean ballfield whuppin’.

    Some of the crap they keep regurgitating is at best, annoying. At least the announcers don’t ask to queue up the brawl every time the teams play now. And I got sooooooooooo tired of reading about how Brandon Phillips is really a great guy even though everybody on Earth hates his guts.

    Now, if we can get past Toms River, we will have arrived.

  17. But I also think that on Sunday, we were lighting the hot tar. Today, we’re all giddy about the future. Winning one in a row is a Dusty trademark. Winning one out of three is a Reds trend.

  18. Has anyone heard why Hanigan caught Cueto last night? Wasn’t Mes catching him before the injury or did I just make that up in my mind? I really hope we’re not back to Mes only catching 2 out of 5.

        • @Bill Lack: I didn’t say in September, I said over the last month.

          Hanigan, wRC+ of 65, Mesoraco at 50. Neither is good, but one is better. And fangraphs thinks Mes has been below average behind the plate and on the bases, and below replacement level overall during that time.

  19. I’ll ask a question I posed a couple of weeks ago: would you rather win the Division and have to play the Dodgers, or go through the wildcard and then face the Braves?

    First and foremost I just want to make sure we get in, but I think I’d rather face Atlanta instead of the Dodgers.

    In fact, the more I think about it, losing in the wildcard game or losing in the NLDS are pretty much the same thing. And the wildcard plus Braves route to the NLCS looks like a safer bet to me than going through the Dodgers to get to the NLCS. Thoughts?

    • @Eric the Red: Not even close, you go the division champ route and play the Dodgers. The play-in game is a 50/50 proposition. The Dodgers may be better than the Braves but only a little. We just swept the Dodgers, so they aren’t all that scary.

  20. Ludwick looks good as a DL. Maybe the Reds can package him in a trade to an AL team for a young right handed cleanup hitter to go between Votto and Bruce. Just what we need to solidify a real good team. The lack of a consistent offense this season has kept the Reds out of first place. But it’s crunch time, so it ain’t over yet.

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