Titanic Struggle Recap

Game 60: Just Enough

Final R H E
Philadelphia Phillies  (25-35)
5 11 0
Cincinnati Reds  (28-32)
6 6 0
W: A. Simon (8-3)   L: R. Hernandez (2-4)   S: A. Chapman (8)
Box Score | Play-by-Play | Stats | Depth Chart | FanGraphs Win Probability

The Good

Devin Mesoraco. Rock made two outstanding defensive plays at home plate, the second as Carlos Ruiz raced toward home with what would have been the tying run, had Rock not made a terrific tag catching the ball just as Ruiz appeared to race by him.

Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier both homered today, the former’s first home run in 25 games and his 100th home run in GABP.

Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman pitched a scoreless 8th and 9th inning, respectively.

The Bad

J.J. Hoover. The home run Hoover gave up barely got out of the park, but they all count. Hoover has had a number of good outings coming into today. It will be interesting to see how he reacts in his next appearance.

The Ugly

Nothing. 

Not so random thoughts …

Thanks to some good starting pitching, exceptional defense–something Reds fans take for granted in Cincinnati–and the wake-up call the bats received this morning, the Reds were able to outlast some shaky relief.

Todd Frazier continues to be a shining light for this team, not just on defense, but on offense as well. Pitchers figured him out last year and I had my doubts that he could make a significant adjustment. He’s done that and more.

The Daily Billy: We got a nice look at Hamilton’s defensive prowess today, specifically his arm, as he was part of two fine relay plays that cut down runners at the plate. He did his usual stuff on the base paths, leading to the Reds first run. He even had a sac fly.

My Knob Creek Player of the Game: The Rock. Devin Mesoraco. He protected home plate today reminiscent of old #5. Amirite?

32 thoughts on “Game 60: Just Enough

  1. Spot on recap again. Luv your writeups. I think Simon falls into the “just enough” category too. Not outstanding but effective.

  2. Was really pulling for JJ, I posted at the beginning of the 7th and no responded something I am curious to but too lazy to look-up, what are his stats coming in with a lead? Most of his stats of good performance are in losing causes that I recall and I really hope he can be a reliable arm this summer …

  3. Need to win tomorrow badly. Can’t be losing series to bad teams like the Phillies if you want to pretend this team has a chance at a wildcard.

    • That is how I felt the last series Reds against the Phillies… about where I gave up on a winning season. Still I root for them without much expectation and I deal with the losing a lot better

  4. Enough is enough is enough. Having once worn the tools of ignorance, I love it when catchers make like linebackers to save games. I think anyone who has ever worn the tools if they are honest will admit they lived to make plays like those. NIce job Meso.

  5. Phillies are a bad team, but, the Reds needed that win. Makes a big difference when Bruce homers. Win tomorrow and take the series and go from there

    • Did you forget about Cueto and his 1.97 ERA? He is the one shoe-in all-star at this point. Simon, on the other hand, I don’t see it. His ERA is now up to 3.15, and there are several other pitchers ahead of him.

      As for the hitters, Frazier should be close to a lock, as his OPS of .869 is significantly higher than the next highest for a 3rd baseman. Mesoraco’s OPS is also much higher than the rest of the NL catchers, but he only has half the at-bats.

      Right now, I think Cueto, Frazier, and Mes all make it.

      • I don’t think Meso makes it unless he has another big hot spell right ahead of the final selection. Frazier may deserve it but he will be fortunate if he gets the call.

        If Votto is anywhere near 100% and comes back and has a world beater month, he will probably get put on, just the way the world works,

    • Don’t think Simon makes it in with an ERA north of 3. I agree with Mike that you forgot Cueto. I’ll also add a bit of my own. Chapman will probably make it, if only on velocity/name recognition. Broxton also has a chance, though non-closer relief pitchers don’t generally get very many spots.

      Chapman and Broxton both rely on a lot more frequent use between now and then though. Hoover and LeCure have both pitched more than twice as many innings as Chapman at this point and Broxton is 5th in the bullpen in innings. Both need more.

  6. I thought that Frazier would be better this year. I get the feeling that he hates to lose and that would drive him to work on things. I do not think you can discount the job that Long is doing with several of the players either.

    GABP was having one of those days when the ball really flies out. In a lot of ballparks, those homers were just fly balls that would have been caught. (not Frazier)

  7. Six runs on six hits for the Reds today. Thankfully they actually got 5 walks. Didn’t I just read some number somewhere that would indicate 5 walks was about two weeks worth for this team based on the season to date?

    So I guess an optimist would say the Reds were opportunistic today. I think I’ll say thet emerged as opportunistic based on the result but this is still a sorry sorry offense taken as a whole.

  8. It’s hard to watch JJ come apart, he was did some really good work for the Reds last year. It was not out of the realm you could see him maybe become the closer if the mythical Chapman to the rotation happened.

    • He sort of reminds me of a latter day Nick Massett. He gets has spells where he gets lots of outs but then has spells where he just plain stinks. Also it seems when they start counting on him for leveraged situations that’s when he has problems.

      Today he took a non leveraged situation and turned it into a seriously leveraged one which is about the worst a reliever can do. It seems like he is prone to either doing little things that come back to bite him or being bitten because of the little things he did not do right. Today his issue was not fielding the bunt right back at the mound. That was all it took to set up the rest of his problem.

      • Hoover is not like Masset. When Masset was in one of his slumps, he would pitch poorly in any situation. When Masset was on a roll, he was tough in any situation. Hoover’s pitching on the other hand very much depends on the situation. Yes without the bunt he would have retired the bottom of the order but as soon as he had to face good hitters with the lead on the line, he folded.

        • Overall, you are correct. I was thinking of the times when Massett seemed to be walking the line between good and bad and there was such a hair trigger to set him bad. Walk a pitcher or Mendoza line hitter on 4 straight after pitching brilliantly to a previous hitter, bungle a simple fielding play, throw an inexplicable WP at the worst possible time etc

    • Hoover did pitch well in 2013. Below I give him a hard time because I think the truth is that he’s lost confidence. But he can get it back. It would be a big boost, he has good stuff.

  9. Hoover’s “good outings” came in mop-up situations. His first chance in a while to protect a lead of 3 runs or less, and he makes a mistake to Rollins and after that is back to being afraid to throw a strike. Price said that Hoover “doesn’t get anxious, he’s just had a problem with his mechanics. Bull. He has a problem with his mechanics when he gets anxious,

    LeCure is the opposite of Hoover. LeCure gets hit when he comes in to mop up but with the game on the line, he’s very tough.

  10. With LeCure unavailable, the Reds predictably had a 7th inning problem. Above I give Hoover a hard time, but it isn’t just him. Other than LeCure-Broxton-Chapman, the bullpen is just plain bad. It will be a big help when Latos returns and either Cingrani and Simon return to the pen.

    Due to the need for a lefty, I think Cingrani goes to the pen first. Then as Simon’s inning count gets high, they swap places.

  11. Speaking of Broxton-Chapman, how many times has that two-headed monster pitched a 2 inning save this season ? How many of those were one run leads ? How many of those leads would have been lost of the two were still on the DL ? Without them, the Reds would be well behind the Cubs.

    WAR, what is it good for ? Absolutely nothing.

  12. Bruce had a couple of nice swings in the win over the Giants and another nice one today. A barrage of HRs is on the way.

  13. People who are emphasizing the importance of a win on Sunday are right. A loss of a home series to the Phillies would be a serious missed opportunity.

    • I betcha Phillies fans are all thinking the same thing, I truely believe those opportunities were missed when they lost back-to-back series against the Padres and Phillies last time. After the 3 wins in AZ, I thought they might have a chance if they can split the homestand, I figured realistically 1-2 against the Giants, winning the series against the Phillies, but do not see them holding up against the Dodgers pitching to even maintain a split…but maybe they win today and suprise me. But my count a loss today means they have lost 6 of the last 8 series and any way you look at it, that is just a bad team overmatched in talent

      • Yes, it’s the Phillies. But if you look at that series in Philadelphia we had to face Hamels–who simply owns us–and Lee, who can still be a very tough pitcher. And we were missing a few bats. It’s not like we were facing a couple of stiffs.

        I know it’s frustrating, but we’ve had a very tough schedule, compounded by the fact we’ve had some bad luck with injuries and with things like playing teams when they’re hot instead of cold, like Colorado (who we still beat 2 of 3). Keep the faith, and Go Reds.

  14. I was at the game yesterday, an okay game but the Reds are just plain boring. There was no excitement when the Reds were batting, I really just can’t put my finger on it. I am a lifelong Reds fan and will always support them, but, gees, we need to learn to put some hits/walks together. The OBP of this team when seen on the scoreboard is really depressing. BTW, can J. Broxton be any slower from pitch to pitch. The fans in my section were really getting on him. It was at least one minute (sometimes more) between pitches. He threw over to first one time and I though the guy next to me was going to fall asleep waiting for the next pitch.

  15. Nice win today but this team still is what it is and is not ready for primetime. If I were GM ( I’m Not) but I would be listening to any and all offers to improve this team’s future at the weak positions. SS, LF. Probably have to give up pitching that you don’t expect to sign long term. But, young pitching is what this organization seems to have coming up sooner than position players. So time to stock up on position player depth.

    • A lot was said when some of us compared the NHL Columbus BlueJackets to the Reds but I think there is another fair comparison here. When the CBJ were forced to cut the supposed heart from their team because Rick Nash asked out, they landed squarely on their feet and were soon a better off team because they managed to trade a single premium quality player for top several quality players.

      Now, if Votto is anything close to the pre injury Votto, I am NOT suggesting to go nuclear and move him; but I think it would make sense to move some of the pitching for young position payers.

      • Above that should be “they managed to trade a single premium quality player for several top quality players”

        Happens every time my avatar assistant is supervising my writing. :)

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