Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Chicago (NL) 2
Cincinnati 7

W: S. LeCure (1-1)
L: C. Coleman (2-8)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Ramon Hernandez was 2-3 with a 3-run homer, a double, and 2 runs scored. Chris Heisey also had two hits, with a homer and 2 RBI.

–Juan Francisco and Edgar Renteria each had a couple of hits. One of Francisco’s hits was a double.

–Johnny Cueto pitched 3.2 scoreless innings, re-capturing the NL ERA lead, before leaving the game with a strained muscle in the upper right side of his back.

–The Reds got good work from Logan Ondrusek, Nick Masset, and Jose Arredondo.

NEGATIVES
–None. Reds beat the Cubs!

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–Anytime you beat the Cubs, that’s a good night in my book.

–Cueto is going to be examined in Cincinnati tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed.

–Reds get a chance to take 3 out of 4 in this series tomorrow. That would make me happy.

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.

Join the conversation! 30 Comments

  1. Good effort from those not named Votto and Phillips for once. Not sure how to take the news that Dusty will be back. One thing is for sure, in the off-season there has to be meeting of the minds on how to handle prospects, the bullpen (Chapman in particular) and if we are going to play guys so they can get their stats or if we are going to play prospects for the greater good in the long run.

  2. I can’t help but think that the Reds should have traded Drew Stubbs when his listing on NASDAQ ticked up around $100 last year. Obviously, that’s hindsight. Now, he’s trading around $40. They wouldn’t get much for him.

    This really goes to show that the Reds can’t throw around the Jay Bruce style contracts unless (1) someone has a minor league track record, and (2) that person puts up really good major league numbers. Bruce after last year had both; Stubbs did not. It’s a really good thing that the Reds didn’t take the advice of what many people here wanted. (And this isn’t a shot—many people had good arguments for a LTC for Stubbs. But the Reds can’t screw this sort of thing up; they have to be careful.)

  3. It matters probably only to the particular players’ agents; but, the box score has Heisey with 1 RBI and Francisco with 2, both with two hits.

    Thought I sensed a real spring training atmosphere at times tonight. Lot’s of cutting up between players as their paths crossed on the field.

    Not much of an effort by Soriano to hold Francisco’s double to a single.

    And was it my imagination or perhaps a trick of the 2 dimensional nature of TV but didn’t Castro have a clear shot at putting the tag on Votto on his stolen base even though the throw was high and to the wrong side. Sure looked like Castro came down with the ball standing virtually on top of the base with Votto still a good 10 feet away yet he made no effrot to tag Votto out….

  4. Tonight on the beat reporters’ radio segment Mark Sheldon talked about Alonso. Alonso has been told by the Reds to concentrate all his efforts in the off season to defensive improvement at LF. Specifically told no 1B or 3B, only LF. They also want him to lose weight. Alonso told Sheldon he has already lined up a personal trainer and chef to design him an appropriate workout and dietary program to reshape his body type into one appropriate to be an MLB outfielder.

    Well hey, I can remember a more than pudgy Joe Torre as a some time catcher before he morphed into a much slimmed down infielder who won a batting crown or two. And before any one says but you can’t teach speed, several major college football programs would disagree with you. They’ve brought in sprinters/ runners to work with their players on maximizing what their bodies have to give in the way of speed. Apparently just about every one has more in the tank than what they might normally be able to get out of it…..

  5. @Dave Lowenthal: Increasingly I see Stubbs and Heisey as essentially the same player. Stubbs has more raw speed and thus maybe gets to a few more balls than Heisey would. Heisey has more power. They both strike out a lot but a person sees signs of attempted adjustments by Heisey and not so much from Stubbs. If Heisey could hit lefties even a lick, I’d probably prefer to have him over Stubbs.

  6. Choke Cubs choke, choke Cubs choke! Hey Chicago whaddaya say, the Cubs are gonna lose today!

    Always nice to see them bash in the Cubs, even if it is meaningless September ball. Their obnoxious fans will make me forever hate that franchise.

    Juan Francisco has been very impressive since coming back, especially on his defense. He wasn’t that good in Dayton, lol. He’s really worked hard and has impressed me.

  7. I think a platoon between LF/CF between Stubbs, Heisey and Alonso could be plenty productive enough. I just think the power with the lineup card needs to push Stubbs and give Heisey more starts.

    Lineup wise, I think having Francisco to spell Rolen could be fine. Big thing is Cozart at short, as that position has been a freaking black hole this year.

    We still need an arm in the bullpen and maybe another starter.

    • Big thing is Cozart at short, as that position has been a freaking black hole this year.

      the SS position for the Reds has been a black hole since 2007 when somehow A Gonzalez, Keppinger, Lopez and Castro were serviceable

      but really since 2005 when F Lopez had a very good season at SS for the Reds

  8. Francisco’s been impressive at 3rd base and the plate, he’s improved a lot.

  9. It’s good that a decision has been made about where Alonso is going to play, it seems that everyone finally got on the same page about it.

  10. @pinson343: That’s today. Just wait until tomorrow, when Baker thinks about Alonso playing SS.

  11. So assuming Alonso and Heisey man LF, Cozart is the SS and Francisco/Frazier will caddy Rolen, do we need to make any non-pitcher off season moves?

  12. @RiverCity Redleg: Alonso needs to be traded as part of a deal for a top-line pitcher. I’m guessing that his excellent 100 PAs is going to make him the centerpiece of any such deal.

  13. @pinson343: Why, has Francisco started taking walks or something? For me, that’s the true barometer of whether he can stay in the big leagues.

  14. @Dave Lowenthal: I get the sense that the Reds wouldn’t have told Alonso to go home and practice left field if they intended on trading him. Like RCR intimated, this signals that it’s likely to be a quiet offseason. Still, I think there should be an effort made to clear out some of the overstock—borderline prospects who might yield a solid reliever or something. Guys like Sappelt, Frazier, Horst, etc.

  15. What bothers me is Baker keeping guys in to pad stats. He is WAY too much of a player’s manager. It is ridiculous to keep playing Stubbs just so that he can get 40 steals or whatever. I wish they would get rid of Stubbs–he has made no progress with his strikeouts. I would think Heisey/Sappelt would be an improvement.

  16. @Sultan of Swaff: The barometer of whether he can stay in the big leagues is whether he can have a .850+ OPS with passable defense. If the Reds expect him to take walks in the MLB, then they are idiots. Which is one step below fans who are merely delusional.

  17. @Dave Lowenthal: Its difficult to imagine his value as a propsect has ever been higher. I could live with Alonso in LF but failing to package him in a deal for an upgrade in SP would be a major failure by the Reds front office imo. I could totally see WJ doing something silly like trading for a closer or something though… ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

  18. Well if we know for sure Dusty will be back, then is there any real reason to be excited about next season? Walt and Dusty will battle over whom plays, dumb lineup after dumb lineup will be put out and so on. Ugg depressed about 2012 already… ๐Ÿ™

  19. Why do people think it will be no trouble in obtaining one of the most rare things in MLB and that being a front line starter. I think our SP will be the same next season as this season and we will “hope” they catch fire again.

    • I think our SP will be the same next season as this season and we will โ€œhopeโ€ they catch fire again.

      On that point, I agree. If the Reds do anything more than tinker with the bullpen, I’ll be shocked.

  20. @dn4192: I forgot, now your Colts are awful too. Welcome to life as a Bengals/Reds fan. ๐Ÿ˜†

    Seriously though, Reds could pretty easily win the division next year. There is still a lot of talent in this organization and the Cards/Brewers don’t look like anything special going into 2012.

    • @dn4192: I forgot, now your Colts are awful too. Welcome to life as a Bengals/Reds fan. Seriously though, Reds could pretty easily win the division next year. There is still a lot of talent in this organization and the Cards/Brewers donโ€™t look like anything special going into 2012.

      Yep without Peyton not much good going to happen in Indy. As for the Reds, when it comes to straight talent, I think the Reds are probably in the top 4-5 in the NL, problem is you need more then just talent.

  21. @CP: What’s delusional is to think Juan can OPS anywhere near .850. Here’s the names of ML 3B who are OPS’ing over .800–Beltre, Youkilis, Longoria, Ramirez.
    Because Francisco never walks, it puts added pressure on him to slug at a very high %. That reality drives down the probability of him being successful. I could see using him as a platoon partner (hit .335 off righties), but I’m highly dubious of using him as a starter.

  22. @Sultan of Swaff: That’s kind of the point. I don’t like Francisco much and I don’t think he’s going to work there. If he doesn’t have a slugging % of .500+, he’s not worth it.

    I wonder what’s more realistic? Francisco learning how to take a walk or Juan continuing to do something that he’s done for the last 3 years in the minors?

  23. @Sultan of Swaff: I agree the true barometer is whether Francisco starts taking walks. He’s not been chasing as much and has been striking out less, but it’s too early to say. On defense, the improvement is so obvious that I don’t feel much of a sample size is needed.

  24. PS to previous. Obviously, Francisco is not going to start drawing walks. He never has, and the coaching approach of Jacoby and Baker is not going to add to his walk totals. But … if he learns to recognize pitches (fast vs. breaking) and lays off of pitches well out of the zone, does he have a shot at slugging .500 ?
    Too soon to say.

  25. @pinson343: If that’s the barometer, then the Reds and their fans are bonkers. Francisco is never going to become a patient hitter. He had 99 BB in 6 seasons in the minors. During 5 seasons in the minors, Jay Bruce had 127 BBs in about 1100 less at bats!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    The hope is that he can hit like Kung-Fu Panda did in 2009. It’s doubtful but possible.

  26. I tend to agree with the thoughts that Alonso seems unlikely to be traded this off season.

    One thing I would throw into the fire is that sometimes the people you play in September are people you want to see about and then other times they are guys you are shopping for the off season.

    Two guys I wonder about which category they might fall into are Francisco and Stubbs.

    The Reds just might be looking to ride the “new” Francisco who is on a roll into top billing in a big trade in place of Alonso. They’d still have Fazier who has shown good occasional power if not a total OPS package, to caddy for Rolen.

    This would be the winter to move Stubbs for some value while he is still cheap and before he can further devalue himself with another season like 2011.

  27. @Sultan of Swaff: @CP: I should rephrase what I said at the beginning. It’s true that Francisco is still not taking walks, but at least he’s taking pitches. Last season he didn’t even do that.

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

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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2011 Reds, Titanic Struggle Recap

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