Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 6
New York (NL) 5

W: L. Ondrusek (5-5)
L: T. Byrdak (2-1)
S: F. Cordero (36)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Chris Heisey was 3-5 with two runs scored, 3 RBI, and his 18th homer…plus an outstanding defensive play in center field.

–Brandon Phillips, Devin Mesoraco, and Edgar Renteria all doubled.

NEGATIVES
–Homer’s performance was not good, allowing four runs in five innings (on nine hits and a walk). He did strike out seven.

–Another shaky save by CoCo. Jose Arredondo stunk up the stadium.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–A win’s a win. Let’s hope for two more before we put this 2011 season to rest.

–Chris Heisey is playing himself into the 2012 conversation, especially when one compares his season to the struggles we’ve seen from Drew Stubbs.

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! 27 Comments

  1. None of the gasoline gang relievers are reliable enough. It took all four of them to scape through 3 innings tonight even though only Arredondo was the only bona fide stinker tonight.

  2. @OhioJim: Except for Masset, they all pretty much stunk tonite. And Masset of course has been awful. The sobering thought is that, except for Chapman, that was a parade of the Reds’ best relievers. And I believe that Chapman (thank goodness) will be starting next season. Which leaves the question: how bad will the bullpen be next year ?

    I believe that WJ’s thinking is that the weak starting pitching in the first half overtaxed the bullpen, and the thing to do is improve the starting rotation.
    I agree with his emphasis on the starting rotation, but he’s ignoring (at least publicly) Dusty’s wearing out the pen with his lefty/righty matchups.

    In any case, in some respects I’m looking forward to 2012, but not the 2012 bullpen.

  3. In post game discussion, Marty and Brantley came down hard on the Reds’ management, without naming any names. They were talking about how many 1 run games they played this season, and the large number (33 I think) of 1 run losses. After that Marty says how once the season is over “we’ll have a few days to ponder the mystery of …” and I think he’s going to go on about why the Reds didn’t win more of those 1 run games.

    Instead he says: “… mystery of why Chris Heisey did not get more playing time in 2011.” Then he and Brantely went on a long thing about how Heisey, playing only part time, was the Reds second most productive OFer this season.
    Once again they didn’t name names, but the question was clearly why Gomes and others were preferred in LF and why Stubbs got so much more playing time in CF.

  4. Astros beat the Cards ! And I get to watch the next 2 in person in Houston.

    Cheers me up, but on the other hand, the Braves do not deserve to be in the post season.

    • Astros beat the Cards ! And I get to watch the next 2 in person in Houston.

      Cheers me up, but on the other hand, the Braves do not deserve to be in the post season.

      This is great news; but it still could go either way.

      Quote from Dusty in the Enquirer today about respecting the Cards for not throwing in the towel. He went on to say they had the money to change 1/3 of their roster over the season. I wondered if he was trying to infer that the Reds front office gave up and left him hanging (which many of us pointed out was a defacto thing happening several times)

  5. @pinson343: Didn’t see Dusty’s quote about Heisey today (in a Sheldon article). Dusty sees him as a part time corner OFer.

    So that’s the answer to your mystery, Marty.

  6. @pinson343: On Saturday I caught Doc Rodgers on WLW after the Reds game. Doc was asked point blank about Stubbs and Massett looking forward to 2012.

    Doc basically said he had pretty much had it with Stubbs, the K’s, the refusal to bunt for hits and pull up the infield which should lead to more ground ball hits IF he shortened up his swing when he was down in the count. Said he would tell Stubbs at his 2011 exit interview to change his game over the winter if he expected to have a spot on the team next year.

    On Massett, Doc said that he probably would go another year with him even though he was arb eligible. He said his fear with Massett was that it would come out that he had been trying to pitch through some kind of shoulder or arm injury. Doc pointed out that his experience as a pitcher and as a baseball exec is that the first sign of arm/ should injury is not typically loss of velocity but loss of command when throwing with velocity and Massett’s year seem to be that very thing crying out.

  7. Homer Bailey finishes his third straight below league average year. Only positive sign is SO/BB ratio nudged up. I guess that’s something for the Homer’s gonna develop just you wait and see crowd.

    Meh.

  8. I hope WJ is espousing the tired bullpen theory only to preserve some trade value for all of them and inspire some confidence in the ones he ends up stuck with for 2012.

    Given the current cast Heisey has to start next year or be traded. Only way that could change is if they bring in someone. If there are no outfield personnel changes, I would platoon Alonso and Stubbs with Heisey sliding between LF and CF depending on whether Stubbs or Alonso was playing on any given day.

  9. @OhioJim: Can’t see the Braves winning another game this year. They are truly awful.

  10. Next year is the year Homer turns it around!

    • Next year is the year Homer turns it around!

      Because Ramon Hernandez won’t be around? 😀

  11. Can someone smarter than myself extrapolate Heisey’s stats had he been the starting LFer? I would think he is Dusty’s kind of guy. He has had a Bruce-like year: low averages and good production numbers.

  12. Here’s Dusty claiming partial credit for Heisey’s success: “I try to match him against guys I think throw balls that are conducive for his swing,” Baker said. “That’s part of the job. I know a lot of people don’t realize it, but that’s what you try to do. More times than not, if you can set a guy up in a situation to succeed, that increases his chances, and our odds as well.”

    Too bad I’ve never heard Dusty take ‘credit’ for Votto’s depressed RBI totals because of his obsession for batting the SS second. The guy’s a joke.

    • Here’s Dusty claiming partial credit for Heisey’s success:“I try to match him against guys I think throw balls that are conducive for his swing,” Baker said. “That’s part of the job. I know a lot of people don’t realize it, but that’s what you try to do. More times than not, if you can set a guy up in a situation to succeed, that increases his chances, and our odds as well.”

      I hate to dig back into minor league statistics but if you look at Heisey’s numbers in the minors, he hit .287 and .316 in 2008 with Sarasota and Chattanooga, respectively. In 2009, he hit .347 and .278 with Carolina and Louisville, respectively. The guy faced all types of pitching in the minors as well and succeeded. Why does Dusty think that Heisey is a “one trick pony” that can only hit certain pitchers. They did not platoon him in the minors. He is hitting only .258 this season in this great system that Dusty has so that reason does not fly with me.

    • Sultan: Here’s Dusty claiming partial credit for Heisey’s success:“I try to match him against guys I think throw balls that are conducive for his swing,” Baker said. “That’s part of the job. I know a lot of people don’t realize it, but that’s what you try to do. More times than not, if you can set a guy up in a situation to succeed, that increases his chances, and our odds as well.”

      Dusty makes this exact same statement about Heisey once a month or so. During Heisey’s first season, he put it as: “I’m protecting him.” As in protecting him from getting exposed. The only exposure I see with Heisey is his baffling inability to hit lefties, and Jacoby and Dusty haven’t helped him there.

  13. Yes, Heisey is .258 overall — but only .241 as a starter. He got 226 PAs, so it’s not like he hardly played. He had several stretches where he played almost every day.

    I love his power and his defense. But let’s see him hit a little more consistently before we anoint him as the future full-time starter. (And let’s see him start taking some walks; Fred Freakin’ Lewis outwalked him by four in 90 fewer at-bats.)

    I do agree that he’s definitely part of the “2012 conversation” though.

  14. I should point out that was 226 PAs as a starter, and 299 overall.

  15. What do they do with Devin when Ramon is brought back next season?

  16. I think Heisey is filling a nice role on this team right now. He’s a guy who can play all three outfield spots with above average defense. He adds pop of the bench. Dusty is right to a certain extent, as a fourth outfielder. He is a very nice fourth outfielder. I’m fine with that.

  17. @David: I think Heisey is more than a 4th outfielder. The only reason that they’ve given Stubbs more opportunities than Heisey is that Stubbs is a first rounder. Why that makes any sense is beyond me, but that appears to be the logic. Stubbs is a 26-year-old with an impossibly bad strikeout rate, one that is not improving. The league has figure out how to pitch to him, and he’s toast.

    I consider Stubbs to be Billy Beane. Beane by his own admission was a guy who looked like a million dollars and had a nice swing, but in his heart of hearts he knew that he just didn’t quite have it. Beane saw Lenny Dykstra in the minors with all the confidence in the world (and with control of the strike zone), and Beane knew he wasn’t in that class. And so Beane tried to figure how to measure what Dykstra had that he didn’t.

    Stubbs just doesn’t have it. Heisey is the better player by a long shot in my view, and I wish they would trade Stubbs for whatever he would bring. And again like Billy Beane with Art Howe, they should trade Stubbs just to keep the manager from playing him.

  18. Wasn’t sure where to put this–more of an open thread comment–but did you guys realize that fangraphs has BP as the 6th most valuable in the NL this year?

    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=nl&qual=y&type=6&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011&ind=0

  19. Heisey has a very nice game, so I’m sure Baker will shut him down for the rest of the season.

    • Heisey has a very nice game, so I’m sure Baker will shut him down for the rest of the season.

      Wrong. He’s starting yet again tonight.

  20. I am totally for shopping Stubbs this offseason trying to get somebody to overpay for his speed. I like the combo of Bruce/Heisey/Alonso/Sappelt/Frazier in the OF next year. I think Stubbs is the most expendable of the six outfielders. I’m a big Heisey and Sappelt fan, and I don’t think it would be wise trying to spend a ton of money in the offseason on LF when Alonso is capable and a by far better hitter than anybody they can bring in on the cheap.

  21. @per14: Wow, good stuff at that link. And BP and his agent is going to ask for a whole lot based on this kind of data.
    As I keep saying, I’m very concerned about the BP negotiations.

  22. I am as well. I do like BP. (I was surprised though by what the link showed.) But this seems like a classic situation where a franchise is stuck (at least in its own mind) and will overpay.

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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