Start number three for Homer Bailey today against the Phils, who will counter with Kyle Kendrick. Kendrick, oddly enough, will also be making his third big league start.

I don’t have any idea what that means for today’s game. But you can discuss it here!

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.

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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54 Responses

  1. GregD

    I think that the game is tomorrow night, Chad.

  2. RedsFanInMd

    Uh, the game is tomorrow. I’m going. Today is Monday, right?

  3. DevilsAdvocate

    Homer’s not going to allow any baserunners tonight.

  4. Chad

    D’oh!

    Funny. I’m out of town, and internet access is spotty, at best. So I put up this game thread yesterday and set it to publish before the game.

    Evidently, I put the wrong publish date on the post. Oops.

    Oh well, I guess we have a long time to discuss it. I’m away from the computer, so I will just leave it up here and bump it up to the top at gametime tomorrow.

    Until then, consider it an open thread to discuss anything you want, like tonight’s games or my stupidity.

  5. Phil Rizzuto Parmesan

    Well, while we’re waiting for the first pitch which will come in about another 25 hours or so, Ken Rosenthal hypothesizes here that the Reds may be in the market for a new GM (Yea!!) this off season and suggest that Walt Jocketty may be first in line (Boo!!). If Castellini is even close to thinking about dumping Wayne, I hope he takes the keys away from him pronto with respect to any personnel decisions, like trading Dunner.

    And Jonah Keri has a nice little hypothetical exercise about Junior’s HR total and the chase for the record in his weekly column here.

    Finally, Justin has examined Arroyo’s workload from the perspective of pitch counts in his previous start and it’s effect on his next start here.

    This should give us enough to argue about until gametime.

    😀

  6. Phil Rizzuto Parmesan

    One more thing…it’s Homer’s fourth start. (Indians, Angels, As)

  7. DevilsAdvocate

    I was hoping to come back to some baseball after a week away at a conference. Oh well. I’m going to spend part of the off-time trying to think of some more classics references to use for Homer, in the vein of Milton (Paradise Lost), McBeth (Shakespeare), and, uh . . . NewsRadio for all-purpose use.

    I think, then, I might have to go with a mix of The Odyssey/Iliad and The Simpsons.

  8. DevilsAdvocate

    Jay Bruce just hit a gigantic homerun down in AA; you can hear the Chattanooga announcers getting starry-eyed.

  9. doug

    Jeeze, I just ran to my tv thinking that I had lost my mind and there was actually a game tonight. Whew.

  10. DevilsAdvocate

    Big game for The Boss for Chattanooga tonight. Look for much rejoicing in the DOTF and redsminorleagues summaries tomorrow. 😀

  11. Kevin

    Too bad that article by Jonah Keri projected Junior’s career homerun count as “666.” Maybe the injury’s were divine intervention?

    I think that Bibbles (Homer Bailey) is probably going to dominate the Phillies. This is first start against an NL team, and the three AL teams he has faced are some of the strongest. As a staunch loather of all things AL, I have to admit that they are probably better than the NL. Anyway, I think Bibbles is going to be hot tonight.

  12. RedsFanInMd

    Krivsky isn’t going anywhere. I think you’ve got to give the guy a chance. He’s only been on the job 16 months.

  13. Justin

    I think the Reds have a chance to win the series. Harang is on the ball as of late and pitches on Thursday against Adam Eaton who no long has the friendly confines of PETCO to save his tail. Bailey goes tonite and that will be loads of fun. He has looked impresive through his 1st 4 starts. the Sandwich
    man is Mat Belsiele. I like him a lot. I am thrilled that I get to see 3 of my favourite Reds Pitchers and the oldest man ever Jamie Moyer.

  14. Chad

    I actually agree with RedsFanInMd on this. I can’t imagine that Krivsky will be fired. He hasn’t had time to implement whatever plan he is trying to implement, and I just can’t are Castellini firing him.

    That comes with a couple of caveats. If Walt Jocketty is available, Castellini’s Cardinal roots may bubble to the surface. Also, if Krivsky pulls another huge boner, like trading Dunn for Gary’s little brother, Kenny Majewski and other crappy middle relievers, he might be shown the door.

    I would say the chances are pretty slim, though

  15. Glenn

    Narron is barely adaquate but he’s not the huge 800lb gorilla sitting in the middle of the dugout. It’s the bullpen. I’d like to see what the team’s record would be if the bullpen had held leads they inherited in 1/2 of the games they later lost. I don’t have that stat but I’m thinking that if that had occurred the team would be near .500 and in contention.

  16. Chris

    I agree with Chad and Redsfan. I’m a pretty big critic, and I’m far from convinced that Krivsky needs to go. He claims to have a plan, and for once, I’d like to see how one of those turns out. It would probably take Majewski II to change my mind.

    I’m excited to read Justin’s study – I’ve really been wondering about Arroyo’s pitch counts.

  17. Phil Rizzuto Parmesan

    Rosenthal is Louella Parsons of baseball writers (Gammons is Hedda Hopper). He throws a lot of stuff out there to get the rumor mills going much of which is based on throwaway comments he hears around the pressbox. That said, it wouldn’t surprise me to find Castellini looking a his GM with a critical eye.

    Sixteen months or not, this is very much Krivsky’s team. There are very few players on the 25-man roster that aren’t Krivsky acquisitions or contract extensions (Junior, Belisle, EdE – the last two depending on how you want to look at the contracts they signed before the season – maybe a couple of others). And Krivsky made a point after The Trade to say that he was shifting the focus of the team to pitching and defense.

    Through 76 games, the Reds are scoring 4.6 runs/game, tied for 4th in the NL. The Reds are 26th out of 30 teams in DER. And we know about the bullpen. So we haven’t exactly got the pitching and defense thing right under Wayne (not that it should be the focus of a team who plays half its games in a bandbox).

    Krivsky and Castellini told the fans they were committed to winning now. While the more observant of the Reds’ fandom realized that the 2006 team wasn’t built to win now, that was the mantra from the FO. And after an 80-win season (in which the Reds outperformed their Pythag by a good bit) the fans can’t be blamed for expecting better in ’07 (even thought this was a badly flawed team when it left ST). This team is on a pace to lose 101 games, a 19-game drop from ’06. Somebody gets to walk the plank for that.

    Now this may come to nothing and Krivsky will survive because he’s under contract and Castellini doesn’t want to pay him to not work. Or Krivsky might actually make a deadline trade and the Reds’ play better after that so he can claim credit. But right now the only thing that keeps this from being the worst organization in baseball is the Nuttings and Dave Littlefield.

    But I don’t think Jocketty would be an improvement. He has a penchant for Proven Veterans â„¢ and really hasn’t done a very good job in roster construction in St Louis the last couple of years. Anyone who thinks its a good idea to give a lot of playing time to Juan Encarnacion and Yadier Molina isn’t my idea of the guy I want rebuilding the Reds. If that’s what you are going to get, there’s no point in replacing Krivsky.

    He hasn’t had time to implement whatever plan he is trying to implement, and I just can’t are Castellini firing him.

    What makes you think he has a plan? Many of his in-season moves in ’06 smacked of desperation. He hasn’t shared any plan with the fans (unless “win now” constitutes a plan). He arrogantly blows off questions about his moves by telling the questioner he wouldn’t understand because it’s “baseball insider stuff”. Two former long-time employees of the organization are on record saying Krivsky doesn’t want to hear dissenting opinions.

    I see Krivsky sitting in front of that backdrop with the logo and he reminds me of Johnny Carson as Karnak. All he needs is a turban and an Ed McMahon-type to feed him the answers.

    Ed-type: “Juan Castro”

    Kriv take card and touches turban: “What’s the quickest way to piss away $2M with no visible return.”

    Sheesh. Sixteen months is sixteen months too long.

  18. Chad

    Is it gameday yet?

    I’ve bumped this post to the top. Enjoy the Homer show!

  19. Chad

    Hey, does anyone know a good resource to find the average age of each minor league team, without having to go through and calculate it yourself? I have no idea if any place has that information….

  20. RagTag

    Oh my goodness, Adam Dunn got a sac fly! Hurry and trade him while Marty is praising him. His trade value has never been higher.

  21. RagTag

    Left the bases loaded there. Big opportunity to get Homer a nice lead wasted.

  22. Ben

    Here are the lineups, since no one has posted them yet. For the Reds:

    Hatty 1B
    BP 2B
    Mariner Boy RF
    Sac Fly King LF
    EE 3B
    Roy Hobbs CF
    Gonzo SS
    Not Jason LaRue C
    HOMER P

  23. Ben

    Philadelphia:

    Rollins SS
    Bourn LF
    Utley 2B
    Howard 1B
    Rowand CF
    Victorino RF
    Dobbs 3B
    Ruiz C
    Kendrick P

  24. RagTag

    Not a good start for Homer. A hit and a four-pitch walk to start the game.

  25. Chad

    Nice double play there. Homer needed that.

    Excellent throw by BP, great turn by Gonzo.

  26. RagTag

    Well, Ryan Howard does what he does best.

    Homer’s first major league homer allowed.

  27. Bill

    Chad…I know where there is one for the MWL, but not other leagues. I have the url at work, let me know if you want it.

    Found it… for the Dragons..

  28. Chad

    I’ll get it from you at some point, Bill.

    This game is ugly already. The Reds look like a little league team…they let the Phils pull a great LL-style double steal.

    Oh well, Homer can’t get out of the second inning. Mama said there would be days like this.

  29. al

    brantley is a broken record. i’m not a pro ballplayer so i have no idea if he’s right or not, but to hear him tell it, if your team can throw a fastball for a strike and hit the ball to the opposite field you’ll go 162-0.

  30. Bill

    Brantley makes my head hurt when I’m forced to listen to him on the radio.

  31. Phil Rizzuto Parmesan

    Homer has logged 19â…” IP. His BB/9 is 6.4 and K/9 3.2. Both are trending in the wrong direction. If he doesn’t start to show improvement in his next 2-3 starts, what do you do? Keep plugging away? Bullpen a la Liriano and Santana? Batsville? I’m asking ‘cuz I’m not sure what the right answer is here.

  32. DevilsAdvocate

    Nice with the 2/3 fraction!

    The move to promote Bailey a couple weeks ago was not made to save the Reds’ season. It was not made, necessarily, so that Bailey could contend for Rookie Of The Year. I think it was made because he needed to learn against major-league hitters, because he was handling AAA ones just fine.

    His self-confidence has been touted many times, so it would seem that would not be a factor if he should continue to get shelled. There isn’t really a more viable option for Bailey’s spot in the rotation (in the extremely short term), with the possible exception of Elizardo if he’s judged to be recovered from his arm injury. And there’s not much point in sending Bailey back to AAA if there’s nothing left to learn there.

    Keep plugging away. ➡

  33. Phil Rizzuto Parmesan

    DA,

    I agree with you. I’ve never thought Homer was up with the big club for any other reason that to learn. After watching him, I’ve no worries about his confidence, either. I also realize that we’re talking small sample size but the trend lines are some cause for concern.

    But I’m not sure you keep running him out there as a starter if he shows no improvement in his peripherals. And by “not sure” I don’t mean I have a different :idea:. Just that it doesn’t seem to be working and maybe something else should be tried. The bullpen approach has worked before. And I’m not really concerned about his rotation spot. The Reds could forfeit every fifth day and be no worse off the way they are currently playing,

  34. DevilsAdvocate

    Never say never – things can always get worse. Despite the fact that the Reds are now firmly entrenched with the worst record in the major leagues. It’s past the point where it’s painful – I’m numb to it at this point.

    My reaction on the Bailey-to-Bullpen idea in a little bit.

  35. ChicagoRedsFan

    DOH! Homer Gets Lit Up. (tomorrow’s newspaper headline)

  36. RedsFanInMd

    I was at the game last night and I was extremely unimpressed with Bailey. Not because he got roughed up, but he had NOTHING on his fastball. 87-90 all night. I think he hit 94 once and that was the one Howard hit out of the park. His curve ball is a high school curve at best. I agree with Brantley he needs to shelve that. He changes his motion and you can tell it’s a curve right away and it’s just a little lolleypop. Couldn’t throw strikes. I hope something isn’t wrong with his arm because he had no velocity. I thought it might be a slow gun, but Salmon was throwing 95-96 so that wasn’t it.

    More of the same for the rest of the bullpen. Gosling throws nothing but slop up there. He certainly isn’t a rotation guy and maybe if Coffey would stop sprinting in from the bullpen like an idiot he wouldn’t give up a rocket on his first pitch in half the games he pitches in.

    Oh, and on the way home hit major construction so a normal two hour trip took 3 1/2 hours. All to see the Reds get their brains beat in.

  37. GregD

    Couldn’t throw strikes.

    There lies the heart of the problem.

  38. Phil Rizzuto Parmesan

    Mc Coy’s column today says that Homer shook off Ross’ pitch call on the Howard HR. According to Hal, both Ross and Bailey confirm. (I didn’t see it. I was in the kitchen fixing dinner listening to the TV in the den when Ryan connected.)

    If I’m Dick Pole, first thing I tell Homer is that as soon as he can locate his pitches up here with consistency, he can call his own game. Until then, do what your catcher tells you to do, which is presumably what Pole is telling Ross to do in that situation. Confidence in your ability is one thing. But it’s just stubborn arrogance when your BB/9 equals 6.4 and you’re not missing any bats.

    Thoughts on Homer to the ‘pen: the advantage I see is that Homer could be brought into games in situations that maximize his chances for success (I know, that’s giving a lot of credit to Narron). He could focus on getting two or three batters without having to think about holding anything back for the next time through the order. Pitch count would be largely irrelevant. He works solely on control issues
    and command of his repertoire.

    I can’t see continuing to run him out there in a starting role if the trends in his peripherals continue in the wrong direction. You could try a mixed approach by using homer out of the pen on his throw day and strictly limiting pitch count in his starts. But i don’t think you just keep running him out there to watch him walk a bunch of people and see his best stuff deposited over the CF wall.

  39. GregD

    Also in the enquirer:

    Bailey shook off a change-up to challenge Howard with a cut-fastball. “Wrong choice,” he said. “That was my call.”

    He can’t learn that in AAA.

  40. Phil Rizzuto Parmesan

    He can’t learn that in AAA.

    He can’t learn what? Not to shake off a catcher/coach who knows the hitter better? Not to make a crappy pitch? I’m not advocating sending him back to AAA, but I’m not clear why the same experience couldn’t have happened there and why he couldn’t have learned from it.

  41. GregD

    Because that pitch gets a AAA hitter out. Bailey shakes off the AAA catcher, throws his pitch and succeeds.

  42. Phil Rizzuto Parmesan

    Greg,

    I’m not sure it does. By all accounts, that cutter would have been hit – maybe not for a HR – by any left-hander who could turn on a pitch on the inside half. That certainly doesn’t describe all AAA hitters, but it does describe those that make the bigs. To say mistakes don’t get hit in AAA isn’t correct.

    Conversely, that same pitch to Jacques Jones probably gets fouled off at worst. Of course, we could argue about whether Jones is actually a major league hitter. But he is in the league and Homer will eventually face him. If he had gotten to face Jones first and throws the same pitch and succeeds, what does he learn?

    All I’m saying is it’s not a question of the league, but the hitter. Again, I’m not saying he belongs in AAA.

    I asked if others felt that way. My query was a genuine attempt to solicit feedback about what you do with an obvious talent whose peripherals are going the wrong way to get him turned around.

    FWIW, here’s Jim Callis of Baseball America in his ESPN chat today:

    Mike (Lexington, KY): Was Homer Bailey brought up too soon or he is just another pitching disaster for the Reds??

    SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:06 PM ET ) We got spoiled last year with the rookie class, but most young pitchers struggle when they get to the majors. The Reds actually waited longer than I would have, so he wasn’t rushed. He’ll be fine in the long run.

    This still leaves unanswered whether you keep running him out there in a starting role or find an alternative approach. If in a month his peripherals still look bad, don’t you have to look for an alternative approach?

  43. Phil Rizzuto Parmesan

    And I really should say that “it describes those that succeed in the bigs” to differentiate from my Jones example. There are a number of hitters in MLB that could be replaced by better hitters at AAA and eventually will be.

  44. GregD

    Keep running him out there in a starting role? Why the heck not? One bad/short outing?

    One out shy of 20 innings pitched, he’s surrendered 20 hits and 1 homerun. Six of those hits and the homerun were last night.

    His previous three outings (from 1st to 3rd)
    5 innings – 114 pitches (55% strikes)
    6 innings – 101 pitches (63% strikes)
    7 innings – 93 pitches (60% strikes)

    If he repeats last nights performance over the next couple of consecutive starts, then we have something to discuss. If he comes back and pitches like he did in the previous three starts, then let him ride it out in the rotation.

  45. Glenn

    The only way you learn is by doing. As long as he’s healthy, Homer should be out there.

  46. Phil Rizzuto Parmesan

    He’s had more than “one bad outing”. He’s had one good outing, two mediocre ones and a small disaster which would have been worse w/o the DPs. I would also argue that percentage strikes isn’t the best indicator of effectiveness. Even if it were, he’s getting strikes (which includes balls in play) on less than 60% of his pitches in those first three outings. For a guy who wants to live off his fastball, that’s low.

    And you keep ignoring his peripherals. To repeat, in 19â…” IP (yes, it’s a small sample size, but bear with me), he has a K/9 of 3.2 and a BB/9 of 6.4. The K/9 has gone down with each successive outing; the BB/9 gone up. It’s the early trend that’s disturbing. He’s walking twice the number of batters he’s striking out. You can’t pitch in the big leagues for long with that kind of generosity.

    I’m not saying yank him from the rotation now. I’m not sure that will even be necessary. You will note that I said that if this trend persists for another month, a different approach may be warranted. So I’m saying wait but pay attention.

    The only way you learn is by doing.

    No, the way you learn is by doing the right thing. The only thing you learn from getting hammered repeatedly is that it sucks to get hammered repeatedly.

    For the moment, he should keep taking his starts. But if the trends in BBs and Ks continues, at what point do you conclude that you need to change what you’re doing?

  47. GregD

    He’s had more than “one bad outing”. He’s had one good outing, two mediocre ones and a small disaster which would have been worse w/o the DPs.
    A good outing, two average outings, and one disaster is, by definition, “one bad outing.”

    I would also argue that percentage strikes isn’t the best indicator of effectiveness.
    Don’t disagree. My point in posting that was to show that he’d increased his pitch efficiency over his first three starts (long outings on fewer pitches). Also he’s thrown more strikes than balls in his previous three starts. More balls than strikes in his last start. I’m not concerned about the one outing. He’ll have those.
    And you keep ignoring his peripherals.
    No, I’m not. I’m ignoring what you are calling a “trend” over such a small sample. He walks too many guys. He got away with that in AAA. He needs the challenge of the major leagues.
    No, the way you learn is by doing the right thing. The only thing you learn from getting hammered repeatedly is that it sucks to get hammered repeatedly.
    You learn from doing, and if you don’t do right, you correct, make adjustments and do it right the next time.

    I don’t disagree that if Tuesday night’s outing repeats itself over and over, then they need to reconsider. But it’s happened once. It’s not time to panic.

  48. Justin

    I took a lot of slack for this game at CBP because of the performance of Bailey, awful and Coffee rotten. The Reds just were blah, nothing good going all night. Situational hitting is killing us.