Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL

Cincinnati 2
St. Louis 4

W: K. McClellan (3-0)
L: M. Maloney (0-1)
S: M. Boggs (2)
BOXSCORE

POSITIVES
–Brandon Phillips was booed all night, and he responded with a couple of hits, including a homer. The homer was fun, as the boos only got louder, and BP enjoyed a little dance in the dugout after it was over.

–Drew Stubbs had a couple of hits from the leadoff spot and bumped his OBP up around .370. Miguel Cairo, starting at third in place of the injured Scott Rolen, had a couple of hits.

–Jordan Smith pitched three pretty good innings, giving up just one run on four hits. Bill Bray was great…again. Nick Masset was straight dealing in his two perfect innings of work. Very nice to see.

NEGATIVES
–Matt Maloney got the start after the rain delay, and he did not help matters any. Maloney gave up three runs on eight hits in two innings.

–Edgar Renteria has no defensive ability whatsoever. He left it all back in 2004.

–A baserunning blunder by Chris Heisey and Cairo (mostly Heisey) ran the Reds out of a chance to tie the game in the eighth. Sheesh. Looked like the old, pre-2010 Reds.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–The game started on time, then we saw a bit of gamesmanship from the Cardinals. The umpires stopped the game after six minutes, and the teams waited through a 2:10 rain delay. It seemed pretty clear that the Cardinals wanted to start the game on time, despite the obvious fact that it’d be stopped immediately, in order to cause the Reds to burn their starter.

–My opinion of his baseball talents hasn’t changed in the last year, but I find that I like BP much more than I used to.

–I don’t know if Dusty Baker was trying to get Masset into the game in a less-intense situation (he entered in the sixth inning), but Masset looked better than he has all season — by far.

–Chris Welsh said they tried hard, if that helps.

–The fact that Cincinnati had to use Maloney as the starter, followed by his poor two-inning start, means that the Reds bullpen is likely shot this weekend. Too bad.

–Bill Bray has really been great this season. Of course, as I said in the game thread, he’s due to get injured any moment now.

–The Redlegs certainly had their opportunities, but just couldn’t come up with the hit they needed at the right time. I still feel pretty good about the next couple of days, though I concede that I may be fooling myself here.

38 Responses

  1. Toph42

    Don’t forget Gomes getting caught between 3rd and home. Perhaps without the baserunning issues we win that ballgame. Regardless, you can’t bat so poorly with RISP and expect to come out on top. What a frustrating game to watch.

  2. preach

    I still think we need to include Bruce’s baserunning under negative as well. Just listening to Dusty. Apparently the Reds and Cardinals had different information about the weather. Not sure how, but that’s what the man said. The audio was pretty screwed up, but then again so was the content.

    Sure glad I stayed up until 2 for this.

  3. preach

    Oh, yeah: and we are now out of first place and a game behind the WLB’s

  4. Dave Lowenthal

    Chad: we’re facing Carpenter tomorrow. And the Reds are in a slump.

    Sunday is Westbrook, who’s been awful this year.

  5. Python Curtus

    Cardinals announcer Al Hrabosky, talking about the tradition of throwing back opposing teams’ homerun balls, mentioned that the tradition had started with the Cubs fans: “And why would anyone want to be like the Cubs’ fans?” :mrgreen:

  6. pinson343

    I didn’t see the game, seems we lost largely due to multiple base running blunders. I don’t follow quite what Dusty was saying about different weather reports for the 2 teams. I think LaRussa just outsmarted him by not having McLellan warm up before what both managers knew was likely to be a short window of play followed by a long interruption.

  7. pinson343

    The Reds didn’t use Chapman, Ondrusek, or Cordero. One inning of Bray. It’s more the middle relief that is shot. Need a good outing from Wood in any case.

  8. pinson343

    At first I was confused about Volquez officially starting and pitching 0.0 innings, but he was in the lineup card as the starting pitcher, so that answers the question. At least he got a lot of practice warming up.

    I think he should warm up twice before his next start. His second warmup would be his “pretend” first inning, but without so many pitches.

  9. Truman48

    It was great to see Masset have a couple of good innings. Perhaps this will get him going. I think Cairo continues to do a nice job with the bat while filling in.

    Gamesmanship or not (and I think some are probably giving Tony too much credit). I do not understand why you would start a game when it was absolutely clear that it wasn’t going to go long. How about a little common sense here umpires.

    They hit very well until a runner got to second base and then nothing. I do not believe this team manufactures runs or goes station to station well at all.

  10. Travis G.

    I don’t know how the Cards could have legitimately been confused about the weather. I was monitoring the weather in Cincinnati, Lexington and St. Louis for work, and it was obvious the game was going to be delayed by heavy rain, strong wind and possibly tornadoes. Gotta give LaRussa credit for that gamesmanship, even if it might have put some fans’ lives at risk in case that tornado stuff had panned out.

    Not a great start to this series. The baserunning stuff was unconscionable, and the defense wasn’t nearly as airtight as we’re used to. We really need to get Votto locked back in, too.

  11. Truman48

    @Travis G.:

    It seems like Votto has not been great. But his stats are still really good. It would be nice to seem a few more homers at this point since this team is not really scoring otherwise.

  12. Travis G.

    Eh, it’s just regression to the mean after his incredible start. He wasn’t going to hit .451 all season, and his average is likely to fall another 70 points by the time it’s all said and done, but I’d like to see him go on a nice mini-streak this weekend.

  13. eric nyc

    Here is my most educated guess of what happened leading up to the game. Everyone knows it’s going to rain, but both starters warm up in the bullpen as they have to. 10 minutes before the start, when the weather clearly looks like it is going to rain within the first inning, LaRussa pulls his starter. Dusty might have felt the game wouldn’t even get to the bottom of the first without a delay, which it obviously didn’t, so he doesnt make a move. Whatever, doesn’t really matter.

    So two hours later, they pull off the tarp. La Russa goes to McClellan, who has presumably been throwing down in the clubhouse somewhere, and asks him if he’s ok to go out and pitch. Dusty, I would assume, has the same conversation with Volquez. McClellan, a fifth starter trying to stick with a big league club, says “Yes sir, Mr. LaRussa! Whatever you need!” and goes out to pitch, likely not at 100% due to the delay. Volquez says “Eh, I’m kind of tight now Dusty. Whatever. I think I’ll take the night off. I’m Edinson Volquez! I was an all star! Three years ago!” and the rest is history.

    Regardless of how decimated our bullpen is now thanks to EV, they did a great job last night holding the best-hitting team in the league to 4 runs. But our offense is a huge concern. Rolen was such a big part of its success last year and replacing him for even short stretches is going to be hard – even when he’s been playing he has been ineffective in the lineup. But our situational hitting is just awful. Runner in third with one out? Sorry, Joey Votto. I know it’s baseball and all, but you HAVE to get that run in. Especially in this series. Striking out is not an option for ANYONE on a big league roster, particularly not you. You want to be great? That can’t happen. And it’s happened a couple times this year already.

    I am really worried about where we’re going to be at the end of this road trip. We could be digging ourselves out of this hole for the rest of the season if Wood can’t give us a fantastic start today.

  14. Travis G.

    Don’t put this on Volquez. The Cardinals went into this with a plan to burn the Reds’ starter. Volquez warmed up before the game, and McClellan warmed up during the rain delay.

  15. Dave Lowenthal

    @eric nyc: Come on Eric. This one is on Dusty, who apparently consulted astrological tables to determine whether it would rain. His comments in the postgame, once again, show how stupid he is. He’d be better off just saying “no comment”.

  16. eric nyc

    @Travis G.: I don’t get hiw they “burned” Volquez. They said in the telecast that LaRussa pulled McClellan literally 10 minutes before the start of the game. That means he did his full warmup just like Volquez. If anything, LaRussa had to make the first move because they were pitching first. So when the game resumed both of the original starters should have been in the exact same position – warmed up two hours earlier and neither having thrown a live pitch. MAYBE Volquez threw 10 more warmup pitches before the delay, but he’s supposed to be a #1 major league starter and McClellan is supposed to be the minor league call-up. sorry, I’m nit chalking this up to the genius of Tony LaRussa. Both managers bet the game would get delayed very early and their pitchers would still be fresh. The difference is only one of those managers had a pitcher willing to stretch himself. There is no way Dusty went into this game with the tired bullpen he had thinking there was any chance Matt Maloney was going to have to start even with a rain delay. This was Volquez taking an easy out. One less game against the Cardinals to further wreck his stats for free agency next year.

  17. eric nyc

    Also, Matt Maloney is just awful. His best pitch is an 88 mph fastball. What is he even doing in our bullpen? I know Leake or even LeCure is supposed to be our long reliever but how do we not have a better starter than Maloney anywhere in our farm system to use as another long reliever?

  18. Steve

    I don’t buy Baker’s excuse that the Cardinals had a different weather forecast — and with all the information freely available out there, why rely on the opposing team forecast if it’s important anyhow.

    EVEN if the Cardinals did tell Baker that the window gave them 45 minutes, you STILL wouldn’t start Volquez. That’s just one or two innings. You pick one of your most reliable 2-inning relief pitchers and start them.

    (Major) advantage, Cardinals.

  19. Steve

    Eric, here is my fictional, speculative fantasy of what happened with Volquez and Baker. It has just as much credence as your tale.

    It’s a dark and stormy night. Edinson Volquez is told by his manager to begin warming up before the game, which he does. The game is then delayed by rain at which point Volquez begins a regimen of tossing every fifteen minutes to stay warm. He does this for two hours.

    When the game is ready to start, Volquez goes to Baker and Price and says, I really want to pitch in this game. I’ve been warming up for over two hours, if I don’t pitch now I’ll completely miss a start.

    Baker looks at Price and asks what he thinks. Price says, no one in their right mind would have a pitcher throw through a two-hour rain delay. Baker comments that he remembers doing that with Aaron Harang and stops in mid sentence when saying “and that worked out really…”

    Baker goes to Volquez and tells him the decision is not up to him and that the coaches have decided he would be risking his health to start – after all it’s still April.

    Then at midnight, the Reds base-running and clutchiness turns into a summer squash.

  20. Truman48

    I sincerely doubt if Volquez would have faired any better.

  21. Dave Lowenthal

    @Steve: As I said, Baker would be best just saying nothing. His comments are flat out an embarrassment to this organization. The OPPOSING TEAM said that the weather was ok?

  22. CP

    @eric nyc: There is so many things wrong with this post (and subsequent posts). Besides the weird, completely made up fantasy story that just shows your very odd, biased perception of Volquez, Kyle McClellan isn’t some rookie that is struggling to keep his roster spot. Check out his spring stats (4-0 record w/ 0.78 ERA), and he’s 3/3 in QS this regular season (and should be 4/4 but didn’t get the QS against the Reds). And I’m sorry but calling your guess “educated” makes me wonder what your “uneducated guesses” would look like. I don’t even want to speculate what those would look like.

  23. BigRedMatt

    “Before a baseball game commences, unless it is the second game of a doubleheader, the manager of the home team is in charge of deciding whether or not the game should be delayed or canceled due to rain or other inclement weather (see Rule 3.10 of baseball’s Official Rules). Once the home team manager hands his lineup card to the umpire shortly before the game is to begin, the umpire-in-chief has sole discretion to decide if a game should be delayed or canceled (see Rule 3.10 and Rule 4.01 of the Official Rules). In practice, umpires are encouraged to see that games are played if at all possible, and will sometimes wait as long as three hours before declaring a rainout.”

  24. Dave Lowenthal

    @CP: I’ve been mentioning McClellan all year here. The guy was good last year in the pen. He was lights out in ST (yes, I know, they’re practice games, but his ERA was near zero). He’s been great this year.

    The main think I wonder is how long will he last—he’ll surpass last year’s innings pretty soon.

  25. Dave Lowenthal

    @BigRedMatt: Correct; the Cards were clearly within the rules here. I’d have done just what they did, if I figured the other manager was lame.

  26. CP

    @Dave Lowenthal: Yeah I drafted him in the last round in all my fantasy baseball drafts. He’ll probably be treated like Jaime Garcia was last year. Even without Wainwright, the Cards rotation is pretty good, unless Carpenter continues to struggle.

  27. BigRedMatt

    Dave, ‘The home team manager is in charge of deciding whether or not the game should be delayed or canceled due to rain or inclement weather.’ That’s the way she goes, my friend. I can’t disagree more with how you justify blaming Baker (in general) so harshly. In regards to Baker’s comments from last night, why is it such a crime to simply state the rules and the options the home team has available to them ❓ How did you ever survive the post Sparky Anderson era?

  28. eric nyc

    @CP: Ok, so your argument is that Volquez didn’t pitch because McClellan is actually a good pitcher? Tell me which part of my scenario you think is unlikely. There are two people you can possibly blame – Dusty or Volquez. I can’t imagine Dusty set himself up to even be in a position to have to start Maloney in that game, so that tells me things went off the rails and the only person who could do that was Volquez. I still don’t see how EV was in any different of a situation than McClellan last night except LaRussa scratched McClellans name off a piece of paper 10 minutes before the first pitch. Please, tell me how I’m wrong. Trust me I WANT to be wrong about Volquez, because the guy can straight deal when he wants to. But I don’t see any way last nights fiasco was not at least partly Volquez’s call. If he had said “I’m good Dusty, I can pitch” he would have pitched.

  29. LVW

    In defense of Volquez is still just a year and a half off TJ surgery. I would look for him to start Sunday’s game which would make Lecure available out of the pen in long relief if needed today.

  30. CP

    @eric nyc: I have no clue how you inferred that from what I posted. I’m not sure why you feel the need to blame anyone. Players, especially pitchers, just do what they’re told. Its hard to believe that Edinson made any real decisions on his own. I hate speculating on something we have no idea what happened but what do you think is more likely?

    1. Volquez, who has struggled in the 1st inning every game, has started a longer, more difficult warmup routine in an attempt to get loose. Hmmm…do you think Edinson has probably started throwing a longer warmup routine?; or

    2. Your extremely convoluted, biased “educated guess.” Love all the personal aspects in the story too: “Eh, I’m kind of tight now Dusty. Whatever. I think I’ll take the night off. I’m Edinson Volquez! I was an all star! Three years ago!.” Did Edinson refuse to sign your glove or something?

    That said, if you feel like blaming someone, Dusty seems like the more obvious choice. They knew rain was coming. Even under Dusty’s 45 minute scenario…that’s like 3 innings. I don’t feel the need. The weather sucks.

  31. eric nyc

    @CP: You still haven’t explained why McClellan was able to go after the delay but not Volquez. I don’t know why I have to keep saying it, ut they both had the same warmup at the same time. And you really think if Volquez had said he was alright to pitch Dusty would have gone wi Maloney instead of him? You think Dusty didn’t ask him? Managers dont do that en route to making their devisons?You think before the delay there wasnt ANY conversation about what would happen if the game continued? Everyone is glorifying LaRussas decision but Dusty didn’t have to make one at the time. Your #1 starter should be able to pitch after a 2 hour rain delay, especially if he hasn’t thrown a single pitch. I freely admit I don’t like Volquez. His performance on the mow d has been inconsistent and that’s putting it gently. He has had one good season, three years ago, and since then has just gotten hurt, taken PEDs, gotten suspended, turned down a very generous contract extension, and pitched horribly in the two biggest games he’s started – and not all that well in all the others either. So I’m ok with my reasoning for NOT liking him. What is yours for defending him?

    • RiverCity Redleg

      You still haven’t explained why McClellan was able to go after the delay but not Volquez

      McClellon didn’t start the game, Miguel Bautista did.

      I agree with an ealier post that Bruce made a huge baserunning mistake by not scoring on a groundout the short when the ss was conceding the run, playing back on the grass.

      And Chad, in Renteria’s defense, he made a really nice play to the 5-6 hole to pick the ball and gun it to first for an out (I think it was the 3rd inning).

  32. Steve

    @eric nyc: Your personal dislike of EV is creating this fantastical story about EV, bad attitude included, which you then use to reinforce your bias.

    Managers make decisions about who pitches. They don’t ask the players what they want to do.

    How would you feel if *reality* (I know, strange to wait for that) actually is that EV was lobbying to go into the game? Or is that too inconsistent with your view of him to even consider?

    No one has to “defend” EV as you insist – all anyone else here has ever said is that the players don’t run the team, the manager, pitching coach and GM do.

  33. CP

    @eric nyc: creating a straw man argument is always good. I considered going full blown troll and picking about that last post line by line, but I can see that discussing things with you is a waste of time. I look forward to seeing more of your “educated guesses.” Let’s just agree that Joey Votto is very, very good and the Reds are playing poorly.

  34. eric nyc

    So you guys are 100% certain Volquez was both unable to pitch after the delay and that no one even asked him how he felt? That seems far more fantastical than my theory. In what universe do you think managers dont ask players about their physical state and use that information to make game decisons? That is basically what a managers game time job IS. The way Maloney has been pitching you think Dusty said “Oh well, no need to walk 10 feet and talk to Edinson. I’ll just start my worst relief pitcher and burn my entire bullpen.” Whatever, I’m done arguing it. I don’t think Volquez will be in a Reds jersey this time next year so hopefully we only have to have about 25 or 30 more of these conversations.

  35. CP

    Joey Votto is very, very good, but the Reds are playing poorly.