Titanic Struggle Recap

Game 105: The Day the Game Stood Still

Final R H E
Arizona Diamondbacks (46-60)
2 8 0
Cincinnati Reds (52-53)
1 6 0
W: O. Perez (1-1)   L: J.J. Hoover (1-8)   S: A. Reed (25)
Box Score | Stats | Depth Chart | FanGraphs Win Probability

Devin Mesoraco slipped the surly bonds of earth in the 2nd inning. But, after doubling into left field, the Reds unwisely sent Brayan Pena home on a single to center field by Kris Negron. He was out by a country breakfast mile.

With runners on the corners in the 7th, Homer Bailey got a very timely double play to get out of trouble. Homer’s line: 8.0 IP, 5 H, R 1, 1 BB, 3 K.

Jumbo Diaz had another impressive outing, pitching a flawless top of the 11th and a solid 12th. He hit 99 on the radar gun on his 24th pitch of the evening.

Aroldis Chapman and Jonathon Broxton each pitched shutdown innings, with Chapman striking out the side in the 9th. LeCure would later come on in the 13th and follow suit, striking out two.

After blocking a pitch that bounced off the plate, Mesoraco pounced on the errant throw and threw out Didi Gregorious attempting to swipe second base to end the top of the 13th.

After pitching a solid 14th inning, J.J. Hoover couldn’t get through the 15th without giving up what would turn out to be the winning run.

Not So Random Thoughts ….

18 Reds struck out tonight.

Oliver Perez is a lousy pitcher. Trust me. I know. I watched him pitch in New York for the Mets, much to their chagrin. He got the win tonight.

The Reds could have picked up a game as the Bernie Brewers lost again tonight. But, there just is no offense right now. This is the first time the Reds have fallen below .500 since the epic Blue Jay series over a month ago.

In the pantheon of bad major league baseball games, this one will occupy an honored place.

And that’s enough. My head hurts.

82 thoughts on “Game 105: The Day the Game Stood Still

  1. Cy Young returns again, this what, like the 10th game in a row? Well, looking at the bright side of things we only had 18 strikeouts

  2. Understand I realize this is a rhetorical question only and could never really be done. However, if the Reds could send down all their position players to the minors and replace them with the currently best performing guys at each position in the minors from “high A” on up, do you think those guys could do more on offense as the MLB team than this current sad sack group is getting down? Next question, paired with the current pitching staff, could they actually not just score more runs but also win more games???

    Catch you all later; I’ll be going through a period of uncertain connectivity for the next several days. Find a way to score some runs and win some games.

  3. You have to feel sorry for Bryan Price. He looked devastated in the post-game interview. I’ve seen Death Row inmates looking better in their mug shots. Offense is really letting him down.

    • Price has the authority to tell these guys to stop hacking at everything and start getting to more hitter’s counts and drawing more walks. He has the authority to not give away outs with sacrifice bunts in front of slumping hitters. He has the authority to allow his best pitchers to throw more innings than his worst ones. I have a hard time feeling sorry for a guy making an enormous sum of money (by normal people standards, that is) who apparently refuses to take any sort of control of the team he’s supposedly running. I’m tired of hearing about injuries and this being his first year and whatnot. Nothing is stopping Price from telling these guys to take more pitches, shorten their swings and try to start hitting the other way. He’s apparently choosing not to intervene while these guys flail away at anything within 5 feet of the plate. It’s not his fault that he doesn’t have Votto and BP in the lineup, but as far as I can tell he’s doing nothing to help this team score more runs.

      • The reason why most of these guys are not good major league hitters is because they are unable to discern if a pitch is a ball or a strike.

        Price could tell them to take more pitches, and that might lead to more walks, but it just might lead to them striking out looking instead of swinging.

        Hitters with no plate discipline can’t be told to have it. It has to be worked at.

        • Spot on man. If the reds hacking problems could be fixed by Bryan price saying “be more patient guys”, then they would have been fixed long ago.
          It just stands to reason that if a hitter swings at a breaking ball in the dirt, then he didn’t recognize it as a breaking pitch. If he knew it was a breaking ball and it was starting off at the knees, then he wouldn’t have swung because he would have known that it was going to end up in the dirt. So telling them to quit swinging at breaking pitches in the dirt doesn’t help any because they are not trying to do that anyway. I think plate discipline is more a natural talent than a skill. You can improve your plate discipline a little, but your natural talent is going to largely determine how much or how little discipline you have. Zack cozart is never going to have plate discipline like joey votto no matter how hard he works at it. The reds, as a team, just don’t have much of the natural talent when it comes to plate discipline.

        • “I think plate discipline is more a natural talent than a skill.”

          You are correct. The ability to delay your swing for a fraction of a second as the ball approaches the plate is probably the most important natural talent contributing to hitting success at the professional level. The “talent” is a combination of information processing speed and hand-eye coordination. You either have it or you don’t. Perhaps it can be fine tuned. But it can’t be learned.

        • There is, in fact, something in between saying “take more pitches” and “take more pitches regardless of the count and regardless of the situation.” There is, for example, this radical idea: “Take more pitches UNTIL you have two strikes, at which point you should expand the zone.” And “take more pitches UNLESS the pitcher has been getting ahead of everyone with fastballs, and THEN you might start looking for a fastball down the middle on the first pitch.” It’s old school, yes, but it seemed to work pretty well for almost every great hitter in the history of baseball.

        • The reason most of these guys are not good major league hitters is that they are not very good hitters. Outside of Jay Bruce, most of them are hitting exactly like anyone would have predicted at the beginning of the season. Plain and simple….we are a very poor hitting team with a bunch of guys who got hot in June. This isn’t going to get any better anytime soon.

        • A quick bat also really helps in this area and that is also primarily a matter of natural talent. A short, compact, direct-to-the-ball swing allows for a longer wait period prior to swinging at a pitch, therefore giving more time to ID the pitch. Something that can help with this somewhat is planning on taking the ball, especially on the outer-half, the other way, therefore waiting longer. There is only so much that coaching can do when it comes to swinging at bad pitches. It mostly comes down to natural talent as has been said. It can be developed more over time, but very, very rarely does a hitter start displaying more strikezone judgement as they continue at the MLB level.

      • Price is a good pitching coach, possibly a good manager, but probably not an adept major league hitter. So, no, he’s doing nothing to help these guys score runs.

      • If I could be Price for one day, I would get all my hitters together in the clubhouse before tonight’s game and tell them that they have one–and only one–assignment tonight: at each at-bat to do their level best to punch through a single. Period. The longer this hitting drought goes on, the more eager each batter becomes and the more swinging for the fences we see. Even Hamilton seems to be succumbing to this.

      • “…but as far as I can tell he’s (Price) doing nothing to help this team score more runs.” I’m not sure how you rationalize the manager helping / hurting a teams chance to score runs on a given day. He isn’t playing. You can’t just tell a player “to have more discipline” and voila, runs! It is on the players and THAT’S IT. Aside from making the lineup and making substitutions, there isn’t much Price can do offensively. Once the ball is in play the game is out of the Manager’s hands. It’s on the hitters at that point.

    • the g.m. is waiting to long to make moves we need hitters wasting to many good pitching outings how many games is this team going to allow j.j. hoover to be the losing pitcher

      • What’s the hurry? The trading deadline is still 368 days away. A lot can happen between now and then.

    • The brutal thing is that I fully expect Walt to make a trade now and grossly overpay for a left fielder. After needing a left fielder for a year and a half, he waits until it doesn’t matter anymore and then he does something. He will probably give up lorenzen or winker to get him too. If that happens I think I will just have to laugh to keep from crying.
      The only reason for this team’s success over the past 4 years is Chris Buckley and the scouting department and the farm system. Bob c and his willingness to spend some money to keep the homegrown players here have been important too, although I don’t agree with some of the people he has hired.

  4. As a Reds PR guy might say: Was that a great night of pitching or what. Personally I’m leaning towards the “…or what” If the Reds can get back to losing the opener, but winning the series I’ll be a happy Reds fan. Back at em tomorrow is all we got for now. Go Reds! Adios Amigos.

    • The thing is, Homer pitched great tonight but the offense wasn’t effective to give him the W. The run support was as existent as two-horned unicorn

  5. It is this kind of team since the All Star break…when you start rationalizing and start thinking …this season is over….fall will soon be here, then winter and then spring training..when hope springs eternal and we can hope that Walt J does something to alter this course, certain players modify their hitting approach …but then again we have been hoping for that for some time.

  6. I don’t understand, at this point in the season, why can’t Chapman pitch more than one inning? Jumbo had no problem going two. LeCure I can understand and maybe Broxton to a degree, but not Chapman. He should be able to go 2 or 3 if needed. Then the one guy who you know will implode if he goes into a second inning, they kept in for a second inning.
    It should have never gone into extras anyway. With all the mistakes Arizona was making, they tried to give it away and the Reds wouldn’t take it. What a brutal offense. What a brutal 3rd base coach and more bad base running.
    Brian Price and the boys find themselves in deep quicksand, and Walt Jocketty and Bob Castellini are throwing them cinder blocks for a life line. Bloop, bloop, bloop.

    • Chapman threw 20 pitches in his inning, Price has used him for 2 innings when he’s had a lower pitch count. Jumbo only threw 26 in 2 innings. Price doesn’t use Broxton for more than an inning, I think because of his elbow. LeCure was pinch hit for.

      Hoover looked so good in his first inning, he should have been OK against the bottom of the order. He gave up the winning hit to a AAA guy batting .214/.214/.262. When he senses he might lose yet another game, he just folds.

  7. I just got home, my family and I sat thru the entire 15 inning crap fest. This team is horrific, the offense is horrific and its time to SELL. Can’t say anything else, tired and amazed at how bad this team is.Oh yeah fire Steve Smith.

  8. Walt’s big move will bringing in more former cardinals out of retirement… lmafo pathetic!!!

    Rafeal furcal
    David eckstein
    Troy glaus
    Scott spiezio

  9. I think we should blame this post all-star break fiasco all on Frazier. I knew it was a bad mistake to let him hit in the HR Derby at the All Star game. Now the HR Derby jinx infected him and he brought the jinx virus back to Cincinnati. He has infected the whole team with the can’t-hit-a-lick after the HR Derby jinx virus. It has plagued many a Major Leaguer, but not an entire team. Until now. (wink)

  10. Depressing game. Everyone seemed to be flailing on offense, with the possible exceptions of Pena, Negron, and sometimes Mesoraco. The top three looked horrendous. 0 for 16 with 10 strikeouts, and only on base thanks to two walks by Bruce. Sorry, but I don’t see a) how Price deserves the blame for that and b) how the Reds or their fans can expect this to turn around any time soon. Painful to watch. Can’t get a healthy Votto and Phillips back soon enough.

    • You must be waiting for March, because you will not see healthy Votto, and Phillips appearances this season, even if they come back. Phillips will come back this year, but using Brian Harper as an example, will not be able to hit very well. Votto is anyone’s guess, but I would not expect much from him if he comes back.

  11. The 11th inning was the killer. There was no sound reason to have Hamilton sac bunt when Delgado walked Santiago on four pitches. Make them bring the game to you. Somebody needs to exorcise Dusty Baker’s voice out of Bryan Price’s head.

  12. Reds already had their quota of one run per game, that in regulation time. Can’t really have expected them to get yet ANOTHER run, can you? That would be greedy.

  13. There has been a lot of complaining this season about the Reds’ third base coach. I have–until tonight–chosen not to participate, but come on, guy . . . sending Pena (very slow) from second (no jump) on a blooper to center was criminal. I know Cozart was up next, then the pitcher, but the coach’s lack of judgment probably cost the Reds the game. Reds lead the world in runners thrown out at home and this was one of the worst examples yet.

    • Cozart had a decent chance of getting a runner in from 3rd with 1 out. One of the dumbest cliches in baseball is that a team that isn’t hitting well needs to take more risks on the bases. Giving away outs on the bases is the worst thing for a team in an offensive funk.

    • Agree. I also refrain from judging coaches, managers, etc., but the Reds have had substantially more runners thrown out at home than any other mlb team. On the play in question, I thought Hamilton might have been safe on a very close play, but nobody else on the team.

  14. SELL WALT. Dangle Cueto, BUT AT LEAST trade Simon and Broxton. Do not make any additions. Keep our prospects. Walt has handicapped this team big time. Call up Felix Perez and Navarro and play them.

    • The opportunity for this team is now. We don’t have much in the form of prospects, with a few exceptions. Buy controllable players that we have next season, because this team when healthy can make a deep run into the playoffs. Next year, we assume Votto, Bruce and Phillips will be healthy, and with the fantastic pitching, if we add one more bag (left field/shortstop) this team can be unstoppable. And don’t give up on this season either. You all saw the run we made right before the all star break. If we bring in a new bat that might be all the reds need to jump start a playoff run

      • Agree… This is why I am all for trying to get a LF this year who we can control for next year. If we sell this year, next season is in the tank as well because we don’t have the prospects to come in and play next year. And when those said prospects are ready in say 2016 our core guys will be 2 years older and what can we expect then?

        Although my opinion is not shared by many on this site

        • Disagree…you can trade Cueto or Chapman for a hitting prospect. Any prospect would have to be better than what we are running out there in LF right now.

        • Trading Cueto and/or Chapman for prospects is a terrible idea if you want to compete in 2015… A hitting prospect is just that… a prospect meaning there is uncertainty in what he will be. I’d take a LF where we know what we are getting and who can produce and help win next year.

          Everyone wants to sell and get ready for 2015… Do you guys not remember what selling and preparing for “the next year” used to get us? It got us A LOT of losing seasons. Keep your core… and that includes Cueto and Chapman… get a LF and hope and pray the rest of the core is healthy and make one heck of a run at it in 2015.

      • I wouldn’t assume that Votto, Phillips and Bruce will be healthy. I wouldn’t assume that, if they were, this team would make a deep playoff run, and I’m not clear on which players the Reds could reasonably get/afford who would help them greatly. Most teams don’t have much in the form of prospects save for a few exceptions: It is those exceptions we’d probably have to part with (along with some of the fantastic pitching) to get a useful bat.

        • + 1. This team was healthy last year and even had Choo and still limped to the finish line, barely made the second wild card and got embarrassed by the Pirates. Votto, Bruce and BP have declined more and Choo is gone since then. And off course WJ has added nothing else of significance. The window is shut all but a crack.

  15. I wish that we could blame Bruce’s offense on his knee, but judging how he cracked his bat in half over it, I’m guessing the knee ain’t the problem…

  16. This is looking like a repeat of 2011. But it’s more frustrating, because this excellent pitching staff is a terrible thing to waste and the division is so winnable this year.

  17. The Diamondback fans at MLB seem to have no faith in Trevor Cahill who is going tonight.. they are convinced he is the fix for what ails the Reds hitters… its good to see we are not the only fans who have zero faith in our troops.

  18. This team needs to start sacrificing their bodies. Just do a little lean and gets some HBP, otherwise they’ll never have a base runner.

  19. Does anyone have the statistic on how many of our one run losses this year have come in a game where the Reds have had someone thrown out at the plate?

    • Yeah, I’m sure that number is higher than any other team in the league. Also, I’m surprised there is not some sort of rating system for third base coaches at this point. They can certainly impact the outcome of a game.

  20. If you have to lose because you can’t hit OR because to can’t pitch, for me I’ll take a can’t-pitch team. Sure is more entertaining to consistently lose 8-7, 7-5, 10-7 than to lose like this. Just my opinion.

    • If I have to choose to lose because the team can’t hit, can’t pitch, can’t play defense or the 3B coach can’t coach 3B, I am certainly not opting for a 3B coach that can’t coach 3B.

      Bryan does not have the character to throw anyone under the bus, so his public defense of the decision by Steve Smith is understandable. The reasoning for his support of Steve Smith was so weak I’m surprised the words actually made it out of his mouth. I am not surprised by the lack of followup from the Cincinnati media to such a transparently weak response.

  21. Obviously it’s the players themselves who aren’t hitting, but when virtually the entire team is struggling with almost identical problems (i.e., hacking at balls out of the strike zone even when there’s no reason to swing, and taking a lot third strikes), it’s hard for me to see how it isn’t at least partially bad coaching and bad managing. If everyone on a basketball team starts shooting the ball every time they have any sort of open shot no matter how bad a shooter they are and no matter how far from the basket they are, and suddenly the team starts having trouble scoring, it’s the coach’s responsibility to tell them to stop shooting so much and start passing the ball around to find higher quality shots. You can’t just say “oh, well, it’s the players who aren’t making the baskets and there’s nothing a coach can do about that.” He probably can’t make a bad shooter into a good shooter, but he can at least urge his players to look for BETTER SHOTS before letting it fly. Price can’t wave a magic wand and make these guys turn into great hitters, but he could certainly help them by insisting they NOT do whatever their bad instincts are apparently telling them to do. He can absolutely demand they start forcing the pitcher to throw at least one strike in certain situations, stop being so selective with two strikes, try to hit the ball the other way when the pitch is away, etc.

    • Much easier said then done. This team is inept at hitting and they are running out too many below replacement level players combined with what appears to be a growing and collective apprehension and a horrendous team cold streak at the plate. You can see that these guys are trying and probably trying too hard. Coaching them or telling them on when to swing or not isn’t going actually make them better at being selective or being able to hit the other way. Besides, we don’t know what Price or other the other coaches are telling these guys. What you’re seeing now is close to what you should expect.

      • And the basketball analogy is not irrelevant. The basket doesn’t move, but the location and frequency of shots is very much under a coach’s control. Better shot selection will almost always result in better scoring efficiency. Likewise, a better sense of when it makes sense to swing and not swing, when it makes sense to shorten your swing, when it makes sense to try to hit the other way, etc. will result in higher on-base percentages and more runs. You don’t need to improve Billy Hamilton’s swing in order for him to take a 2-0 pitch. When he swings at that pitch and grounds to short, that’s on the manager as much as it’s on Hamilton. Hamilton is convinced he’ll get a hit on that swing, which is why he swings. The odds say he won’t, but he’s convinced he will. Every time a guy puts up a bad shot in basketball, it’s because he thinks he can make it. It’s up to the coach to make sure those shots aren’t taken, and it’s up to Price to make sure these guys aren’t fooling themselves into believing they’re better than they are.

    • Your basketball analogy is irrelevant. The basket doesn’t move. It’s stationary. You can’t compare taking a contested shot to hitting a baseball. These guys are just getting fooled plain and simple. Last night was a prime example. How many fastballs down the middle did Frazier, Bruce and company look at, while also swinging at balls WAAAYYYYY outside of the strike zone?

      • Again, I’m not suggesting Price can turn bad hitters into good ones. I’m saying he can help put them in the best position to succeed, and he isn’t doing it. I mean, if we’re going to say “players can’t get any better — they just are who they are” then we might as well stop paying coaches and managers altogether. Or maybe just hire one of us to put together a lineup (which would likely be better than Price’s) and make strategic decisions (again, likely to be better), because apparently there’s nothing a manager can do to help his team score more runs. But I’d like to believe a good manager can actually spot the consistent weaknesses of his hitters and help minimize the impact of those problems. In this case, an occasional “take” sign would probably do wonders, but I’m not convinced Price even has such a thing.

  22. I was there, in perfect position to see the play — Smith’s decision (3B coach) to send Pena home on that flare hit, with one out, was the single worst baseball play I have seen in 10 years. It was criminal. I could not believe it as it was happening, and it cost us the game. He needs to be moved off of third.

  23. Alright, the gig is up. Who replaced Don Long with Brook Jacoby at the all-star break? C’mon, somebody fess up.

  24. Yes, this is even more brutal to watch in person, last night was dreadful and I’m supposed to go see them again next week and almost dread going. 18 strikeouts is easy when you’re hacking at anything within 5 feet of the plate. Would love to see Felix Perez get an opportunity. I feel for Frazier, he really seems to be pressing now, like he has to carry the load. Trading for one bat is not going to fix what ails this team.

    As most new managers do, Price hired his friends to round out his staff, so not surprised he is defending Smith for his countless gaffs at 3B. I doubt he is going anywhere unfortunately.

    This season is fast slipping away. I hope the Reds face facts and plan for 2015 and beyond instead of foolishly trading for another aging player, we have too many of those already. I’d rather shed contracts like Broxton and explore trading Simon and others and not give up what few good prospects we have.

  25. I took a few minutes to review Bruce’s last three years. The current drop in production is too dramatic (IMO) to be one of his periodic slumps. The injury concern seems to be the answer. He is not limping but his lack of contact and very poor swings reminds me of watching JV try to perform. It seems that when Phillps injured his wrist last year that it wasn’t till over the winter that the Reds said something about a “nagging injury” that hampered his hitting. Has Bruce had an MRI or X-rays recently?
    Any thoughts.

  26. Frazier, Bruce, and Hamilton are pressing horribly. Bruce is hurt, or will come around. Hamilton should be dropped in the order for a couple of days. And Frazier needs to sit on the bench next to Votto for one game, just watching and talking. They can’t continue to bat at the top of the order.

  27. What a game to highlight the Reds collapse since the All Star break. Numerous chances to win this game with a timely hit; nothing, as another opportunity is lost with the Brewers losing to the Rays. Either the front office has to do something to energize this offense for a playoff run, or the 2014 season can be X’d out.

  28. I must say, when I see all the posts suggesting there’s basically nothing a manager can do to get his guys to stop swinging at every first or second pitch within a mile of the plate or standing there motionless as strike three sails by with a runner on third and one out, I begin to understand how bad managers are able to keep their jobs for as long as they do.

  29. I will try to be brief. The Reds hitters are thinking too much instead of reacting to pitches. They are guessing and guessing wrong. They have lost their confidence at the plate and only hitting will change that. They will not improve by sitting them down. That said, someone needs to find a way to get Bruce to keep his right shoulder in, he is pulling off the ball.
    So here is a question I would love to hear the Nation’s thoughts on. Who off this team do you think should be replaced? Keep in mind the players whose contracts are up after this season. These are the guys I think should be kept. Hamilton, Bruce, Votto, Phillips, Cozart, Frazier, Mesoraco, Pena. The pitchers I would keep are, if possible, Cueto, Bailey, Latos, Simon(reliever), Leake,, Chapman, Diaz, Contreras, LeCure,

    Discuss among yourselves.

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