2012 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Joey. Votto. MVP.

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Washington 6
Cincinnati 9

W: S. Marshall (1-2)
L: H. Rodriguez (1-3)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Joey Votto. Joseph Daniel Votto. There aren’t enough superlatives for me to describe Votto and his performance today.

With nearly everything going wrong for Cincinnati, the Redlegs climbed on Joey Votto’s back and he carried them to an unlikely victory. On the day, Votto was 4-5 with three homers, a double, 6 RBI and four runs scored. The last homer, however, was the most important.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Votto strode to the plate with the bases loaded (Ryan Hanigan singled, Drew Stubbs and Chris Heisey each walked) and the Reds down 6-5. As you would expect from our MVP, Votto drilled a fastball over the right-center field fence for a walkoff grand slam. Pandemonium promptly erupted among the twenty or thirty fans who remained in the park after a nearly four hour rain delay at the start of the game.

This is the only way to describe it:

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–Ryan Hanigan was the only other Red with more than one hit. He’s hitting .300 with a .355 OBP this season. I’d love to see Hanigan hitting first or second on this team.

NEGATIVES
–Everything other than Joey Votto, basically.

–Once again (for the third time this season), Dusty Baker used Devin Mesoraco to pinch-run for Ryan Hanigan (today, it happened after Hanigan got his hit to start the 9th inning rally). Someone please explain to me why Dusty thinks this is a good idea.

–Every Reds pitcher was bad today, and I’m not in a mood to expound upon that. Joey Votto!!!

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–For most of the game, I figured that this recap would be nothing more than a picture of Milton, the goat with braces. This whole series has been ugly.

Thank you, Joey Votto, for giving us something to smile about tonight.

–Jay Bruce had a double, but it was mostly due to Bryce Harper looking a bit foolish when he lost the ball in the lights.

Today’s game thread is kinda hilarious to read. So much negativity, followed by pure unadulterated joy. That’s baseball, my friends.

–Last walkoff grand slam for the Reds? My guy Adam Dunn, back in 2006 vs. the Indians. Remember that game?

–Mike Costanzo made his major league debut as a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning. He hacked at the first pitch and hit a sacrifice fly, driving in his first MLB run. Welcome to the show, Costanzo (or should we call him T-Bone?)

–The Reds lost two of three to the Nationals, and looked pretty bad in the process…yet Joey Votto’s heroics means that the Redlegs gained a game on the first-place Cardinals over the weekend. Baseball is a funny game.

86 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Joey. Votto. MVP.

  1. @pinson343: So who was the closer in that fateful Mudville game? I know that I’d have walked Casey intentionally, if you remember how the story went.

  2. @Johnu1: See, that’s totally unfair. You have no idea to what degree Jacoby works with either Votto or any of the guys who are slumping.

    • @Johnu1: See, that’s totally unfair.You have no idea to what degree Jacoby works with either Votto or any of the guys who are slumping.

      So it can’t be discussed? What can we discuss? What do we really know about any “behind the scenes” activities involving the team? You might be a little strict? No?

    • @Johnu1: See, that’s totally unfair.You have no idea to what degree Jacoby works with either Votto or any of the guys who are slumping.

      Sultan, that’s a good point and I have no idea if Jacoby works with Votto or not. Inside a clubhouse, a million conversations are held, I’d guess. They have technology that didn’t exist last April.

      Votto may indeed be the only guy who gets help from Jacoby. That would be a better premise for me to follow.

  3. @zippy: Just one thing – I was OK with the sac bunt by Valdez for precisely the reason you give – Rodriguez forgot how to throw strikes. This wasn’t a coincidence. Rodriguez throws a LOT of wild pitches – Flores made 3 outstanding blocks – on his breaking stuff, which he was then uneasy about throwing. Doesn’t explain why he couldn’t throw fast ball strikes, but he’s inexperienced and having a runner in scoring position seemed to unnerve him.

    • @zippy: Just one thing – I was OK with the sac bunt by Valdez for precisely the reason you give – Rodriguez forgot how to throw strikes. This wasn’t a coincidence. Rodriguez throws a LOT of wild pitches – Flores made 3 outstanding blocks – on his breaking stuff, which he was then uneasy about throwing. Doesn’t explain why he couldn’t throw fast ball strikes, but he’s inexperienced and having a runner in scoring position seemed to unnerve him.

      Really? He got the next batter out, and Heisey was fortunate not to be called out on strikes. Was that really what Dusty had in mind? And are you suggesting he wouldn’t have called for the sacrifice bunt with a different closer on the mound? If that’s what you’re suggesting, then you don’t know Dusty.

  4. @Johnu1: Good point, there were only two base runners on when Casey came to bat. Maybe an intentional walk in that situation wasn’t considered good sportsmanship in those days.

  5. @Johnu1: PS No closers in those days. A starting pitcher was disgraced if he didn’t finish what he started.

  6. @CP: I had no problem with pinch running Mesoraco and don’t understand the fuss about it.

    • @CP: I had no problem with pinch running Mesoraco and don’t understand the fuss about it.

      The problem is that Baker made the decision.

      That’s all it takes to generate complaints around here.

      • The problem is that Baker made the decision.

        That’s all it takes to generate complaints around here.

        Show me another manager who has pinch run a catcher for a catcher three times this season. Show me a manager who uses a catcher to pinch run in a must-score situation when he’s got a shortstop and an athletic pitcher available. I don’t blame Dusty for being Dusty, I blame him for making Dusty-like decisions.

  7. I am not a Dusty fan, but as a friend of mine said, it’s easy to not have the presure and make decisions. He also points to Dusty’s overall record as a manager and says that it didn’t happen in spite of him or by luck. To a degree I agree, none of us here have all the information Dusty haves.

    • I am not a Dusty fan, but as a friend of mine said, it’s easy to not have the presure and make decisions.He also points to Dusty’s overall record as a manager and says that it didn’t happen in spite of him or by luck.To a degree I agree, none of us here have all the information Dusty haves.

      Just as I said. Virtually none of his decisions worked out the way he hoped/expected, but he still gets credit for the win because he was managing at the time, and so we now add this game to the list of reasons why we shouldn’t question him.

      Not too long ago I had my tires replaced, and when I got home I heard a noise coming from one of the wheels. Eventually I took the car to a mechanic who noticed the lug nuts hadn’t been tightened. If I’d complained about Firestone’s shoddy work on Redleg Nation (which I guess I now am), I wonder how many people would have chastised me for daring to question the tire-changing abilities of a shop that has changed MILLIONS of tires. How many people would have said “hey, the guy who changed the tire works in a tire shop – he must know something about tires, and the tires did stay on the car, didn’t they? So what are you complaining about? You must just like to complain about Firestone.”

  8. Ever wonder why there is so much discussion about setting a rotation only to see that when a series starts, more often than not, it seems the back end of the rotation starts the series against their ace? Then, our ace comes up against their No. 2 guy. Five-man rotations don’t divide very well into 3-game series.

    As well, I also realize that the 2-5 record against the Nats did NOT include Steven Strasburg. (Gulp!)

  9. @zippy: Evidently Mesoraco is a good baserunner. I have little evidence to prove that and I’ve heard he is fast — for a catcher. This seems like a no-brainer but I agree it’s the type of decision that always will make you go “hmmmmm.”

  10. @Johnu1: Eh, maybe we can give Dusty credit for doing something unconventional. Leave it to him to do something unconventional that probably isn’t helpful… what if Mes tears his ACL (’cause that’s going around for some reason) pinch running, or breaks his ankle sliding? What if he hurts himself barreling into the opposing catcher? Corkie can’t get there that quickly. On the other hand, if Mes can actually outrun Frazier, Leake, or whoever is on the bench, then I guess you can be a little more comfortable rolling the dice.

  11. Not that this is all that meaningful, but in his combined AAA and major league career, Meso has 1 SB and 3 CS, whereas Hanigan has 1 SB and 0 CS. (Apparently Hanigan has never attempted a steal in the majors.) Both of them sound like catchers to me. Between AAA and the majors, Cozart has 40 SB and 6 CS. I think he’s probably faster.

  12. Wade Boggs also had a pretty unbelievable eye at one point in his career. Not the same power, but I have read more than a few pitchers state he was the toughest out in baseball during his peak.

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