Titanic Struggle Recap

Volquez gives the Reds no-hit scare, Reds lose another 1-run heartbreaker

Former Red, Edinson Volquez took a no-hitter into the 7th inning, before Devin Mesoraco broke it up with a leadoff single. The Reds would eventually take a 1-0 lead in the 8th inning, courtesy of another hit by Mesoraco. Jonathan Broxton couldn’t hold the lead in 8th inning though, as he allowed two earned runs and took the loss.

Final R H E
 Cincinnati Reds (65-70) 1 4 0
 Pittsburgh Pirates (70-64) 2 9 2
W: Watson (10-1) L: Broxton (4-2) S: Melancon (25)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Photos | Game Thread

reds bucs

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Josh Harrison’s RBI triple in the 8th inning off Jonathan Broxton, tying the game at 1. Harrison’s triple increased the Pirates chances of winning by 47.4% (from 26.9% to 74.3%).

Other important plays (+/- indicates how much each play increased or decreased the Reds chances of winning):

  • +25.1% – 8th inning: Mesoraco’s RBI single. Reds lead 1-0.
  • +9.2% – 7th inning: Bruce singles. Runners on 1st and 2nd, 0 outs.
  • +8.9% – 6th inning: Hamilton steals second base, reaches third base on an error. 1 out.
  • +7.4% – 6th inning: Leake gets McCutchen to pop out to end the inning. Pirates strand runners on 1st and 3rd.
  • +7.2% – 1st inning: Leake gets Tabata to ground into a double play. 2 outs, bases empty.
  • -17.1% – 7th inning: Negron grounded into a double play. Runner on second base, 2 outs.
  • -14.4% – 8th inning: Tabata’s RBI single off Leake. Pirates lead 2-1. Runner on 1st, 1 out.
  • -10.3% – 6th inning: Frazier strikes out. Runner on 3rd base, 2 outs.
  • -7.2% – 7th inning: Cozart strikes out to end the inning. Runner left on second base.
  • -7.0% – 7th inning: Frazier grounded out. 2 outs, runner on second base.

Player of the Game

Josh Harrison: 3 for 4, 1 RBI, 1 Run, .525 WPA

Josh Harrison made three incredible plays at third base tonight for the Pirates. Two of them were run saving plays in the 6th and 7th inning. Harrison also had a pretty great day at the plate too. Harrison of course is the graduate of the University of Cincinnati (aka the second best school in the city in college basketball), and Princeton High School. It always seems like the local kids always kill the Reds.

Positives

Devin Mesoraco went 2 for 3, and drove in a run for the Redlegs. He also broke up Volquez no-hitter in the 7th inning.

Mike Leake was absolutely brilliant again. Leake gave the Reds seven scoreless innings, and they needed it as they were getting no-hit by Volquez. Leake may have only struck out 1 batter, but he didn’t walk a single batter. Last two starts for Mike Leake: 13.2 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K. Our own Mike Maffie wrote a great piece about Leake in his weekly column Sixty Feet From Home earlier today.

billy the kid
I can’t even begin to describe how impressed that I have been in Billy Hamilton’s defense. His ability to track down balls and cover an absolutely ridiculous amount of ground is incredible. Billy Hamilton entered today with 9 Defensive Runs Saved (tied for 8th most among MLB CF), and a 20.8 UZR/150 (3rd best in the MLB among CF). Those two defensive metrics are the best at evaluating a player. For comparison, Shin-Soo Choo had -17 DRS and -17.0 UZR/150 in CF last season for the Reds. It’s crazy to think that Billy the kid just started playing CF for the first time in the minors last season. He will only get better.

Negatives

Former Red, Edinson Volquez gave the Reds yet another no-hit scare. It was at least the third time (from my memory) that the Reds had been no-hit going into the 7th inning this season (see Hyun-jin Ryu, Mike Minor game recaps). Volquez looked like vintage Volquez from back in 2009, when he represented the Reds in the mid-summer classic. The Reds offense was absolutely terrible again, and for the second time this week they had less than 4 hits (had 3 hits on Tuesday vs the Cubs).

We have already seen FIP catch up to Alfredo Simon in the second half, but now Jonathan Broxton is next. Broxton posed a ridiculous 1.09 ERA in the first half of the season, but had a 3.13 FIP, 4.22 xFIP, and .163 BABIP. Broxton has come back down to Earth a bit of late, as he has had back-to-back appearances allowing runs. Broxton now has a 3.58 ERA in the second half. This is not to say that Broxton isn’t having a very good season for the Reds (because he is), but Broxton shouldn’t have been expected to keep up those first half numbers.

Aroldis Chapman was once again saved for a save situation that never happened. Price said he would handle Chapman differently, and give him chances to go multiple innings. He flat out lied about that.

I’m still not exactly sure what happened, but Brandon Phillips was thrown out by a mile at home plate to end the 8th inning. It’s hard to imagine Reds third-base coach Steve Smith didn’t have anything to do with the situation.

Not so randoms thoughts……….

“It’s a lot easier to pitch to the Reds without Joey Votto.” That is what the Pirates color commentator Steve Blass said in the first inning of tonight’s game. The Pirates broadcasters are without question some of the worst in all of baseball, yet even they can understand how important and valuable Joey Votto is. If only our own lead radio play-by-play broadcaster could understand this or our local newspaper lead sportswriter could understand this.

80 thoughts on “Volquez gives the Reds no-hit scare, Reds lose another 1-run heartbreaker

  1. Frazier should have been mentioned in the negatives.
    That swinging strike 3 after Hamilton had gotten to 3rd with one out in the 6th was inexcusable. Right out of Volquez hand, the pitch was never going to be a strike.
    Then Fraizier had as much as Brox to do with the disaster in the 8th. The ball hit by Lambo was dead at Frazier. He was already squared up to it; and, should have attempted to block that ball versus giving it the olé swipe.

    Big time players come up big in big games and too often Frazier doesn’t for a guy who is presumed by most to be part of the team’s core.

      • The starting rotation part of the core is outstanding, I’m referring to the position player core. And I don’t mean to sound so pessimistic. If Votto and Bruce are healthy in 2015 and playing nearly as well as they have, the core suddenly looks good with them and Mes and BHam and BP and Todd. Todd and BP are good in supporting roles, but if they’re among your very best players, you’re in trouble.

        • Exactly, on supporting versus central/ prime. I was about to write something very similar but was called away for an hour or so. In his prime days I would would have put BP in the central core but now he is a supporting role guy.

          Meso is the big ??? to me. He needs to step up and clearly be a prime time guy versus a supporting guy. I’m hoping but not yet convinced.

          Frazier reminds me in many ways of a more athletic Sean Casey. Great personality, pretty darn good hitter and defender but I sense he is missing a needed edge. Joey has it. Phillips had it. I feel it in Meso if he can deliver the goods physically, same with BHam. Bruce has maybe more raw talent than all of them but also seems short on edge to me.

    • Just remember something. What kind of BA would the “big time players” have in the “big games”? 300? Realistic. 400? Not so realistic. 500? Ridiculous to think of. And, then, at that, it’s only 50/50 that the player would produce in the big time games.

      Fact is, Frazier’s numbers are all greater against teams over playing over 500 ball than under 500 ball, .284/.357/.516/.872 compared to .270/.315/.367/.682. It looks like to me he is producing. Granted, that K was ridiculous. But, I’ve seen the Reds play sucker for the low and away breaking ball way too many times over the last several years. They seem to have no eye for it at all.

  2. Broxton is throwing a very straight ball lately. I wonder when he will reveal a sore flexor mass or a bum shoulder.

    Why does Steve Smith still have a job?

    Josh Harrison played a heck of a game.

    • Three solid points. Reds revel Broxy has shoulder discomfort. You know it’s coming. Not sure we can blame Steve Smith entirely for BP taking off? Looked like BP did it on his own but what do I know? BP is so banked up he runs like he’s pushing a cannon. JH did have a solid game.

      • I read that was BP’s call, that Smith did hold him up initially. Then, the ball got bobbled.

  3. I wanted Leake to stay in the game with his pitch count only at 82, the arguments for and against are pretty clear and were made in the game thread. In my case the way Broxton has been beaten up recently made me want to see it a Leake-Chapman game right from the start. And with Leake so sharp and his pitch count low …. oh well.

    • Felt the same, thought it was obvious you let him bat- 3 -6 with a hBP, 2 2b’s and HR in last 3 games; 5-14 over last month or so- if you write the season off what are you hoping to accomplish in getting Broxton going- either Chapman for 2 or leave Leake in

      • Against Atlanta in his last start Bryan left Leake in the 7th with 2 out and a men on 2B wth a 1-0 lead and after he walked one guy, the screaming started and it reached a crescendo after he then walked a second man to load the bases. “Why does Price leave his starters in so long?” “Why isn’t someone up in the bullpen all the time ;ate in the game?” etc. etc. etc.

        The score was 0-0 in the 8th last night. Heisey as a PH is a much better hitter than Leake. Broxton as a pitcher has been better than Leake this year. The decision was rational though I mentioned at the time I didn’t think Bryan would PH. But he obviously wanted badly to get the lead and Heisey gave him a better chance to do that than Leake. Ripping the manager after the fact for every decision that doesn’t work out is a favorite pastime of all team blogs but either decision was defensible.

  4. I didn’t see it but according to mlb.com and the game thread, BP ran on his own, Smith had held him up and then, as the mlb.com article describes it, “Phillips made an ambitious decision to try to score” after the relay throw got loose.

    With 2 outs and Bruce up next, his decision was understandable.

    • Thought the Reds got a bad break that it bounced right to Harrison (I think) and he made a great throw (IMO)- nailed a simultaneously leaping BP- would have made it had it been to catcher’s right

  5. “Votto dealt setback after taking grounders”. After all the time off and treatment, “There was still some fairly significant discomfort when he got lateral side-to-side [movement]” taking ground balls. What a nightmare of a season.

    And Homer Bailey’s injury “worse than we had originally thought”.

    In both cases, I’m already worried about 2015.

    • Votto’s injury has already been career altering; and I am beginning to suspect is eventually going to be somewhere between directly career ending/ result in him retiring well before he would have otherwise, depending how one wants to try and delineate between those two.

      There is a heck of a lot of money on the table from the perspective of both the player and the team. Even though it is a “guaranteed” contract, no doubt there are clauses about voluntary retirement versus injury induced retirement which would come into play in determining the final payout to Votto and possibly an insurance payout to the club. One wonders when and how it will all get worked out.

      • Teams insure these contracts and get a payout when a player like
        Votto gets hurt. A guaranteed contract has to be paid whether the plays or sits out the rest of his life.

  6. Bullpen guys that come in and put out fires are called firemen. This year’s bullpen should be called The Arsonists. The names change but the story stays the same.
    The bullpen’s new entrance music should be the Ohio Players “Fire”.
    Fire boom-boom-boom, boom-boom-boom, Fire.

    • Looking at the pitching matchups before the series started, it looked like the games would turn into a battle of bullpens, not good for the Reds. Tonite’s loss was predictable in that respect.

  7. J. Bruce has added fielding to his extensive repertoire of ways to lose games for the team. His fielding of the ball off the wall in the 8th was just plain amateur. Why is this guy trotted out night after night? Put Lutz in there, Schumaker, anybody. Bruce has had his chances, times 10. Sit him, trade him, DFA him, whatever. Just get rid of him. Worst player on this bad team.

      • Thought the ball took a weird bounce off the wall- you all need to seriously look at his stats- a little knee jerk reaction to DFA a decent player having a very disappointing season

        • It was a bad hop in the corner, but Bruce should know better. He’s been playing RF for the Reds since 2008, and has seen PNC Park plenty of times.

    • Send me some of the stuff you are smoking, you are watching something completely different than other people.

      • As a player, I’m not ready to get rid of Bruce, either. However, with that contract, I have to say get rid of him. I still say he is living off hitting only one HR, the HR that won the division in 2010. Giving a player that kind of contract based on one HR, that wasn’t smart. I understand the idea of giving him that contract. I just wouldn’t have done it. I would always look at the second season, with something like that. And, he hasn’t produced/lived up to the contract, imo.

        • How about the 100 HRs he hit before that one? Or the 96 more he hit from 2011-13?

          The last two years he has been 10th in NL MVP voting and won Silver Slugger awards.He made $5 million and $7.5 million in those years which makes him a huge bargain. Yes, he is having a bad year but signing him to a 6 yr $51 million contract was a great move.

        • Doesn’t happen often, but I agree with Kevin. Coming into this year, no player in the NL had hit more homers over the past three years, 2011-2013, than Bruce. Only Cabrera, Bautista, and Beltre had more in all of baseball. Bruce put up 14 fWAR from 2010-2013, his age 22-26 years. His contract was one of the best moves Walt has made. It kept his arb years salary under control, he was a super two so 4 arb years, and it gave the reds 2 free agent years for 25 mil, his age 28 and 29 years, with an option on his 30 year season. Walt could not have foreseen Bruce turning into a pumpkin at age 27, if that’s what happens. Ludwick turning into a pumpkin in his mid 30’s should have been foreseen, but not Bruce. With power becoming more and more scarce, you can’t just sell low on Bruce. And saying they should DFA him makes you sound ridiculous.

  8. After video review: Some excellent defense by Mike Leake, especially on McCutcheon’s line drive. The guy can play.

  9. This season is just cursed; Some years certain teams seem to catch all the breaks and get all the bounces and some seasons are just the opposite. The Reds have ran into incredibly bad misfortune this year but I still think the team will be solid assuming Votto and Bailey come back healthy and Jay returns to form. A few tweaks here and there (an extra bat, a good lefty reliever, etc.) and they should be right there in 2015.

  10. Attention Redleg Nation honchos: There needs to be a better bridge leading from the final live game thread page to the game recap. Notice that if you scroll to the top of the final live game thread page, the space on the right that normally has the title of the recap is blank, the space to the left names the article seeking info from Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Long story short how are we supposed to know when a recap has been posted. I finally found the recap, if you’re wondering why there are only 17 comments, its probably because nobody knew a recap has been posted. (if I’m wrong about all this, than, well, than “nevermind” Go Reds!

  11. Josh freakin harrison..

    I dont’t see how this never been brought up.. How in the world did the reds not draft this hometown boy? Good job scouting dept.

    • Should they have drafted him a round early. Pittsburgh, for years, had the highest pick in each round. Perhaps he was going to be drafted with the next Reds’ pick

  12. A healthy Votto, makes the team better, but the Reds offense has been an issue for over two years now and Votto was part of that issue. Even with Votto and Choo getting on base at an amazing rate last year the Reds offense still sputtered. If Votto’s injury is something that will nag him the rest of his career, (which seems very possible) the Reds are in a world of hurt given his salary. The Reds need the Votto who signed the big contract, not the guy who no longer drives the ball with authority. I’m guessing that Votto is gone. He can still be a factor with his high OBP but not the guy the Reds need if he doesn’t find the power stroke.

    To give Blass credit for his comments about what Votto means to the Reds is tough to take because as you mention the Pirate broadcasters might be as bad as any there is the game.

    And to blame Broxton for the loss when Frazier and Bruce both misplay balls in the eighth is also unfair. Grant it both balls were hit hard but the misplay by Frazier should have been an out and the one by Bruce would have been a double. Tabata’s grounder is an easy out with the infield back.

    And why no discussion about the conditioning of Jay Bruce and others? I’ve said since the start of the season that Bruce, Latos and others seemingly put on significant weight in the off season.

      • The Reds were offensively inept last year as well, with Votto. Not as bad as this season but callenged. Runs scored does not paint an accurate picture of their inability to hit. How did they end last season? For that matter how have done in the post season? Lack of punch has killed them every year.

        • That’s just ridiculous. They scored more runs than all but Colorado (of course in that ballpark) and the the Cardinals; how can that possibly be “offensively inept”? Since scoring runs is the object of hitting yes how many runs you score over an entire season IS an accurate picture of a team’s ability, or lack thereof, to hit.

        • The thing is, there’s no proof that the Reds offense was inept last season. Provide us with some, then we could believe you. Even if you take the number of runs against the “good teams”, they scored 78 more runs against the 500+ teams then the 500- teams.

          But, I do agree about Votto.

        • Reds offense was flat out horrible in stretches last year, losing many 2-1, 2-0, 3-1 games, especially down the stretch. When the offense was good, it won games 8-3, 5-1, 7-2. 3rd best in the NL was somewhat misleading, IMO, as the Reds offense was not consistently strong.

        • You might as well say every team is “offensively inept” if your criteria is that the team has to score a bunch of runs every game all season. Not even the 1927 Yankees or the Big Red Machine teams could do that.

          The 2013 Reds had a winning record in one run games as well as in blowouts.

        • Inept may be too strong a word to describe the teams inability to hit when the light shines its brightest. However, I stand by my view that the team’s failures this year could be seen coming last year as the season ended and the team crawled to the finish line. then got embarrassed in the wild card game. I also stand by my assertion that the thing that keeps this team from going all the way is the offense.

          Firing Baker was not the answer nor was replacing the hitting coach. The team had needs on offense last year despite finishing third in runs scored and nothing was done to address them.

          Adding a healthy Votto to this line-up would help but it would still be a team short on firepower. They haven’t won a post season series with this nucleus because they are not a fundamentally sound hitting team. They, except for Votto, lack plate discipline and their collective approach at the plate is abysmal.

          Is it time to admit that some of these guys are just not going to get any better on offense?

      • The NL average for runs scored per game in 2013 was 4.00. The Reds averaged 4.31 runs per game (as Kevin mentioned was 3rd best in the league). To say that the Reds were offensively inept last season is inaccurate.

        Even if the point is to say that the Reds offense was inconsistent (which is completely overblown by fans) would be wrong. The Reds actually scored 4 runs or more 90 times in 2013, which was the second most in the NL (only the Cardinals had more with 97 times). On the other side, the Reds only 54 games where they scored 2 runs or less, which was 5th fewest in the NL.

        • We can agree to disagree on whether the Reds offense is a problem. (or was a problem last year) I backed off the use of inept. In my view the team was and is offensively deficient. They won’t win in the playoffs or in big games with the approach most of the players have at the plate. Also keep in mind the Reds play 81 games at one of the most hitter friendly parks in the majors, which inflates their numbers. Imagine this group playing 81 games at Petco.

          Although the Reds offense is so poor this year all the numbers for GABP are probably way down as well.

          Just out of curiosity how did the Reds hit in August and September last year? (no need to answer. I’ll look it up)

          Finally I guess the point I was trying to make was that in my opinion the reason the Reds collapsed last year and have failed so miserably in the postseason is because of their offensive struggles. The approach at the plate by most of the players on the team is awful and that approach is more of a problem in a short series against good pitching.This roster never plays for the gold primarily because of their offensive inadequacies.

        • In 2013 the Reds scored 4.6 runs per game in August and 4.0 in September. As mentioned, 4.0 was league average. They actually averaged slightly more runs per game on the road than they did at GABP.

          There’s hardly any difference in run scored by the Reds at home v. away this year; they’ve played exactly 68 of each and have scored 259 at GABP and 253 on the road. They pitch much better at home, however; the team ERA is 3.26 at home and 3.77 on the road.

    • Since each had knee and or shoulder problems in the Spring, it is likely that they were unable to exercise as much as possible. I think they may be a little heavier than last year, but I do not think it matters that much nor are they significantly heavier.

      • Major league athletes in their 20’s shouldn’t be gaining weight the way Bruce and Latos appear to have gained it. And it can’t help their performance to be caring the extra weight. they are not alone on this team. Conditioning does not appear to be a priority within the organization.

  13. Obviously from what I wrote above, I agree 100% with your Votto comments. I wish some of the folks would take a step back and understand we (I at least) understand what Votto can still contribute if he can come back and play every day as the “2013 Votto” is an important significant contribution. However the team would still need to solve the issue of who plays the roll of the pre-injury Votto. And unless Meso grows into that person is no where in sight.

  14. Tonites game was representative of the entire year for this club. Another loss. Another one run loss. Another runner thrown out at the plate. Low-hit, low-run offense. Another very good outing by the starting pitcher, only to be blown by the relief corps. More questionable decisions by the manager.
    Why just let Leake stay in (he was pitching very well, and can HIT as good as half of the starters}? With Chapman pitching well the last week, why bring in anoher struggling reliever? Why save Chappy for just “save” opportunities? If you want to win you would worry about a “W”, not worrying about trying to get to a save moment that never comes.
    Kudos to BH and Leake.
    The “Silver Stinker” award goes to Brox, Dat Dud or Smith for whoever is responsible to be thrown out at home by that wide of margin, Bruuuuuuuuuce for another fine hitting performance as well as another (had to understand considering his defensive career) foot in glove disease. And let’s not forget Price.
    “Room For Concern” award goes to Meso. Which Roco is the real deal, the one who hits a homer in 5 straight games and hits over .300. as an All-Star, or the one who might just be a career .250 hitter? Good to see that even tho he is still learning the backstop postition, he seems very commited to improve his talents.
    Tonite Frazier looked like the old Frazier, swinging at so many pitches low and away. only this time he didn’t have his magic touch getting the bat on the ball. Is he pushing too much?
    What I’ve See So Far….
    Keepers for next year- BH, Negron, Pena, maybe Heisey and Santiago as bench. As much as Cozart has become a lightning rod for some on this blog, I would keep him because of his defensive skills. A good team can survive and win big with a .230 hitter buried in the lineup if he brings something else big to the table. The Big Red Machine had an average CF with low BA, but he could play some outstanding defense (Geronimo had one very good offensive year, but other than that, he was somewhat medocre with a bat).
    Possible trade bait- Ludwick, just about anyone on the relief coirps, Maybe Bruce, would even consider Chapman if the return was big. and possibly one of the 5 starting pitchers if the return was worth it (Knowing that within the next couple of years something is going to have to give anyway).
    Get rid of- Hannahan and Schu. Time to give up on the “Sean Marshall Resurection Plan”.
    THE NO. 1 WISH FOR 2015 WOULD BE HEALTH. THE DL HAS BEEN THE MAJOR REASON FOR THE OUTCOME THIS YEAR. HERE’S TO WISHING 2015 BRINGS ONLY GOOD LUCK FOR THE REDS. DISPITE THE BAD YEARS SOME OF THESE GUYS ARE HAVING, WITH FEW EXCEPTIONS, THIS TEAM, WHEN HEALTHY AND PLAYING UP TO THE POTENTIAL THEY HAVE SHOWN IN THE PAST, CAN AND WILL BE IN THE POST-SEASON SOON. THIS YEAR SHOULD BE GRADED WITH A CURVE CONSIDERING THAT THIS TEAM IS REALLY JUST LEARNING. (Easy for all of us to be next-day quarterbacks considering we’ve never been in their shoes, at that level)

    • then you need to wish for a better med staff that is more proactive about taking care of its players.

  15. Sorry to be so long winded tonight. Promise to be more limited with my words from now on. Go Reds.

    • Klu was so great. From 1953 thru 1956, 171 HRs and 140 Ks. And of course the batting coach for the BRM.

  16. I made the same point the other night about Geronimo and Cozart having similar value. You’re right, Geronimo is overrated as a hitter because of one good season.

    • While Geronimo was overrated, so was Cozart. Cozart isn’t even hitting to Geronimo’s numbers. We all knew Cozart was “Janish with a little more power”. And, that’s exactly what he’s been. He had a stint of absolutely going insane with the bat for about 2 months. Since then, he’s been back to Earth.

      • And I could certainly live with Geronimo’s offensive output when surrounded by Bench, Morgan, Rose, et. al. It is a simple decision to stick with one of the greatest up the middle defenses in the game when offensive production elsewhere is a given.

  17. “Tonite Frazier looked like the old Frazier, swinging at so many pitches low and away. only this time he didn’t have his magic touch getting the bat on the ball. Is he pushing too much?”
    Yes. He was so overeager to drive in Hamilton from 3rd with 1 out, he swung at a 2-2 pitch that he would have needed a 10 foot long cricket paddle to have a chance to make contact, even with his magic touch.

    “Overeager” is a word that a number of opposing managers and pitchers have used to describe the Reds hitting since the All Star break. And major league pitchers love to face overeager hitters.

  18. Robby20: “And to blame Broxton for the loss when Frazier and Bruce both misplay balls in the eighth is also unfair. Grant it both balls were hit hard but the misplay by Frazier should have been an out and the one by Bruce would have been a double. Tabata’s grounder is an easy out with the infield back.”

    After video review, I agree with you. So does Broxton. After he blows a game, he usually says: “I stunk” or “I made a bad pitch.” Last night he was pissed off after the game. He said “two grounders and one ball off the wall” as if with that result (and the leadoff out) he should have been back in the dugout with the Reds still up 1-0.

    Tempers are flaring at this point.

    • And why wouldn’t (shouldn’t) tempers be flaring when a ball is hit with at a guy and is chest high and the guy makes an olé swipe at it instead of blocking it down onto the ground and flipping to the pitcher (who is making max effort to get there and cover) for the out? And Bruce has certainly played enough RF at PCN that he should have had a better read on what the ball off the wall was going to do.

    • This is one reason why I always say, “It’s a team game.” Very rarely can you attribute a win or a loss to only one player and one play.

    • That may be so, but Broxton’s pitches have been quite hittable in the past 1.5 months. Maybe that’s why he is a bit testy.

  19. Kevin J. Brown: “I still think the team will be solid assuming Votto and Bailey come back healthy and Jay returns to form. A few tweaks here and there (an extra bat, a good lefty reliever, etc.) and they should be right there in 2015.”

    I still feel that way too, but as I said above I’m already worried about Homer and Votto for 2015, now that it’s clear that neither is coming back in 2014. That’s my concern, not what happens for the rest of this year. The Red Sox finished in last place in 2012, won the WS in 2013, last place again this year, and people are already expecting them to come back in a major way next year.

    • I am not a doctor and neither is anyone on this board (I think; even if they were they haven’t examined Homer or Joey). It’s natural to be pessimistic at this point but everything I have heard indicates that they should be physically recovered by at least next year. I was hoping to see what JV could do the last few weeks of the season, but if that’s not to be it’s not to be.

      I’m still of the “this is a pretty good team which has had an incredible amount of misfortune this year” school rather than the “we stink; get rid of almost everybody” school. I don’t think they made the playoffs 3 of the last 4 years by accident.

      • It is hard not to think that JV is well onto that same slippery slope of injury and aging that we watched take KGJr from uber superstar to an ordinary player who could occasionally still show flashes of his former self.

        The Reds are being a bit disingenuous by splitting medical hairs when they try to act like the current injury has nothing to do with the former knee injury. Every once in a while Price either slips up or is giving us the wink and nod by using the word “knee” in his discussion of the current injury.

        The key point is that the leg as a unit has not functioned correctly since the original knee injury over two years ago. At this point where the reason to really believe it will in the future since we’ve been down this road (at least) twice already.

        • Many on this site will argue but Votto has not been the same player since the original knee injury. To his credit he seems to have adapted to the loss of power and become a different type of player.

        • His [Votto's] leg functioned as a unit well enough for him to play every game in 2013 and be 10th in the majors in oWAR.
          ********************************************************************************************************

          And before the injury Votto had been on everybody’s short list of 5 or less as possibly the best offensive player in the game and given his improvement on defense was starting to be mentioned in probably the top 10 as over all best player in the game. So this stat actually could be construed as a support of my statement that he had started to slide with this year showing further deterioration.

          Last season as his defense went south, several of us here noted that he seemed to be limited in his lateral mobility. Now, surprise, surprise we read that he is having pain and issues with his lateral movement as he tries to field grounders. And where it is stated directly or not, compare the lateral movement to field with the similarity with the footwork at the plate and in becomes clear what the issue is with his power.

        • Votto playing every game in 2013, done by Baker’s orders mind you, coming off a knee injury, was probably absolutely the wrong thing to do with him.

        • Claiming that someone going from 4th best oWAR to 10th best oWAR in the majors is proof of his “deterioration” is pretty silly. There are always fluctuations in the rank of the best hitters; however someone in the top 10 in oWAR is hardly showing signs of slippage due to injury.

        • Let’s review. In 2012, he injures the the knee twice and comes back late in the season with virtually no power compared to before.

          In 2013, after a winter of rehab, he still has no power to speak of and reinvents himself as possibly the best lead off type hitter in the game (except for the small fact that he can’t really run a lick any more); but his outstanding defense goes deep into the dumper because he can’t move very well laterally.

          In 2014 he has a bad spring, even for him, a guy noted for starting slowing at ST, and comes out of the gate slowly, He goes onto the DL for 3 weeks to a month and returns with a flourish but within two weeks or so literally can’t maintain his balance when he swings. The injury is announced as a distal quad injury just above the knee and he is gone for the year.

          What’s silly is to try and make believe that the initial knee injury isn’t the index point of the entire situation and that for purposes of being an elite professional athlete the injury is A) become chronic and B) appears to be worsening.

  20. BP looked downright Ludwick-ish chugging down the third baseline in slow motion. Gotta remind him it’s been 5 years since he was a 20 SB player. 2 years since he was even a 10 SB kind of player.

    • That’s one of the things that gets to me. BP has got to learn he’s not as fast as he use to be. While I’ve seen similar plays from the entire team, and while I prefer the running to the no-running of Baker, BP should be one of the players on this team who understands “when to run and not to run”.

    • Since Coach Smith at 3B is completely unreliable BP was freelancing a wild guess. Can’t really blame him all that much. After all, a blind squirrel may find a nut now and then.

  21. 1) The Pittsburgh Official Scorer should be ashamed. If Frazier’s play in the 8th isn’t an error, I’m not sure what is.

    2) Maybe Smith didn’t send BP, but it didn’t look like he was yelling “stop!” as he should have been. Also, if you watch the video he completely became a spectator once BP took off and made no attempt to communicate anything to the trail runner.

    3) I like Negron. He hit into some really bad luck on that Harrison DP. But if he wants to stick with the team he has to do things like put a bunt down when his Manager asks him to.

    4) Schumaker with another great night, punctuated by–what else–an easy ground ball to SS to end the game. He must lead MLB in easy grounders to SS and 2B.

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