There’s no way to help fans forget two straight bullpen disasters like a dramatic extra inning win. I’m on the road (we’ve taken the kids on a short trip), so I listened on XM and I thought the game was lost when Scott Hatteberg came to the plate with two out in the bottom of the ninth. Fortunately, I was wrong.

Kyle Lohse was incredible again, and I’m so glad that he didn’t get the loss (as he would have without Hatteberg’s heroics). What an outstanding April Lohse has had. He’s been a stud.

Unfortunately, our less-spectacular former Twin starts today. Eric Milton can actually get his ERA below 5 today (it currently stands at 5.06), and something in the 4s isn’t a bad ERA for a fifth starter, frankly.

The Phils will counter with Cole Hamels, a good young pitcher who pitched brilliantly against the Reds last year in his major league debut. Here’s the game thread from that matchup; you’ll notice the wailing and gnashing of teeth about our bullpen. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I feel a win coming on tonight, though. Discuss it here!

About The Author

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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121 Responses

  1. Chad

    I’m on the road again, and listening on XM. Did Marty really just say that Gonzalez is hitting 5th?

    Unbelievable.

  2. abner

    MMMHMMM.

    Freel
    Dunn
    Phillips
    Conine
    Gonzalez
    Hamilton
    Encarnacion
    Ross
    Milton

  3. Brandon

    good ole milty..hopefully the offense shows up tonight

  4. DevilsAdvocate

    Hey, Gonzalez had the Reds’ only hit through 8.2 innings last night. He’s a sure thing.

    Still no Griffey. Must be some illness – hope he’s getting better.

  5. Brandon

    I’d love to see David Ross get going, 2 hits tonight would be a nice kickstart maybe.

  6. Y-City Jim

    So it sounds as if the Reds need a separate hitting coach for the right handers.

  7. Y-City Jim

    Yeck!!!!

    We need a puking emoticon.

  8. DevilsAdvocate

    Cole Hamels is better than Chuck Norris.

  9. Brandon

    There’s the first of two ground ball outs Milton will force tonight.

  10. Y-City Jim

    but is he better than Walker Texas Ranger?

  11. Chris

    This L-R-L thing is getting out of hand. Phillips-Conine-Gonzalez is the meat of our order?

  12. Chris

    What did I miss? I’m assuming someone homered of Milty.

    Whoa – pretty meaty by Conine.

  13. DevilsAdvocate

    Nope, Milton gave up a 2-run double after an Error by Edwin. One run was unearned. So not totally typical Milton.

  14. Chris

    Oh, Edwin. Is he still out there?

    Will I be struck by lightning if I suggest sitting Hamilton against most lefties?

  15. Brandon

    Eric is my second favorite Milton on the team behind JoshHa Milton

  16. Y-City Jim

    The Cards have scored 3 or fewer runs in 13 of 17 games. 2 or fewer in 10 of those. Hard to believe.

  17. Y-City Jim

    Larkin or Concepcion make that play.

  18. Chris

    Man he gets rid of that ball quickly.

    I don’t think anybody throws out Victorino on that ball.

  19. Y-City Jim

    Six GB’s so far? He must be doctoring the baseball.

  20. Y-City Jim

    Man he gets rid of that ball quickly.

    I don’t think anybody throws out Victorino on that ball.

    and they throw him out easily.

  21. Chris

    Not hard for me to believe that the Cards offense sucks. They went out and got Adam Kennedy to play 2b. On purpose.

    Pujols hasn’t heated up, Rolen is playing poorly, and that’s about the extent of their legitimate hitters. When Gary Bennett has the 2nd-highest OPS on your club, you’re in big trouble.

  22. Chris

    Speaking of struggling, here’s Dave Ross.

  23. Y-City Jim

    Maybe that walk is a positive sign from Ross.

  24. Chris

    Did Thom just refer to Ross as “Milton”?

    That was really confusing.

  25. Chris

    Milty being selective up there – ahead 2-0.

  26. Chris

    Hamels hadn’t thrown a strike yet – Freel pops up 2-0 on what was clearly ball 3.

  27. Y-City Jim

    The club misses Larue’s HBP presence.

    That was an intelligent AB by Freel.
    🙄

  28. Chris

    Adam’s not hitting balls in his green zone right now – that shows he’s struggling.

  29. Chris

    Thom thankfully keeping a running total of Dunn’s Ks.

    Because not enough attention gets paid to that stat.

  30. Chris

    Broadcasters love to talk about how the team (or players) bat with RISP. But they never put that figure in any sort of context.

    For example, the Reds are “struggling” with RISP, batting only .229. The problem is that they stink in all situations — their overall AVG is only .233. They’re not “bad with RISP,” they’re just bad.

  31. DevilsAdvocate

    Ha ha – good point, Chris. Context makes all the difference.

  32. DevilsAdvocate

    Milton has a very high BABIP allowed in his first few starts. Gives me reason to think that the results will be better as the season progresses.

  33. abner

    Lets get the sticks going, boys. Heart of the order coming up – sort of.

  34. Chris

    BP with a fly to deep CF – Rowand takes a horrific route to the ball and lollygags back to the catch.

    And draws praise for it, b/c he has a big name reputation.

  35. Chris

    DA, he’s allowing more hits than normal on balls in play?

  36. Chris

    Conine goes down looking. Didn’t like it, but it looked right down the pipe from here.

  37. abner

    Marty just announced a sellout at GABP.

  38. Chris

    Welsh making some really good points to Thom, explaining that first rounders are more valuable than later rounds, and that early first-rounders are typically better bets than later rounds.

    Thom mistakenly thinks that there are more 4th and 5th rounders in the bigs than first rounders. Welsh tells him that he’s just not paying close enough attention, and points out that the Reds have several first rounders (mis-counting Dunn, who was taken in the 2nd).

  39. Brett

    Anyone else here Chris Welsh get that wrong? He said Adam Dunn was a first round draft pick, but Kearns was actually the first round pick that draft, Dunn was second round, and Coffey in the third, I think.

  40. DevilsAdvocate

    Yes, Milton has about a BABIP of nearly .360 coming into tonight. Graph here. It seemed to me that Milton hasn’t been giving up a ton of homers, or walks, and yet had an ERA of 5.03 … now, not to say that it’s totally not Milton’s doing, as he’s got an insane GB% of 14.3% coming into tonight.

  41. Chris

    Good stuff, DA. He’s keeping the ball in the park, but not getting any better results for his trouble.

  42. DevilsAdvocate

    Hamilton should not be hitting in front of a slumping Edwin, Ross, and the pitcher. His patience is in danger of being negated.

  43. abner

    Well something going for “Rally-killer” Ross.

  44. Chris

    Thom criticizing EE for not driving in >7 runs in May, June, July or Sept.

    …of course, he played 12 games in June and July combined.

  45. Chris

    Of you have to be focking kidding me. Ross hits into a triple play?

  46. DevilsAdvocate

    Oh my goodness. Triple play. Ross can’t go any lower.

  47. abner

    OMG. Triple play by Ross. This team’s offense blows.

  48. Y-City Jim

    Thom is guilty of not doing his homework.

  49. Y-City Jim

    Can we hope Ross has hit bottom and can nowhere but up?

  50. Chris

    You see something new every day in this game.

  51. Matt B.

    Can we please play Valentin? My God.

  52. DevilsAdvocate

    Notably, Josh Hamilton was running on the pitch that Edwin flared for a single. I was wondering when he was going to try and steal a base…

  53. Chris

    It was hit and run. Actually suggested by Thom and Chris just beforehand.

  54. Chris

    Nobody warming up.

    Gonzalez is the 4th OF.

  55. Chris

    It’s like Gonzalez has just decided that nobody else on this team can catch the ball, so he’s going to go for everything. I think Mark Sheldon referred to him as Kelly Leak last night when he took that fly ball from Dunn.

  56. Chris

    Nice work by Dunn. Base hit to the opposite field, and hustles out a double.

  57. Chris

    Utley’s HR makes the run a lot less important, though.

  58. abner

    Can BP get something going here? Dunn at 2nd; 2-out.

  59. Chris

    Welsh makes an interesting comparison b/w Hamels and Trevor Hoffman (fastball-changeup repitoire). Wouldn’t have noticed that one myself.

  60. Chris

    I thought that was a slow curve, not always a change.

  61. Chris

    Either way, it’s nasty as he strikes out Phillips.

  62. Chris

    Okay, off topic for a minute: My wife is watching that Planet Earth show. Anyone know how they get all those shots? I doubt they dragged a crane into the rain forest…

  63. Chris

    Reds fans still love the wave, don’t they?

    We can talk about “baseball town” and all that, but there’s quite a contrast to those Red Sox games on TV.

  64. Y-City Jim

    I have yet to watch those though I want to at some point. Our they computer generated shots?

  65. Chris

    Ugh. How did Santos give up a hit to Barajas there? He was totally overmatched.

    Now Hamels will be bunting. Need a popup.

  66. Y-City Jim

    Maybe they do the wave to irritate Marty, who hates it with a passion.

  67. Chris

    I hope that show wasn’t CGI. It doesn’t look like it, but by the same token, I’ve never seen video anything like it for comparison.

  68. DevilsAdvocate

    Hit and run with the pitcher up? What? No wonder Charlie Manuel is on the hot seat.

  69. Chris

    Gonzalez misses the tag (bad throw by Ross) as Barajas swipes second on a botched hit-and-run — ump blows the call in the Reds favor.

  70. Y-City Jim

    Is it possible to be any more laid back that Charlie Manuel?

  71. Chris

    Manuel wasn’t laid back when he challenged that Philly radio host to a fight earlier this week.

  72. Y-City Jim

    I caught a glimpse of that clip. What did the radio host say to him?

  73. Chris

    This is going to be a long season, I’m afraid. A lot of people said things like “we never won any pennants when we had a great offense,” but personally, I’d rather watch the Reds lose 7-6 than 3-1 with 2 hits every night.

  74. Chris

    I never figured out what they were fighting about. Manuel comes across like an angry old hilljack.

  75. Y-City Jim

    Too bad there wasn’t a camera behind the door!

  76. Chris

    Watching Padres vs. Rockies – Todd Helton has a big bushy goatee, and looks very strange.

  77. Chris

    …and Helton just ran thru a stop sign and got thrown out at the plate with his team down 4 runs.

  78. Y-City Jim

    If Milton keeps up the quality starts maybe we can deal him for a bat.

  79. Mike C

    Re Planet Earth
    More than five years in the making, PLANET EARTH redefines blue-chip natural history filmmaking and continues the Discovery Channel mission to provide the highest quality programming in the world. The 11-part series will amaze viewers with never-before-seen animal behaviors, startling views of locations captured by cameras for the first time, and unprecedented high-definition production techniques. Award-winning actress and conservationist Sigourney Weaver is the series’ narrator.

  80. Y-City Jim

    Would Chambliss make a difference with these hitting problems?

  81. Y-City Jim

    Ed with another hit. That’s encouraging.

  82. Chris

    2 consecutive hits for EE – a bloop on the hit-and-run, and now a broken bat job.

  83. Y-City Jim

    Maybe Ross hit for the cycle – a TP, a DP, and a routine out.

  84. Chris

    Ross is hitting at Narron-like levels. (Caution: Narron’s batting lines not safe for children)

    I saw this a lot with Bruce Bochy – terrible-hitting catchers who become managers tend to give a lot of rope to their own terrible-hitting catchers.

  85. Y-City Jim

    LLM had better play all next week.

  86. Chris

    That strikeout ought to count double, it was so bad.

  87. Y-City Jim

    Poor Charlie!!!

    Let’s tied it up to really tick him off.

  88. Chris

    Freel with a dink single.
    1. No clue why they had EE going to 3rd on that one (down 3, and w/ 2 outs).
    2. Throw beat him.
    3. Good slide/bad tag = safe at 3rd.

    ….did Freel advance?

  89. Y-City Jim

    Will Ferrell will try for the tying HR.

  90. Chris

    Dunn with a chance to tie it. That’s all you can ask for, at this point.

  91. Chris

    Thom with the running count.

    He’s really got to stop doing that. It’s obnoxious.

  92. Chris

    Gonzlez really is bailing everyone out – ball glances off a diving EE’s glove, Gonzalez barehands it and throws him out.

  93. Chris

    Nice play by BP.

    The “pitching and defense” is certainly much improved. The hitting is just sewer level.

  94. Chris

    19,500 walk-ups over the past 2 days. Reds fans really don’t like buying in advance, do they?

  95. DevilsAdvocate

    St. Louis is in some trouble. Marty says that they have Randy Kiesler in their starting rotation. ❗

  96. Y-City Jim

    Hopefully, this wacky line up is history.

  97. Chris

    5 hits. Hurray! See you for more excitement tomorrow.

  98. Y-City Jim

    I don’t think the Reds fans like buying on-line and getting socked with a zillion service charges. I know I don’t. I alway buy the day of the game.

  99. RedsFanInMd

    Wow, 15 strikeouts for Cole @#@#@# Hamels

  100. RedsFanInMd

    Freel: 4 for his last 17
    Dunn: 3 for his last 19 with 12 Ks
    Gonzales: 4 for his last 27
    Encarnacion: 4 for his last 39 with 9 K
    Ross: 3 for his last 28 with 13 Ks

  101. Chris

    …don’t forget the triple play. 😥