Titanic Struggle Recap

Cincinnati not so strong

Final R H E
  Boston (54-65) 5 8 0
  Cincinnati (60-60) 4 9 0
 W: Ranaudo (2-0)     L: Leake (9-11)
 FanGraphs Win Probability |   The Worldwide Leader’s Box Score    |   Game Photos

It’s always something. On a day when the Reds bullpen throws four shutout innings and the Terrible Reds Offense™ managed four runs, the Reds starting pitching gives up five. Another one run loss. The Reds were swept in the four-game season series by the last-place Red Sox. At least we made fun of their name. 

Skip Schumaker and Zack Cozart led off the ninth inning with base hits. Then Ramon Santiago was sent up to – of course – bunt. You can make a case for bunting in that situation, with the Reds just needing a run to tie the game and two to win. But after Santiago failed to get the bunt down in his first two attempts, he was still bunting on an 0-2 count. The odds at that point have swung massively in favor of the other side. Santiago’s foul bunt strike three was a devastating blow to the inning. Bad on Santiago for failing to get the bunt down. Bad on Bryan Price for leaving the bunt on with an 0-2 count. Billy Hamilton followed with a *first-pitch* soft fly to centerfield (Billy, a walk there really, really, really helps). Kristopher Negron grounded to the pitcher for the final out.

Skip Schumaker had three hits including a long home run to right field. Mike Leake also homered.

Todd Frazier drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. He was robbed of another RBI by his double to deep center bouncing over the fence. The two-bagger was only the fourth extra-base hit for Frazier in over 100 plate appearances since the All Star break.

Kristopher Negron made an outstanding defensive play in the seventh inning, catching Dustin Pedroia’s pop-up against the stadium wall. In his limited opportunity, Negron has made a positive impression filling in for Brandon Phillips. He was 2-for-3 today with a walk. He plays 2B, 3B and the outfield, including centerfield. Standard sample size caveats apply.

Billy Hamilton made a nice running catch on a ball that Dan Butler hit to deep left center field. That’s the one part of Hamilton’s game that has remained major league. He’s hit .198/.221/.275 in 96 plate appearances *leading off* since the All Star break not counting today’s 0-for-5. His OBP overall has fallen to .295. Hamilton’s throwing accuracy has been inconsistent. His errant throw from short center in the first inning, missing home plate and the cut-off man, contributed to a Red Sox run.

Aroldis Chapman was rusty. If only there had been other opportunities to use him recently. Bryan Price double-switched for Ryan Ludwick so that Chapman could pitch two innings. So that Chapman could pitch two innings. So that Chapman could …

Sigh. We’ll get ‘em tomorrow in Colorado.

118 thoughts on “Cincinnati not so strong

    • Schumaker also had 2 other hits, and had a good chance to score the tying run in the 9th until Santiago and Price partnered in badness as described by Steve.

  1. Mujica is VERY hittable. It was a big break having him pitch in the 9th. Schumaker showed just how hittable. Then Cozart isn’t even close to getting a bunt down on two tries (hurrah), so then he’s allowed to hit and lines a single. Santiago isn’t even close to getting a bunt down in 2 tries, so he’s allowed to hit and …. but wait he’s not allowed to hit ????!!!!!

    Brutal, just brutal. BTW LHed hitters came into today batting .343/.361/.643 against Mujica.

    • I just don’t understand why price continues to call for a bunt when he is behind with only 3 outs left. It’s like groundhogs day and the baseball gods continue to give him this situation until he gets it right. I mean not only is it wrong statistically and logically, but it also continues to not work. So it’s not like he made the wrong decision but it happened to work out okay. He’s making the wrong decision and it keeps not working out and he keeps doing it.

      • Is Price any different then most of the guys managing today? In that situation I am willing to bet more managers would go for the bunt then wouldn’t. It’s how the game is played in that situtation.

        • Hey , if it ain’t broke don’t fix it – IN THIS CASE IT IS AND HAS BEEN BROKE FIR A WHILE NOW !! TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT !!!!! It may be how the game is played , but Reds players have shown time and time again they are inept at execution in such situations – do something different !!!

        • Santiago has had 6 sacs this year and 83 in his career. Normally he is an excellent bunter and if successful you not only bring the tying run to 3B but put the winning run in scoring position. Santiago isn’t a particularly strong hitter; he was hot for a while but is only hitting .231.

          So bunting is the obvious and correct call. But bunting with two strikes by a position player after he had failed so badly on the first two tries? I have to believe Ramon did that on his own.

        • You should really stop using the “other managers” argument you keep trotting out. It is illogical and irrelevant.

      • The Reds actually lead the majors in sacrifice bunts.

        I’m not sure bunting with no outs with men on 1st and 2nd down by one run at home isn’t statistically justified esp. when you have a .231 hitter who happens to be a good bunter up.

        This, of course, is not meant as a defense of a position player bunting with two strikes.

        • I really do think you’re right and Santiago bunted w/ 2 strikes on his own.

        • I seriously want to question the logic in changing your strategy with bunting with 2 strikes. To me the questions are what is more likely
          1) getting on base with only 1 strike to go
          2) successfully getting down a bunt which you thought was fine to do when you had 3 strikes to mess around
          3) if you are willing to forego the 2 strike bunt, you are really stating you have 2 chances to get down a bunt, would it not make more sense to take the 1st pitch and then lay down the bunt on the 2nd to catch the defense off-guard
          I realize the probability of a 2 strike bunt is severely skewed against the bunter, but I would think if you consider the success rate at 3 attempts as a whole and compare that to any batters (2 strike ABs, let alone 0-2 counts, it would clearly outweigh the small chance the advantage of reaching safely in the long run

  2. The Reds are 1-10 in one-run games since the ASB, including losing the last seven. Wonder if another bat would have made much of a difference.

    • Who is this bat? Everyone keeps clamering for “another” bat. What bat, outside of the one the A’s traded away has been traded that would be this “wonder” bat everyone seems to think is out there and obtainable?

      • Rios instead of Ludwick? Dunn instead of Pena/Lutz/Bruce (Schu/Heisey)/Frazier (Santiago)?

        Desperate times call for desperate measures. About 40 games left and losing ground in the standings – it’s time to pull the trigger on even a band aid player.

        • You assume that Bob would allow the additional costs and that those teams want something we have. It’s really easy to sit here and say lets get this player or that player. Are the Reds the “only” team that could use a bat? I mean look at say the Cards or the Braves, both in the playoff chase and both needing some help at the plate and neither of them have been able to add a bat.

        • It’s also really easy to sit here and say “the Reds didn’t make a move, they must not have had the money” without the slightest bit of evidence for that. Castellini has spent plenty more the past two years.

        • Whoa. You asked who and I threw out some names. I am not assuming anything. Hopefully they can get someone (even someone average) that gives the team a little juice until BP gets back.

        • I think it has been made clear this season that the Reds were near or very close to their budet limits. Now that doesn’t mean ole Bob won’t spend, but there sure has been more info out there stating little monies are available over Walt sitting on his hands and doing nothing. In fact I find it hard to believe with how bad Bob wants to win, that if money was not an issue a deal would have been done.

        • Even if he couldn’t find one on the trade market for the last year and a half, which suggests incompetence, there’s a chance that a guy in the system already could have given them a boost, like Felix Perez, Rey Navarro, or maybe Soto or Lutz could have been decent if given actual playing time. I mean all those guys have been better minor league hitters than negron, and negron has been decent so far. And it’s very unlikely that any of these guys could be worse than skip or hannahan. But Walt hasn’t even tried.

        • And if the reds don’t have any money to spend, then part of that is because Walt spent so much money on relievers, like Marshall and broxton, and replacement level veterans for the bench. You can’t defend Walt by saying the reds don’t have any money to make moves when they have the highest payroll in the division and Walt has wasted so much money.

        • If I was the GM, I would have acquired Chris Carter when the Astros were wanting to trade him. Stick him AT1B to replace Votto. Then I would have called up Felix Perez and stuck him LF. Negron at 2B for BP. My lineup on a daily basis would be:

          Hamilton, Bruce, Frazier, Mesoraco, C Carter, F Perez, Negron, Cozart

          That would allow Skip, Santiago, Pena, Heisey and Ludwick to be on the bench where they belong.

      • 1. Scott Van Slyke (LAD)
        2. Chris Carter (Hou)
        3. Colby Rasmus or Anthony Gose (Tor)
        4. Daniel Nava (Bos)
        5. Daniel Murphy (NYM)
        6. Jarrod Dyson (KC)
        7. Nick Swisher (Cle)
        8. Collin Cowgill (LLA)
        And even Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko would be much better options than what is on the Reds bench. That list is just for starters, certainly Jocketty could have come up with someone.

        • I know I’m a little late here on this subject, but it seems to me the Reds want to try and get “Value” As a small market team we just cant afford to pay for guys and not receive “Value” We are really only allowed a few mistakes in this area. This season we are paying a boatload to 3 guys that aren’t giving back “Value” ie. Bruce, BP, Votto. For whatever reason it just is. Which leave WJ with few opportunity’s during the trade deadline. It just seems like they didn’t want to chance another contract that doesn’t provide “Value” I’m not saying the Bruce or Votto or BP don’t or won’t provide “Value” in the future. Just not this year. I would love to have seen a move, anything, but its not my $$$$.

      • Not to talk for others, but it is either Stanton, or Marlon Byrd, or one of the Dodger OF. Stanton is ridiculous, Byrd is too expensive and a cancer,and I would want nothing to do with the Dodgers’ OF except maybe the kid in AAA.

  3. Well, well, well. That is 28 one-run losses and counting. And Walt Jocketty is OK and content with his offense. The Walt Jocketty stand-pat pigeons are coming home to roost again. That is becoming a guarenteed yearly event much like the Swallows at Capistrano.

  4. I am not feeling good. The Reds have scratched and clawed but a 3-4 home stand against sub .500 teams (remember how the schedule was supposed to bring some relief?) indicates that this team is probably on the cusp a nose dive. That is a completely pessimistic attitude but taking in a few games this home stand has me salty.

    • I’m beginning to feel really pessimistic for the first time.

      Two weeks ago, we started a 20 game stretch against teams with below .500 records (perhaps Cleveland was at or 1 above). I was anticipating perhaps 13 wins and picking up ground in the standings. Things looked rather well after beating the Marlins and Indians 3 of 4 each; a 7-4 record.

      But losing 4 of the last 5, all by one run, has really caused me to doubt whether this team is anything but what the standings say it is: a .500 club. I’m not optimistic for the series in Colorado; the Reds are a below average hitting team facing a team that kills the ball in its home park.

      BP might be back for the Cardinal series and that will help. But if the series in Colorado goes badly it might soon be too late.

    • They said that Phillips is going to Louisville on Friday and then may be ready for the Cards. Feel any better? Hal McCoy says that Votto would not be available until mid September at the earliest. Make you feel worse?

  5. St. Louis needed a bat, who did they add? I am guessing the Pirates wanted to add a bat…whom did they get. Everyone keeps stating that Walt sat on his hands and did nothing, yet they have zero actual knowledge what Walt did or didn’t do. It is easy to say he we want player X here is player Y and do a trade, problem is it’s not that easy in the ML to do that. I think history has shown when a quality trade is out there that improves the Reds Walt has no problem trading and trading prospects. But there has to be value out there and ability to offer what that other teams wants. The Reds are what they are this season. IF and that is a HUGE if, both Votto and Phillips where healthy and performing up to their abilities is there any doubt we either wouldn’t be in first or right there with the Brewers?

    • Where the Reds were at the deadline and the options out there – standing pat was probably the best move. The Reds are now fading against a slate of below average opponents. Circumstances have changed and making a move now is what’s needed. That is no Walt indictment. It’s not an indictment of Price. Just get a bat if only to help Mike Leake believe in himself!

    • It’s not accurate to say we don’t know what Walt did or didn’t do. Walt didn’t make a trade. Again. Last year, 29 teams made a trade in July and August. The one team that didn’t was the Reds. I’m not saying the Reds should have done the Latos-for-Cespedes trade that has been rumored, although I’m sure there are plenty of people who think they should have. But it’s just inconceivable to me that the Reds couldn’t have found a hitter BETTER THAN JACK HANNAHAN on the trade market without giving up something of importance. Oh wait, that’s right. That would have been awkward (a direct quote from WJ).

      The “Reds are what they are” philosophy is yours. Is it also Walt Jocketty’s? It certainly isn’t the Oakland A’s, the Detroit Tigers, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the San Francisco Giants, the Atlanta Braves etc.

      • The tigers? They went out and needing help in the bullpen got a starter, and now that lack of help in the bullpen/closer is ruining their season. The Cards needing help offensivly have done nothing, and in fact traded away a bat. The Dodgers are the Yankees of today and not sure what the Giants or Braves have done so far this season to “improve” their teams. It would be great if the Reds could go out and add a great HOF bat to the lineup, but we can’t, we are who we are and as I have been saying need to shut both Phillips and Votto down for the season at this point let them fully heal and rehab and be ready to go in 2015. In the offseason I would look to see what Cueto or Leake or Latos brings in trade, but now…this season is over.

        • Don’t worry. We can fix that attitude with a few platelet rich plasma therapies . . .

        • The Tigers traded for Soria (a player like Broxton) and he got hurt. The Giants got Jake Peavy. The Braves got Bonifacio and Russell. Go ahead and convince yourself that *none* of the teams in MLB improved their teams at the deadline.

          And my main criticism isn’t the deadline inaction (this year) as it is the off-season failure to do anything significant.

        • You’re wrong – the Tigers traded for Soria in July. Whether they used him correctly before his injury is a separate topic altogether. But to claim that they didn’t attempt to get the help they needed in their bullpen is wrong.

      • Steve , you and u both know it’s pointless to argue with him – he uses the same reasoning in all his defenses of Walt’s inactivity as well as strategic moves that Price did or didn’t make – same arguments time and time again – we would accomplish just as much by standing in front of a wall and beating our heads against it

        • Same exact reasoning an arguments you always use – yet you always seem to know and excuse how limited the reds are in their ability to improve this team -

        • “My reasoning is simple, without all the facts it is unfair to bash Walt.”

          Nothing could be further from the truth! The bottom line is that he failed. This team has playoff caliber pitching and he absolutely failed to provide this team with the offense it needed to get it through a rough time. I won’t squirt one tear for him or allow him the excuse that Votto and Phillips went down. When your answer to those injuries is Jack Hanahan, Donald Lutz, Neftali Soto, and Kris Negron, you flat out failed. He has no one but himself to blame for this situation as he is the one who built this bench and stocked the AAA team with reserves for this type of situation. Another instance where he failed. It’s actually pretty flat out pathetic that he can’t come up with average hitting replacement player for Votto who plays at a premium hitting position. There are all kinds of AAAA hitters out there stuck behind big hitting 1B. I’m embarrased for Jocketty and truly hope he is not renewed for 2015. It’s a shame he is squandering away a playoff chance with this pitching staff.

    • Did you notice KC traded for Willingham? Don’t give Walt any excuses. If the Reds wanted to win this year, they very easily could have acquired another bat. Management very fearful of not being relevant in the future, instead of grabbing for the brass ring and winning now.

      • Hmm…was a Willingham or Cespedes going to enable the Reds to grab the brass ring? Hindsight being 20/20, not with Bruce, Hamilton and Frazier scuffling after the ASB all while BP and Votto have been out for an extended period.

        At the non-waiver deadline, it appeared that the team could at least tread water until BP and Votto returned with Hamilton, Frazier and Meso playing as well as they were and the role guys at least playing around replacement level.

        And for the do something crowd that would argue that the team should not have relied on these guys and brought in a bat, who would the Reds have to give up to get one of those guys? Lose one of the starting pitchers and I think we all know how big of a drop off that would be right now. The 1 run losses would be sprinkled between blowouts.

  6. No need for a bat, the reds are just out of it. This hanging around .500 is just preventing us from trading someone (Broxton). If nats are that much in demand, why not get rid of one of ours?

      • Price said yesterday they expect Votto to begin baseball activities within the next 7-10 days.

        • Baseball activities – lacing up his cleats, showering in the team clubhouse, stretching (under the supervision of 3 PTs and team trainer), eating sunflower seeds, chatting up some ‘debbies’, etc.

      • yes, wrong! Look, I think a lot of the criticism against Price has been unfair. But his decision to bunt in the 9th with 2 strikes is beyond ridiculous. If players still get fined in kangaroo court, he should lose a month’s salary for that call.

        • But fair to speculate that bunting with 2 strikes in the 9th would not have been necessary with the aforementioned players being healthy. No?

          Look it’s understandable to be upset with how the Reds are losing but to be candid, this shouldn’t surprise anyone given the lineups that they have to cobble together. And probably, the losses could look a lot uglier if it weren’t for the continued reliable pitching and defense.

          Sometimes it’s just not in the cards. Too many injuries throughout the year to guys that the Reds need if they are going to anything resembling a productive offense.

  7. The biggest bummer about Negron paying so well is that once Philips is back, who do you think gets to stay on the roster Negron or Schumaker? The big contract stays despite being outplayed by the league minimum guy.

    • Don’t worry. You have forgotten Hannahan. I think they relegate him to AAA until the roster expands so he can ‘rehab’.

      • My thought exactly on the move when Phillips comes back. Of course they will never admit Hannahan should have not have been activated to begin with. But if there is anyone who thinks he was ready for MLB competition, I have some cheap ocean front property in LA county up for sale (not)…….

  8. Wish I could remember who this was about….
    Years ago I read about an American ballplayer who went to play in Japan. He was grounding into a lot of double plays. So the manager came to him one day and said to him, “If you think you are going to ground into a double play, please strike out instead.”

    That must be how Price thought about Santiago when he had him bunt with two strikes.

  9. See what a big bat can do….last couple games, the Red Sox have won with Cespedes and Napoli. That what the Reds need, as everyone has talked about for the millionth time. We do need that, but not sure who are the free agents in the offseason the Reds could sign to play Left Field, and how expensive they would be? Four huge chunks of the Reds offense is missing in action this year….Votto, Phillips, Bruce has had a bad year, and Ludwick seemingly is done. I looked up total strikeouts the other day, and even though he has about 75-100 less at bats than other players in the league, Bruce is still wayyyyy up there in strikeouts! Heisey is best coming off the bench, and is not the full time answer in LF. I know its hard, because the Reds Management loves great pitching, but thinking about next year, if Votto is somewhat healthy, and with Phillips, and with Bruce, they still are not world beaters offensively. My thought is they are going to have to do the opposite of what the A’s did this year, where the A’s gave up a big bat or two for pitching, the Reds are going to have to realize, they probably can’t sign all FA Pitchers (after next year), and pick a couple pitchers out of Cueto, Latos, Simon, and Leake to keep, and trade a pitcher or two for a bat, or at least a bat that is an improvement over Ludwick or Heisey. BC and WJ have to be willing to take a risk or chance to improve the team. Pitching can only take you so far, and if you keep doing the same thing, then the same thing will happen…..lots of 2-1, or 3-2, or 4-3 one run losses.

  10. After Charlotte, I’m probably the 2nd biggest Billy fan on the site. He simply shouldn’t be the Reds lead off hitter until he straightens out. Having said that there or only ‘less-bad’ options – but maybe it’s time for Price to move 2014’s most consistent on base threat to the top – Todd Frazier.

    It’s as if his determination to garner a few walks has thrown off his whole approach.

    1. Fraz
    2. Santiago/Negron
    3. Bruce
    4. Mes
    5. Pena
    6. LF
    7. Billy
    8. Coz

    You may be right, I may be crazy – but it just might be . . .

      • What’s really sad is that you can’t really get too mad about him leading off because Frazier and meso are the only guys who have a good obp. Everybody else is about as bad an option as hamilton is to lead off. I think, though, that I would put Bruce in the leadoff spot for a couple weeks. Maybe it would change his mind set, who knows? Maybe he starts being a little more patient and stops chasing so many bad pitches. Since the 1,2,and 4 spots are the most important statistically, I would put Frazier at 2 and Meso at 4. I guess Luddy and Pena are, sadly, the 2 next best hitters after that so I would go Luddy 3rd, Pena 5th. I’d put hamilton 6th in front of the 2nd baseman and cozart. I’d let him run wild when he got on because getting picked off or thrown out with cozart up is not as bad as getting thrown out with meso or Frazier up. You could probably get more value out of his stolen bases at the bottom of the lineup. Of course that is what I think is the best option with the current roster. I think a better option would be to make room for Perez and Navarro on the roster, platoon Perez and heisey, let Navarro start at second for a couple weeks. I’d also think about having Soto and Pena split time at first.

  11. A step away from the playoffs with each one run loss. Pitching cannot carry the Reds with the Owner/GM doing nothing to jolt an inept offense.

    • Hmmm, could have sworn Chet had said something else… I wonder if the above post was um… “edited for content” :-)

  12. I guess I saw the 12-14 April and the 13-14 May and thought “Eh, this is a .500-ish team.. so I never really got my hopes built up from the get-go. Sure enough, 42 games left and they’re still a .500-ish team.

    Even with Votto and BP the offense wasn’t particularly good, and we knew that coming into the season anyway when we all wanted a winter trade to add a bat to the offense that wasn’t good enough last year. Instead we traded out Choo for Hamilton, and stuck pat with the rest of the offense that looked absolutely pathetic at the end of the 2013 season.

    I really hope Bob doesn’t re-sign Walt for 2015, because unless changes are made, I am not sure that year 3 of no changes will be much better, and then we’ll fall into the darkness of 2016-onward.

    I guess what I am trying to say is, it could have been more painful if the team had allowed me to build up hope, and at least football season has started.

    • No football for me. Just not my sport. I will probably watch some BlueJackets and Cyclones games though. My daughter loves hockey and until the past couple years, I had forgotten how much I’d enjoyed it too.

  13. If you watched the game on MLB Network, they ran the Boston feed. Their broadcasters were COMPLETELY baffled at the decision to keep the bunt on, given how pathetic Santiago’s first two attempts were. Regardless of home town/ away call, the “BOOOOOs!” at GABP were painfully audible after Ramon’s SO.

  14. When Bryan made the double switch to bring in Chapman, I literally got sick. I leaped past frustrated and furious to just plain sick. I was in full, unadulterated support of hiring Bryan as the manager. I saw his work with the pitching staff as unparalleled and superb communication and leadership skills. I am now totally disillusioned and stunned by his performance. What I believed was a really strong asset, his intelligence, has been a complete disappointment.

    I made the point when Dusty was fired, that WJ now had the opportunity to hire ‘HIS’ man as the on-field manager of the team and WJ could no longer hide behind the curtain of a bad manager he had not hired. I made the same point regarding the coaches hired by Bryan. Steve Smith has been criminally incompetent. Bryan Price looks lost and completely out of his element. WJ is leading a rudderless ship. I have no idea how much direct impact Bob Castellini has had in some or any of the baseball decisions over the past several years. I know he hand-picked Dusty and Walt, but beyond that I can only guess at his involvement in any other baseball decisions. Castellini certainly brought a competative team back to Cincinnati and I thank him for that accomplishment.

  15. Bryan Price has been a downright horrible manager the last 2 weeks, especially the last 2 games. Pitching to Cespedes with a base open last night and today again. Bunting with Santiago in the 9th was ignorant, let him HIT, the pitcher was rattled. The Reds continue to find new ways to lose and continue to waste chances to catch up. IMHO, this season is over. My emotional attachment to the 2014 Reds is over. I will still watch and root for them, but I am no longer getting mad at irrational decisions and heart breaking losses that happen daily.

  16. Also Walt could have acquired Chris Carter at the deadline BEFORE the hot streak and when the Astro’s were WANTING TO TRADE HIM. That would have been a great move. Carter in GABP would be fun. Failed. Dunn should be picked up, better than Pena. Its unacceptable that no moves were made. Carter could have played 1B and LF, perfect fit.Next year when Votto gets back, he could slide to LF.

    Hamilton, Frazier, Votto, Mesoraco, Bruce, Carter, Phillips, Cozart

  17. Thanks for the link about Homer. With Homer out of the rotation for at least 4 starts that leaves a faltering Simon and a .500 Leake, a “whoever” from AAA, and, along with the current “offense”, what else should we expect to happen.

      • His last outing was 3 innings against Cleveland on 8/4/14. Using Carlos, with all hands on deck in the bullpen just might work for at least 2 starts. That should give management a better read on him. In September we just might see the new Cuban kid if the Reds are totally out of it.

    • It probably spells job security for Bryan Price heading into 2015 just when a lot of negative things were coming home to roost, and rightfully so IMO.

      • In my opinion, Price is safe so long as Jocketty stays. If Jocketty leaves on the other hand, things will get interesting…

  18. The overall NL BA is .249. The BA after an 0-2 count is .160 with the batter striking out 46% of the time and walking about 2.5%. I’m not sure what the stats are when a batter attempts to bunt with two strikes but I feel reasonably certain that the success rates is very low and the K rate well over 50%. Moreover, even an out on a batted ball might advance at least one of the runners. Therefore, I cannot imagine that there is any statistical basis for having a position player bunt with 2 strikes.

    • I agree. And LHed hitters are batting .342 and slugging .630 against Mujica. When Price explained his thinking after the game, he said how Mujica throws sinking pitches that are tough to bunt. If the guy is tough to bunt against but relatively easy to hit, then hit ! Mainly, after the first two bunt attempts by Santiago that were not even close to being fair, I was astonished that he was bunting with 2 strikes.

    • I posted something earlier questioning this, Santiago has a career average of 0.135 BA, 0.187 OBP down 0-2. I agree bunting 0-2 is not a sure thing, but if you look at it as the chances of being successful in 3 tries, I find it hard to belive that the success rate would not be higher. So abondoning your startegy 2/3 of the way through makes little sense to me to put a hitter in a big hole.
      Either do it or don’t, don’t change the strategy in mid- AB is my stance but I could be swayed if there are stats to back it up.
      So is being down 1 with a runner at 1st & 2nd and no out, better than 2nd & 3rd with 1 out?

      • When you need one to tie and only two to win in the 9th (thus any possibility of a “big inning” is moot), I’m pretty sure it isn’t esp. when you have a .231 hitter at the plate. I looked up a few sabermetric articles which, while in general hating the sac bunt, agreed that it was justified in such a circumstance.

        I just don’t have stats for what happens when a position player bunts with two strikes; I suspect it happens very rarely because it seems so obviously bad.

      • Tom Tango, a noted sabermetrician, has a “win expectancy” chart covering late game situations here: http://www.tangotiger.net/welist.html

        In the bottom of 9th down 1 run, the WE with men on 1B and 2B with no outs is .517 or slightly more than half. The WE with men on 2B and 3B with one out is .540.

        So a successful sac bunt increases your winning chances, so to answer your question “no being down 1 with a runner on 1st and 2nd and no out is not better than being down 1 with men on 2B and 3B with 1 out.”

  19. The sad part is, Bryan Price will end up having more time with these “position” players WJ has left him with, by the end (-40-some games, now), than the “starters” & there will be no real evaluation of his skills as a MLB manager of a contending team, because of it. It’s official: this season is a wash, too many injuries. Manager & lineup to return, healthy, in 2015. Move on.

  20. Really ashamed that this team has played so poorly the second half – cause Brewers are trying to keep everybody in it – Lost to Cubs again tonight – all those one run loses coming into play big time now – say what you want , division is still up for grabs at least between pirates , Brewers , Cards – reds could have been right there – but no thanks to the efforts of Rip Van Jokerty and Bryan Price’s ongoing strategic genius

  21. The Reds lost their 28th one-run game Wednesday, which is good if you’re trying to finish last. “Far too many,” Price noted. “At this point, it’s a difference maker.” ( – via Paul Daugherty & the Cincinnati Enquirer)

    It’s good that Price is now aware of the problem.

  22. Steve: Daugherty has crossed a line in his coverage of Joey Votto. He states in today’s article: “And while Phillips is busting it to get back in time for what the naïve believe will be a September run, we are told that there is no timetable for Votto to return to what Bryan Price calls ‘baseball-related activities.’
    The only thing that’s clear about Votto’s strained distal quadriceps is that Votto will return when Votto believes Votto is ready, and not an inning before.”

    When a reader commented that this was an unfair and unjustified statement, a second commenter essentially said “How can you argue with Paul when he has sources that he doesn’t want to reveal ?” To which Daugherty replied: “Multiple sources, actually.”

    I blasted him in a reply comment, asking for starters just what his sources have said, why it’s so different from the information John Fay is providing, etc. Maybe my reply is still there, he might delete it.

    I think Redleg Nation should call him out on this.

    • The answer to solving the P-Doc problem is to do what radio listeners did and ignore him. P-Doc’s articles are click bait. Stop clicking on them!

      How can anyone question the toughness of Joey Votto after seeing him playing half a season on one leg, or watching him trying to hit and seeing his leg give out on him?

      • There are certainly things that one can criticize Votto for but toughness isn’t one of them. I dare most people who question an athlete’s toughness to say it to the athlete’s face.

      • You’re right of course CP. I read this one article because it was on the topic of Reds “trade inertia” and then came across his poisonous (and at the same time void of actual content) statement about Votto. He wants to stir up controversy and get replies to his articles, whether they “call him out” or not.

    • Am I missing the point, so what if Votto does not think he is ready. Possibly there is more sensitivity there, but are we to assume that BP is going to play even though he thinks he cannot just because someone else is calling the shots?

  23. August 12-13, 2014: the series where the Reds chances for the postseason officially ended. Spring training 2015 is only 6 months away. TIme for football!

  24. If Phillips does a rehab stint, how many games do you think he will play? I’d love to catch Louisville @ Indianapolis on Sunday if Phillips is there.

    • My guess is he’ll play the weekend at Louisville and try to rejoin the Reds for the St. Louis series on Monday. The duration will partly depend on how quickly Phillips returns to form.

  25. With the Bailey injury, it is good that Walt didn’t do anything aggressive for a solid bat like Zob or Rios at the deadline.

    • Walt is aces. Good thing he didn’t do his job. The Reds offense didn’t need a guy like Zobrist, who has hit .337/.416 since the all-star break, had 8 multi-hit games out of 23 games since the break. Good job Walt, the Reds didn’t need a guy like Zobrist.

  26. Just read the rehab article on Phillips. Looks like he’ll play in Louisville, then possibly Dayton because they are both at home… But it doesn’t say if Louisville would be tomorrow alone or also Saturday.

  27. How many times has the Reds offense made a starting pitcher with little Major League experience, some with very little ML experience, and then made that pitcher look like they were a Greg Maddux or a Steve Carlton?? It has been pathetic.

    • I agree they’ve done that a lot of times but I watched all of yesterday’s game and Ranaudo did not look at all like Madddux or Carlton. The line was 6 innings, 4 runs, 8 hits, including a double, triple, and 2 home runs.
      All the extra base hits were torched and so were the sac flies by Mes (which almost left for a 3 run HR) and Frazier. Also he had only 1 K.

      The way they were hitting him, I was waiting/hoping for a big inning, but it didn’t materialize. That was the failure. They scored against him in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th but did not score in the 6th (his final inning) which left them down 5-4.
      With 2 outs in the 6th I thought Heisey might do something after Cozart’s single but, first ball swinging, he hit a foul ball grounder to 3rd that was called fair and that was their last chance against him.

      The Pirates scored 4 runs in 5 innings yesterday but lost to a kid making his major league debut whose experience was two starts at AA !

    • Not exactly the game to make your point, it happens all the time, you forget the Scott Scudders, Mo Sanfords, and Luke Luke Hudosns

  28. What are the Reds going to do about replacing Bailey in the rotation? Lance McCallister listed some possibilities. Wasn’t a list to get excited about. Cingrani still on the DL. Holmberg possibly, as he is on the 40-man roster. Axelrod is a possibility, but he’s not on the 40-man. So, another 40-man roster move would have to be made for Axelrod. Jocketty got Axelrod from the White Sox in July. Diamond is a complete bust.
    It looks like it might be Holmberg. Maybe they move up Contreras from the bullpen and recall Partch again.

  29. Hopefully they shut Bailey down for the year. At this point there is zero reason to bring him back and risk further damage.

  30. If, and that is a big IF, the Reds are only 5 games out of 1st place in the central on September 1st, Brandon is Brandon, and Homer is pain free, all of the of the above is mute. I don’t include Votto in the mix as IMO he was burnt once by medical optimism, team needs and this time he wants to be as close to 100% as possible. I do believe that, as WVRedlegs wrote and Kevin J. Brown suggests,”they move up Contreras from the bullpen and recall Partch again.” that way Carlos goes 4 or 5 innings Partch goes 2 to get to the 7th and then the normal bullpen rotation takes over. The discussion about the “bat” has left the train station a long time ago. The real key is the performance of Leake and Simon because, even with a healthy Homer, if they don’t get it together there is no hope.

    • I don’t think it’s fair to say that Mike Leake needs to “get it together”. He had a bad outing yesterday but in his 3 previous starts in 20.2 innings, he allowed 3 ERs on 13 hits while striking out 20. He’s having a good season – his best in some respects – and just needs to keep doing what he’s been doing.

      • Thanks for the reminder, but his performance needs to continue being “his best in some respects” .

  31. • “As much as we would have liked to have given everybody the extra day off, it didn’t make any sense at all to ask Homer to go out there and try to throw through some unusual stiffness in his elbow,” Price said. “We’re pretty optimistic that by Saturday, he’s going to be good to go.” Posted on August 12, 2014 at 3:55 pm Marksheldon,mlb.blogs.com

    • The Reds will place Homer Bailey on the 15-day disabled list before his next start, multiple sources have told the Enquirer.
    C. Trent Rosecrans, crosecrans@enquirer.com 5:59 p.m. EDT August 13, 2014

    And people wonder why Reds Management doesn’t have our confidence. Yeah, I know in 26 hours things can change (doctors, tests, Etc.) but to say “We’re pretty optimistic that by Saturday, he’s going to be good to go.” without any basis is a stretch. Why not “We are awaiting test results.”
    Sorry but these types of statements just piss me off.

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