Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Houston
Cincinnati 8

WP: Leake (1-0)
LP: Happ (0-1)
BOXSCORE

POSITIVES
–A solid start by Mike Leake, who gave up two runs on three hits in six innings. Leake struck out four and walked two. Really nice outing.

–Chris Heisey went 1-2 with a walk, an HBP, and three RBI.

Mike Leake (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

–Brandon Phillips was 2-2 with a walk and three runs scored. Joey Votto was 2-4 with a double, a walk, an RBI and 2 runs scored. Drew Stubbs had two hits.

–Outstanding bullpen work by Jordan Smith and Matt Maloney, who combined to toss three innings of scoreless ball.

NEGATIVES
–None!

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–The last time the Reds started 4-0 was 1990. Yep, the Wire to Wire championship year. At this point, it’s clear that the Reds are going win the World Series this year. It’s pretty much a guarantee.

–Attendance was a bit disappointing tonight: just over 11,000. Cool night, Monday, I understand. Still, I’d like to see GAB rocking as often as possible.

–Brandon Phillips slid hard and headfirst into home in the fourth, and he was removed from the game an inning later. It has been reported that he just had the wind knocked out of him and had trouble catching his breath, so Phillips came out of the game as a precaution.

–Jonny Gomes walked twice. That makes 7 bases on balls that Gomes has drawn in the first four games. He walked just 39 times all of last season. Me like.

–I was already pretty excited about the Reds, but this 4-0 start has me going through the roof. What a fun team.

64 Responses

  1. JD

    Was anyone else having the game constantly interrupted in the middle of an at-bat by commercials? Very, very annoying.

  2. Ethan D

    Thoughts:

    If Leake keeps pitching like this the Reds are going to have a real problem when Homer and Cueto get back.

    I don’t really understand why Bruce didn’t play at all.

    Gomes with 7 walks? I still don’t believe it.

    When Janish made that diving stop near the start of the game I caught myself yelling “Oh yeah now that’s how the Soft-J does it!”.

    I want it to be 7:10 tomorrow.

  3. Greg Dafler

    @JD: Didn’t have that problem on DISH network.

    I did look up FOX sports schedule with respect to the HD issue. It appears that last year, all 145 broadcasts were scheduled to be in HD. I don’t believe that was true – at least on DISH. This year, 4 April games (4/5, 4/8, 4/9, and 4/13) will be in SD only for some reason.

  4. stormbringer

    Nice outing by Leake (quibbling – you just can’t walk Quintero to lead off the third with a five run lead, but I digress) and great night for the Redlegs.

    I’ve consistently said, and still believe, Leake is our 4th best starter right now, with Bailey nosing out Volquez for the fifth slot. And, with his movement, Leake has the potential to be a solid 1 or 2 in time. When Cueto and Bailey come back he’ll end up going down, but only because he has options in my opinion.

    Just 169 more in a row and we’ve got something going…….

  5. BJ Ruble

    I loved how they jump right out of the box and got a lead so Leake could relax and do his thing.

    If Gomes continues to be able to get on base like this, he becomes pretty productive, however, look at how Chris Heisey played tonight and tell me he couldn’t man LF…

    Win, lose, or draw this is a fun team to watch on most nights. The pitching has been good, the hitting has been good, and the defense has been great…how many times in the past few years could we have said that!

    PS: I am super pumped/happy that Harang pitched well and got the W. I hope for the best for the old Harangatang and will root for him all season, unless he is playing the Reds 😉

    • nllspc

      @Ethan D: Was this just a spot start for Heisey or was Bruce sick or something?

      It was a spot start for Heisey. Dusty wanted to keep Heisey’s ST stroke going. Also said that although Bruce has been doing better against lefties, Happ was a good one and wanted him to sit this one out (don’t shoot the messenger).

      Those first couple innings with all those full counts and walks is what really floored me tonight. The plate discipline displayed was almost mindblowing. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I know it’s the Astros but the way they worked Happ made them look like a legitimate top tier team.

      And Stubbs… my god he’s looking sharp at the plate. Hard hit balls sprayed everywhere. Not only the way he’s hitting the ball, but his approach has me starting to believe.

      The way this whole team is playing right now is making it difficult for me to maintain perspective.

  6. Greg Dafler

    And how about that Leake bunt single in the 5th? You don’t see pitchers attempting to bunt with the bases empty.

  7. rightsaidred

    Ethan D: Was this just a spot start for Heisey or was Bruce sick or something?

    And how about that Leake bunt single in the 5th?You don’t see pitchers attempting to bunt with the bases empty.

    I don’t know about a spot start. I think it was one of the smartest moves from Dusty I have ever seen.
    – a starter clearly struggling to see the ball or pull the trigger.
    – a lefty taking the mound which will only compound that starter’s issues
    – a hot hitting fourth OF who needs some time

    It was a good decision and kudos to Dusty for making it.

  8. rightsaidred

    The new MLB app for my EVO is nice. I don’t like the squeaking noises throughout the radio broadcast and I don’t like having to use ky phone for strictly audio (no in game comments was brutal!) But otherwise, it will be a handy app when I don’t have the laptop or am stuck somewhere without WiFi.

  9. Dave Lowenthal

    @stormbringer: I see little chance that Leake is a #1 starter. I’d be happy if he ends up a solid #3 starter.

  10. Dave Lowenthal

    Can someone explain this?

    http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2011/04/05/leake-had-it-made/

    If Leake “had the team made”, then what happens when Bailey and Cueto come back? There is no way Arroyo or Volquez is going anywhere (even if Volquez was the 6th best pitcher, Dusty will never waver). Wood, you gotta believe, is going to stay in the rotation (or I will be furious). Cueto, you know is in. So does this mean that Bailey goes to the pen?

    It might be the first time in history that a team sends a potential #1 starter to the pen. I don’t know if Bailey will even be good with certainty, but if he takes one more step forward from the last few months last year, I think that he will be the best pitcher on the staff.

  11. Joestn

    as much as i want cordero to succeed this year, the way the reds have been playing so far makes the closer position seem like frivolty.

  12. RedLegHerrm

    @Dave Lowenthal: This doesn’t sound good for Homer Bailey. I think it would be a huge mistake not to have Bailey in this rotation once he’s healthy. He’s finally turning the corner and becoming the pitcher that Reds’ fans thought he could be when he was our highly-touted top prospect. To send him to the bullpen would completely squelch all of that moment. I’m not guaranteeing Bailey turn into the dominant pitcher we all hope for, but to not even give him a chance when, in my opinion, he’s getting so close would be a true injustice.

    I like Mike Leake just as much as the next guy, he pitched a solid game tonight albeit against arguably the worst team in baseball, but he has to be the odd man out when Cueto and Bailey return. Anything to the contrary would be a major gaffe by this ballclub.

  13. Steve

    Made it down to chilly GABP tonight. They’ll have to win tomorrow with me watching from my couch, though.

    Leake was going to be the long reliever. Baker even commented during ST that Leake would be good in that role because he’s a good hitter and you don’t have to pinch-hit for him. So while I do think that Leake was going to make the team, it wasn’t as a starter.

    I don’t think Homer has anything to worry about right now. He’ll have a long leash.

    Not much to add about tonight’s game. Good defense on the left side of the infield. We’ve now played two teams in the division where the difference in defense on that side is striking. The Reds are a very well-rounded team when they are all healthy.

    Hunter Pence could play for me.

    I hope Heisey gets some time in LF. But I have this sneaking feeling that he’ll end up subbing for Stubbs in CF and Bruce in RF more often, which makes zero sense.

    I wish Renteria had more flexibility in the positions he could play. Sigh.

    Votto is really killing the ball and Rolen looked better tonight, too. The Astros seemed totally lifeless.

    • pinson343

      Steve said:

      Leake was going to be the long reliever. Baker even commented during ST that Leake would be good in that role because he’s a good hitter and you don’t have to pinch-hit for him. So while I do think that Leake was going to make the team, it wasn’t as a starter.

      I don’t think Homer has anything to worry about right now. He’ll have a long leash.

      Hunter Pence could play for me.

      I wish Renteria had more flexibility in the positions he could play. Sigh.

      I agree with all these points. Renteria spent time in ST playing 2nd base, but it seems that he’s our 3rd stringer there.

  14. pinson343

    I agree with those who said it was a good nite to play Heisey in RF. Dusty gave the reasons stated above: keep Heisey’s stroke going; give Bruce a breather against a lefty who (when he’s on) is tough on lefties.

  15. pinson343

    BP said afterwards that he needs to work on his sliding. I’ve got a suggestion: don’t slide when you don’t need to, and don’t slide head first at all.

    Austin Kearns’ head first slide into home and the King tag and the resulting shoulder injury still haunt me.

  16. Dave Lowenthal

    @Steve: I hope you are right, as Bailey needs to be given the chance to start. However, I hate the idea of Leake as the long man on this staff, because none of the starters stinks, which means the long man won’t pitch much.

    I agree Heisey will probably get more time in RF and CF than LF.

    I didn’t think Rolen looked that good beyond the first AB. He still looks like he swings with almost no whip. It’s hard for me to believe he’s going to be near the 2010 version, though I didn’t think he could do the 2010 version either, so ….

    • Matt WI

      I hope you are right, as Bailey needs to be given the chance to start. However, I hate the idea of Leake as the long man on this staff, because none of the starters stinks, which means the long man won’t pitch much.

      Agreed. We all saw what happened to Micah Owings last year. Can’t let that happen to Leake, especially when building up innings on his arm is one of the most important things. Once every other week for two or three innings isn’t going to cut it.

  17. pinson343

    I still expect Volquez to turn things around, or at least pitch better, but just for conversation sake, suppose it becomes clear that he’s the Reds 6th (or worse) starter.

    Then do the Reds send him down to AAA (or ask him, if he’s out of options) until he’s throwing strikes ? Or does he remain a starter, forcing one of the other 5 (such as Leake) to replace Maloney in long relief ?

    This is a case where management would have trouble making the right decision, which would be to send him down. And it’s clear why. (Hint: JH)

  18. pinson343

    I can’t believe all the love the Reds are getting on espn, in particular Baseball Tonite. They said the Reds “are probably the best team in baseball right now”.
    Of course it helped that Eduardo Perez was there.

    For tomorrow nite, they promised a Reds’ loolapalooza (or something like that) with Barry Larkin and Aaron Boone both on.

  19. CP

    Gotta admit…

    It’s weird seeing Aaron Harang in a Padres’ uniform, pitching in their home opener. Love seeing him beat the Giants though.

  20. Furniture City Red

    Obviously it’s early, but is this the ‘new and improved’ Jonny Gomes? Taking pitches, drawing walks..Being more selective at the plate? If it is he could have a huge year. I don’t expect him to be as selective as Bonds was, but if he continues to make pitchers actually throw strikes in an attempt to get him out he’s gonna have a career year.

    Too bad baseball doesn’t have an roamer outfielder position 😉 …Heisey is too good to be sitting on the bench most of the time.

    Not sure what to expect from Volquez tonight…hopefully he will keep the winning streak going.

  21. eric nyc

    I don’t think Dusty is getting enough credit for what’s happening here. He’s clearly finally found his stride as a manager and this is the perfect team for his skillset. Lots of young talent, scattered veteran leadership, a boatload of good pitching, and a bench and farm system so loaded with talent that it’s hard to make a bad move. I don’t think the players could love playing for him any more than they do. Him, Jockety, and Castellini are all in lockstep with each other. But even more than all that macro stuff are the little in game things. Leake’s bunt single was 100% a Dusty call. I LOVED seeing it. Creative, fundamental baseball. This just feels like a perfect match of manager and team and I hope he stays around for a long time.

    About the attendance – I hate to gripe because I don’t live in the area so I only make it to maybe half a dozen games a year, but I don’t know what people in Cincinnati are waiting for. Unless baseball instigates a salary cap, this is HANDS DOWN the best Reds baseball team you’re ever going to see. They do everything well, they couldn’t be more exciting to watch, they have phenom rookies and prospects and a reigning MVP. Unless you’re holding out for A Rod or the Phillis rotation, get your asses to the ballpark. There is no reason St Louis and MIlwaukee should be crushing us in attendance with the team we’re putting on the field. Not in Cincinnati.

    • Bill Lack

      I don’t think Dusty is getting enough credit for what’s happening here. He’s clearly finally found his stride as a manager and this is the perfect team for his skillset. Lots of young talent, scattered veteran leadership, a boatload of good pitching, and a bench and farm system so loaded with talent that it’s hard to make a bad move. I don’t think the players could love playing for him any more than they do. Him, Jockety, and Castellini are all in lockstep with each other. But even more than all that macro stuff are the little in game things. Leake’s bunt single was 100% a Dusty call. I LOVED seeing it. Creative, fundamental baseball. This just feels like a perfect match of manager and team and I hope he stays around for a long time.

      About the attendance – I hate to gripe because I don’t live in the area so I only make it to maybe half a dozen games a year, but I don’t know what people in Cincinnati are waiting for. Unless baseball instigates a salary cap, this is HANDS DOWN the best Reds baseball team you’re ever going to see. They do everything well, they couldn’t be more exciting to watch, they have phenom rookies and prospects and a reigning MVP. Unless you’re holding out for A Rod or the Phillis rotation, get your asses to the ballpark. There is no reason St Louis and MIlwaukee should be crushing us in attendance with the team we’re putting on the field. Not in Cincinnati.

      You really believe Dusty told his pitcher to bunt for a hit? I don’t see that.

      It’s the first bad attendance day. Cold, Monday, Houston…maybe I’m making excuses, but I’ve lived here all my life, the Reds (even the BRM) don’t draw until a) school is out and b) the weather warms up. And that as back before they were competing with minor league baseball w/in a 2 hour drive and 145 games on tv. JMO.

      • eric nyc

        @Bill Lack:

        You really believe Dusty told his pitcher to bunt for a hit? I don’t see that.

        Of course I do – You think that was Leake’s call? It’s like a suicide squeeze. Batters don’t call those themselves, it’s a manager’s move. Certainly 2nd year starting pitchers who are lucky to make the opening day rotation don’t have a green light to do whatever they want at the plate.

  22. Travis G.

    I really, really love the way this team is playing right now. They’re playing the game, dare I say, the way it’s supposed to be played (as opposed to, for example, carrying a used wrapping paper tube up to the plate and settling into their stance facing the wrong way).

    I watched through the top of the fourth at work and listened to the bottom of the inning on the way home, but I had some things to do and wasn’t able to watch or listen to the rest. But I never doubted they’d win with that five-run lead. It wasn’t too long ago I would’ve worried.

    • Matt WI

      I really, really love the way this team is playing right now.

      Amen. When I first read that Wood is getting an extra day off, I got annoyed (keep the pedal to the floor!), but then I started thinking… the way this whole team is playing right now, there’s no reason to think LeCure won’t go out there and pick them up.

  23. Furniture City Red

    I’ve wondered in the past why in certain situations – like a damp, chilly Monday night – Teams don’t slash ticket prices. Charge five or ten bucks for a walk up ticket just to put butts in the seats…They’d still make some money off of parking and concessions and the stadium wouldn’t look empty on TV.

  24. renbutler

    @Furniture City Red: I was listening to the Cards’ broadcast on XM Monday, and they were were talking about just that topic for the Pittsburgh series: $5 tickets upper level on Monday, and $17 field seats on Tuesday!

  25. Sultan of Swaff

    Anyone else concerned with Leake’s velocity last night? His ‘fastball’ was sitting 85-87, whereas last year he was around 91. Could’ve been the cold weather because Happ wasn’t breaking 90 much either, but Leake’s stuff doesn’t look as filthy as last year from what I’ve seen. I’ll take him at his word that he’s basically forgotten how to pitch because he was off for the better part of six months.

  26. Dave Lowenthal

    @Furniture City Red: It’s early. It’s possible Gomes will walk 80 times this year, but it’s highly unlikely that he’ll be a changed hitter over 162 games.

  27. Dave Lowenthal

    @Dave Lowenthal: Sorry—I meant to say it’s possible but very unlikely that Gomes will walk 80 times, as his usual is more like 40. Sosa became disciplined later in his career, but…well, he may have used some substances too, which could have had something to do with that.

  28. Sultan of Swaff

    In order to get the Reds games, I have the Extra Innings package, so I’ve been watching many of the other teams to get a feel where we stand. I gotta say, outside of the Rangers, the Reds are the best team in baseball. It’s astonishing how bad most teams are defensively. The Reds are ELITE.

  29. Furniture City Red

    @Dave Lowenthal: …There’s a substance that makes you more disciplined? 😉 BTW – Gomes is on a pace to walk 283 times!!! 😀

    But seriously – I get what you are saying. It’s not often that a guy can totally change his approach. But so far (I know its very early) it looks to me like Gomes is trying to be more selective.

  30. jrob45601

    I think Gomes is locked in right now the way he was for that month and a half last year. He has just missed on a lot of his outs, and the walks suggest he is seeing the ball very well. I have also noticed that he is not getting many fastballs (or strikes) to hit, particularly with runners on base. He is just seeing it so well right now that he has been able to lay off most of those.

  31. lukeukcrazy

    I was looking at our interleague scheadule we play the Indians twice. We play the Yankees and the Blue Jays at home. Then we go to see the unbeaten Orioles and the winless Rays. We basically play the whole AL East.

  32. dn4192

    @Dave Lowenthal:

    What over his entire time with the Reds leads you to think he is better then Leake or Wood or Bronson or Cueto. He can’t stay healthy, he can’t stay consistant. He is a thrower not a pitcher. Sorry but I think it’s time to dump him via trade and move on with better talent we have in the system..

  33. eric nyc

    @Sultan of Swaff:

    The Rangers are really good, but it’s all power hitting. They are probably the best power hitting team out there, at least until Boston gets itself together – and it will. But the combination of situational hitting, power at every spot in the lineup, defense, starting pitching, and bullpen talent? In the big picture, and I’ll go ahead and qualify it with the usual “if they stay healthy and consistent” business, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say the Reds are the most complete team in baseball. What were the questions going into the season:

    1. Can the rotation stand up to injuries?
    2. Who’s the true leadoff hitter?
    3. Will there be any decline offensively?

    Well the rotation looks just fine, Stubbs looks like the textbook definition of a leadoff batter, and the offense actually makes last year’s numbers look puny. I keep looking up at this team and, aside from the lack of a true ace pitcher which is a luxury when you’re putting up 6+ runs a game, I can’t see a single hole.

  34. jrob45601

    If any of the Reds starters have “stuff” that will translate better to the bullpen than starting, its Bailey. This should be his last go-round if he struggles to maintain from start to start.

  35. steelheels

    volquez is going 2 be your 1st or 2nd starter he’s good pitcher he needs more time coming back from tommyjohn he should pitch well 2nite against lowly astro’s

  36. Jeff

    Leake had a good stat line for the game however it seemed like he was a little off with his pitches and left a lot over the plate. A lot of balls were hit deep and against a better team I think there would have been a couple hit out of the park. Don’t get me wrong I really like Leake and hope he continues to pitch well but I hope he can locate his pitches a little better on those outer corners.

    Stubbs has really impressed me and im loving his game, I can’t imagine the damage this team can do if Stubbs has a breakout year. Heisey looks good to the way he’s seeing the ball at the plate is impressive and we all know how well he plays defense. Things look bright for his future and the future of the Reds OF.

    Last night I watched the game on the MLB package from Directv currently getting a free preview and I DVRed the game on Astros network (not knowingly) because it was in HD god what a bore 😥 . I would ten times rather watch the game in SD with the Reds broadcasters and will do so tonight. 😀

  37. renbutler

    @Jeff: Don’t worry: tonight’s game is in HD. There are only three more SD games, and tonight is NOT one of them.

    • Jeff

      @Jeff: Don’t worry: tonight’s game is in HD. There are only three more SD games, and tonight is NOT one of them.

      That’s great news! 😀

      I’m still debating on weather or not to purchase the MLB package but that does make a big difference. This free preview has been amazing, its great seeing every Reds game (don’t see to many here in Cali) and it sure does beat seating in front of the computer for three hours. I’m really lean towards getting the MLB package, last thing I have to do is convince my wife and what its going to cost from her. 😯

  38. Bill Lack

    @Furniture City Red:
    I think the issue would be for the people that paid full price….not saying I disagree with you, but probably don’t think it’d be worth the bad PR.

  39. al

    i just don’t see any reason to value bailey higher than volquez. volquez has obviously better stuff, throws harder, more movement, better secondary pitches. volquez has a career ERA of 4.31 to Bailey’s 5.09, and a career WAR of 5.4 to Bailey’s -.6 (below replacement level). and volquez has thrown 196 innings in a big league season where bailey maxed out at 113.

    i think bailey needs to get over this “i don’t warm up fast” story and try to learn how to be a relief pitcher. You need fewer secondary pitches out of the pen and maybe he could tack on a few mph to his fastball.

    i hope volquez can tighten up his mechanics, he looks sloppy to me, and it’s not surprising that he can’t find the zone. i also think it would be ok if the reds told him to cuth his hair back some, lose the huge chains, and button his jersey, as all that stuff just looks like it gets in his way (though i know they won’t for cultural sensitivity reasons, which i generally support unless it looks like its hurting performance).

    but overall, he has the best stuff on the staff and proven that he can be an ace for at least a whole season. that’s more than anyone else on the team can say right now.

  40. al

    @eric nyc: while i disagree about the leake bunting call, i do agree that dusty is making a lot more moves that i agree with these days. it’s hard not to like what he’s got going.

    the thing that killed so many of us has been not playing the best players on the team for so long, and putting bad hitters high in the order. right now it looks like the mix of players is right, and the batting order is right, and there’s just not that much to gripe about. he even took out wood at a low pitch count!

  41. eric nyc

    A bunt is almost always a manger’s call, regardless of the situation. Players don’t up and decide to lay down a bunt on their own. And again, pitchers NEVER do anything at the plate they’re not told to do, especially one Leake’s age. I would bet a month’s salary it was Dusty’s call.

    • jrob45601

      A bunt is almost always a manger’s call, regardless of the situation. Players don’t up and decide to lay down a bunt on their own. And again, pitchers NEVER do anything at the plate they’re not told to do, especially one Leake’s age. I would bet a month’s salary it was Dusty’s call.

      I have to disagree with you here. Bunting for a hit isnt much more likely to be successful than telling a guy to hit a home run. Its just the way Leake plays the game. He’s not just a pitcher, he’s a baseball player. An intelligent one, who knows that scoring runs starts with getting on base – any way you can. For a guy with decent speed (and not just compared to pitchers), the 3b 3 steps behind the bag is pretty much a gimme.

  42. dn4192

    @eric nyc:

    They interviewed Leake after the game last night and according to what he said it was his call, he saw the 3rd basemen playing deep and figured they woulnd’t expect it, so no I don’t think Dusty or anyone else knew he was going to bunt.

    • Bill Lack

      @eric nyc:

      They interviewed Leake after the game last night and according to what he said it was his call, he saw the 3rd basemen playing deep and figured they woulnd’t expect it, so no I don’t think Dusty or anyone else knew he was going to bunt.

      I’ll take that in 5’s and 10’s… 😀

  43. eric nyc

    @dn4192:

    Didn’t see that interview…I’m surprised. But if that’s what he said. Good for him – heads up play. Still, I do think Dusty calls a good game.

  44. Furniture City Red

    Leake bunted for a hit a time or two last season also…If my terrible memory is correct. I figured it was his decision last night when watching the game. He’s just a good ball player…If he see’s the 3rd baseman basically giving him a base hit he’s gonna take it.

    @Bill Lack: Yeah. I could see where everyone who paid full price in advance would be pissed…I just hate looking at a empty stadium on TV.

  45. Matt WI

    @dn4192: Plus Dusty has said that Stubbs and unnamed others have green lights to steal bases… I think in general he encourages his players to use their instincts and talents until, like he says with Subbs stealing “they prove they can’t” use the judgement wisely.

  46. eric nyc

    @Matt WI: Giving your leadoff hitter who runs like a gazelle an open green light to steal bases is a little different from situational bunting. I think it’s nice to think that these guys get to use their instincts and do whatever they feel at any given moment, but it’s not true. Managers will often send batters to the plate with strategies. How does a hit and run work if the manager isn’t calling for it and coordinating the batter, base coaches, and runners? A suicide squeeze? you hear all the time “I wonder if they’ll give him a green light to swing on this 3-1 pitch.” Managers are involved in those decisions constantly. Now, if Leake saw an opening and made the decision to bunt, great. Heads up. But USUALLY that call is coming from the dugout.

  47. Matt WI

    @eric nyc: I don’t think anyone disagrees with the term “usually” and nobody suggested the Reds are calling their own squeezes amongst each other. I guess Leake’s quote clears this one up pretty clearly anyway.

    All I was suggesting is that Dusty perhaps has a slightly more open approach. I didn’t mean to indicate with certainty that guys have the green light to bunt too… just hypothesizing that as a “player’s manager” perhaps he gives the guys more leeway than most.

    Of course most of those calls come from the dugout. Just thinking of reasons why it wouldn’t necessarily be so.

  48. jrob45601

    @eric nyc:
    When they say something about a batter getting a green light on 3-1, what it means is actually the opposite. The manager may give the sign to “take” the next pitch. Hit and runs and squeezes, and most sac bunts are called for by the manager. But bunting for a base hit is a decision made based on the defensive postitioning, and nothing to do with the manager. The closest a manager gets to that decision is putting it in a players head to check the defense, or as with Stubbs, making it something they work on to improve his overall game.

    • Matt WI

      But bunting for a base hit is a decision made based on the defensive postitioning, and nothing to do with the manager. The closest a manager gets to that decision is putting it in a players head to check the defense, or as with Stubbs, making it something they work on to improve his overall game.

      Well said. If it’s in your skill set, it’s just as good as a ground ball up the middle.

  49. Matt WI

    FWIW… Chrissy Carpenter is on the hook for an “L” against the Pirates right now. Pirates 2, Cards 0 going in to 9th. Break up the Buccos.

  50. pinson343

    @Bill Lack: So will I. Leake is a smart player who also handles a bat well and part of the game is thinking on your own. That works better with some players than others.

  51. pinson343

    On another note: Chris Heisey starting in LF today. Nice. Dusty is using him, as he should, in all 3 OF positions. (In this statement, I’m taking it as a given that Heisey is not the regular starter in LF.)

  52. pinson343

    @Matt WI: “We all saw what happened to Micah Owings last year. Can’t let that happen to Leake, especially when building up innings on his arm is one of the most important things. Once every other week for two or three innings isn’t going to cut it.”

    Absolutely. Long relief would not work for Leake in particular, who needs a regular routine to stay sharp (he’s talked about how he needs to pitch every 5 days). And for Leake there is a small margin of error, he needs to be very sharp to be successful.