2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: SLEEP! Wait, I mean: SWEEP!

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL — 13 innings
Cincinnati 6
Houston 5

W: A. Simon (6-4)
L: J. De Leon (0-1)
S: A. Chapman (37)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–It’s late, so this will be short. Reds win a 5+ hour ballgame that they should have lost a hundred times. I’ll take it.

–Jay Bruce is magnificent. Tonight, he reached base five times, going 3-5 with three doubles, two walks, and three RBI. Two of those RBI came on a double in the top of the 13th inning to give the Reds enough runs to hold on for victory.

–Only one other Red had three hits: Billy Hamilton. Making his first major league start, Hamilton went 3-4, walked twice, and stole four bases. The Astros and everyone else in the stadium knew he was stealing every time, and they couldn’t catch him, even when Houston pitched out.

NEGATIVES
–Bunts and questionable bullpen management decisions and more bunts. You know, the usual.

If it weren’t so late, I’d go through the litany of silliness. Read through Chris’ twitter feed to get the flavor of what happened.

–No one pitched well for the Reds, and I mean nobody, but several relievers escaped without giving up a run. Because the Astros stink.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–That was one of the more poorly-played games of the season, but the Redlegs escaped with a sweep. They’ll head to Pittsburgh now, trailing the Bucs by only a half-game for second place.

–Hamilton is the first player in the modern era to swipe four bases in his first major league start. He’s now second on the Reds in SBs, with 9. That guy is fast. Have you noticed that?

–I’m telling you, the Astros may be the worst major league team I’ve seen in my life. Simply brutal. They make mistakes that you wouldn’t expect out of 10U travel teams.

–Latos vs. Liriano on Friday, in Pittsburgh. A preview of the NL Wild Card game?

Source: FanGraphs

111 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: SLEEP! Wait, I mean: SWEEP!

  1. I said it in the game thread, but I’ll say it again here. Look at the box score, and compare the names each team had in its starting lineup. Then tell me how in the world the Astros played the Reds dead even for 12 innings.

  2. Did Hoover get hurt, why would you take him out against righties for Duke?

    So who is more likely to pitch first Simon, Reynolds, or Partch

    I also want to commend the excellent use of Xavier Paul, PH in a key situation, he gave such a great AB, the best sacrifice all night…
    allowed Hamilton to lead off and start the winning rally

  3. That said, I am very excited about this weekend. Hopefully the Pads will help us out tomorrow, and the teams will kick it off on Friday in a dead heat.

    All three pitching matchups look great. Both teams’ staff ace on Friday, both #2’s go on Saturday, and a matchup between a crafty righty and a crafty lefty on Sunday. Each game could go either way.

  4. Choo, Votto, Bruce, Hamilton: 7-16, 5 R, 5 RBI, 11 BB, 3 K, 4 XBH, 4 SB
    Everyone Else: 2-31, 1 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 9 K, 1 SAC, 1 SF, 0 XBH, 0 SB

    Izturis: 124 AB, 5 Runs Scored
    Hamilton: 7 AB, 6 Runs Scored

  5. Only .5 game behind the Pirates, I will take it. Hopefully Bruce stays hot the rest of the year, we surely need him. Ludwick and Mesoraco are struggling big time, they need to right the ship. We need the Rockies to help us out tomorrow, same with the Pads.
    All things considered, the Reds are sitting pretty right now. Although if we didn’t blow the series finale in Milw we’d be in 2nd place by ourselves and only 1.5 behind the Cards

    • @Josh: @Josh: If we had some ham, we could have some ham and eggs if we had some eggs. The Reds are now 21 games over .500 with a team that doesn’t hit well. They are clearly in the hunt with less than 2 weeks to go. They are, with the addition of Billy H. suddenly fun and exciting to watch. I’ll take that gladly, for now. We’ll see what happens.

  6. That game was ridiculous. The AAAstros would have won the game (probably) if they hadn’t run the bases like the Reds in extra innings.

    I’ll take the sweep, but I can’t say this game did much for my confidence level in the team.

    • That game was ridiculous. The AAAstros would have won the game (probably) if they hadn’t run the bases like the Reds in extra innings.

      I’ll take the sweep, but I can’t say this game did much for my confidence level in the team.

      I’ve never felt worse after a win.

  7. One of the ugliest wins I can remember, but I’ll take it. Great games by Bruce and Hamilton. Without Bruce’s great catch of the foul fly by the first batter to face Duke, the Reds probably lose.

    The OF of Choo, Hamilton and Bruce was tremendous on offense and defense. Without Choo in LF (if it’s Ludwick instead), the Astros win on Crowe’s single in the 11th.
    Can’t believe what Altuve did – never saw the guy trailing the potential walkoff run get thrown out like that.

  8. Some random thoughts of my own:

    –Why didn’t anybody else think of hitting Bruce fourth behind Votto? That Dusty is a genius!!!!!

    –Was Ondrusek the first guy in from the pen just because he’s from a town just a few hours from Houston and probably had friends and relatives there?

    –Could Chapman’s struggles have been caused by him getting up to warm up a few times before the inning when he finally came into the game? That last pitch was supposedly 103 mph, but that was a scary inning.

    –Simon was only a few innings away from a quality start, er, appearance, despite how rocky it was….I wonder how close we were to seeing Partch/Christiani etc.

    –Is there ANY CHANCE that we could see more of Hamilton in center and Choo in left, or was this game a mere one-game DH arrangement? Ludwick ain’t exactly inspiring much confidence right now …

    –Finally, a plea: Walt, please try to keep Choo. Please. You owe it to me from what you have put me through so far this season. Thank you.

    • @vegastypo: Good comments.

      If the Reds didn’t score in the top of the 13th, then I believe Christiani was coming in.

      Chapman may have been bothered by the multiple warmups, but he’s pitched poorly on the road all season. His home ERA is 0.69, his road ERA is 6.23. All 5 blown saves have come on the road. The peripherals are just as striking.

      He doesn’t seem intimidated on the road, he just seems like he wants to be somewhere other than on the pitcher’s mound closing out a game (back in Cincinnati, back in Cuba, anywhere else).

      • @pinson343: i think Chapman may have wanted to illustrate that he can blow away AAA hitters with his 101. First, you have to get it over the plate and mix in some command. He’s lucky Dominguez didn’t take him deep. I had envisioned that.

        • @Johnu1: He and the Reds were very lucky that Dominguez didn’t take Chapman, like he did last year. He was all over that 99 mph fastball. On first base he was motioning, why didn’t I just upper cut a bit ?

    • @vegastypo: I love Choo in LF and Hamilton in CF. And without the DH, have Hamilton lead off and Choo bat 2nd (as someone said on the game thread).

      Choo doesn’t mind taking pitches to give Hamilton a chance to steal. Joey doesn’t like having a runner in motion, he hasn’t yet incorporated that into his scientific method for hitting.

      • @pinson343: Interesting. Joe Morgan was the same way as Joey. He “demanded” to know when a baserunner was going to be in motion, or else it distracted him trying to hit.

      • @pinson343: Rumor is that the Giants are looking for a power bat in left field this offseason. Convince them that Ludwick is the man, and make that deal to free up some cash and a roster spot for Choo!

      • @pinson343: I would hope that tonight’s performance (and Ludwick’s non-performance) would earn Hamilton a couple more opportunities. I wouldn’t really put the pressure of batting leadoff on him (not that Dusty would trust a rookie in that spot anyway). I’d like to see him hit 6th or something so if he get’s on and over, a hit by Cozart or the catcher can bring him in.

    • @vegastypo: Agree with much of what you say, but the suggestion concerning the use of Ondrusek seems to me to be nothing more than perpetuating a myth. The fact is, Dusty has the players he has, and those are the ones he must use. If he only uses the guys we think are the best, they will be worn out by this late in the season. Does any other contender have a pitching staff (despite the injuries) as well-rested at this point (this is not rhetorical; I’m actually asking, because my impression is that the Reds’ staff is in unusually good shape)?

      • @greenmtred: I can’t agree with this. I believe vegas was being sarcastic. But, Baker “uses the guys we think are the best”, sorry, but no he doesn’t. Too many examples to entirely name. Just some:

        Not having Chapman come in for a 4 out save, having him only for the very last inning, when leverage time would call for an earlier entry.

        Batting Cesar in the 2 hole, the worst hitter in the league

        Last season, batting Stubbs and Cozart in the 1-2 holes so long. Who would he bat there if not them? Most anyone else on the team.

        One more time, Baker doesn’t have a rep of being a developer of talent. He doesn’t have a rep of being a good in-game strategist. He doesn’t have a rep of making a good batting order. The only thing he seems to know of along these lines is batting left handers back to back can be detrimental when the other team brings in their loogy. Well, with how Votto and Bruce have done back to back, I think I can take them. Baker, the only man who would separate Ruth and Gehrig. Baker’s strength is supposedly because he’s a players manager, but I still don’t see that. Supposedly because of things like he makes sure players like Logan gets to play the team is near their hometowns. Yeah, I always look for that in a manager of mine (being sarcastic).

        • @steveschoen: Steve: I think that you misread my comment. I said IF Dusty only used the players we like, not that he did. Most of the criticisms I read about Dusty are speculative, but because they are repeated so frequently, they become factoids. I get it that a lot of you guys don’t like him, and I also get it that this is part of being fans. I could speculate that the players like him because he understands the stresses of being players and does what he can to alleviate them. This, too, is just speculation. I will also speculate that the strategic decisions, batting orders and management of pitching would, perhaps, be different under a different manager, but that this team would be very unlikely to be more than 21 games over .500 with the talent on hand. It’s very easy and fun to second guess in this situation because our hypotheses can never be tested.

  9. The top of the 9th was beyond ridiculous. Given the importance of scoring a run and the excellence of the opportunity, putting up the zero was as frustrating as it gets.

    I’m not going to complain about BP’s bunting, given how he’s been pounding the ball into the ground. Not even going to vent much about his running out of the baseline, which undid his sac bunt. It was dumb and costly, but wouldn’t have been called if the throw hadn’t hit him.

    Not upset with Joey for swinging at the first pitch with Hamilton running. He saw a pitch he could drive, and had no way of knowing Hamilton was running.

    Not upset with Ludwick for taking 6 straight pitches. That’s exactly what he should have done. He was called out on ball 4.

    But what I can’t understand is Philipps bunting (or swinging) at a pitch off a pitcher who has thrown 9 pitches without throwing a strike. You’ve got to make the pitcher throw a strike before offering at a pitch, either swinging or bunting.
    On that 1-0 pitch, BP should have been ordered to fake bunt (or whatever) and take. He should have know on his own to take, but don’t take a chance, order him to take.

    • But what I can’t understand is Philipps bunting (or swinging) at a pitch off a pitcher who has thrown 9 pitches without throwing a strike. You’ve got to make the pitcher throw a strike before offering at a pitch, either swinging or bunting.
      On that 1-0 pitch, BP should have been ordered to fake bunt (or whatever) and take. He should have know on his own to take, but don’t take a chance, order him to take.

      Totally agree, but I can’t picture Dusty doing anything to take away a guy’s aggressiveness. Heck, I was startled that Ludwick didn’t swing. Glad, but startled. Besides, Dusty is expecting Brandon to make an out, doubt he cares what pitch it occurs on, just so he gets the beloved bunt down.

      • @vegastypo: Ludwick is having trouble seeing the ball, on one of his ABs he swung at a pitch that was too low and outside for the catcher to catch it, and then struck out on a pitch that was up in his eyes.
        He’s so overeager that the Astro broadcasters said he’s jumping at the ball.

        But he’s not stupid. If he knows the pitcher can’t throw a strike, he keeps the bat on his shoulder.

        • @pinson343: Maybe people mentioned this on the game thread, but Brantley said it was like Ludwick’s bat isn’t fast enough to catch up to fastballs, but it’s too quick to time off-speed stuff. … If that’s true, it seems to me that the only way to get through that is more at-bats. And we’re running out of games.

    • @pinson343: Yep. The right-handed hitters went 2-for-30 by my count. You can complain about bunting all you want, but they were lucky to win a game in which the righties hit .067.

      The game was ultimately won with Bruce delivering in s 1-out, bases-loaded situation, which is exactly the situation that Dusty tried to set up with having Phillips bunt in the 9th.

      And enough with the AAAstros stuff. Yes, they are young and dumb and not all-stars, but they are major league baseball players–elite athletes by any reasonable standard. They have won 1 of 3 all year against major league competition, so why should the Reds not reasonably expect a tough game in one of the three games? They sure gave the big names on the Angels fits all year.

      • @Big Ed:
        Totally agree on the Astros. Just looking at September they can put runs on the board.

        A lot of people are encouraged that Cueto came back, but seem to imply it was only against the Astros. 8 shutout innings (padding already over 20 innings scoreless streak) by Leake is barely mentioned. Very impressed with Leake last 3 starts after looking like he was done. Cueto goes 6 or more solid innings next week, there is no reason to believe that he is not ready for the playoffs.

  10. The top of the 9th was surreal. Hamilton on 2nd, Choo on 1st with nobody out and BP steps up. Correct me if I’m wrong but he’s batting .348 with RISP plus has 101 RBI. Ask him to BUNT? You must be freakin’ kidding me! I know he’s hit into 18 DP’s but I darn near fell out of bed. Couldn’t believe it. I disagree with some who say Votto got a pitch to hit. Let me repeat this: Hamilton is on 2nd getting ready to steal 3rd! Let the big dog run. Take a pitch. The bottom of 9th was just as mind boggling. The situation screamed for Chapman.

    Dusty scares me when it matters the most. His propensity to always bunt is incredulous. It hardly ever works.

    • @sezwhom1:
      “The bottom of 9th was just as mind boggling. The situation screamed for Chapman.”
      You obviously know nothing about baseball, winning run on 2nd, intentional walk the butt of all jokes to get to their best hitter. Naturally you take out your best right-handed reliever to face their best right-handed hitter with a batter .229/.290 splits on deck to face Duke. I mean you had a lefty coming up after them.Duh?
      Why waste Duke for a mere 2 batters in the 6th, he is the 9th inning guy.
      Chapman is more of 13th inning reliever, expect to see him next pitch in October

    • @sezwhom1: BP is not a disciplined hitter, at least not evidently, and he is in a bad and ill-timed slump. It seems likely that he or the bench feared that he would hit into a double play–much less likely with a bunt.

      • @greenmtred: And, that’s where Baker fails at being a players manager. One part of being a players manager, having confidence in your players to perform. Baker apparently didn’t have confidence in BP to perform.

        Seriously, having BP bunt was absolutely ridiculous. 100+ RBI’s, and the guy is bunting? Baker, the only guy who would probably have Babe Ruth sacrifice bunt.

        • @steveschoen: Dusty constantly gets derided here for trying to “get guys going.” Brandon, even when he’s hitting well, hits into a lot of double plays. And, finally, we don’t know for a fact that the bunt attempt wasn’t BP’s idea, do we?

  11. Since August 28th, Ryan Ludwick has slashed .205/.263/.303. Why is August 28th significant? That happened to be the first date Marlon Byrd suited up for the Bucos after the Reds decided he wasn’t worth a waiver claim from the Mets. Since August 28th, Marlon Byrd has slashed .317/.385/.470. That’s an .854 OPS for Byrd and the Bucos compared to a .566 OPS for Ludwick and the Reds. I can certainly see why the Reds weren’t interested. If the Reds had placed a waiver claim, they may not have been able to make the deal for Byrd, but the waiver claim was a win/win option that has turned into a lose/lose opportunity. Even if a deal with the Mets had not benn consumated, Byrd wouldn’t be pounding out an .854 OPS for the Bucos now with the Reds preparing for a critical 6 game home and home series against the same Bucos to end the season. How good would Byrd look right now hitting 5th behind Votto and Bruce (although with Byrd available, Dusty would never consider hitting Bruce in cleanup behind Votto)?

  12. Chad, did you mention the freaking bunts? Especially in the 9th. Horrible, horrible game management. You get Hamilton and Choo on with 8 balls out of the zone in a row, so what do they do? They send their number 1 RBI man up BP to bunt. He couldn’t get it done, gives up 2 strikes before giving up the out. Thirteen pitches, eleven out of the zone and what does Votto do? First pitch swing pop-out to the outfield. Bruce shows patience and gets ahead 3-1 so they intentionally walk him. Ludwick rightly leaves the bat on his shoulder, but is called out on strikes.

  13. The sweep puts the Reds in position to leapfrog the Pirates in the standings if they can beat them 4 out of 6 in the upcoming head-to-head series. The Reds could leave Pittsburgh no worse than tied if they win this weekend series.

  14. Congrats to everyone who made it to the end of the game. I couldn’t do it.

    It’s been said already but bears repeating – Why was Logan Ondrusek Dusty’s go-to man in the bullpen last night with an off day scheduled today? Imgaine a world in which we actually had beat writers with the guts to ask such a question. Imagine the verbal contortions that Dusty would have gone through to answer it!

    Last night was the perfect proof to back up what Chad wrote after the Brewers series. If this game was the Wild Card tilt versus the Pirates and was managed in the way it was……it would likelybe a short playoff run for the the Redlegs.

  15. Bunt. Bunt all buntedty bunt of bunt. Motherbunting bunt of all bunts. Stupid bunts. Baker bunts are the worst bunts of all, because they’re the stupidust bunts that ever were.

  16. Ryan Ludwick/Corky Miller Isolated Power Race update: Miller .118, Ludwick .107 with nine games left to play. Be sure to tune in.

  17. Idea for “This is SportsCenter” spot next year. 15-20 sec.

    Setting: Bristol, CT. ESPN Conference Room. Yadier Molina, Buster Posey and Brian McCann are sitting around the table. Tim Kurkjian is at the table as well, moderating the discussion. The dry erase board behind them reads “Group Therapy – Dealing with Billy Hamilton.”

    Molina: I mean, even when we pitch out we can’t do anything.
    McCann: He’s always in your head, even when he’s in the dugout.
    Posey: We’re scouting Usain Bolt for next year.

    (in the middle of Posey’s sentence, the door opens and Hamilton walks in. Stunned, awkward silence, catchers have deer-in-the-headlights expressions)

    Hamilton: (playing it off) uh, sorry guys, is this the seminar on sophomore slump prevention?

    All catchers: (flatly, but firmly) NO.

    Hamilton: Oh. Sorry. Honest mistake.

    Hamilton cracks a huge grin as he leaves. Camera pans back to the table for final shot. The catchers, still sitting at the table, look dejectedly into space and/or at their hands. Molina lets out a huge sigh as the THIS IS SPORTSCENTER titles come onto the screen.
    (in the middle of McCann’s sentence,

  18. So, I gotta ask…

    Who wouldn’t like Hamilton, Choo, Votto, Bruce at the top of the order a few times in the remaining games? Move Choo to LF and plug Phillips in at 5th?

    I think that lineup would give everyone what they want. Dusty’s speed at the top, and a scary collection of on-base machines that follow, rounded up by a heating-up power hitter.

    • @RichmondRed: Do you think opposing teams would consider simply shelving their RHP for any series against that lineup and pitching their LHP until their arms hung limp at their sides? What have the Reds got to lose with such an anti-Dusty lineup? If Hanmilton doesn’t get on base, nothing is lost since BP isn’t getting on base right now either. There would be no bunting until the Reds got to the back end of the lineup so that option would be removed Dusty’s managerial skills. If Hamilton does get on base, well we’ve seen the results already. How’s this for a routine scenario:

      Hamilton steals 2B. With 1B open, Choo receives an intential BB. Votto coaxes a BB after fouling off multiple pitches during a 10 pitch AB. Bruce comes to the plate with the bases loaded and BAM :!: :twisted:

      • @Shchi Cossack: You had multiple occasions last night where the bases would be loaded with a combo of Hamilton, Choo, Votto, and Bruce. I need to check the splits, but I think Choo is the only one that has a real disparity with LH v RH pitching among the others, and Hamilton is a switch hitter. I think that would be quite the murderer’s row.

  19. After the transactions to activate Cueto and Marshall from the D/L, if Kyle Lotzkar and Josh Ravin have any delusions that they haven’t been completely removed from the Reds’ radar scope, consider that they were designated for assignment before Corky Miller, who was retained on the 40 man roster as a 37 year old catcher.

    • @Shchi Cossack: I sadly remind you that if Hanigan or Meso go to the DL, Corky is our No. 2 catcher. All of that inspires me to wonder why on EARTH we let Dioner Navarro go … or Mike Olivo.

      I know I know, neither is a great catcher, but having lots of catchers never hurt anybody.

  20. Hamilton needs to be in the lineup. His speed is devastating. It’s not like they have to bench a hot hitter to get him in the game.

  21. The best part of this was that the power went out here at 9 p.m. with Todd Frazier coming to the plate and it came on again with Phillips at the plate in the top of the 11th inning. I missed all the parts that would have caused me to kill kill kill kill.

    So I can’t evaluate stupid bunts. I did see Choo try one earlier with Hamilton at first base. Fouled it off. Thought that was terribly Dusty.

    Nobody will ever beat good teams when the No. 5 guy in the lineup goes 0-for-6 with 3 Ks and 2 popups — behind 2 guys with great OBP and a cleanup hitter who is seeing beach balls at the plate.

    I suppose Ludwick will *eventually* have a nice game and all of us will be in parade mode over it. But the guy can’t hit and I’d gamble that the shoulder issues will not go away. A shoulder issue put Scott Rolen on the retired list.

    Just sayin’. We have our center fielder. I suppose we will now play *guess who’s in left today?* again next year.

    • @Johnu1: You’re saying don’t throw a parade for Ludwick if he has a nice game, but in the same breath you’re anointing Hamilton the starting center fielder from now until 2019. ?

      • @Sultan of Swaff: I am saying that Hamilton ought to be the first guy we select to play CF in 2014. I can’t evaluate 2019 since I will be much older by then and maybe not viable. Not sure where in my post I mentioned 2019.

  22. Since the Reds can’t use the DH now to *IMPROVE* their offense, how does this stack up?

    It means Hamilton (thanks, Billy, that was nice) will get to go back to the bench now.

    I hesitate to say he will get 3 hits against Parrots pitching but I’d wager he will be on base more than Ryan Ludwick.

  23. As reported (or speculated) by Jon Heyman

    Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero again is a free agent after apparently coming close to signing a deal with the Dodgers, and it is believed that the Red Sox, Reds, Rangers and Giants are among other teams that may have some interest.

    That’s the first mention I recall of the Reds considering Guerrero. I can’t see the Reds signing a FA to a $30MM+ contract unless Phillips and his $50MM contract are actually deemed expendable. Hmmmmmmm… Maybe the Reds are looking for another closer to take over for Chapman in 2017. :?

    • @Shchi Cossack: Heyman tends to use a lot of anonymous “people inside the organization” comments for his research. He gets it right every so often just by doing the eyeball test.

  24. Man, I haven’t seen more exciting baserunning in 30 years. What a game changer. That said, let’s not get carried away calling for Billy to play every day (although a couple starts once the division race has solidified would be fine). His swing from the left side was loooong. If they bust him inside, he’s toast. But what a game, nonetheless.

    Ludwick/Frazier/Mez are in some kind of slumps. We need one of them to get going. In the meantime, XP needs to play vs. all righties.

    Point is, we’re running out of at-bats to ‘get guys going’. Who do you give them to??? The lightning in a bottle potential of Hamilton or the veteran Ludwick who was so solid in last year’s playoffs?

  25. Reds still have a shot at the division, but they need to finish extremely strong, something like 7-2 in their last 9 and hope the Cards stumble to a .500 finish. The Reds would win out against the Pirates by the very virtue of finishing strong since 6 of their last 9 games are against them.

    Doable, but it would take something like a sweep by Washington to be viable.

    • @CI3J: After what happened in their division series last year, I would bet that the Nats would like nothing more than to sweep the Cards and cost them a division crown. Even if the Nats are out of the Wild Card race by then, which will probably be the case.

    • @CI3J: If the Reds finish 6-3, which is the likely “best” case scenario, then they catch the Cards if they finish 4-6. Really going to need some help from the Brewers for that to happen.

  26. Yes boys and girls I know hope is eternal but results show that hope is all we have. The last 3 games never happened. No one should put any credence into the events of the last three games other than the parts that have defined the season; Bunts, base running, managerial choices. The upcoming series will test this team’s ability to get the job done. Billy H. was great against AA and AAA teams and showed that against the AA+ Astros. To expect those same results (3 for 4, 4 stolen bases) against a real major league team is living in fantasy land. Buckle up, get that bottle of “Jack”, put the dog out, send the kids to grandmas, and give your better half two credit cards and get ready, the next three games will be this teams epitaph for the 2013 season.

    • @George M: Don’t know about the hitting, but Billy hadn’t been caught stealing by anyone else, including Molina, arguably the best in the game. The Reds, like all teams, are unpredictable. We’ll have to wait and see, but the last 3 wins, subtracted, leave them 18 games over .500, and that’s no fantasy.

  27. Coming up, the Parrots go to Wrigley after this weekend … and will face Samardzija, Rusin and, I assume Fergie Jenkins, though it looks like Wood may be coming around for that third game. Sveum is throwing a lot of pitchers now … not much of 5-man rotation there.

    Mets are being coy with the Reds. I assume it’s Wheeler, Seaver and Koosman.

      • @pinson343: I couldn’t think of any pitchers they have now, so I went with what I knew. I wouldn’t even have guessed Wheeler if he wasn’t on the schedule for Monday. Who else they got? Al Jackson, Roger Craig, Jay Hook, Whammy Douglas, John Tsitouris?

  28. It certainly is good news to learn the Reds won last night/this mornings game. I bailed out after the fiasco that was the top of the 9th inning. I might be a glutton, but punishment is not on the menu. I’ll use today’s off day to fully charge the old defibrillator for the Pittsburgh Pirates series beginning Friday night. Gonna be a good old good one. Go Reds!

  29. Anybody else get WC/NLDS tickets today? I scored a pair in the moon deck for NLDS Home Game 2. I really hope it’s game 2 of the series, because it means the Reds won the division. (And game 4 doesn’t work with my schedule.)

    There is a shocking number of tickets still available for all four potential games.

    • @renbutler: I got royally burned last year by buying early and then both games 4 and 5 being day games. Will never buy post-season tickets again until I know the time of the first pitch. I imagine I was/am not the only person in that position.

    • There is a shocking number of tickets still available for all four potential games.

      Ren – How are you seeing this? I can’t find anything on the website to buy individual tickets.

      • @Kyle Farmer: Were you chosen in the lottery? You have to have a password and a link to get in. I think the password is tied to my account though, so I can’t lend it out.

        • @renbutler: No. I wasn’t chosen in the lottery. I was hoping since they are having trouble selling it out that they had opened it up to the general public.

        • @Kyle Farmer: It was mentioned during last night’s game that they are opening phone lines for everybody at 9 AM on Friday 9/20. If they still have tickets later in the day, I’m sure they’ll open it up on the web to everybody soon after.

    • @renbutler:

      There is a shocking number of tickets still available for all four potential games.

      Yeah, the Reds even offered season ticket holders additional tickets after the original quota was filled. I’m wondering if the Dusty factor an inconsistent play has cast a shadow over fans’ enthusiasm.

    • @RedLeg75: Compared to the other two recent playoff appearances? In my experience, tickets are far more available this time.

      Also, there are hundreds of $50 View Level seats left. I know that not everybody can swing that, but surely there are enough Reds fans who can.

      • @renbutler: I think the playoffs is a slower sell in Cincy than in the bigger cities. Folks have to readjust a lot of weekday life after school starts … once they get past that, I think you will see the tickets sell. The problem is the still-undecided schedule.

  30. and can’t get down to be there on account of circumstance… and some that don’t want to go because this team will get baker’d like the rest of them come playoff time.

    Hope it doesn’t happen, but I’m not spending money as long as that asshat is in charge.

      • @renbutler: Figured that’d get your goat. Just playin. I’ll see em if I can, and I hope they’re there to see in October. Still cant stand baker, though.

        • @RedLeg75: Seriously, it is an event to go see a game with a family of four. Gasoline, hotel if you want to stay the night and do something the next day, tix, food and drink. Gasoline back home. What looks like $100 on the surface ends up being $500+ when it is all said and done.

  31. Honestly, I am all for laying down bunts with Hamilton on second. There’s gotta be a 50/50 chance that he could score from second on a sac bunt.

  32. In the series with the Cardinals, Cuddyer, Rosario, and Arenado have all gotten injured and won’t be playing today. Oswalt (0-6 with a 7.71 ERA) will start today.
    De La Rosa (16-6) has not pitched in this series because his start was pushed back due to a thumb injury.

    In the series against the Mariners, Felix Hernandez did not pitch because the Seattle manager did not want him batting with some kind of lat problem.

    Do the Cardinals employ a witch doctor ?

  33. Isn’t there a statistic indicating that a team is more likely to score with a runner on first with no outs than with a runner on second with one out? If so, the sacrifice bunt is a waste of time in all but the most unusual circumstances.

    • @Carl Hudson: Yes. However, old school managers and many fans disregard the facts. They aren’t SABR voodoo, either, they are actuall observed data showing how many runs have been scored all year after meeting each requirement (i.e. – man on 1st, 0 out versus man on 2nd, 1 out). Invariablly, more runs are scored when you have the extra out rather than the extra base.

  34. It shouldn’t take long before teams stop pitching to Bruce because no one behind him could hit a beachball. Two things we need to see before playoff game:

    1. more Hamilton( LESS lUDWICK)

    2. wHO WILL BE OUR STARTING CATCHER????

    Love the lineup vs. RHP of Hamilton, Choo, Votto, Bruce, Phillips, Frazier,Hannigan, Cozart

  35. You could maybe justify BP bunting in the 9th…but after 10 straight–10 straight!–balls, the bunt sign should have been taken off at least until the pitcher got one strike in.

    The three other huge acts of managerial malpractice: 1) Having Simon pitch a third inning on Monday, in a game the Reds had a big lead. Unnecessary, and predictably bad since Reynolds was starting today. 2) Not having Chapman bail out a tiring Simon, to keep the Reds in the game with Hamilton and Choo due to start the next inning. If he preserved the game and Hamilton+top of the order managed to get a run, he could have stayed in for the Save (technically it would have been a Win). A better and less “risky”use of Chapman than keeping him in reserve in case we got the lead sometime in the future. 3) Leaving Ondrusek in to start another inning. The whole Ondrusek appearance was questionable, but having gotten away with it there was no reason to push it. (Except for concern about Simon. See point 1, above.)

  36. Lost to me in the general “RUN, BILLY, RUN” swoon is the fact that Billy is a switch-hitter. I wonder who the last regular switch hitter the Reds have had, and what challenges this may present to our beloved manager in the lineup construction IF (and a big IF) Choo is back next year. (Otherwise, I think he plugs Hamilton in for Choo and stays course.)

  37. If Hamilton is on the post-season roster, will that make him eligible for arbitration earlier? It might be a stupid question, but I don’t really know the ins and outs of the business side. If it does, then I wouldn’t be surprised if he is not on the roster come October.

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