Well, darn.

I can’t help but agree with the commentary in last night’s game thread that pins blame for yesterday’s doubleheader sweep squarely on interim manager Pete Mackanin. Instead of approaching the games as if the Reds were on the cusp of contention in this pennant race, Mackanin managed the team last night like they were a Little League squad, making sure everyone got to play their two innings.

There is absolutely no justification whatsoever for letting Jason Ellison play in either of those games, much less start one of them. Forget lefty/righty matchups; I’d prefer to have some talent in the lineup. Jason Ellison is a marginal major leaguer, and Mackanin is giving him crucial ABs in a big series.

And there is no justification for letting Norris Hopper get more ABs than Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey, or Josh Hamilton. It’s just insane. Letting Hopper start twice over Hamilton is criminal; I don’t care if a lefthander was pitching.

With the Reds on the verge of making some noise in the playoff race, our brilliant manager started an outfield of Norris Hopper, Jeff Keppinger, and Adam Dunn. There is no defense for that.

I’ve come crashing back to earth in terms of my hopes for this team. As far as I’m concerned, Pete Mackanin did himself serious harm last night if he wants to be taken seriously as a major league manager. Because he sure didn’t approach last night’s doubleheader seriously. He didn’t put anything close to his best team on the field in either game.

If you want to watch tonight’s game, feel free to 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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23 Responses

  1. Daedalus

    After the garbage last night, I’ll probably skip this one. I sure hope he did serious harm to his chances of becoming manager next year – I certainly don’t want him.

  2. GodlyCynic

    Serious harm? Krivsky probably saw those managerial moves and immediately asked legal to start drawing up a new contract.

  3. The Mad Hatter

    He lost my vote. I thought Friday and Monday would be enough time off for Dunn and with the team threatening to move into contention there was no reason to sit Griffey with the day off previous. Just disappointment all around for me after last night

  4. DevilsAdvocate

    I agree as a matter of general principle that Norris Hopper is better suited to the bench than as a starter.


    I have a tough time looking at his performance last night and pinning any blame at all on him for the doubleheader sweep. He absolutely did his leadoff hitter job, and got on base. Also used his speed to make the most of an extra-base hit. No matter how problematic Hopper would likely become in the future as a starter due to his impatience at the plate, his performance right now is just fine. Sure, his OBP is fueled mainly by batting average. And his baserunning is not good – caught 6 times in 14 SB attempts. But that batting average is quite high enough right now to cover up for the lack of walks and the caught stealings. I’m trying very hard with Hopper and Keppinger to not confuse my pessimism about their tomorrows with my celebration of their accomplishments today.

    The real problems last night were in using a very rusty Gonzalez as a pinch-hitter in a just-make-contact situation; putting Keppinger in right field instead of Hamilton; and putting Ellison on the field in place of anybody. It wasn’t Hopper starting in place of Hamilton – due to the trickle-down effect, it was Ellison in game 1 and Gonzalez in game 2. And that simply should not have happened.

    Moving on. ➡

  5. DevilsAdvocate

    Cincinnati Reds

    Hamilton, cf
    Gonzalez, ss
    Griffey, rf
    Phillips, 2b
    Dunn, lf
    Valentín, c
    Hatteberg, 1b
    Encarnacíon, 3b
    Harang, p

  6. DevilsAdvocate

    Griffey does his best to restore optimism. 3-0 after three batters!

  7. DevilsAdvocate

    So will Harang vanquish his gopherball demons tonight?

  8. DevilsAdvocate

    Edwin learned from Griffey’s long fly to centerfield – tough to hit ’em out to dead center. Running hard all the way, double.

  9. DevilsAdvocate

    If Harang throws a perfect game tonight, will it make a sound in the Cy Young voting at the end of the season?

  10. DevilsAdvocate

    Okay, so no Harang perfect game. How about a no-hitter? I’d settle for that.

  11. DevilsAdvocate

    Okay, so no Harang no-hitter. How about a shutout? I’d settle for that.

  12. DevilsAdvocate

    Is everyone really so dejected over a couple of losses? Reds are beating the Pirates up and down and every which way tonight. Now 8-0 with more on the way in the 7th.

  13. DevilsAdvocate

    This Pirates reliever, fresh from AA, is named Romulo Sanchez. Great name.

  14. DevilsAdvocate

    2-hit, 94-pitch, 1-BB, 8-K shutout for Harang, 8-0 final. Stellar.

    If Harang is on the mound, the Reds win. That’s about as close to a given as it gets this year.

  15. RedRedMan

    Jesus, a 94 pitch, 8K, 1BB, 2 hit CG shutout. Gives this man a Cy Young already. Okay, but a vote here or there would be nice.

  16. DevilsAdvocate

    Also: I know that many get down on Marty on occasion, myself included, for his acid tongue and stubborn opinions with which we sometimes strongly disagree.

    But he’s just a great radio broadcaster. His first 20-second summary tag for the game tonight was really excellent – the language was just effortlessly well-crafted. Made me sit up and take notice, and think about the gold standard set by Vin Scully.

    For what it’s worth. 😎

  17. DevilsAdvocate

    RedRedMan, good note. Harang had better get some love in that award vote after the season.

  18. Redsfan

    Mack was probably lost in the taste.

    Everyone knows what I am talking about, he was lost in the taste, craving the taste.

  19. Y-City Jim

    WOW! Is this Harang’s most dominating performance ever?

  20. DevilsAdvocate

    I’m enjoying a new pitcher of Kool-Aid tonight: invisible watermelon-cherry.

    Milwaukee is up on the Cubs, 2-1 in the 7th.

    STL is down to the Astros, 4-0 in the 5th.

  21. DevilsAdvocate

    Jim: I am somewhat surprised, but it looks very much like this was Harang’s best gamescore of his career. This game comes up as his best score up to now, and his line tonight was better in every category.

    I guess the 1-0 wins he’s had seem like greater games because of the 1-run lead he protected.

  22. abner

    Ugh. With the Brewers and Lastros winning to night, if only we could have won one of those games last night I’d feel much better our chances. But I’ll take the win tonight, and the next 6 or 7.