2009 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap

Time for a recap of tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 6
Philadelphia 9
WP: Moyer (8-6)
LP: Owings (6-9)
S: Lidge (17)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Edwin Encarnacion homered, tripled, and drove in three runs. We can only hope this is the start of a return to form for EE.

–Nice major league debut for Robert Manuel. Congratulations to Manuel, who also celebrated his birthday today.

NEGATIVES
–This was a completely winnable game, and the Reds blew it through awful pitching and miserable defense. They looked like a minor league team tonight.

–Tonight, the Reds displayed the worst defense I’ve ever seen for a team that wasn’t charged with an error. Just disgraceful, and anyone who expected this team to survive on pitching and defense must be throwing up right now.

Brandon Phillips made one of his patented lackadaisical plays, completely screwing up on a ball that everyone agrees should have been caught. Therefore, instead of the Reds being out of the inning with a two-run lead, the BP misplay permitted two runs to score, tying the game.

The inning before that, Willy Taveras ran straight back to the wall like an idiot on a ball that Chase Utley hammered. I’m so sick of seeing this same thing from Taveras (this is at least the second time this week). Instead of playing the ball off the wall, Taveras was standing at the base of the wall, facing the fence, when the ball bounced off the top of the wall and away from him. Yes, Utley got an inside-the park homer because of this little league play.

Later, in the 5th inning, a run scored when Ramon Hernandez allowed a passed ball. Somehow, the official scorer called it a wild pitch for Danny Herrera, but if that wasn’t a passed ball, I’ve never seen one.

Also, in that same inning, Josh Roenicke couldn’t step on first to complete a double play that would have ended the inning with the Reds still leading by one. Instead, the inning continued and by the time the damage was done, the Reds were down by two, never to recover.

Pitching and defense. Riiiiiiiiiiight.

–Willy Taveras has no business being an everyday player in the major leagues. He’s just terrible, and there’s no other way to describe him. Yet, we’re inflicted with his pathetic offense and indifferent defense every single day at the leadoff spot.

–Micah Owings was not good, though his defense didn’t help him at all, as noted above. He continues to walk hitters and he has to take a large share of the responsibility. Terrible outing.

–Daniel Ray Herrera has not been good lately.

ETC.
–Back to two games under .500.

–Guess what? This team is exactly what we thought they were before the season: a below-average club. It will be a major success for the organization if they can somehow figure out how to finish at .500.

–Dusty Baker keeps doing stupid things as manager, but he’s been getting angrier and angrier each day. At least we know he cares as much (perhaps more) than we do. Who can blame him for getting mad? His team keeps losing games because they can’t perform the fundamentals.

–The Reds had a chance to split this series and salvage something. Instead, they dropped three out of four, one of those losses in historic fashion. A complete disaster.

–I’m really frightened that Chris may have a crystal ball.

45 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap

  1. Did Dusty really just single out Chris Dickerson for not backing up on the inside-the-park home run? Is he kidding? Taveras makes terrible plays virtually every night in CF, including that one, some from a lack of effort. Dusty never says anything. Dickerson hustles like crazy all the time – 100% – yet Dusty decides to single him out for that? What an ass.

  2. Why are the Reds again carrying 13 pitchers? Are they playing pickup softball or playing AAU teams for money on the side on off-days or something?

  3. If we have to sacrifice this season in order to get Dusty gone, I’d almost do it without thinking too much about it.

    As for Micah Owings, I feel bad that he’s Marty’s whipping boy but again, I still can’t believe we traded Dunn for him and Dallas Buck. We could have offered him arbitration and used that money we signed Taveras for, as well as a few other unnecessary adjustments (like Ramon) and we would have been a better team

    ugh….

  4. I don’t care if he’s the #1 starter, the #5 starter, or the #10 starter is inability to throw strikes is ridiculous. Who cares what number starter he is. Throw bleeping strikes.

  5. If Dusty is ripping guys he better be ripping Phillips because the guy does not play hard. Talented individual, but not a guy you can win a championship with (and neither is quite a few other guys on this team but Phillips stands out because he does have the talent).

  6. “–Guess what? This team is exactly what we thought they were before the season: a below-average club. It will be a major success for the organization if they can somehow figure out how to finish at .500.”

    You write this with a certain amount of gusto, and it’s a bit disturbing. It’s as if you WANT the Reds to be bad so you can point to all the shortfallings they have and say, “SEE! I TOLD YOU! If only the Reds were run EXACTLY AS I SAY they wouldn’t be this bad, and until they are run that way THEY WILL BE HORRIBLE!”
    Let’s also throw out the fact that they are now only TWO games under .500, and for the majority of the season have actually been ABOVE .500. Since you seem to believe they are a below average club, does that mean the majority of the season has been some sort of anomaly, and only NOW, halfway through the season, we are seeing the true team? Or could it be they simply lost three out of four to the defending World Series champs?

  7. I’m glad I missed this one. I turned on XM radio in the 9th, and the Phillies announcers said that the Phils won with an “immense” amount of help from the Reds.

    Dusty is right to distinguish mental from physical errors, and Dickerson and Roenicke did screw up mentally. But Taveras’ running all the way to the wall on a ball over his head, and ducking to let it carom past him, counts as two mental errors to me. When he did the same thing on Tuesday nite, running all the way to the wall to misplay a ball over his head into a triple by Ruiz (Bruce backed up the play), Buck Showalter selected it as among the 3 stupidest plays of the nite. “Stupid” implies mental error, and I agree with Buck.

    So why was Dusty quiet about Taveras ?

  8. This observation has been made before, but this is a historically bad Reds OF. The only worse one I can think of in the last 50 years is the 1982 OF of Cedeno, Milner, and Householder.

  9. The best thing about tonite was EE’s hitting. His HR was on a changeup he hit off the end of his bat, let’s hope he’s regained his stroke.

  10. Yeah EE back in form…what a travesty. The guy still hasn’t figured out how to set his feet to make a throw and he continues to try and pull EVERYTHING. His success tonight was all Moyer. Moyer just fits EE’s style. Makes me sick everytime he does his little hop when he gets a strike on the inside part of the plate and acts all suprised. Again..HE CANT THROW A BASEBALL and he’s a major leaguer. lol what the hell. Bruce sure looked like he was studying hard on the bench. Laughing it up with Nix while Utley was batting. This team has no teachers or discipline. Bruce shouldve been sitting beside Dusty or Jacoby. The kid probably doesn’t know what to look for. Cathardic rant over.

  11. Marty doesn’t seem to like many of the players, but always has his least favorites…but why??? Who knows, it is usually personal I think, the same reason he began hating the Cubs after they wouldn’t let Thom have his way with the team. Can’t wait for his weak act to be over….jumped the shark long ago.

    Far worse than Marty (after all, a cranky old man will be a cranky old man) is the way his thoughts become the “thoughts” of the people who still listen to that bad broadcast, and eventually become the conventional wisdom (or lack thereof)

  12. After video review, suckiest bunch of sucks, etc.

    Same thing for the umpiring crew for this series. How could a ML umpiring crew be that bad ?

  13. Re: pinson343 on the OF being horrible.
    You know I never thought about it. Even after reading another article today that looked at and showed that teams with better production (including defense) up-the-middle are more likely to win and more likely to go all the way. That includes C, SS, 2B, and CF it didn’t hit me, since we have the worst production from CF imaginable and pretty bad production from SS and probably below average from C, the obvious just never dawned on me. Bruce isn’t playing well enough to make up for the lackings in CF and Gomes doesn’t play enough in LF to make up for the other players thrown there.

    I’ll be damned….the OF is terrible.

    Now the OF is OK on defense as a whole because Bruce is as good as Taveras is bad.

    Lets take a look

    The 5 worst Reds offenses since the BRM machine when it comes to hitting are 1982, 2002, 2001, 1998, and 2009. So I’ll just look at those in a more detailed fashion. I know there is a chance that one of the other borderline offensive OF was exceptionally bad on offense like 1996, 1991, or 1983 but lets ignore that for now 🙂

    I’ll include the main 4 OF from each year. Ouch that really hurts this year because Gomes wouldn’t be counted. The main 5?
    Here are the win share totals

    35 1982 Cedeno (13), Householder (4), Milner (9), Walker (4) Bittner (5)
    19(38) Bruce (5), Taveras (4), Dickerson (5), Nix (4), Gomes (5)
    41 1998 Young (16), Sanders (14), Stynes (5), Nunnally (4), Watkins (2)
    49 2001 Young (13), Jr (14), Ochoa (7), Rivera (5), Dunn (10)
    56 2002 Dunn (20), Kearns (16), Encarnacion (8), Taylor (5), Branyan (7)

    it’s a bit inaccurate for a couple reasons. 1st, win shares is a totals stat so since we are halfway through the season I just doubled it to compare. Second in each case these win share totals are for all positions played so in some cases there are extra win shares that were gotten by not playing the OF but it’s still a good look at the quality of the OF combining both offense and defense.

    It’s clear that this years OF is among the 3 worst in the last 29 years
    Just looking at offense here is how they look
    since the BRM
    OPS YEAR DIFF PLAYER LEAGUE
    1 Reds 2009 -.034 .720 .754
    2 Reds 1982 -.033 .682 .715
    3 Reds 1998 -.021 .743 .764
    4 Reds 1983 -.012 .710 .722
    5 Reds 2008 -.006 .760 .765
    6 Reds 1997 .000 .766 .767
    7 Reds 1996 .000 .761 .761

    and in the last 50 years
    OPS YEAR DIFF PLAYER LEAGUE
    1 Reds 2009 -.034 .720 .754
    2 Reds 1982 -.033 .682 .715
    3 Reds 1998 -.021 .743 .764
    4 Reds 1983 -.012 .710 .722
    5 Reds 1973 -.008 .714 .722
    6 Reds 2008 -.006 .760 .765
    7 Reds 1997 .000 .766 .767
    8 Reds 1996 .000 .761 .761
    9 Reds 1971 .000 .707 .706

    I guess this brings up the big point. Where are the Reds biggest weaknesses so far this year?

    RCAP
    -26 3B (worst in baseball)
    -20 CF (worst in baseball)
    -16 SS (3rd worst in baseball)

    In CF Dusty has a better player in Dickerson but he doesn’t play him there
    At 3B EE got hurt
    At SS we don’t have one

    It would take to long for me to do right now but I’d like to see how our up-the-middle production compares to the rest of baseball. We are terrible at SS and CF, we have a good 2B and we are average at C but not for long if Hanigan doesn’t play.

    and lastly the offense is just terrible. Here are the worst Reds offenses in the last 50 years

    OPS YEAR DIFF PLAYER LEAGUE
    1 Reds 2003 -.059 .713 .771
    2 Reds 1997 -.057 .710 .767
    3 Reds 1982 -.054 .660 .715
    4 Reds 1983 -.051 .671 .722
    5 Reds 2009 -.044 .710 .754
    6 Reds 1984 -.042 .669 .711
    7 Reds 1971 -.041 .665 .706
    8 Reds 2008 -.037 .729 .765
    9 Reds 2001 -.036 .744 .780
    10 Reds 1964 -.032 .680 .712

  14. “Bruce should have been sitting by Dusty and Jacoby”???
    WTF???

    why????

    so he can learn how baseball isn’t supposed to be played? So he can learn how not to clog the bases? so he can learn why Taveras is a great player? So he can not be a “front runner” I hope Bruce doesn’t listen to a single word those fools say

  15. Reds team ERA in the last 28 days
    5.07

    Arroyo has 5 starts during those 28 days. His ERA is 8.42 in those 5 starts
    The team is 10-14 during that time, Arroyo is 1-4

    In other words, everything is going wrong for the Reds. We know the offense is terrible so if the pitching is also going to be terrible we don’t have much of a chance

    In those same 28 days, who has been hitting?
    OPS
    1.102 Gomes (wow!)
    .942 Votto
    .897 Hanigan
    .821 Dickerson (.379 OBP)

    3 of those 4 are not starters

  16. This has been a truly disappointing way to start the toughest stretch on the schedule. That loss last Friday was brutal, followed by two butt whippings, and losing two more very winable games. ugh! Sorry to say fellas it isn’t getting any easier over the next month. :-((

  17. As far as Owings…Yes, he gets undue rippings from Marty, but man he is very frustrating to watch. He can be good one start, then the next he is all to pieces barely making 5 innings. He can be a good 4th/5th starter but he HAS to gain some consistency.

  18. Matt @4

    I agree with you, if Dusty is booted from the reds at year end, it would, almost, make the season a success.

  19. Owings gets what he deserves when he deserves it. He doesn’t throw strikes and I firmly believe he is part of the problem when the team plays bad defense behind him because he takes an hour to throw a pitch and throws seven pitches to every batter.

  20. #8) Do you sincerely think we’d take all the time it takes to run this blog if we didn’t WANT the Reds to be great?

    Yes, they’re TWO games under .500 and have been over .500 for most of the year, but many of us predicted before the season that a good season, with this team, would be .500…and that appears to be correct.

    That doesn’t mean we don’t hope that a) Baker buys a clue and figures out how bad Taveras really is, b) players like Bruce, Encarnacion, etc pick it up in the second half c) pitchers that are recently struggling (Arroyo, Cueto, Herrera, Weathers) regain their form from earlier successes…but this team is what we predicted. It’s offensively challenged and not dramatically improved defensively over last year.

    If you want all sunshine and roses even on cloudy days….this ain’t the place.

  21. The only thing I’d quibble with is I can’t really blame Taveras for “ducking” (certainly he shouldn’t have been in that situation in the first place, however). Ducking was the perfectly natural reaction. Even I wouldn’t want him to take a ball of his face (although, that might get Dickerson in the lineup more…. 😉 …..)

  22. Gammons was just on Mike & Mike. He said the Central was wide open with the Cardinals, Brewers, Cubs and Astros all having a chance to win it. No mention of the Pirates or the Reds.

  23. To Dallas and his root for the home team no matter what and this blog is a bunch of meanies. It’s blogs like this and others focusing on small market teams that keep the front office accountable. Do you think ESPN is paying attention to anything going on in the Cincinnati market? Do you hear anything nationally about how ridiculous it is that the Dusty keeps running Wee Willy T out to CF everyday when he has a better option on the bench offensively and defensively? Do you think the local broadcasters are saying anything to Dusty, Walt, et. al. about the moves in the off season to improve the pitching and defense and the defense doesn’t look that much improved? How about John Seibel on ESPN radio and admitted diehard Cincinnati Red fan, he won’t mention the Reds on his radio show or comment on the ridiculous manager because listeners will turn away. This team infuriates me because the front office lied and said they were giving us one thing when all they were doing is trying to save a few bucks in a bad economy. Other teams in smaller markets win because they don’t sign Wee Willy T, Mike Lincoln et. al. to multiple year contracts. These are the mistakes that cost teams seasons, as in plural (s). At least the editors of this blog and some of commentators are willing to say something and not stick their heads in the sand like the local mainstream media does. Thanks for the giving me the forum to vent. And I’m not proofreading.

  24. As good as Roenicke has been (and I am a huge fan of his) his inability to cover first is what ultimately killed them last night. You didn’t even scratch the surface on how bad that play was. When the ball was hit on the ground to his left, he just turn and watched the play. Once Votto fielded the ball, then he started jogging to first. THEN, he realized he was needed in the play and sprinted towards first. Finally, his third mistake, after receiving the ball from the SS, he reached out with his foot and missed the bag, allowing Bako to reach base, the runner to score and the inning to continue. Btw, Bako eventually came around and scored. That play alone cost them 3 runs.

  25. If you can’t beat Paul Bako to the bag with a headstart, you deserve to be called out.

  26. I am anxious to see the standings at the break. If the Reds are within three games, I think there is a definite chance that ownership will be forced to make a move. I’m all for trying to move some of our access corner OF and 3B to add a Marco Scutaro and some of our access pitching to add an OF.

    I’m curious to see who gets bounced from the rotation when Volquez comes back. It could be Arroyo. It could be Owings. It could be Bailey, except given how he has pitched, I think you leave him in your rotation. Personally I see Arroyo being the odd man out (unless the Reds deal Harang).

  27. Dusty Baker just needs to go. How this guy managed to win MOY awards is beyond me. His game to game decision making is appalling and he clearly has no control over how his players conduct themselves.

  28. I’m sure the Blue Jays would love to sell high on Scutaro.

    Don’t look now, the Reds are in 5th place.

    They have to show up against the Mets, who have just put their 8th player on the DL, which includes Delgado, Reyes, and Beltran.

  29. #14 – Absolutely. It’s been said by others here that Joe was the perfect antidote for Marty. Joe was a former player, spent his entire life with this organization, and knew the players on this team. For many years he even threw batting practice. Joe liked everyone, and this rubbed off on Marty to the point that he had to at least respect the players. I think the fundamental problem with Marty now is that he no longer respects a lot of individuals on this team.

  30. According to the Toronto Sun, the Reds have interest in Scott Rolen and have been scouting him and dangling EdE.

  31. I’m not buying the Dusty is getting angry thing. If ever a situation called for a full scale Earl Weaver/Lou Piniella apesh*t tantrum, it was the blown call early in the game last night. We’ve been subjected to the worst umping for 4 games and played bad to boot. At worst, he had some righteous anger on his side. At best, you could foster an us vs. them mentality, make the team aware you’re fed up w/ the BS, and possibly change the dynamic of the game and set the tone for the final weekend before the all star break.
    Instead, we get the guy from ‘Office Space’ who wants his stapler back.

  32. 3 against the Mets and then a 4-game set with Milwaukee after the break.

    3-4 = sellers?
    5-2 = buyers?

    Of course, they’ll do what they normally do: tease us with 4-3.

  33. Trading for Scott Rolen at this point in his career is the type of inane transaction that GMs do to save their jobs and owners do to prove they are trying to win.

    Rolen is having a good year; not a great year, and it would appear that he’s having a “bounce back” year…after all, his OPS is 876, his OPS+ is 130. That’s quite good. And, no doubt, someone is saying those 26 doubles would be homers in Cincinnati, which would probably “double” his homer output from 6-12 (which, by the way, would also increase his OPS+).

    However, getting a 34 year old making $12 million does a year is NOT any kind of move this team needs to make, unless it’s a centerfielder with speed and a power bat.

    This is the kind of trade that losing teams make….or teams that need one last bat to win the World Series….not challenge for a chance to lose in the divisional series. Getting Scott Rolen, “regional player or not” (another Cincinnati favorit move), is a spare part move that would cost a lot…

    This is the kind of thing the Yankees have done for almost 100 years to put them over the top, or the kind of thing the Reds did in the 1930’s when they were coming in last every year and they needed a big name to boost attendance.

    They want attendance? Get players that will make a long term difference…

    Okay…blood pressure down…I think

  34. From a 2010 payroll standpoint, they could add Rolen AND Halladay if they concurrently moved Encarnacion and Arroyo (same or separate deals) and be at $77.5 million. That assumes
    – Gonzo and Hernandez’s options aren’t picked up (but doesn’t factor in the buyout cost)
    – 4th OFers and 5th IFers make major league minimum

    The $77.5M number does include the $6.5 owed to Taveras and Lincoln.

    Unfortunately, it would cost more than money to acquire both those players. Bye-bye farm system.

  35. Nobody’s going to believe this, but I don’t criticize BP for that play last night. The annoucers say the ball was knuckling, and I buy that. He didn’t get in front of it, but it was smoked.

    Sure, it’s a mark against the “Gold Glove 2b” argument, and he definitely didn’t need to sit on his ass and mug for 10 seconds afterward, but that play doesn’t even rank as “lacksidasical,” at least on the Phillips Scale.

    I didn’t hear Dusty rip Dickerson, but I’d love to know WHERE, exactly, he should’ve been backing up Taveras on that particular play. The baseball caromed directly right, along the warning track. Is that where Dickerson is supposed to go on deep fly balls to center?

    And if you’re going to criticize Dickerson for failing to predict odd caroms, shouldn’t you be twice as mad at Taveras himself? His being out of position actually caused the problem.

  36. Mike, Thanks for the analyis of the OF’s offensive prodction. It supports my claim,I think, and in fact this OF has a chance to be even worse than the 1982 one.

  37. “Yes, they’re TWO games under .500 and have been over .500 for most of the year, but many of us predicted before the season that a good season, with this team, would be .500…and that appears to be correct.”

    I remember the consensus that this team would be worse than last year’s and I remember the phrase “there’s no way they come close to .500” or something similar being thrown around quite liberally.

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