2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Sigh…

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Pittsburgh 4
Cincinnati 1

W: A. Burnett (10-11)
L: H. Bailey (11-12)
S: J. Grilli (33)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–The only positive: 40,107 Reds fans showed up to cheer loudly for their favorite baseball team.

–Okay, one more positive: Joey Votto went 2-4. Votto has now reached base 312 times this season, breaking Pete Rose’s club record. But yeah, Votto is having a bad season, right?

–I lied, here’s one more: JJ Hoover struck out two of the three batters he faced in a perfect ninth inning.

NEGATIVES
–Those fans must not have cheered loud enough, because Ryan Ludwick — hitting second — went 0-4. He saw nine total pitches in those four at-bats. I’m sure Dusty Baker is pleased with that aggressive approach.

–Homer Bailey wasn’t good. He gave up four runs on four hits and four walks in five innings.

–AJ Burnett was pitching well for Pittsburgh, but the offense was nonexistent, other than Todd Frazier’s solo homer.

–A Dat Dude DP ended the game.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–The Reds still have something to play for; a series win this weekend would give the Reds home field advantage in the one-game Wild Card playoff. That said, it’s difficult to imagine a more uninspired performance than the one we saw today.

–Here’s what Marty Brennaman said about Joey Votto today: “You’ve got to get this guy going, no if’s, and’s or but’s about it.”

Joey Votto’s OPS in September is over 900.
Brandon Phillips’ OPS in September is below 530.

Yeah, we gotta get Votto going, right?

–Pittsburgh’s Marlon Byrd hit a ball as far as you can hit one in Great American Ballpark without getting a homer. It barely hit the fence in the corner where the wall is elevated in left-center field, and Byrd was held to a double. Of course, Pedro Alvarez hit one about thirty miles a few minutes later, so Byrd scored anyway.

–You know, if the Reds can just win that wild card game on Tuesday, everything will change in the hearts and minds of Reds fans. People will start getting excited about this team. That’s my prediction, anyway.

–I wanted to try to be more positive through the rest of this season. I really did. But I’m having trouble finding things to be excited about in tonight’s lackluster performance.

The Reds are going to be in the postseason, though. They still have a chance to win the World Series. That’s something, right?

–I hate to use Milton this late in the season…

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

157 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Sigh…

  1. The only quibble with Marty is him yukking in up with Baker in the canned pre-game interview. I guess Dusty Baker is not deserving of a NSRT?….tomorrow I know Baker will quote Hank Aaron.

  2. I wasn’t able to see or hear much of the game tonight, but if that’s an accurate representation of what Marty said (and I have no doubt that it is) that shows how completely out of it he is about analyzing baseball. It’s one thing to admire the way he describes a game. But once he crosses over to analysis, he does a great disservice to the fans and the Reds.

    Get ‘em tomorrow, Redlegs!

    Also, only Dusty Baker would consider the move of a guy hitting like Ryan Ludwick up into the spot between Choo and Votto. And now, we once again have an ineffective hitter lodged between Votto and Bruce. Baker Tax.

  3. Another negative: Ludwick hits between Choo and Votto, Bailey is permitted to lead off the 5th inning even though he’d been struggling and was down a run, and yet Baker will still be managing this team tomorrow.

  4. Top of the order could have been: Hamilton, Choo, Votto, Bruce. Maybe they still can’t score, but at least it doesn’t minimize the odds.

  5. Brandon Phillips has three RBI in September. Glad Baker moved him to clean up. Good call.

    Jay Bruce has 20 RBI in September.

    Zack Cozart has 13, Choo 12, Votto 10, Frazier 12.

    Brandon Phillips has 3. And some people are all up in arms about Votto (who had two hits tonight).

      • @redskaph:
        If the Yanks don’t resign Cano, they could be a good team to approach about a trade for DatDude this off season. A part of me feels like he wants out after his run in CTrent and his “slap in the face” comments over his contract earlier this season. Getting his contract off the books(combined with Arroyo’s) could give us enough budget to make Choo a competitive offer. Of course then we’ll have another hole to fill at 2B

  6. Its getting to where the recap wouldn’t be a recap without hammering Marty for saying something the vast majority of fans would agree with. We get it, Sabers detest Marty, but there is nothing left of that dead horse but skin and bones, you can stop beating it now. I would not be surprised in the least if the Reds go on to win the next 2 games and get the WC game at home. It also wouldn’t surprise me if they lose the WC game at home and look like clowns doing it. (two Reds on the same base at the same time anyone) Still, I will cheer for my Redlegs. Go Reds!

        • @Baseclogger: just like you did there? yea.. Marty bashing is old… leave the old man alone… tired of seeing that on this thread day in and day out…

        • @topgun67: No thanks, Marty has become an insufferable windbag who needs to be put out to pasture, so I’ll go right on ahead talking about it.

        • @Jason1972: Why would you continue to listen to him? I really don’t get it. There are other affordable options. He’s not going to be put out to pasture anytime soon as he just signed a new three-year contract. Why would you want to annoy others with the incessant bellyaching? Marty has zero.zero effect on this teams fortunes.

        • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: I don’t listen to him if there is another choice, which there often isn’t. He’s terrible and has on many occasions prompted me to pass on listening to the Reds just so I wouldn’t have to listen to him babble about idiotic things like RISP and Jay Bruce vs. Brandon Phillips’ clutchiness.

          I frankly couldn’t care less if it annoys you. Marty is an extremely relevant public figure with a huge pulpit and wide spread influence, he should be called out for saying stupid things.

      • @Sergeant2: I agree! Quit the Marty bashing already. It’s really old.

        As long as Marty keeps opening his mouth and saying stupid crap he is going to be bashed.

    • @Sergeant2: OK Sarge, in deference to you, this will be my last anti-Marty statement for a while at least. It’s too easy to cast this as a sabermetrics thing. It’s way beyond that. Marty’s problem now is that he gets blinded by his focus criticizing single players. It used to be Bruce, now it’s Votto. By *any measure* even paleolithic metrics like RBI, Brandon Phillips is having a far worse September than Votto. So singling out Votto like that is just completely misleading to anyone listening. OK. I’m done dissing Marty for now.

      Go get ‘em tomorrow, Redlegs!

      • @Steve Mancuso: when you (Votto that is) are one of the highest paid player and the face of franchise, (in any sport), you are bound to get the credit and criticism, more than anyone else in your team… it’s how it goes..and comes w/ the territory. Marty, other national writers, or even fans.

        No one, including Marty, is prob saying Votto isn’t a great ball player, but like you, anyone who says Votto has had a MVP type of player this year, that is just reminiscent of his old days and not this particular year..

        He is a top 20 NL player this year.. not top 5 or 10… he’s too young to be on a down hill of his career..but he has this year.

        As far as contributions, I think Choo has done more this year… really love the way he plays hard, despite his shortcomings and inexperience in CF… really wish he stays but he won’t…(can’t)

        • @Steve Mancuso: when you (Votto that is) are one of the highest paid player and the face of franchise, (in any sport), you are bound to get the credit and criticism, more than anyone else in your team… it’s how it goes..and comes w/ the territory. Marty, other national writers, or even fans.

          No one, including Marty, is prob saying Votto isn’t a great ball player, but like you, anyone who says Votto has had a MVP type of player this year, that is just reminiscent of his old days and not this particular year..

          He is a top 20 NL player this year.. not top 5 or 10… he’s too young to be on a down hill of his career..but he has this year.

          As far as contributions, I think Choo has done more this year… really love the way he plays hard, despite his shortcomings and inexperience in CF… really wish he stays but he won’t…(can’t)

          Did you even look at the stats before you posted this ignorance?

        • @topgun67: I’m curious what measures you’re using to determine Votto is between the 11th and 20th most valuable or best player in the NL this year.

      • @Steve Mancuso: We spend a lot of time bashing Marty for bashing Votto and we spend a lot of time bashing each other for bashing Votto. And we assert that we aren’t bashing the right people — Phillips.

        So rather than bashing people for bashing the wrong guy, just cut to the chase and bash the people who have it coming.

        We are bashing Ludwick for hitting behind Choo, who didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard last night either. But Choo, like Votto, often gets a pass because of all he has done for us over the long season. Honestly, at this point, does it MATTER if Choo has a great OBP or been hit 25 times or if Phillips WAS a great run producer? Ohfers are Ohfers.

        What we wanted to happen last night was to win the game — and we’re arguing about whether we should be bashing Marty for some reason. I turned the game off in the 6th inning because of the same reason we bashed Ludwick. This team is out of step, unproductive and very uninteresting.

    • @Sergeant2: I don’t listen to the radio guys so I have no dog in this hunt, but: if Marty is ragging on Votto and saying “he needs to get it going” but he’s pretty much giving BP (and everyone else) a free pass, then that is idiotic analysis. It has nothing to do with Sabers or saber tooth tigers or horses or anything else. Votto’s approach–not to mention results–is something this team needs more of, not less.

      If Marty is disappointed with Votto as a 3-hole hitter, how come he doesn’t ask Dusty on-air about batting him 1st or 2nd?

  7. Glad to see Phillips having a grand ol’ time with Byrd at the second base bag. Someone should remind that showboat that the Reds are trying to beat the Pirates. Why is he clowning around with them in the middle of a crucial game? Kind of reminds me of when that showboat was doing the same thing when he was a base runner on second in a game against the Phillies a couple of years ago— and he got picked off.

  8. I enjoy the Marty rants. I refuse to listen to him unless I have absolutely no other way to follow the game, so it’s interesting to hear just how nuts he’s becoming. I hope the horse continues being beaten. (Although, as an animal lover, I’d prefer a different metaphor.)

    • @Baseclogger: Hey, ever thought about MLB Radio or XM-Sirius? Why you guys continue to take the beating game-after-game is odd to me. Neither service I mentioned is expensive. Enjoy life: no more Marty for you and the rest of us don’t have to hear you complain about it daily. Everybody comes out a winner.

        • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: You missed the part where I said I don’t listen to Marty which is why I appreciate hearing from people who do. You’ve also apparently missed the fact that I almost never mention him, which is really quite different than complaining about him “daily.” You’re telling me that I should stop listening to a man I don’t listen to and stop complaining about something I don’t complain about.

          I think it’s you who needs to learn to enjoy life.

        • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Wow, that’s odd. You attack me for doing something I don’t do, then when I point it out, you say you can’t relate.

          Get some help, man. Your obsession with me isn’t healthy.

        • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: What an ironic thing for you to say. This squabble began when you wrote: “Enjoy life: no more Marty for you and the rest of us don’t have to hear you complain about it daily. Everybody comes out a winner.”

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like you were talking about ME in that statement. Seems like you were telling me how to live my life. That seems…. um…. what’s the word? Personal?

        • @Baseclogger:
          Hey guys, we are all Reds fans on this board and now we find ourselves reduced to snarking at each other due to our team’s complete and utter ineptitude (as well as seemingly utter lack of concern for anything but their pocket ($$$)).

          As a case in point (while I was working tonight in Denver’s driving rain), I thought about how far BP has fallen – as he has become a DP waiting to happen (Cards fans have certainly noticed). And why is BP having so much fun with the opponent’s 2B when Reds fans are sitting on the edge of their seats watching their beloved team contend in a pennant race? Because wouldn’t you be feeling rather jovial if you were banking $300 to $400K each pay day in these tough economic times and with guaranteed contracts being what they are – not being accountable in the least for your actual production?

          That Reds nation, is the sad economics of baseball today, players getting over-paid for what they have already done and not for what they are currently doing. The Reds are loaded with them:

          Votto (being paid for his 2010 season)
          Ludwick
          Phillips

          Then we have Reds players who will never attain anything near that level of compensation:

          Frazier
          Cozart

          Quite simply, I just blame it on baseball economics. I was ticked off 10 years ago when I began to witness the effect of baseball economics on a team like the Reds and my opinion really hasn’t changed much.

          Quite honestly, I am looking forward to this baseball season being over. Sure its going to sting after being so close last year and then “the Reds going all in” this year. But as a fan posted so brilliantly yesterday, there is so much more wrong with the Reds than what Ludwick stated yesterday. The point is, the average fan is becoming disillusioned with this team and maybe baseball, a team full of prima-donnas making a boatload of $$$ and not giving a rat’s arse while they go about under-producing.

          As I have stated many times in the past, go back and watch reruns of the Red’s 1975-76 and 1990 glory seasons because that day and age is long gone.

          Quite simply, if today’s baseball economics had existed back in the 1970s, there would never have been a BRM and for that I’m saddened beyond belief.

          Good night and I almost forgot –

          GO REDS!!

        • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: I think you probably mean to attack Steve (someone who actually listens to Marty and frequently complains about him), but attacked me because that’s what you reflexively do regardless of what I’ve said or not said.

        • @Baseclogger: “I hope the horse continues being beaten.” This is just foreign to my world. I just don’t understand it but I have had a blessed life, so what the heck. Have at it.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: I listen to Marty when the MLB games are blacked out and I don’t have maybe as much issue with him as others, though he tends to show some disinterest at times. I mostly want to know what’s going on in the game. I get that.

    • @Baseclogger: In deference to Marty, watching this vapid offense night after night, it’s hard to be chirpy. I found today’s feature on Teddy Kremer to be uplifting. There are nice things about life.

  9. I don’t remember reading anything about Votto being a bad player here on the threads…
    But I do agree w/ some that he’s NOT having the type of year we expect (not just we the Reds, but national writers and observers). That’s a fact.

    I do agree w/ the write up that it’s BP that we have to get going. What’s he up to lately? he’s been terrible. He barely jogs to the 1st base on any ground outs, shows no passion.

    Everyone who says including the writer that we just have to win that 1 WC game is right (and also too hopeful). For a team like REDS who haven’t really shown up in key games other than ONE SINGLE STRETCH recently against Dodgers, Cards, (and Pirates in Pitts), I think the odd is NOT there… but it’s baseball so anything can happen in 1 game.. Just don’t be too disappointed if we lose the WC game that’s all. The way we’ve played this year, loss is really what we should expect, but if they surprise us by winning, then it is what it is…

    Re: Marty… why waste time beating up an old guy who loves the Reds just as much we do… put that energy into something or someone else – like the players who are sleep walking or manager who cares more for his tooth pick than winning

      • @santa barbara reds fan:

        Walt Jocketty is the last person I will put the blame on. He took a team that won 97 games last year, and acquired Shin-Soo Choo to fix the black hole at leadoff. He put together a team that is talented enough to have won this division in a runaway.

        The main problem with this team, other than underperformance by a few players, is Dusty Baker, and I don’t blame Jocketty for that. I blame Bob Castellini, as it appears that he is the one who forced Dusty upon Jocketty.

        • @docmike: agree… Dusty and Bob Castellini… both should go… but it won’t happen, no matter what happens in the playoff…they made PO 3 of 4 years… It’s Cincinnati not NY… Midwestern city doesn’t fire anyone over that type of record.. If we were Yankees, we prob would. too bad

        • @topgun67:

          Well, Castellini isn’t going anywhere, he owns the team. And for the most part he has been a good owner. He seems to be committed to having a winning team, and he has certainly upped the payroll quite a bit the last couple of years. He also hired a very good general manager in Walt Jocketty.

          But he needs to recognize that he did hire a good GM, and simply let him do his job. I firmly believe that if left up to Jocketty, the Reds would have a different manager right now.

        • @docmike: Even though Bob C is the Red’s owner (and trust me unless there’s a bold takeover or coup, its real hard to fire an owner), I still personally blame Bob C for rehiring Dusty. And I think BP’s play is a true indication of Dusty’s complicity (or is it duplicity) in promoting a total lack of team discipline by first allowing BP to continue all his stupid shenanigans.

          Take a moment to look back to game #3 of last year’s playoffs. What play, more than anything else, started the chain of 3 straight loses? BP’s goofy (I’m not accountable at all to the team) base-running. Stop and hit the SOB where it hurts most ($$$) – and suspend BP for insubordination if he fails to fall into line. Did anything come of it? No – does Dusty let BP get away with just about anything but murder – evidently (his outburst in Dusty’s office supports that notion).

          This team, as long as D Baker remains in charge, will lack whatever discipline, whether it be on the bases or at bat, is required to be true champs.

          Good night Reds fans and oh I almost forgot –

          GO REDS!!!

          And that dear Reds fan is the very problem with the Reds.

          One Dusty B and allowing the Reds to be run like Cincinnati’s version of Disneyland for the players.

        • @cincyreds14: Good points. I grimmaced the day Dusty was hired (and was asked by my Cardinal-fan friend why they he was) and wasn’t aware of anywhere near all of his managerial shortcomings.

        • @docmike: Sigh. Once again I must ask why so many people here think that the manager–any manager–wins or loses games. The team is talented in some ways, talented enough to play at least one post-season game, but theirs is not a lineup (regardless of how it’s ordered) that really scares good pitchers; 2 guys who consistently have good at-bats and a few other guys who are good in short streaks. They pitch well, they field passably (not as well as in the last few years, but passably). They are not a large-market, high payroll operation, and they cleaned out a good part of their high level minor league talent to get Latos–a good trade, but it still leaves them without much at AA or AAA. I think that we are seeing a team that is living up to realistic expectations.

        • @greenmtred: @Steve Mancuso: We spend a lot of time bashing Marty for bashing Votto and we spend a lot of time bashing each other for bashing Votto. And we assert that we aren’t bashing the right people — Phillips.

          So rather than bashing people for bashing the wrong guy, just cut to the chase and bash the people who have it coming.

          We are bashing Ludwick for hitting behind Choo, who didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard last night either. But Choo, like Votto, often gets a pass because of all he has done for us over the long season. Honestly, at this point, does it MATTER if Choo has a great OBP or been hit 25 times or if Phillips WAS a great run producer? Ohfers are Ohfers.

          What we wanted to happen last night was to win the game — and we’re arguing about whether we should be bashing Marty for some reason. I turned the game off in the 6th inning because of the same reason we bashed Ludwick. This team is out of step, unproductive and very uninteresting.

        • @Johnu1: Sorry but this got posted twice for reasons that connect to a computer’s propensity for acting smarter than a person.

  10. I propose changing the rules of this blog such that it becomes officially a no-no to complain about the topics other people choose to discuss. I’m tired of hearing about what other people are tired of hearing about. (Ironically, I’d like for this very comment to be against the rules.)

  11. I fast forwarded through the last four innings tonight because rarely do the Reds come back anymore after being down. The pleasant exception was the first win in Pittsburgh last weekend. But really, this team is becoming exasperating. Bruce strikes out; Chapman blows saves; Philips acts like a buffoon; and Baker dawdles away wins.
    Choo has become my favorite player on this team and you probably don’t have to ask why. Even the announcers are becoming irritating, but I won’t even go there. Ok, two more and a playoff game. I’ll say my prayers. There’s still hope and will be . . . at least until Tuesday.

    • @Carl Hudson: I second that.. Choo, just in one year, has become my fav… he plays hard, no matter of his shortcomings, and has really done a solid job… in the field (not perfect but he darn plays hard), and at each bat, he takes the ball count deep, and last 2-3 months, he has become a respectable hitter against the lefties even.

      wish him luck wherever he goes next year.. hopefully big city where he and his family can enjoy Korean community more than Cincy.

      Bruce is my 2nd favorite…

      Then, Frazer, although he can be frustrating as heck…

      BP is my least favorite.. I just find him lazy… so what he delivered over 100 rbi’s… i hate his jogging to 1st base (and no one says anything about it)

      • @topgun67: Agreed about Philips. The jogging is bad enough, but all the laughing and carrying on during the game even when the Reds are losing drives me nuts. The Reds’ announcers can’t get over how good he is, but if you look at a comprehensive stat like WAR, he’s way down there. I know it’s hard to knock 100 plus RBIs and some of the plays that he makes, but I think his supposed value is inflated.

        • @Carl Hudson: I expect that every player’s value is inflated. BP enjoys himself and I understand that people don’t like to see that manifested unless the Reds are winning in a blowout. He’s slumping now, and, yes, that hurts our chances, but he has made big plays and had big hits this year. I don’t think that it makes sense to single out one player to blame for the team’s ineffective offense: most of them are decent major leaguers but not world-beaters. They are doing pretty much what you should expect.

        • @greenmtred: Good points. Perhaps that’s the problem: my expectations exceeded the skill level of this team. The criticism of BP was in the context of my least favorite player on the team. For me, he’s the right choice. His antics reveal a lack of professionalism and compare badly with any number of excellent major leaguers on the Reds and other teams. I’lll always respect his skills and, as long as it continues, criticize his demeanor while performing them.

  12. Sorry but I disagree, there is zero to play for in the next two games. I would give the key players the night off, cause none of them are getting the job done, and then go to Pittsburgh and hope for a little luck.

  13. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

    The Reds do not hit Morton well at all so I think the Reds will be going to Pittsburgh.

  14. Numbers only tell a small part of a player’s impact, I think if you look at the entire season Votto has had a nice year, but he is paid to have great years.

    • @topgun67: @dn4192: If you look at larger sample sizes, home teams win postseason games at the same rate is regular season games – 54%. That’s not huge, but it’s something. I don’t think anyone is saying the home field will determine the outcome.

      • @Steve Mancuso: That’s about the only way we can find a silver lining here — to establish that winning these games don’t matter … that there truly IS no urgency. The harvest is complete. Let us all feast.

  15. VOTTO just broke some guys record who is named oh yeah Rose for total bases in a single season! I bet every other mlb club minus the snakes would take this so-called off season out of it’s 1B position. You can say what you want about his rbi totals but the fact is for most of the yr the 2 hole hitter has been a joke!!!! Cozart was there early in the season when he flat out couldn’t hit a beachball! Ludwick was there today for the reason that I for the life of me cannot come up with! Super Todd was in there like Cozart was in a huge slump early in the year also! There is a reason why Votto doesn’t have MVP type stats!!! But still he hold the reds all-time record for total bases!

    No chance this team plays at home on Tuesday!

    • @666wolverine: So, this passive attempt to defend Votto is accompanied by an onslaught of criticism of the rest of the batting order. I don’t recall anybody defending the rest of the batting order.

      • @Johnu1: I was just pointing out one reason that Votto’s rbi totals are down. Not as many ppl on base in front of him minus Choo. Facts are the facts the 2 hole has been a black hole this year!

    • Its getting to where the recap wouldn’t be a recap without hammering Marty for saying something the vast majority of fans would agree with. We get it, Sabers detest Marty, but there is nothing left of that dead horse but skin and bones, you can stop beating it now. I would not be surprised in the least if the Reds go on to win the next 2 games and get the WC game at home. It also wouldn’t surprise me if they lose the WC game at home and look like clowns doing it. (two Reds on the same base at the same time anyone) Still, I will cheer for my Redlegs. Go Reds!

      @666wolverine: Times on base, not total bases. Big difference. Still congrats to Joey.

        • @Zabka84:
          if he were a middle infielder with speed and made about 10 million a year less. Your 20 million dollar first baseman needs to be more Freedie Freeman, not Matt Carpenter.

          Votto is great to have on any team, had the Reds have more hitters like him and a manager who buys into this superior philosophy then the less scrutiny he would be under. My issue is the contract and the hindrances the Reds have to getting more players

    • @666wolverine: Votto HAS had Choo batting in front of him all year, though. My understanding is that Ludwick has batted 2nd frequently in his career, and it’s not unreasonable to think that he might see some hittable pitches batting in front of Joey. Joey himself is, in my opinion, the only guy on the team (excepting Choo) who would make a good 2nd hitter.

  16. Reds Fans

    How much better would you feel if you had Aroldis Chapman pitching on Tuesday instead of Latos? Imagine a world where Chapman became a starting pitcher sometime in June or July and over the last few months, we’ve watched him have 12K / 14K and possibly even 16K games through 7 innings. Imagine the development of his slider where he throws it more than just one or two times a night … and imagine how effective a guy like Latos or Bailey would be on nights AFTER the opposing team has seen lefty heat like never before.

    Instead, Aroldis Chapman is still useless. Correct, the word used was useless. 38/43 in save opportunities in 2012 and guess what? 38/43 in save opportunities in 2013! The two best weapons the Reds have, Chapman and Hamilton … are likely not even to make a difference in the play-in game (or the playoffs as a whole). Cincinnti has two players that can do things no other players can / and the discussion night in and night out is about guys like Ludwick, Phillips, Votto etc.

    Now I know Aroldis Chapman has said he wants to close because of the feeling and the pressure and all that, but man o man something tells me he’d love to pitch in a game like Tuesday for longer than just an inning (when the game is either in hand, or out of reach).

    Such a shame.

  17. I don’t think it’s too early. But if the team lays an egg over the next few games and exits the playoffs in Pitt, does Baker get relieved of his position?

  18. I’m blaming Ryan Ludwick for this loss. Not just for going 0-4, but for bringing bad vibes into the stadium with his comments earlier this week. I’m not really a superstitious fan, but I’m going to go with this one because it makes me feel better. He upset me with his comments, so he’s blamed.

    I just need the Reds to win on Tuesday. No matter what else happens, they need to win on Tuesday. I’m concentrating on that.

    • @Tracey: I think, all paranormal behavior aside, when your No. 2 hitter fails to reach base, advance a runner or initiate a rally, there’s plenty of blame to be shared.

  19. Not prepared for still another round of ‘The Life Study of the Statistics for J. Votto,’ but I thought I’d clip this bit from the intro that suggested we needed to get Votto going:

    “Joey Votto’s OPS in September is over 900.
    Brandon Phillips’ OPS in September is below 530.”

    Honestly, we need to get Votto’s OPS up to around 1.5 so that the .530 doesn’t look so bad.

    Why must baseball be all this complicated? Cheesh.

  20. So … we’re all buzzing over how to get the home-field advantage for Tuesday. Let’s see. That’s 3 losses in a row, at home, scoring a total of 3 runs in the 3 games in a so-called “hitter friendly” ballpark.

    Honestly, maybe Dusty has it right. Why worry? Doesn’t matter where you play. Maybe there is a great restaurant in Pittsburgh.

  21. The Cleveland Indians, who really weren’t very good in the early part of the year, are 90-70.

    The Reds, who were supposed to run away and hide, are 90-70.

      • @Carl Hudson: No apology required with me. Stubbs started for the 2 division-winning teams. Choo is definitely an overall upgrade, but I’d like rather have him in left and Stubbs in center than what we’ve had this year. … If the Indians and Reds met in a playoff series, I’d bet on an Indians sweep.

        • @redskaph: Actually, I like Stubbs. I believe Francona has maximized his value to the team this year and it’s paid dividends. I still check Indian box scores regularly to see how Drew is doing. Hitting .230, but still helping in a lot of ways. I’d love for him to be a hero in the play offs!

      • @redskaph: That frustrates me more than Phillips, Ludwick, or anything else. After last year’s playoff choke, we could easily have replaced Dusty with Francona. I’m pretty sure he would have pinch hit for Homer in the 5th. Of course, he might not have needed to because we’d probably have 97 wins and been sipping champagne by now.

        • @greenmtred: I recall Randy Myers saying once that Davey Johnson was worth 90 wins just showing up to the allpark. Davey actually proved that over and over again — including his tenure in Cincy.

          HE was available a couple of years ago. Did a nice job there in D.C. and almost turned it around this year with a team that was overmatched.

          So … yeah … good managers or good teams. It’s hard to tell sometimes.

  22. Some time during this week, I realized I was just flat out weary of and ambivalent about this season. I’d like to see the Reds win the game that counts (on Tuesday) and advance even further. However if they don’t, I’m OK with that. Its just all become too much wear and tear.

    And I’ve allowed myself to wonder if in some small way that isn’t going on with the team itself. They try; they legitimately give what’s left in the tank but it just isn’t there like we (or they) would like for it to be.

    Another thing I believe is that the situation this week end with the WC game to follow on Tuesday is truly a situation which borders on the bizarre. Four games in 5 days with the same team; yet, in the big picture, only the game on Tuesday means anything.

    Yes, we and the media are all trying to make the home field advantage a big thing but look at last year. The road team won the WC game. The Reds were perfect on the road in the playoffs and dropped three straight at home. Washington also could not seize upon home field advantage. In the end, maybe there’s something to be said for playing this week end like games 1-3 of the season instead of game 7 of the world series.

    Bring on Tuesday already and let’s find out….

  23. This is really sad to say, but…

    If you got a DM from @datdudeBP tonight, please don’t post it. You’re just helping out hacks like P-Doc.

    • This is really sad to say, but…

      If you got a DM from @datdudeBP tonight, please don’t post it.You’re just helping out hacks like P-Doc.

      Seems like he is showing his hiny tonight.

  24. Periodically I hear or read something to the effect that Baker should be given “credit” for his ability to manage the personalities on this team. I’m not sure what that means, exactly. Ludwick and BP are complaining about fans when they ought to be focused on their own pathetic approaches at the plate. Almost everyone other than Votto and Choo frequently get themselves out by hacking at pitches a mile out of the strike zone. We’ve seen some of the worst baserunning blunders in team history. We’ve seen guys jogging to first on ground balls in close games. We’ve seen Votto play defense like he’s scared of the ball. Frazier’s hitting has regressed. Cozart hasn’t attempted a stolen base this season. Most players look only semi-interested. At what point can we stop giving credit to Dusty for the way he’s managed the “personalities” on this team? Do they have to literally refuse to take the field or literally attempt to hurt each other before we can say he’s failed to provide adequate leadership?

    • @Baseclogger: Leaders do not try to be everyone’s friend . . . it only breeds contempt. Baker may be considered a great guy, but what do his players think of him as a manager? If their play is any indication, not much.

    • @Baseclogger: This is an excellent post. A few days ago Chad gave Dusty credit for getting the team this far without an implosion, but we are witnessing the implosion right now it seems.

  25. My lineup tomorrow would be:

    Choo
    Hamilton
    Votto
    Bruce
    Frazier
    Phillips
    Cozart
    Mesoraco

    Really upset still that Walt pretty much burnt 36 M on Ludwick and Broxton, that money could have gone to Choo or been used on arbitration raises or even Arroyo. Another thing is, this team desperately needs a RH # 4 that hits for power and average, something like .300 20 HR 80 RBI. Phillips is horrid right now, no patience at all. We NEED A SPARK or we’ll be one and out in Pitt

  26. –Okay, one more positive: Joey Votto went 2-4. Votto has now reached base 312 times this season, breaking Pete Rose’s club record. But yeah, Votto is having a bad season, right?

    Wake me up when Votto breaks Rose’s hits in a season record.

    Here’s a very simple idea: If Votto walks and there are men in scoring position, does it advance/score the runners?

    Now, if Votto gets a hit and there are men in scoring position…..

    I really think way too much emphasis is placed on getting on base around here. I don’t deny it’s good, but it’s not the be all end all of measuring a player’s offensive worth. And when that player is a hitter of the caliber of Joey Votto, well….

    • @CI3J: He scored a runner that way just the other day. In fact, it looked almost like an intentional walk with the pitcher so terrified of giving Votto anything to hit and so unconcerned about our cleanup hitter–Ludwick that day, I think–that he decided to walk in a run.

      Votto fouled off ball 4 in the 9th before his single last night. Was that a good thing, or a better thing that he singled instead of taking the walk? Was it a good thing that Phillips swung at the very first pitch instead of being more Votto-like? It was a pitcher’s pitch, designed to get a GBDP. But at least Phillips was aggressive and didn’t walk, right?

      • Sometimes reading the comments here make me feel like I’m reading yahoo or YouTube comments. The ignorance is astounding.

  27. The offense has really been struggling lately. Looking at the September stats (not including last night), there are several holes in the line-up:
    Ludwick – 286 .282 .567
    Phillips – 265 .250 .515
    Mesaroco – 178 .267 .444
    Hanigan – 261 .195 .456

    Not much Dusty can do about BP or the catchers. I’d like to see him try Heisey or Hamilton in place of Ludwick to at least get them a few swings in before Tuesday. It’s getting kind of late in the year to get Ludwick going.(299 .339 .637 for the season).

    • @MikeC: Not much Dusty can do about the catchers? He could try giving Mesoraco some consistent playing time. (He was hitting back when Hanigan was on the DL). Do you realize that if Dusty sticks to form Mesoraco will start the WC game on Tuesday not having seen game action since the previous Wednesday afternoon?

      The smart thing would be to start Mesoraco today–day game after night game, team not scoring, Arroyo experienced enough not to need his hand held, Arroyo did fine with Mes when Hanigan was on the DL, don’t want Mes so rusty on Tuesday, etc. But I bet Dusty won’t do it. Even if he’s tempted, he won’t do it because “Bronson and Hani have been together so long, and since this may be Bronson’s last game I thought they deserved to play together” or some such nonsense.

  28. Cubs just going to Cubs and Marty’s just going to Marty. Having said that, Marty has changed ever since Joe left. Sure, Marty was the play-by-play and Joe was the color man, but I think Marty deferred to Joe as the “expert”. In a way, he played 2nd fiddle to Joe. Perhaps Joe was under appreciated for the effect he had on Marty. I miss Marty and Joe together. Enjoy this….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tg7pM4-QZk

  29. The vibe around here has gotten really nasty the last couple days. First the rant over Ludwick’s very innocuous comments, then the kind of nasty retort to Daughtery daring to suggest Joey Votto is having a down year even though every single metric shows this is the worst season he’s had since 2009, the twitter feed is jus ta deluge of whining and calling out individual players. Apparently Brandon Phillips sent a direct message and now everyone’s mad about that. Guys, I love this site. I read it every single day, even in the offseason. You guys work your tails off and it’s all for the love of the team and the game. But you’re taking on a really bad tone this last week of the season. I know it’s out of frustration – we all had really high hopes for this team this year and they’re coming perilously close to dashing them. But if you want to complain about Marty being a curmudgeon, then don’t fall into the same trap. You’re mad at Ludwick. You’re mad at BP. You’re mad at Daughtery. You’re mad at Marty. You’re mad at Dusty. It’s bleeding into the fans who read the site and comment and go to games and generally want to root for this team for at least 3 more days. CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?!

    • @eric nyc: The situation may be different in the comment section, but I don’t think one single thing that has been posted on the front page could be characterized as “nasty.” To the contrary, everything that has been written has been very measured, in my opinion.

      Seems to me that you are projecting…

      • @Chad Dotson: Rich’s post about Votto yesterday was a bit aggressive. And I just don’t know what good it does to keep harping on Ludwick. The guy’s an actual honest to god born and bred Reds fan himself. And I get the impression that now you’re actually rooting against him. Thanks to all of your hard work, this blog is very visible now and the players clearly know about it. Just ask BP. I think you took Ludwick’s comments a little too personally.

        • @eric nyc: I disagree with that, obviously, but your comments are not unreasonable.

          I just thought the term “nasty” was over the top.

          As for “harping on Ludwick,” seems like we’ve barely mentioned the controversy on the front page. I did make a joke about it in the recap last night. But even the post that was technically in response to Ludwick’s comments barely referenced Ludwick. In fact, the post wasn’t even about Ludwick at all; it was about how our love for the Reds is much deeper than any current events. That’s nasty?

          Either way, I want nothing more than for Ludwick and BP to be wearing World Series rings after this season.

        • @Chad Dotson: Well the sub-title for that post was “Ryan Ludwick can shove it up his nose with a rubber hose” so you can see where SOME people might think it had SOMETHING to do with Ryan Ludwick.

          I didn’t think that post was negative – I understood the point of it. But it was clearly brought about by a reaction to (and, in my opinion, misinterpretation of) Ludwick’s comment. I just think tensions are high this week. Understandably so. The “nasty” remark I made was more about the twitter feed I woke up to this morning. Starting about halfway through the game until well into the night there’s just some real vitriol going there. And not necessarily from the official RLN account but from a lot of people I follow associated with the site or retweeted by the site or just generally in the same online community. I’d just hate to see all of this frustration turn people against the team at THIS stage of the season. I’ve agreed with you all season that the 2013 Cincinnati Reds are a hard team to get behind – even with 90+ wins. But dammit I’m going to give it my all for the next 3 days, and hopefully 3 or 4 weeks longer.

        • @eric nyc: I for one am happy there is at least one source of news for the Reds that doesn’t phone it in and actually challenges the stuff that needs challenged.

          If I wanted pandering sycophants or clueless Martybots whining about Votto and what the ‘players get paid to do’ instead of applying an ounce of critical thought to the parade of stupidity that comes out of the manager’s office, I’d go read Cincinnati.com.

        • @eric nyc: No one is rooting against Ludwick here. I’d be happy as h$ll if he hits better (if he’s in starting lineup, and of course, he will…Right,Dusty!..)

        • @eric nyc:
          I think Ludwick has gotten the backlash a bit hard, Hal Mccoy said said someone tweeted his wife something pretty nasty.
          Point is this team does not a mildly successive AAA hitter to carry them, it needs Ludwick doing exactly what he did in last year’s playoffs if they are to have any chance of success

    • @eric nyc: Thanks for trying Eric. I agree with everything you said. Yesterday I thought I’d had enough after reading some things that were written but here I am today. As aggravating as it can get sometimes this is still the best Reds blog I’ve ever seen. I understand everyone’s emotions are running high but there have been some posts in the last two days that seem to me violate the commenting guidelines post just recently.

  30. When Brandon Phillips was leading the world in RBI, RBI were meaningless.

    Now when Votto’s performance is questioned, the response is “But he has 7 more RBI than Phillips this month!”

    Stats. What can’t they do?

    Oh, and Marty sucks, amirite?!?! LOL. And women be shoppin’!

    • @RedZeppelin: Dude, the people who normally get on this train are pointing out the OPS difference and then using RBI to point out that those who were lauding BP for being superior to Votto do not even have that leg to stand on.

  31. Does it really matter who hits where when no one is producing, or where a one game play in is held?

    • @dn4192: I don’t get the nonchalance about homefield advantage. It’s a HUGE deal. It changes how you approach the last few innings of a close game…Or at least the way Dusty does. Everyone has been screaming all year about bringing in Chapman in non-save situations. Well the only time that happens is at home in a tie game in either the 9th or extra innings. Take a tie game into the 9th in Pittsburgh and there’s a very good chance our best pitcher never sees the field in the most important game of the season.

  32. So if we lose tonight then tomorrow is completely meaningless. Treat it like an exhibition game and start your entire bench? Or keep everyone sharp and try not to roll into the WC game on a 3-game slide? Just talking…Clearly a win tonight is crucial.

  33. So the only way now the Reds get a HOME playoff win to advance out of the 1st round of the playoffs is to beat the Pirates 3 in a row. Yeah, that’s happening.

  34. 1) It was kind of odd that there was no Cingrani-sighting last night. It would seem to be really important to check him out. Perhaps instead of Ondrusek? Or the sixth inning after PHing for Homer leading off the 5th?

    2) Was it me, or was the team producing when Bruce was batting behind Votto? After a couple of bloop singles by Ludwick Dusty thought “Yay! He’s ready to bat cleanup” and threw everything off. How about going back to that, sticking with it, and telling Phillips that the job of a 2-hole hitter is to focus on taking the ball the other way? Then put Ludwick on the bench and bat Heisey 6th behind Frazier or 7th behind Frazier and Cozart if you’re feeling really crazy. This is not rocket science. I repeat: this is not rocket science.

    3) Is there another Manager in baseball, faced with the same game/season/roster situation who would have watched Bailey’s performance and then let him lead off in the bottom of the 5th? I ask the question seriously: I don’t watch enough of other teams to know if that move was as nuts as it appeared. It was a two-fer: improve offense and have a better chance of shutting down the Pirates in the 6th. Seemed even more obvious than batting Bruce cleanup.

    • @Eric the Red: on point #3, also factor in to the equation the team had produced 5 runs in the previous 3 games @ home versus a team 15 games or more under .500….

  35. Missed the game last night, but it’s good to see the boys were prepared to play a big game. Ludwick is now the 2 hitter and the most overated player in major league baseball is back to the 4 hole. HAHAHAHA. I’ve said this a million times..Does the owner even watch this team? How is this acceptable? Another year wasted with this manager, while the best players on this team are in there prime, or only here 1 year (Choo). If I lived in the Cincinnati area and went to games, I would sneak a megaphone into the ballpark just to Boo Ludwick. That guy has some nerves.

  36. I wanted to try to be more positive through the rest of this season. I really did. But I’m having trouble finding things to be excited about in tonight’s lackluster performance.

    Boring team to watch right now unless Hamilton is playing. Tough pinning much hope on the Reds winning a one-game playoff but….I’ll keep the slim faith. Never thought I’d be more excited watching a Bengal game in September than the Reds.

    • @sezwhom1: Yes, the Bengals’ offense is infinitely more exciting than the Reds’. But, like you and everyone else here, I’ll keep the faith and hope to be pleasantly surprised by Tuesday’s outcome.

  37. The bats have sufficiently rested. I feel it. It’s a long season, they got fatigued. But, the bats have woken up this morning, done some yoga, had a good cup of coffee… they’re ready. Here comes a run. Just in time.

  38. I assume Dusty will be starting Hanigan today. If things stick to form with Arroyo and Cueto pitching today and tomorrow, Mesoraco will start the WC game on Tuesday not having seen game action since the previous Wednesday afternoon. Which is a shame, because he was hitting back when he was getting consistent playing time with Hanigan on the DL.

    The smart thing would be to start Mesoraco today–day game after night game, team not scoring, Arroyo experienced enough not to need his hand held, Arroyo did fine with Mes when Hanigan was on the DL, don’t want Mes so rusty on Tuesday, etc. But I bet Dusty won’t do it. Even if he’s tempted, he won’t do it because “Bronson and Hani have been together so long, and since this may be Bronson’s last game I thought they deserved to play together” or some such nonsense.

    And then people will say “it’s up to the players to perform. It’s not like Dusty is out there batting and running the bases!”

    • @Eric the Red: This is a great point. I’d add this. Mesoraco could use some up close recent experience seeing how the Pirates are hitting. Catchers learn a lot from watching hitters up close. They even adjust their approach on a pitch-by-pitch basis. Yes, much of this could be communicated from Hanigan to Mesoraco verbally. But you’d have to think it would help Devin understand where the Pirates hitters are right now by playing.

    • @Eric the Red: I could be a touch cold in this assessment, but if Mesoraco comes into a game and hasn’t played, I really honestly don’t care if he’s rusty. I want him to bring his bat with him and hit the ball. If he hasn’t played, tough. Bring your game. It’s the post-season now.

      If Chapman is rusty, tough. Bring your game. The other guys aren’t looking for reasons to fail.

      I watched Leake and Arroyo get shelled in home games a few weeks ago against the Cardinals after a bad western road trip. Shelled. Whatever happened to going out there and doing better than that?

      Mesoraco doesn’t need an excuse. He needs to hit and catch the baseball.

      As I assert, I am being kind of cold here. I just think it’s time that the word *urgency* actually applies. Cold … yeah, it’s a very long off-season after you get ousted.

      • @Johnu1: I don’t think you’re being cold. I think you’re being completely unrealistic. You might as well say “I don’t care if Ludwick hurt his shoulder and couldn’t lift weights for 5 months: suck it up and hit with some power!” Or “Sorry about that broken ankle, Tim Hudson, your team’s in the playoffs and they need you to pitch!”

        Dusty’s job–for which he is paid a lot of money–is to put his guys in the best position to succeed. Not playing Mesoraco for a week, and then expecting him to come in and perform on cue against the best baseball players in the world, is by definition not putting his guys in the best position to succeed.

  39. So after reading the article about Ludwick and Dusty in the Enquirer this morning.. I would put money down that Ludwick will be batting again at #2 today.

    Ludwick says he hasn’t hit for much power but “has been pretty good at getting on” and Dusty says that it works much better because then when he does a defensive replacement for Ludwick late in the game, the guys coming in for him are more suited to be #2 hitters than #4 hitters so it won’t “create a void in the lineup”.

    To which I say.. why is the only choices either Ludwick hits 4th or 2nd? Why not 6th? Or you know.. let Billy Hamilton start and lead off.

  40. Regarding Marty bashing..Marty has been much more entertaining to listen to than the Redlegs have been to watch (for much of this season and many in the past).IMO Marty loves the Reds as much or more than most of us.

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