Titanic Struggle Recap

Reds get swept at Yankee Stadium to begin the 2nd half

Final R H E
  Cincinnati Reds  (51-47) 2 6 1
  New York Yankees  (50-47) 3 11 1
 W: Chapman (0-3) L: Robertson (1-2)
 Box Score |   Play-by-Play    |   Game Thread    |    Photos   |  Win Probability

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The Reds got swept by the Yankees, in glorious TOOTBLAN fashion. With a runner on third base and 1 out in the 9th inning of a tie game, Aroldis Chapman was able to get Brian McCann to pop-up, in pretty routine fashion. The ball was in the middle of Schumaker, Frazier, and Bruce, and all three players let up. The ball dropped as the three guys stared at each other, and that gave the Yankees the win. I’ll let you guys fight over who was most to blame for that. It was just a play that simply can’t happen.

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (wining percentage added), the most important play of the game was Todd Frazier’s solo home run in the 8th inning. Despite the Reds eventually losing the game, it was the biggest play of the game for either team. The play increased the Reds chances of winning by 26.0% (from 19.3% to 45.4%)

Other important plays (+/- is the percentage each play increased or decreased the Reds chances of winning):

  • +14.9% – Schumaker’s RBI double in the 5th inning with 2 outs. Reds took a 1-0 lead.
  • +10.7% – Chapman strikes out Teixeira in the 9th, runner on 3rd base with 1 out
  • +8.9% – Cueto gets Beltran to ground into a double play with 0 outs in the 4th inning (clears the bases)
  • +8.8% – Schumaker singles to leadoff the 8th inning
  • +8.0% – Cueto struck out Teixeira to end the inning with the bases loaded in the 3rd inning
  • +6.4% – Cueto struck out Teixeria with runners on 1st & 3rd with 1 out in the 5th inning
  • -19.0% – Jeter’s RBI single in the 5th inning tied the game at 1 (runners on 1st & 3rd, 1 out)
  • -17.4% – McCann’s single off Chapman in the 9th inning, Yankees win 3-2
  • -14.2% – Schumaker caught stealing with 0 outs in the 8th inning (was on 1st base)
  • -12.4% – Ellsbury advanced to third base on a wild pitch by Chapman in the 9th inning (runner on 3rd, 0 outs)
  • -12.1% - Ellsbury’s RBI single in the 5th inning gives the Yankees a 2-1 lead (runners on 1st & 3rd, 1 out)
  • +10.0% – Ellsbury stole second base in the 9th inning (runner on 2nd base, 0 outs)
  • -6.4% – Hamilton struck out to end the 7th inning (Reds had a runner on 2nd base)
  • -6.0% – Cueto walked Johnson, Yankees have runners on 1st & 2nd with 0 outs in the 3rd inning

Player of the Game

Jacoby Ellsbury: 4 for 4,  1 Run, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 SB, 1 2B, +0.52 WPA

Positives

Todd Frazier hit a huge, game tying homer in the 8th inning. The home run gave Frazier a new career high 20 HR, and he now needs just 7 more HR to have the most homers by a Reds 3B since Tony Perez hit 40 in 1970. He also made a terrific play at 1B in the first inning. He made a diving stop of a rocket from Mark Teixeira that would have gone down the line. With Jacoby Ellsbury on first base, he probably saved a run.

Frazier

In his return from the DL, Skip Schumaker had an RBI, ground-rule double in the 5th inning to give the Reds a 1-0 lead in the 5th inning. Schumaker was 2 for 3 with a walk in the game.

Even on Johnny Cueto’s worst day, he really wasn’t all that bad. His line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 7 K. It was only the 3rd time in 21 starts that Cueto didn’t pitch 6.0+ innings. For the season, Cueto now has a 2.18 ERA, 3.14 FIP, and 0.92 WHIP.

Ramon Santiago extended his hitting streak to 8 games today. Santiago went 2 for 2 today with a double and a single. He now has a ridiculous .361 OBP on the season (that is higher than every Red except for Votto and Mesoraco). Santiago has really been a nice utility player for the Reds. He has played solid defense (he had 2 Defensive Runs Saved entering today), although he did commit an error at third base today.

Sam LeCure entered the game in the 6th inning with the bases loaded, and 2 outs. LeCure got Derek Jeter to ground out, and kept the Yankees lead at 2-1. LeCure would go on to pitch a scoreless 7th inning as well..

https://twitter.com/OSUReds/status/490942110301167617

Zack Cozart makes it look so easy at SS. He made some nice plays in the field today. There is a reason he entered today with 17 Defensive Runs Saved (4th most of ANY player at ANY position in the MLB, and most among all MLB SS).

Jonathan Broxton pitched a scoreless 8th inning, allowing 1 hit, and striking out 1. Broxton now has a 1.06 ERA and 0.79 WHIP on the season.

Negatives

The Reds Defense was brutal today. There was the 9th inning debacle that I don’t want to talk about anymore. Ramon Santiago made an error in the 6th inning that loaded the bases for the Yankees, and Billy Hamilton lost a fly ball, courtesy of the sun. Fortunately for the Reds, Sam LeCure was able to pitch around those defensive miscues, and the Yankees didn’t score either time.

The Reds Offense was brutal in this series. They scored just 6 runs in this three game series, and struck out 31 times. It is pretty apparent the Reds have to get a serious bat somewhere if they want to contend this year. It was nice to see replacement players carry the Reds to the all star break, but bad players can only play above themselves for so long.

Jacoby Ellsbury showed why defense matters in baseball. He made an incredible running, sliding catch to rob Frazier of a hit in the third inning. His catch ended the inning, and saved at least 1 run from scoring (Reds had runners on 1st and 2nd).

The Yankees hitters might be old as dirt, but they really worked Johnny Cueto, and jacked up his pitch count. Cueto threw 112 pitches in just five innings. Cueto certainly wasn’t given a generous strike zone by Angel Hernandez. However, from following along on MLB Gamecast, it didn’t appear like Cueto was really squeezed too much by Hernandez.

Skip Schumaker got picked off (technically consider caught stealing) after a leadoff single in the 8th inning. He was the tying run. I’m assuming the play was a hit and run that Schumaker took off a little too early on. Of course, Todd Frazier would hit a homer later in the AB, and if Schumaker didn’t get picked off the Reds would have had a 3-2 lead. It turned out to be a pretty big deal.

Not so randoms thoughts……..

The Brewers also lost in walk-off fashion at Washington. The Reds will start a 3-game series in Milwaukee tomorrow with a chance to pass the Brewers in the standings with a sweep. The Cardinals play the Dodgers tonight on ESPN. If the Cardinals win, they will be in sole possession of first place in the NL Central, with the Reds 3.5 games back. The Pirates also won today, so the Reds are now in 4th place in the NL Central, a game behind the Pirates.

Why didn’t Bryan Price play Mesoraco at DH today? You have a chance to keep a player with a .957 OPS in the lineup, while still giving him a day off behind the plate. I’m sure the explanation for this would be that Price wouldn’t want to the lost the DH if Pena was to get hurt, but I feel like that is certainly a risk worth taking. The Reds certainly could have use his bat in the lineup.

I don’t like Price batting Skip Schumaker and Zack Cozart second, and I’m really not sure why he is doing it. Frazier has hit second 37 times this season, so why remove him with Votto gone? Just go with Hamilton, Frazier, Bruce, and Mesoraco 1-4, and give your best hitters the most trips to the plate. And yes, I know Skippy had an RBI double, and a 2 for 3 day. The end doesn’t always justify the means.

Now that I am done criticizing Price, I will praise him. He pitched Aroldis Chapman in the 9th inning, in a tie game, on the road. You have to give Price some credit for that, as that is something our old friend Dusty Baker never would have done. Even if it didn’t work, it was still the right decision. At least Price went down with his best bullpen arm on the mound.

I was watching the game today on the YES Network (Yankees broadcast). Former Red, Paul O’Neill was doing color commentary today. In the second inning, Carlos Beltran struck out, but he really battled and made Cueto work (as you see below courtesy of MLB Gamecast). O’Neill praised Beltran for having a good at-bat, and said he just got beat by a great pitcher making a great pitch. It was really nice to see a broadcaster praise the process, and not just bash the results as we see so many times by a few Cincinnati broadcasters.

Beltran K

136 thoughts on “Reds get swept at Yankee Stadium to begin the 2nd half

  1. Losing is part of the game, but the embarrassing way this team plays sometimes really can drive a fan crazy. On a popup? Just can’t happen. ….

    Interesting note about the umpire’s strike zone. Early in the inning in which the Yankees scored two runs, it looked like Cueto was starting to get that outside pitch to lefties called for strikes. Then it vanished again as quickly as it appeared. Steve also commented that the ball/strike calls didn’t seem bad, so maybe it’s just me…..

    • I think the rap on Angel Hernandez as a ball/ strike ump has always been inconsistency. It doesn’t matter what color uniform the batter or pitcher are wearing, they just never know how he is going to call them at the margins until he calls them.

  2. They have the bat they need standing out in RF already. He just needs to start acting like a professional hitter instead of some clown with a bat who will chase literally everything.

    • I will agree with you here. Bruce’s underachieving is holding this team back as much as anything else. Combine that with Votto’s injury, and it’s a double whammy.

  3. I would disagree that right now Jay Bruce should be batting third or fourth. Right now he is not one of their best hitters. I would move him there when he got hot again, but not now.

    • +1 and maybe take the pressure off. We need to be thinking more current and less past. It’s not so much he is in a slump but his ABs are just ugly right now.

    • Who else would you bat there? I know Bruce hasn’t been as good as years past, but with the active players, he is without question one of the four best hitters.

      • Honestly, right now he is the least effective hitter other then maybe Cozart. His numbers for July aren’t bad there atrocious. Personally, I don’t think he guy is right as far as health.

        Look back through the archives, I’ve always been a big supporter of Jay Bruce. No particular reason other then I believe he is a very good ball player and hopeflly a cornerstone f this team for another 5 years or so. Right now, he is a very bad hitter. Maybe it’s a slump, who knows, but I wouldn’t put all my money on that bet. For now I’d spread the lineup: Hamilton (assuming he’s healthy), Schu, Frazier, Mez, Heisey, Bruce, Pena, and Cozart. I can’t tell how much I want to be wrong.

        • “Right now.” The way this roster is constructed, you have to trust Bruce will hit eventually. I’m not saying that’s a good thing (WAKE UP WALT!) but it is what it is. you don’t stick Bruce at 7 or 8.

        • If that’s where the organization really feels Bruce should be batting then the season is over. You might be right – but in that case we’re in selling mode. He’s too important to the offense. No confidence in him means no confidence in making the playoffs in 2014.

        • No confidence until he gets out of it? Heck, no confidence means he is riding the pine. Moving him down means trying to put the team in the best position to win, why is that a problem? Leaving him in the 4th spot means no confidence in making the playoffs. Not punishment but survival.

        • It’s not punishment, it’s expectations. Bruce is a vital cog to this offense – He’s been in the big leagues long enough to not need a knock in the lineup to get his head straight. The point is that if you can’t reasonably expect him to produce in the heart of the order, you’re sunk. Moving him to 6th isn’t going to change anything in his approach. You have to go into every single game expecting him to shake out of this slump. Maybe he doesn’t, but if that’s your expectation then the season is over. Giving him 10 less AB’s over the rest of the season doesn’t solve a thing.

        • What they REALLY need to do is figure out if Bruce needs another stint on the DL/”Rehab” assignment to figure out how to adjust to his reconstructed knee. But, again, if that’s the case then we need to pack it in for 2014 and see what we can get for guys like Broxton in the trade market.

        • What we’re seeing from Bruce–swinging at pitches he can’t hit, watching hittable pitches fly by, taking few pitches–is something we’ve seen from him periodically. Then he’ll go on a tear and hit everything. I dunno–the positions of the moon and stars?–but this is more noticeable because of the injuries. The team generally looked over-awed against a mediocre Yankee team.

    • I’m not surprised “people” don’t want a 2 fer 3 three guy in the 2 hole. But feel an everyday 0 fer should bat 3rd or 4th. Bruce needs a Bench wake up call! Sit him!

  4. Just back from the big ball yard in the South Bronx. Have been watching the Redlegs for many moons. have never seen a team as mentally unprepared as the team was today. Refund!

  5. Cueto has looked like Volquez his last 2 starts. He has lost his control and is walking guys and having to pitch out of jams or behind in the count constantly.

    • I was sitting a little to the left side of center field so I couldn’t tell exactly where all those outside pitches to the lefties were coming in, but they all seemed really close, and so many of them seemed to be in the exact same place. It didn’t look to like Johnny had bad command, it kind of looked like he was mad that he wasn’t getting that corner and he was going to stubbornly keep going for it. Of course, I have no idea if that was his mindset, but he did seem frustrated with Hernandez behind the plate. Again, I couldn’t tell where those balls were coming in exactly, it sounds like they were actually off the plate. But if he’d been getting that call he probably would’ve been through the first five innings with a shutout and a minimal number of pitches. That being said, I’m not sure why they didn’t change their strategy when it became obvious he wasn’t going to get the outside call on the lefties. Maybe he was actually wild. Not a good outing for him, but he’s still the starter I’m least worried about right now.

    • Last three starts. Although Angel Hernandez clearly got in his head today. Still, Cueto’s starting to normalize a bit. He’s still an ace, but he’s not a CY caliber ace. With Latos shaky, it’s hard to be a real contender without that guy. If a playoff series was starting tomorrow we would obviously start Cueto, but I’d be nervous.

      • I’m with you there. He’s not Kershaw. But he’s really good and he’s our guy. I hope it’s just a slightly down (for him) phase and not that he’s tiring or coming too far back towards normal

        • Or maybe he hadn,t pitched in a week? Hernandez is one of three or four umps who seem to have a strike zone that moves depending on the team. The Yanks let a lot of outside pitches that Cueto usually gets for swing and misses or called strikes, The Reds swung at a lot of them and the Yanks did not.

  6. To me, the the elephant in the room is Billy Hamilton. He shouldn’t be tired and he is too studious a hitter to just all of of a sudden be having ABs that resemble the first two weeks of the season. Wish the beat writers would ask straight up how the hammy is, or is not, effecting his game He just doesn’t look good right now. He doesn’t look Hamilton-fast right now. Hope I’m all washed up here.

    • I’ve said it a couple times in the past few weeks – he was on a huge hot streak. He was due to come back to earth. For this year I think a wRC+ of 105 is probably the best we can hope for. We shouldn’t have ever been relying on him to be the catalyst in this lineup. Frazier and Bruce are much bigger concerns.

    • Maybe I’m a jinx on Billy. I’ve been to 4 games this year and he’s 0-8 with a caught stealing and a little league miss/drop of a fly ball in the sun. Granted, he was injured and out for 2 of those games. Fortunately for all of us I’m not going to any more games this year. Boy, some of the drunk dudes in the bleachers were letting him HAVE it after his missed that fly ball.

      • No, you’re no jinx. Early in April he was just over matched. This is different, the guy has improved every month and not by a little bit, all of sudden..nothing. Huh??

        Did he attempt one bunt this series? If not, what does that tell us if anything? Chris Welsh was mystified why Billy didn’t run a bunt up the first base line as apparently Mark Teixeira is somewhat lame and doesn’t move well. When you add to it, Billy was struggling mightily swinging the bat; you would expect some bunts, I can offer a wild guess why he didn’t: maybe Billy’s hammy is lame?

        I don’t like the way he is walking and I especially don’t like his break. It might be telling. Is there anywhere to monitor a players time to 1st base? Guys can’t hit without solid pins underneath them, ask Mark McGwire or Joey Votto. Maybe we need to ask Jay Bruce about that too. Billy said he has been dealing with this since the spring – Rotoworld. That’s not encouraging. I see a guy getting slower and slower As always, color me skeptical; this time about both Hamilton and Bruce.

        • Did you see him run on his double? His leg is not bothering him. He had a bad weekend.

        • Sorry, go look at his break out of the batter’s box. I could be wrong but highly doubt it. We’ll see either way.

      • Yankee Stadium was a real home field advantage yesterday. The wind was blowing in from left at 18 mph and playing tricks with the ball. It almost blew Frazier HR back onto the field and both fly balls that were missed was because the wind blew them toward RF. Does not excuse them being caught, but it is like catching balls in Chicago when the wind is blowing in, or for us oldies,Candlestick.

  7. I understand catchers not playing the day game after a night game. This was a day game after a DAY GAME. How is that different than a night game after a night game?

    • Mea should have been the DH at the least – I really don’t see any valid excuse for his bat not being in the lineup (other than Pena getting hurt ) – but as someone else has already alluded to , I think that’s a chance you have to take – just don’t understand that from Price at all

    • I can’t imagine why we would be interested in giving anything up for a relief pitcher right now, but that is exactly how Walt’s brain works. Unless it was in combination with a Broxton move I might finally switch teams if that happens.

      • My guess is that walt is talking about,swapping a guy or three at athe AA level or lower for Byrd and the reliever would be to fill an open void for moving Lecure, Ondrusek, Or Conteras or all three. Conteras is not used very much right now, not sure why.

  8. Man, this is a somber bunch (I hope that’s not taken as personal criticism, I’m pretty down, myself). This team certainly has its ups and downs. I thought the low point was getting swept in Dan Diego after playing so well right before that and then we have this farce.

    At least this was the Yankees. Even if they are not the ’27 Yankees they are still a pretty formidable team of veteran players. Mutaman was at the game and made the comment that he had “never seen a team as mentally unprepared as the team was today”. There may be something to that. To me they seemed to be sleepwalking through the whole 3 game series. I don’t know if it was a hangover from the All-Star break or being awed by the Yankee tradition or what. It’s a young team and I don’t know how many of them have ever been to Yankee Stadium (new or old) before. I’m not making excuses for them, just trying to get a handle on it.

    The announcers kept talking about the “core” of Yankee players during their “glory days” of the last decade or so. I think the Reds have a nice “core” of players, too, but they have been without about half of them in some form or another for the whole season. It’s hard to achieve consistent play with make-shift patch-work lineups. Again not making excuses, just facing facts.

    I think this team has some very good parts and when this team is whole it has a lot of potential. But with multiple key parts missing, it is going to be extremely difficult to perform consistently. When you have all your parts, when some of your key players go through spells of not performing up to par, other key players pick them up. But when you are missing as many players or have as many players playing hurt as the Reds have had all season, those key players are not there to pick up their teammates. Also, you wind up playing people out of position. Hence you have inconsistent play. They look like world beaters one night (or series) and Little League the next night (or series).

    I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet. If they can hang around they might still be in contention if they finally get healthy and get all the parts back. But I’m also going to try not to condemn them for playing at times like a team that is discombobulated, because of these trying circumstances, no matter how frustrating it is to watch them.

    Sorry about the long post, has a lot to get off my chest.

    • Not a young team. At least six players have been to Yankee Stadium before, and should have prepared the others for whatever “aura” surrounds a building less than a decade old.

      And it wasn’t a trio of youngsters who let a ball drop between them.

      This roster has an unfortunate habit of throwing up on themselves in big moments. These are the times I question the veteran leadership of the team.

    • This seems like 1000 words to say “The Reds have had a lot of injuries.” I think we all understand that. Every word posted on here comes with the unspoken disclaimer of “The Reds have had a lot of injuries.” But we either close the book on the season and start selling or we hold out hope and start buying. Standing pat is not an option. It’s what we’ve done the last 4 years and it’s been a disaster every time.

        • 2010 = first no hitter in post season play in a century, disaster. 2011 = missed playoffs, disaster. 2012 = swept 3 games at home after going up 2-0, disaster. 2014 = falter in the last 3 weeks, lose 8 of the last 9 games, crap bed in WC game, disaster. What team have you been following?

        • Were you around for the 80s, nearly all of the 90s and the first 7 years of the 00s? Now that was a real disaster.

        • Here come the Bengals fan excuses…This team has WOEFULLY underperformed in the last 4 years. Period. The end.

        • If you are satisfied with just making the playoffs, I have some Bengals season tickets to sell you…

          Demand better.

        • Disappointment is a far cry from a disaster. You will know a disaster when one befalls you.

        • So make a trade for the sake of trading? The Cards are not healthy and they still are winning. You have to balance what you have with what you will gain or lose. Schumacher, Santiago, and Pena,have held up their end and maybe what we shall be seeing for the next six to eight weeks. Votto and Phillips will not be in the lineup until mid September, by then the Reds will either be in the race or have faded away. Jocketty said the other day that he felt that something would need to be done to help with morale so I think he knows what is at stake. He also knows that he cannot give away the store to get it. I do not think the team, as constituted, will hang in there, but to trade away Stephenson, Ervin, Winker, and other top prospects that should be cornerstones, to win this year is not smart. Beating the Brewers would help morale, move them toward the place they belong in the standings (4th place), and would demonstrate that this team can still be a factor in the race.

      • Eric NYC: I often agree with you, but I don’t agree that the Reds have been underperforming for the past 4 years. They have had a decent but not great roster and holes in the batting order. Competing may not be enough, but it isn’t a disaster.

        • 2012 was a disaster. Plain and simple. We came into the playoffs looking like the team to beat in the NL and probably the favorites for the whole thing. Cincinnati sports fans – Win some regular season games and all is forgiven.

      • It’s 446 words, still a lot. I don’t think they are at an either/or state. You got to play it out. Despite all the injuries that everybody understands, they are in contention past the half-way point of the season. If they can make a deal that helps the team without mortgaging the future, then great. But don’t make a deal just for the sake of making a deal and for goodness sake, don’t make a deal that negatively effects the team’s future. If they can’t swing a deal, and there are a lot of unknowns on who is available and for how much, then, with them being in contention, play it out. If they can hang in there until they are whole again, maybe they can produce an impressive September run. It’s been done before. This site, like most sports sites is bi-polar. The team wins two or three games in a row and everybody is on board and making post-season plans. If it loses two or three in a row, they want to call it quits and break up and sell off the team. It’s a sports forum and that’s part of the nature of sports forums. It’s for people to express their opinions and sometimes even vent a little bit. But in the long run, our opinions carry no weight.

  9. I couldn’t watch the games this weekend mlb.com blocks me. I’m for 450 miles away from NYC and the Yankees broadcast in my region. Same for the Mets. I don’t get it I paid for that right.

    Can the Reds just play Lutz and Soto and see what they have. They may mature to be a Frazier type player. Soto struggled early on but went down to AAA and hit well. Lutz got called up because they believe in him. I know it can cause veterans not to like it but Soto and Lutz are the ones with power who may get hot like Frazier did a couple years back.

    Can Heisey platoon in all 3 outfield spots to get him some more at bats. He may be finding his spring training stroke.

    • I believe that Price for the most part has done a good job as a rookie manager, but he could do a better job with the team that he puts on the field.

      Cozart or Santiago should never bat second. He should just move everyone up in the order.

      Mesoraco should start except when he needs a day off, regardless of who is pitching. He and Cueto are big boys, they need to make whatever adjustments that are needed so that they can work together and keep Mesoraco’s bat in the lineup.

      Price should limit playing people out of position. If WJ doesn’t trade for or sign a backup 1B then while Lutz is with the club play Lutz there with some regularity to get him a consistent string of at bats. Playing him sporadically doesn’t do him or the team any good.Lutz came up as a 1B and was switched to outfield because 1B was blocked but he has been playing some 1B again at AAA. He’s a left-handed power hitter with some pop. He was hitting extremely well at AA before being called up to the big club where he was seldom used before being sent down to AAA. He got off to a terrible start in AAA after sitting on the Reds’ bench for 3 weeks, but had started to hit again (.297/.317/.541 2 HR 12 RBI over his last 10 games) before being called up again. Lutz hasn’t seemed as lost at the plate in the majors as Soto, especially since his last call-up (and I’m not really throwing off on Soto, he has never really had enough at bats to make a judgment). Price should see what Lutz can do. Can playing Lutz for a few games in a row at first, at least against right-hand pitching, really be worse than playing Santiago and Frazier out of position? I know Santiago has had a nice little hitting streak, but he is not going to keep that up. They could still give Pena some starts at first particularly against left hand pitching.

    • Virtual 1st to 4th is nothing to sneeze at. This division is going to be a tough battle. Every loss hurts.

    • That’s 3/67 of the rest of the season, or about 5% of the remaining games. It’s getting late early around here.

    • It was 3 games against a very mediocre team and the Reds looked awful in losing. Not the way to start the second half.

  10. Not even touching why Mesoraco wasn’t in the lineup when you have the ability to use a DH… what was up with Chapman? He looked like Chapman of a few years ago. NOTHING but fastballs, and throwing hard rather than pitching leading to bad control.

    Ugly.

      • Chapman gave up a hit and a stolen base and a wild pitch. Yes, the defense lost the game on the popup, but that runner should never have been at third base.

        • Pretty much. He looked bad. Is something wrong that he can’t/won’t throw offspeed? Was he advertising himself in New York as a guy who can throw 103 on a regular basis? No idea… just hope that stops in a hurry. He was so effective because of his slider and changeup.

        • We will never know but I like Chapman’s chances of getting out of the jam if the pop-up is caught. The catcher also assumes some of the blame when a base is stolen.

  11. Rumors of the Dodgers and Cardinals going after Price. I don’t know which would be worse. Wainwright and Price would be tough enough in the NLC, but even if you made it to the conference series I don’t know how you would get by Kershaw/Price/Grienke. Only a matter of time before the Dodgers really made that checkbook count.

    • I saw that too. My guess Price lands in st. Louis. Long term might be good for us if st. Louis sends 5 or 6 of its top talent not only out of our division but out of our league

    • Don’t worry the Reds will acquire a relief pitcher to pitch the 7th inning. Clearly that is their biggest need.

  12. OK, I need to vent, but there is this need to analyze what went wrong, in an attempt to fix it.

    First, the Reds hitting approach, or “plate discipline”. We just struck out 31 times in three games, to Phelps, McCarthy, and Kuroda. None known for K’s. I didn’t total our walks, but not many. The Yankees, on the other hand, wear us out with great at-bats, especially against Cueto. They hit to the opposite field, and advance runners like clockwork. We’re dam near zero-for series with RISP. What we are doing IS NOT WORKING! You think maybe a change in approach is needed?

    Prime example: Jay Bruce. I went back and retread his interview/article on the Nation July 2. His solution to his high strike out rate: Don’t think about it. Well, that is not working either.

    Some Bruce numbers from the record books:
    1. K% is at an all-time high of 27.1%, up from an average of 23% from 2009-2011.
    2. OPS now .704 vs. avg. of .827 in previous four years.
    3. BABIP now .283 vs. avg. of .306 in previous four years.
    4. GB% now 44.5% vs. avg. of 36% in previous four years.
    5. O-Sw% close to high of 2011.
    6. Z-Sw% at 68.8%, down 6% from last two years.

    I have to question if Jay is even seeing the ball? It is too obvious to suggest glases or contacts ( he may already wear them, I don’t know). But something is wrong. Somebody, do something!

    • It’s the knee. Not hard to understand – it effects his approach and bat speed. Same thing that happened with Votto with the exact same injury for 18 months (and counting). It’s what’s so scary about everything going on now. It sure doesn’t seem like there’s a green light on injuries until at least next year. We had a hot run in June and the first half of July but all the peripherals are catching up with us.

      • I know, I know. The dreaded “Peripherals”. I just get so frustrated, I could…( fill in the blanks).

      • Not sure the Votto and Bruce injuries are the same other than they are both knee injuries. It would appear Votto may have a chronic injury that will prevent him from being the player he was in 2011 and 2012 before the injury. Bruce may not be the same player either but he appears to be moving okay to me. Votto never looked the same running the bases after his surgery.

        Also it appeared to me that Bruce put on some weight in the off season. That can’t help.

        • They were the exact same injury and required the exact same procedure. Bruce SEEMS to have bounced back more quickly than Votto physically. Consequently, Votto appears to have overworked in his strengthening regime this past offseason which aggravated his quad. What he’s dealing with right now isn’t really a recurrence of the same issue.

  13. Just saw the interview with Walt who “hopes to get something done by the deadline.” That’s too late, and it’s been too late for a while now. I understand that acquiring players in season is hard, and that there’s a “game of chicken” involved, but if the Reds expect to vault over 5 teams to the playoffs, an early and decisive move needs to be made.

    And that is exactly what is wrong with this organization – it’s collective indecision. Any roster move happens as a reaction to something occurring at least a week before. That’s 5 games at a disadvantage.

    It’s crystal clear that the Reds need help at multiple positions in the lineup, but nothing has happened. Why? Because no one can agree upon a course of action. Play for this year or next year? No one can decide, or they want to have it both ways.

    The longer the Reds wait to do something, the more likely that two things will happen:

    Another team acquires the players the Reds wanted

    The Reds fall further back in the pennant race.

    Unless something changes, the Reds will make a small move at the deadline that will help them fall just short of the play-in game.

    The best starting pitching I have ever seen from this Franchise is going to waste. It’s infuriating.

    • To be fair, you can’t snap your fingers and make a trade happen the moment it is ideal for your club. We have no idea what realities Walt is dealing with on the other end of the phones. I’m willing to withhold judgement until July 31. But this year, more than any in the recent past, if nothing happens either way then I am putting not only the 2014 season but the future of this club on Jockety’s hands. We have to decide which direction we’re going in.

      • Aw, nothing has happened or is going to happen. Walt should have made a trade last year when Ludwick got hurt. He didn’t. It’s not in his current makeup to make a trade in season to help the team in that season. I don’t think he knows how anymore.

        All I know is that what happened in the past hasn’t worked – the Reds haven’t won a playoff series since 1995. I want to see a bold move made, and if the Reds overpay a bit, so what – at least they went for it instead of timidly holding onto “prospects” who might not do a darn thing in the majors.

        • I’m not saying you’re wrong – I’m just saying I’m willing right now to wait 10 days to find out. We are in a different situation right now than we have been at this point in the last 4 years. We haven’t been this beset by injuries in a LONG time. Even last year with Ludwick out we weren’t hurting for offense. We ended up the 4th best offense in the NL. This year we have GLARING needs. If Walt ignores those, then I’ll sharpen my pitchfork. But I can’t automatically assume he’s been asleep at the wheel when we don’t know what negotiations are taking place. Hell, for all we know he could be on the phone at this very second closing a deal for Giancarlo Stanton. I don’t think that’s LIKELY, but it’s possible.

        • Agree. It’s just that the longer this team waits to make a move, the more chance it gives other teams to make the same deal. It’d be a shame to have a deal for Stanton in place only to have the suddenly resurgent Cleveland team beat us to the punch.

        • Cueto is returning to earth, Latos may be at 90% the rest of the season, and the Simon band-aid is wearing thin with no other starter ready to enter the rotation. If the starting pitching can’t sustain its pace, then a bat isn’t going to fix anything.

          Despite the pre-ASG push and heroics, I am not sure the Reds should consider themselves buyers. Perhaps that is the waiting game Walt is playing. What is Cingrani’s future? How far off is Votto? Does this team need a spot starter or a true addition? Does making the move now (a growing sellers market) put you at a disadvantage?

          I am actually all for the Reds standing pat unless they can acquire a decent bat on the cheap. This team could be a 1st place squad without injury – no reason to mortgage the future for the present.

        • If the Reds decide to not trade to improve the team, they should trade away Alfredo Simon and Jonathan Broxton. Both would fetch pretty big hauls to contending teams. The Reds should make the Broxton trade regardless.

        • I agree with the trades of Broxton and Simon. This market is ripe for sellers. If the Reds founder and a bat won’t put them over the top, then trading both makes sense.

          I also agree that this new WC format eliminates the bright line sellers/buyers market in a lot of ways. The Reds may more easily procure a bat from another contender for Broxton and B level prospect as opposed to a seller who will be looking only for solid minor league talent . . .

        • Agreed with trading Simon and Broxton if they don’t want to improve. Want to add Chapman to the list with the other two. If they trade away those two, they would come away with an absolutely huge haul of good prospects. It could set the Reds up in a major way for contending for each of the next 8 years or so.

      • If the Reds aren’t buyers at the deadline they are banking on 2015 and if Votto isn’t healthy next year all bets are off.

    • It’s fine to bash, or preemptively bash, Walt J. OTOH, Shin-Soo is hitting .236. Maybe sometimes the guy does know what he is doing.

      • It makes you wonder if Choo simply had the advantage of facing pitchers that didn’t know how to pitch to him last year… now he’s back in the AL where the pitchers know him and he’s human again.

  14. This Reds team has more ups and downs than the “The Beast” at Kings Island (once Kings Island, always Kings Island in my book.) I’m not happy that the Reds got swept by the Yankees, but I’m not overly concerned about it either. The Reds are just as likely to sweep the Brewers or at least win the series, and win the next series against their next four or five opponents as not. If the Reds can stay within striking distance of the division leader until they can get all the missing parts back (and in working order) I like the Reds chances to be in 1st place in the division when the buzzer sounds to end the regular season.

      • Don’t they call it Paramont Kings Island now. On second thought, I guess I am picking nits. (I tried using whiteout to hide that part of my comment but it doesn’t work, every time I refresh the page I have to use it again)

    • Agree, there are reasons for concern and reasons for optimism. This has been an entertaining team to watch but for the love of God, enough of the injuries. I’m staying on the positive side. We still have a very good pitching staff and some young bucks that are very hungry for success. Homer & Mat get it going and the expected falling to earth of Simon & Cueto never materialize, anything is possible.

    • If the Reds stay in the hunt and make the playoffs while doing nothing to improve the roster it will be one game or one series and done as it has been each of the 3 years the team has made the playoffs. The Reds have needed another bat in the line-up for four years and nothing has been done to get that bat.

      I know anything can happen in a short series and any team can catch fire in the playoffs and make a run but I’d like to see the Reds make a big move before the deadline to give the team a legitimate playoff shot

    • Incredible but what this is doing is setting the Central up to be out of the WC picture. And the numbers are a little deceiving where the Reds are concerned. They have gone from even to -2 in the loss column to the Cards and from +2 to -1 versus the Pirates and also lost a game there (now -2) to the Brewers.

      I suppose there are so many games left that is would be mathematically accurate to say the Reds still control their own destiny inside the division but dropping these 3 games really switches around the dynamics of things given that it is a 4 team race,

      The Reds best win at least 2 of 3 versus the Brewers and likewise versus the Nats on the upcoming homestand.

  15. What was most striking about the series (pun intended) is the number of times the Reds swung and missed pitches way out of the strike zone compared to the number of times Yankees took pitches that were just and inch or so out of the zone. A great weakness of the Reds for years that doesn’t seem to ever improve.

    • Good point. Last year, the Reds had Votto and Choo and their plate discipline was enough to keep the Reds overall average respectable. This year, with Votto out and Choo gone, they don’t have anyone left who works the count. Bruce did at the start of the year, but hasn’t since he’s been back from his surgery. Their lack of walks hurts them because they don’t get enough runners on base.

    • Way too many K’s for sure with little results, (HR’s) the one I didn’t understand was at one point they were caught looking at the 3rd K, 5 out of 7. They just seemed a bit lost at the plate the whole weekend.

  16. Nick Kirby: In games/innings that Frazier is playing 1B, do his home runs still count in the “Most HR by a Reds 3B” tally? Just wondering.

  17. I would really like to see something bold and unexpected by Walt in the next few weeks. I understand the limitations and budget, This pitching doesn’t come around every year (ie. see phillys) If its just a bat or two lets get it done. The lack of movement the past couple of years has been very frustrating and disappointing.

    • I thought that was really unusual, too. I was listening on the car radio by that point so didn’t actually see it and Brantley wasn’t calling every pitch, so I wasn’t sure. But he did say several times during the AB that it was just fastballs so far. Seems like that far into the AB, Ellsbury was fouling off the fastball reliably.

      • Once the count went full, it seemed like Chapman refused to throw anything but the fastball. It was as if Chapman said if Ellsbury is going to beat him, he is going to do it against his best pitch. Ellsbury was looking fastball and slapped one to LF just past Cozart. Chapman seemed over-reluctant to throw a slider. Or his change up. I don’t know why.

  18. For those who think Santiago’s strong run goes back only eight games, he is actually batting .324/.395/.397/.792 in his last 28 GAMES, going back to May 11.

    • On July 6, Santiago was hitting .186/.262/.203. He’d had 68 plate appearances and *one* extra base hit, a double.

      Here are his monthly splits:
      April – .143/.250/.143
      May – .238/.304/.286
      June – .250/.333/.250

      I wouldn’t say his “strong run” dates back to May 11. I’d say it dates back to July 7.

    • Ownership is the LAST place Reds fans should place blame for roster shortcomings. Ownership has increased payroll over $30 million in the past two years. The Reds’ ownership is spending more than any other team in the division. Considering the size of the demographic area and current local media deal, the Castellini family has been enormously generous in payroll. Not to mention there is ZERO evidence presented in that article that the ownership wouldn’t spend more if the GM can work out a trade.

      • Agreed. Castellini has kept up his end of the bargain. I question how some of that money has been spent but I am assuming Walt is the one putting those contracts together and making recommendations.I thought giving Votto a 10 year extension was a mistake at the time. If he ends up being chronically injured the contract will be an albatross for the organization.

    • It’s lazy and wrong to say – as the author of that article does – that Jay Bruce is one of the Reds with a “big-money” contract that weighs them down.

      • I don’t disagree with that, but we still don’t know if Castellini is willing to add to the payroll. If he is and Walt can’t get it done then we need a new GM

  19. Technically, Reds 1st Baseman and Left Fielders had 4 homeruns in the Yankees series. That’s all of the homeruns the team hit. Which shows us: baseball is a funny game, and power from Left and 1B may be overrated. I’d be fine if Walt can find a guy who can work a count and get on base at a +.330 clip, regardless of power. And if Bruce–who seemed completely out of it at the plate and in the field–Mesoraco, and Hamilton continue to hit that poorly, we won’t do very well going forward regardless of what Walt does or doesn’t do.

    Oh, and once again we were bitten by having Frazier at 1B and Santiago at 3B. This has been a disaster almost every time; yesterday we had a Santiago error and miscommunication/misplay on the winning NY “hit”. It’s time to stop doing this, leave Frazier at 3B, and let Lutz or Soto play 1B and bat 8th. (Or Peña.)

  20. I just read the game thread. Steve, you wondered about Cueto pitching so much to the outside of the plate. I think it’s because the umpire refused to call strikes on the inside (at least when the Yankees were batting).

    Three things that should embarrass Angel: 1) his first pitch strike in Frazier’s second AB, which looked like retaliation for Frazier questioning him during his first AB. 2) His first pitch strike to Bruce off the plate outside, starting a half inning for the Reds after causing Cueto problems the previous half inning with the same pitch; 3) Immediately after Price spoke to him, he finally gave Cueto an outside strike to a LH batter. It was clearly a ball. To me, this was the worst of them: it was blindingly obvious he let a manager influence his strike zone. Yes, it was good for the Reds, but that was a really disturbing thing to see from an umpire. MLB should discipline him for that.

    • Two more things that should embarrass Angel: His lazy work ethic and vindictive approach to his craft for the past 10 seasons.

  21. Little disappointed in Chapman’s pitch selection. He threw 9 consecutive Fastballs to Ellsbury. You have to throw a slider or a changeup once in a while to keep them honest.

    • Sell at the deadline. Votto never should have been extended, period. Put Simon, Broxton, Ludwick, Latos, Bailey, Phillips, Chapman, Cueto and Leake on the trading block. Make everyone available. Do not trade any prospects, look to the future, extend our window. How huge would it be if we had Jorge Soler and Alex Guerrero in AAA?

  22. Hello i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anyplace, when i read this post i thought
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