Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle… 

FINAL

Cincinnati Reds 7
Colorado Rockies 2
WP: Latos (9-3, 4.17 ERA)
LP: Sanchez (0-2, 8.32 ERA)

Boxscore

POSITIVES

• The Reds won their tenth game in a row, their longest winning streak since 1999. If the Harpers lose, and they’re now winning in the 11th inning, the Reds will have the best record (61-40) in the National League. Then, pending the results of the Yankees game against the Red Sox tonight (which, surprisingly, is on national TV), the Reds may end the day with the best record in all of baseball.

The Reds stretched their division lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates, who lost to the Houston Astros, to three games. To top that off, the stupid Cubs beat the Cardinals, so the Reds lead over St. Louis is 7.5 games. The Reds return home to play a four-game series against the San Diego Padres. Edinson Volquez faces Mike Leake tomorrow night.

After giving up a two-run homer to the second batter he faced, Mat Latos shut down the Rockies over eight full, giving up only four hits and three walks while striking out eight.

The bats stayed hot in the absence of JoeyMVP. Drew Stubbs homered (12), drove in three runs, scored two runs, stole a base (21), walked and hit a sacrifice fly. Jay Bruce homered (20). Zack Cozart showed signs of breaking out of his slump, with two hits and two runs scored. Chris Heisey also had two hits and two runs. Miguel Cairo chipped in with two RBI, including a sacrifice fly. Ryan Hanigan doubled twice.

NEGATIVES

 Brandon Phillips left the game with what was described as a cramp. It looked like he might have tweaked his knee on a strong swing. They’ll have to ask Joey Votto how to treat it.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS

One day after celebrating his 70th birthday, Reds radio broadcaster Marty “Baldy” Brennaman found himself in the place of having to back up his promise to shave his head if the Reds ever won ten games in a row this year. “This one belongs to the Reds and I’m going to shave my head absolutely bald.”

• Welcome to first-time commenter Abel.

The Brewers bullpen is terrible, they should pitch for Houston.

TOP GAME THREAD COMMENTS

• eric nyc: If Latos can settle down we should be able to score plenty off of Sanchez. 

• Ithedaug: We get on the team for Ludwick being out of the lineup while a slumping Bruce plays … let’s all recall for just a second the same complaints about running a needs-to-retire Rolen, a will-never-hit-better Stubbs, and a he’s-not-what-he-was Ludwick over the past few months. They’ve all contributed lately, and there’s hope they will continue to do so. Bruce has to have to chance to do the same ahead of the pennant race. It all isn’t working at once, and it never will, but it is working.

• AbelThe way everyone from Stubbs to Ludwick and now Heisey has been hitting on this road trip, it really makes it seem like trading for extra an extra bat is unnecessary. Have to keep in mind that we’ve faced some pretty bottom of the barrel pitching lately though.

• zippy: Don’t want to get ahead of things here, but if the Reds win and the Pirates lose, this has got to be rather demoralizing for them. Reds have been playing without Votto, mostly on the road, and Pirates will have lost ground while playing the Cubs and Astros.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 84 Comments

  1. Go Reds. What more is there to say?

  2. Marty Brennaman is trending on twitter 😀

  3. The Reds’ mojo’s got that “Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!!” feeling! Great pitching, and clutch, focused hitting! Marty’s clipping will be the ultimate social network event in Reds’ history!! Enjoy the plane ride home, guys!!

  4. Someone should ask Marty what he’d be willing to shave if Zippy is among the “top comments” for 10 straight games. Could give me some incentive to improve.

  5. Now for dessert, some home cooking at GABP!!!

  6. Btw, Jeff Brantley mentioned in the 9th inn. that Votto might be available for the Pirates series next weekend! Very cool if that can happen!

  7. “When Joey comes back, Brandon will go back to the fourth-hole,” Baker said. “You do what you’ve got to do.”

    “It’s not really my decision,” said Phillips, who was batting .297 with 12 homers and 60 RBIs overall. “It depends on the team. Whatever decision Dusty makes, all I can do is what he tells me to do. I don’t write out the lineup.”

    Now there’s a nice set of fingernails across the chalk board to end a great road trip and cap off a 10 game winning streak.

  8. I think we all saw that coming. Dusty will never give in to common sense or stats.

  9. Did anyone really think Dusty was going to suddenly shake things up with a common sense approach and lead off with BP or put Ludwick 4th? Cozart and Stubbs will be 1-2 for the rest of the season barring a major trade and there’s no point in speculating about a better solution.

  10. I don’t know why you imply that the Reds might be lying about the Phillips injury. That’s not their M.O. They might understate the seriousness, but they don’t tend to outright lie. If they say cramp, I believe cramp. Leg-cramp limping looks a whole lot line knee-tweak limping.

    • I don’t know why you imply that the Reds might be lying about the Phillips injury. That’s not their M.O. They might understate the seriousness, but they don’t tend to outright lie. If they say cramp, I believe cramp. Leg-cramp limping looks a whole lot line knee-tweak limping.

      For what it’s worth Phillips tweeted that it was a cramp.

  11. Regardless of BP’s condition, he was pulled at the correct time and the staff probably has the sense to make sure it is what they think it is as to not draw the ire of fans once again.

    But hey, despite some crap, 10 straight wins and 3 games up. Smile people. If you live in the area, go to the game for me since I live in Virginia. The team earned some packed houses even against the Padres.

  12. @Jason Linden: I was pretty careful about what I wrote. I said it looked like a knee injury to me, on TV. If I had wanted to imply something stronger, I would have said something stronger, like “I think the Reds might not be telling the truth.”

    I hope it’s exactly as you suggest, that it was a cramp that looked like a knee injury. Maybe Phillips told the Reds it was a cramp when it was in fact his knee. Maybe the Reds aren’t sure what it is.

  13. It sure looked an awful lot like a knee to me. And that’s exactly what Brandon grabbed…his knee. The club would be pretty dumb to not give him an MRI the moment they get back after the Votto fiasco.

    I just can’t possibly fathom what rationale Dusty would have for putting BP back in the leadoff spot when Joey gets back. Bat your third best hitter 6th? So the guy with the 4th most HR’s on the club can bat cleanup? And your two worst OBP players can bat 1-2? I know it’s crazy talk to suggest a manager with a first place club could be fired, but boy howdy this would make one hell of a case study…

  14. Here’s what the Reds said the night of Votto’s injury:

    “The team is calling his removal from the game a precautionary measure. The team trainer tells John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that Votto has “no structural damage” and that his status for Sunday’s game will be left up to manager Dusty Baker.”

    I don’t think the Reds were lying at the time, they were just relying mostly on the word of the player and some minor preliminary tests. There’s a decent chance they missed the diagnosis completely. “No structural damage” is a pretty strong statement considering there was structural damage.

  15. We should give the training staff the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they refer to “the joint that connects your upper and lower leg” as the “calf” and a hyper extension as a “cramp.” And, of course, “no structural damage” means “there might be a little structural damage.”

    That’s just science.

  16. The way Phillips kept walking about the dugout and stretching along the steps makes me tend to believe the cramp story.

  17. @Y-City Jim: You mean like the way Joey played professional baseball for 2 weeks before getting surgery?

  18. @Steve Mancuso: Maybe he tripped on the grassy knoll and there was a 2nd ab involved….LOL! 😀

    • @Steve Mancuso: Maybe he tripped on the grassy knoll and there was a 2nd ab involved….LOL!

      Or, the mystery base hit? Where did the evidence go?

  19. @eric nyc: If I tell you I have a headache, are you going to tell me it’s a brain tumor?

  20. @RichmondRed: Well if the Reds training staff tells me you have headache I might suggest you get a second opinion.

  21. I agree with what others seem to be saying. Initially it definitely looked like a knee thing, but the way he was stretching in the dugout looked like he was dealing with a cramp. And maybe we just didn’t see it, but it didn’t seem that anyone was even looking at his knee.

  22. Cramp or not cramp – they won 10 games and put the distance on the Bucos and the Redbirds… Now they need to keep the fire burning and get through another few weeks. If they take two out of three from the Bucos this will really send the strong message to their rival. The Reds need to whip these peskies Bucos. They are thorns in the Reds flesh for a couple of years now so do speak. 😛

  23. @bdogg47: I don’t think the Reds need to rush their 25 M man so fast. Make sure he is real healthy and that the knees will hold up for yers to come! if he can come back that will help but don’t force him to come back too early and will have that cronic knee problem! 🙄

  24. Serious question..what are the chances we call hamilton up when they expand the rosters towards the end of the season? if this is a silly question i reserve the right to digress…

    • Serious question..what are the chances we call hamilton up when they expand the rosters towards the end of the season? if this is a silly question i reserve the right to digress…

      Not a silly question. I am on the call him up bandwagon even if it’s just a PR. He’s a weapon like Aroldis is a weapon.

    • Serious question..what are the chances we call hamilton up when they expand the rosters towards the end of the season? if this is a silly question i reserve the right to digress…

      I guess it depends on what our priorities are. He would come up strictly as a pinch runner – we wouldn’t risk stunting his growth as a hitter by asking him to jump from AA to MLB pitching.So how many spots do we realistically think we could sub him in during the last month of the season and playoffs? Maybe 4 or 5? Those might be big spots, but might not be as valuable as some pitching depth or guys like Gregorious or Soto who are ready to take an AB or two in the majors and maybe even get on the field for an inning here or there.

      For what it’s worth, Jocketty says it’s not going to happen this year. I’d be inclined to believe him. Just don’t think BH has much worth to the team quite yet.

      • I guess it depends on what our priorities are. He would come up strictly as a pinch runner – we wouldn’t risk stunting his growth as a hitter by asking him to jump from AA to MLB pitching.So how many spots do we realistically think we could sub him in during the last month of the season and playoffs? Maybe 4 or 5? Those might be big spots, but might not be as valuable as some pitching depth or guys like Gregorious or Soto who are ready to take an AB or two in the majors and maybe even get on the field for an inning here or there.

        For what it’s worth, Jocketty says it’s not going to happen this year. I’d be inclined to believe him. Just don’t think BH has much worth to the team quite yet.

        When rosters expand to 40 you can call up all those guys. Billy Hamilton is a weapon.

      • I guess it depends on what our priorities are. He would come up strictly as a pinch runner – we wouldn’t risk stunting his growth as a hitter by asking him to jump from AA to MLB pitching.So how many spots do we realistically think we could sub him in during the last month of the season and playoffs? Maybe 4 or 5? Those might be big spots, but might not be as valuable as some pitching depth or guys like Gregorious or Soto who are ready to take an AB or two in the majors and maybe even get on the field for an inning here or there.

        For what it’s worth, Jocketty says it’s not going to happen this year. I’d be inclined to believe him. Just don’t think BH has much worth to the team quite yet.

        And he would have to be put on the 40 man roster if he gets called up.

        • And he would have to be put on the 40 man roster if he gets called up.

          Is that true when the rosters expand? I honestly don’t know, honest question.

          • Is that true when the rosters expand? I honestly don’t know, honest question.

            Has to be, doesn’t it? I don’t know the answer either but I’d assume that’s the case.

  25. Hyperextending your knee ligaments can cause your calf to cramp up because your ligament in contracting the muscle. It really depends how bad the ligament was hyperextended.

  26. @eric nyc:

    its like you’re parents gave you a Chrismas present…in July, and they asked you to wait to open it after christmas…of next year!

  27. @AnnapolisHoosier: I agree. If it were ME I’d do it, I’m just saying I can understand why Jockety might not want to bring up a player he knows he isn’t going to be able take an AB or get on the field. And he’s said he isn’t going to do it, so I’m imagining that’s the reasoning. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen.

    • @AnnapolisHoosier: I agree. If it were ME I’d do it, I’m just saying I can understand why Jockety might not want to bring up a player he knows he isn’t going to be able take an AB or get on the field. And he’s said he isn’t going to do it, so I’m imagining that’s the reasoning. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen.

      I just don’t know why you wouldn’t call up your top prospects and let them experience a pennant race even if it’s just being in the dugout. I think that would be invaluable.

  28. You look at the bullpens and pitching depth on these last three clubs (Brewers, Astros & Rockies) and you have to say that the Reds have turned a huge corner compared to where they were at 5-6 years ago on pitching talent.

    As Chris Welsh pointed out, the best starter the Rockies have had the last couple of months in Jeff Francis is a guy that couldn’t get out of AAA for the Reds. I’d figure JJ Hoover and maybe Donnie Joseph would definitely be in the bullpen rotations for some of these clubs too.

  29. You know it didn’t occur to me until just now, but this winning streak began with the 6-0 comeback over the D-backs. What were we all saying after that game? What a huge statement game it was and how it could really galvanize the whole team to push through Joey’s DL stint, making them believe they could win any game even without The Best Baseball Player in the World. And all they’ve done since then is have their best winning streak in over a decade. I am loving this season.

  30. @eric nyc: I was thinking exactly the same thing. Not to toot my own horn (even though that’s exactly what I’m doing), at the end of that game thread I said: “This could be the game that saves the season. What a huge lift.”

    And I don’t want to name names, but let’s just say someone whose name rhymes with “Macine Bed” insisted on responding “It’s a lift, but it’s only one game.”

    Well, now it’s ten.

    • @eric nyc: I was thinking exactly the same thing. Not to toot my own horn (even though that’s exactly what I’m doing), at the end of that game thread I said: “This could be the game that saves the season. What a huge lift.”

      And I don’t want to name names, but let’s just say someone whose name rhymes with “Macine Bed” insisted on responding “It’s a lift, but it’s only one game.”

      Well, now it’s ten.

      Hey, every streak has to start with one. That’s why anyone ever says, “It’s just one game.” I can understand what they are talking about. But, then, you don’t want to see it 2, 3, 4 games long, if bad, or do want to see it if good. So, that, “It’s just one game” business, it’s just that, one statement that means absolutely nothing.

      • Hey, every streak has to start with one.That’s why anyone ever says, “It’s just one game.”I can understand what they are talking about.But, then, you don’t want to see it 2, 3, 4 games long, if bad, or do want to see it if good.So, that, “It’s just one game” business, it’s just that, one statement that means absolutely nothing.

        No, that wasn’t what I was saying. I was saying that I don’t really believe in momentum in baseball. There’s never been anything to confirm the idea of momentum, including several studies of streak shooters in basketball. So, fire away, I guess.

    • @eric nyc: I was thinking exactly the same thing. Not to toot my own horn (even though that’s exactly what I’m doing), at the end of that game thread I said: “This could be the game that saves the season. What a huge lift.”

      And I don’t want to name names, but let’s just say someone whose name rhymes with “Macine Bed” insisted on responding “It’s a lift, but it’s only one game.”

      Well, now it’s ten.

      Well, that’s a bit dramatic. I’m sorry, but I don’t believe that the Reds recent streak, where they’ve played good to very good baseball against bad to terrible teams, is due to one game where they came back.

      In my mind the best stretch of games this year was the 6 game winning streak where they beat the Yankees twice on the road, followed by a 4 game sweep of the Braves. That streak started after a 4-0 loss to Andy Pettite when the Reds hit horribly.

      I’ve no reason to believe that if the Reds lose that game to the DBacks they would not have won the next 9.

      • Well, that’s a bit dramatic.I’m sorry, but I don’t believe that the Reds recent streak, where they’ve played good to very good baseball against bad to terrible teams, is due to one game where they came back.
        ….

        I’ve no reason to believe that if the Reds lose that game to the DBacks they would not have won the next 9.

        Yes, a bit dramatic. Drama is fun.

        But I completely disagree with your assessment. Of course nobody knows what happens if you go back in time and change the outcome of one game, but I’ve watched enough sports — and especially this team — to know that emotions play a big part in wins and losses. Virtually every successful baseball player will tell you that one of the keys to becoming a great player is the ability to forget what’s happened in the past and focus on the current at-bat, or the current pitch. I don’t think they’d all say this if it were an easy thing for most players to accomplish, and I don’t think guys like Stubbs, Cozart, Bruce, Meso, Ludwick, Leake, Bailey, Latos, and some of the relief pitchers are very good at it. If they lose 3 of 4 to Arizona with Votto having just gone out, I think they’re feeling very uneasy heading into the Milwaukee series, and I doubt they sweep it. It’s possible, I admit, but much less likely.

        • Yes, a bit dramatic. Drama is fun.

          But I completely disagree with your assessment. Of course nobody knows what happens if you go back in time and change the outcome of one game, but I’ve watched enough sports — and especially this team — to know that emotions play a big part in wins and losses. Virtually every successful baseball player will tell you that one of the keys to becoming a great player is the ability to forget what’s happened in the past and focus on the current at-bat, or the current pitch. I don’t think they’d all say this if it were an easy thing for most players to accomplish, and I don’t think guys like Stubbs, Cozart, Bruce, Meso, Ludwick, Leake, Bailey, Latos, and some of the relief pitchers are very good at it. If they lose 3 of 4 to Arizona with Votto having just gone out, I think they’re feeling very uneasy heading into the Milwaukee series, and I doubt they sweep it. It’s possible, I admit, but much less likely.

          I agree. Just be careful. First, you talked of “one game”, then you mentioned 3 of 4 to Arizona, an entire series. That Arizona series does seem to be a turning point. And, it might really was nothing with a game but maybe a team meeting of how everyone was going to need to step up. That comeback win was probably a reassurance of that, as well.

          • I agree.Just be careful.First, you talked of “one game”, then you mentioned 3 of 4 to Arizona, an entire series.That Arizona series does seem to be a turning point.And, it might really was nothing with a game but maybe a team meeting of how everyone was going to need to step up.That comeback win was probably a reassurance of that, as well.

            The one game was the difference between losing the series and not losing it, and I think that makes the one game seem more significant than it would otherwise be. I think it was a significant game because it was an emotional come-from-behind win, because it was the first win without Votto, because it was the final game before the tough Brewers series, and because it was the difference between a tied series and a losing one. It was just one game, there’s no denying that fact, but it changed the way everyone perceived that series and I think it changed the team’s attitude and the fan’s attitude heading into the next series.

      • Well, that’s a bit dramatic.I’m sorry, but I don’t believe that the Reds recent streak, where they’ve played good to very good baseball against bad to terrible teams, is due to one game where they came back.

        In my mind the best stretch of games this year was the 6 game winning streak where they beat the Yankees twice on the road, followed by a 4 game sweep of the Braves.That streak started after a 4-0 loss to Andy Pettite when the Reds hit horribly.

        I’ve no reason to believe that if the Reds lose that game to the DBacks they would not have won the next 9.

        You’re comparing one streak after a game to another streak with the game that started it.

        • Cozart

          My point was the Reds played their best stretch of the season after a horrible loss. I see no reason to believe that they couldn’t have been just as hot in the last 9 games if they’d have had a horrible loss to AZ in that last game.

  31. All right folks- we are basking in the glow of a 10 game winning streak. So let’s play a game. Match this team to the Big Red Machine’s great eight. How do you match game, style, mentality to those famous Reds?

    Rose
    Griffey
    Morgan
    Foster
    Bench
    Perez
    Concepcion
    Geronimo
    Pitch

    • All right folks- we are basking in the glow of a 10 game winning streak.So let’s play a game.Match this team to the Big Red Machine’s great eight.How do you match game, style, mentality to those famous Reds?……

      In 1976, Sparky advised the NYC media not to embarrass Thurman Munson by trying to compare him to Johnny Bench.

      Until this current team puts up 110+ win season and does something in the post season, I think Sparky’s advice applies here too.

      That said, at 17-2 over their last 19 games, the current guys are on a pace where they could match or surpass one of the stellar accomplishments of the 1975 team, which was a run 41-9 from mid may to the All Star break which essentially put the divisional title out of reach of any one else. That 1975 squad had single digit number of losses for every month from June through September on the way to a 108-54 regular season record.

    • All right folks- we are basking in the glow of a 10 game winning streak.So let’s play a game.Match this team to the Big Red Machine’s great eight.How do you match game, style, mentality to those famous Reds?

      Rose
      Griffey
      Morgan
      Foster
      Bench
      Perez
      Concepcion
      Geronimo
      Pitch

      Ooooo, how? Batting order, field position? Overall the single player? I will take the last.

      Rose over Frazier and Rolen, enough said.
      I would take Griffey over Bruce myself. Better hitter with speed but lose power there.
      Ooooo, Morgan or BP? Come back to that one.
      Foster over Ludwick? I will still take the big black bat of Foster there.
      Bench over most any catcher in history.
      Votto over Perez.
      I would have to take Concepcion over Cozart.
      I would have to take Geronimo over Stubbs.
      He may be slower, but he was still known for his defense. And, Geronimo was a better hitter.
      The pitching, hands down, this group this year. No contest.

      Probably an unpopular decision, but I would take Morgan over BP. Probably lose a bit of defense and offense. But, I can’t figure much. Morgan was an MVP two consecutive years. I do like Morgan’s attitude better. And, I don’t think Morgan would ever be found guilty of being picked off second by 6 feet because he was talking to the opposition SS who was a friend of his during the middle of a game while on the basepaths.

      So, Big Red Machine of then, 7-2 for me. But, then, as much of a lead I believe this pitching staff would be over the staff back then, as well as so many better pitchers, you have to give this team another bump or two. I would still probably go 7-4 or 7-5 in favor the BRM team of the 70’s.

      • Ooooo, how?Batting order, field position?Overall the single player?I will take the last.

        Rose over Frazier and Rolen, enough said.
        I would take Griffey over Bruce myself.Better hitter with speed but lose power there.
        Ooooo, Morgan or BP?Come back to that one.
        Foster over Ludwick?I will still take the big black bat of Foster there.
        Bench over most any catcher in history.
        Votto over Perez.
        I would have to take Concepcion over Cozart.
        I would have to take Geronimo over Stubbs.
        He may be slower, but he was still known for his defense.And, Geronimo was a better hitter.
        The pitching, hands down, this group this year.No contest.

        Probably an unpopular decision, but I would take Morgan over BP.Probably lose a bit of defense and offense.But, I can’t figure much.Morgan was an MVP two consecutive years.I do like Morgan’s attitude better.And, I don’t think Morgan would ever be found guilty of being picked off second by 6 feet because he was talking to the opposition SS who was a friend of his during the middle of a game while on the basepaths.

        So, Big Red Machine of then, 7-2 for me.But, then, as much of a lead I believe this pitching staff would be over the staff back then, as well as so many better pitchers, you have to give this team another bump or two.I would still probably go 7-4 or 7-5 in favor the BRM team of the 70′s.

        Oooo, yes, I would take Sparky over Baker. You have to. Sparky has won the big one, several times. Baker has only been there once, losing that.

      • Probably an unpopular decision, but I would take Morgan over BP. Probably lose a bit of defense and offense. But, I can’t figure much. Morgan was an MVP two consecutive years. I do like Morgan’s attitude better. And, I don’t think Morgan would ever be found guilty of being picked off second by 6 feet because he was talking to the opposition SS who was a friend of his during the middle of a game while on the basepaths.

        Is this sarcasm?

        Joe Morgan was one of the greatest offensive and defensive second basemen in the history of the game. Don’t embarrass Brandon Phillips by comparing him to Joe Morgan. In 1975 and 1976, Joe Morgan walked 246 times and struck out only 93. His OBP was.466 and .444 those years. Five Gold Gloves. Two MVP awards. Nine seasons of averaging over 50 stolen bases. Brandon Phillips highest OPS+ ever was 118 and in his years for the Reds the average is barely above 100. Joe Morgan’s career OPS+ was 132, with eleven seasons over 130.

        Phillips’ best WAR season (which includes defense) was 4.7. Joe Morgan had eight seasons with a WAR above 4.7, including his playing season when he was 38 years old! Morgan had WAR seasons of 8.4, 9.1., 9.3, 9.5 and 10.8.

        • greatest offensive and defensive second basemen in the history of the game. Don’t embarrass Brandon Phillips by comparing him to Joe Morgan. In 1975 and 1976, Joe Morgan walked 246 times and struck out only 93. His OBP was.466 and .444 those years. Five Gold Gloves. Two MVP awards. Nine seasons of averaging

          Sorry, Steve, didn’t look at specific numbers. Forgot how many walks Morgan got, also. I do remember something about a Q score or Q stat, I believe, that was being doled out as an “overall” player stat, and Morgan was all over that for several years.

          Like I said, possibly unpopular, but I would take Morgan.

          • Sorry, Steve, didn’t look at specific numbers.Forgot how many walks Morgan got, also.I do remember something about a Q score or Q stat, I believe, that was being doled out as an “overall” player stat, and Morgan was all over that for several years.

            Like I said, possibly unpopular, but I would take Morgan.

            You’re still saying it. (“Possibly unpopular”.)

            Phillips is a good player, but it’s unbelievable how you are overrating him, when you’re not sure whether to take Morgan over him.

          • Is this the same person who was saying Phillips is better than Cano?

            You’re still saying it. (“Possibly unpopular”.)Phillips is a good player, but it’s unbelievable how you are overrating him, when you’re not sure whether to take Morgan over him.

  32. @OhioJim: Until this current team puts up 110+ win season and does something in the post season, I think Sparky’s advice applies here too.

    Oops. that should have been 100+

  33. I think it is also worth noting that this team is very much “ahead of its time”. I think the plan was for a five year turnaround of the organization to complete by this year, meaning 2013 would be the year the squad would be in these kinds of talks. We may forget how wild the 2010 season was and how it was “ahead of its time”.

    This is no different, other than it feels like the rotation and bullpen are taking the mentality of “scraping by” or “barely putting wins together” in 2010 to this dominant consistency. I’ve said before that the pitching staff is great because they are largely consistent. You know Chapman is going to singe the hair on your arms. You know Bronson is going to throw that weir off-speed stuff that is very unique in this era. You know Cueto is going to catch almost everyone stealing and finish an inning scoreless with 3 on and 1 out.

    Not to mention there seem to be career and season Renaissances in the works with Rolen, Ludwick, and Stubbs. Joey Votto stepped up to put the Reds in the 2010 postseason; now everyone else has risen to this occasion.

    I wonder if anyone has talked to Votto about sitting on the bench recovering while his teammates are rolling like this. He’s got to be excited to come back, right?

    Also, I know people say streaks aren’t much. I’m not thinking about it in terms of momentum or getting in grooves. When the team saw they could overcome a 6-0 deficit without their MVP, they must have felt invincible. I can only imagine what Phillips, Ludwick, and Rolen must be like in the clubhouse right now.

    • I think it is also worth noting that this team is very much “ahead of its time”. I think the plan was for a five year turnaround of the organization to complete by this year, meaning 2013 would be the year the squad would be in these kinds of talks. We may forget how wild the 2010 season was and how it was “ahead of its time”.

      This is no different, other than it feels like the rotation and bullpen are taking the mentality of “scraping by” or “barely putting wins together” in 2010 to this dominant consistency. I’ve said before that the pitching staff is great because they are largely consistent. You know Chapman is going to singe the hair on your arms. You know Bronson is going to throw that weir off-speed stuff that is very unique in this era. You know Cueto is going to catch almost everyone stealing and finish an inning scoreless with 3 on and 1 out.

      Not to mention there seem to be career and season Renaissances in the works with Rolen, Ludwick, and Stubbs. Joey Votto stepped up to put the Reds in the 2010 postseason; now everyone else has risen to this occasion.

      I wonder if anyone has talked to Votto about sitting on the bench recovering while his teammates are rolling like this. He’s got to be excited to come back, right?

      Also, I know people say streaks aren’t much. I’m not thinking about it in terms of momentum or getting in grooves. When the team saw they could overcome a 6-0 deficit without their MVP, they must have felt invincible. I can only imagine what Phillips, Ludwick, and Rolen must be like in the clubhouse right now.

      Sorry, but I think you are caught up a bit in the recent surge. Taking recent surges, sure, I would take some of this team over the BRM. But, then, in turn, you would have to go back and get surges by some of those players, also, which would then make their year’s numbers miniscule by comparison as well. You have to go by the seasons numbers first when you do something like this.

  34. @RichmondRed: Except in 2010 the Reds were a really good hitting team. Sure, Votto was great, but they were league average or better at all 8 positions except SS. And Hanigan, Cairo, Nix, and Heisey were better than league average hitters.

    • @RichmondRed: Except in 2010 the Reds were a really good hitting team.Sure, Votto was great, but they were league average or better at all 8 positions except SS.And Hanigan, Cairo, Nix, and Heisey were better than league average hitters.

      .

      2010 was when hitters were having career years. Rolen, the key to the piece being a good 4 hole hitter that year, got MVP votes. Gomes worked it into an extension. Votto got his MVP. Those three are what carried the team that year, especially Votto being an “unknown” quantity and the success of Rolen.

      Heisey’s BA is actually higher this year. Again, only his power numbers are down. So, that tells me that either he or the managers are having him work on less swinging for the fences. It’s either that or he’s been playing hurt, which I give him even a couple more props up for doing as good as he has been this year.

      I just don’t think we should never have let Nix go.

      We did have one position below league average that year. Give you one guess.

      Stubbs. And, even with the recent surge, his numbers for this year are still worse than 2010.

  35. I really believe Jonathon Sanchez is clearly the worst pitcher I’ve seen face the Reds this year. By far. He was really lucky today, and still gave up 6 runs in 4 IP.

  36. Things that cost $76 million:

    A) A-Rod, Teixeira, Sabathia
    B) Lee, Halladay, Howard, Hamels
    C) Cincinnati Reds

    Things that don’t have 61 wins:

    A & B

    • Things that cost $76 million:A) A-Rod, Teixeira, SabathiaB) Lee, Halladay, Howard, HamelsC) Cincinnati RedsThings that don’t have 61 wins:A & B

      Nice.

  37. While everyone is focusing on the 10 game win streak, think about this:

    We have won 17 of the last 19 which is probably more impressive since that would be 7-2 plus 10-0 streaks.

  38. Imagine the Reds’ 2012 pitching staff w the 1975-76 Reds’ position players. Wow! Their win total might’ve been an additional 20 wins!! Sparky might’ve had a problem w that staff as well. His well-known Cap’n Hook label could’ve alienated the starters as he did w those ’75-’76 starters. But the ’12 starters are clearly better than the past counterparts. They would’ve tested Sparky’s self-control.

  39. C’mon guys, admit the obvious: Votto was holding the team back.

  40. I love how early in the year some were saying this was the worst pitching staff in the league, and how Cueto was the only decent pitcher. The thing we gotta remember here is, this staff is only going to get better. In a couple of years when Arroyo isn’t in the rotation anymore (it’ll be his time anyway), you’ll have Chapman, Cueto, Latos, Bailey, Leake. Cueto’s already an ace, and Bailey’s developed into a solid number three guy on most teams, and would be our number four. Chapman, if he progresses well with the transition from bullpen to starter, should be the second coming of Randy Johnson. Latos, I think, will develop into a Cueto-type pitcher as he works with Price more and grows. And Leake will be well above average fifth starter with a hot bat and great glove. I’m truly excited.

  41. I don’t even know why you have to qualify it as best in the NL. Why shouldn’t they be considered the best in the majors? They have a better record than the Yankees and beat them in the one series they played this year, including a duel between Cueto and Sabathia. They’re lacking in the run differential category by about 10 runs to both Washington and NY, but while that’s a great stat to look at over a 5 year period and see how good a team has been from a statistical standpoint, it doesn’t generally calculate the W-L that well (St Louis leads all of baseball by a healthy margin with a +94 run diff and the’re 7.5 games out).

    Then, say what you want about it as a measure of “greatness”, but don’t you have to take payroll into account? As zippy pointed out, this team has a payroll less than half of NY’s and about $5 million south of Washington’s. Of course, we also don’t have the benefit of two or three #1 overall picks in the past 4 years like Washington.

    At the absolute least we’re the best team in baseball RIGHT NOW. I’d think we’re the last team anyone wants to play today.

  42. @eric nyc:

    I have seen it argued that when Cincinnati and New York were the only two cities to have 3 major TV/radio networks based in the same city, Cincinnati got more coverage nationally than it might have deserved. For instance, no netwoek had to bring in much equipment, and only the Union minimum number of employees, because Crosley/Avco had everything the network needed here ready for them. Broadcasting a Cincinnati home game was cheaper, and the major market teams seemed to play here a lot on the weekends.

    Consequently, the Reds picked up an “America’s Team” vibe, albeit in a smaller way. Now it takes winning over a period of years ro draw national coverage away from the coastal teams.

  43. @AnnapolisHoosier: Yes. You have to be on the 40 man roster to be called up in September.

  44. Some impressive pitching plus for once, timely hitting all screams positive. However, we beat two lousy teams. Astros are really a glorified Triple A team and Colorado has zero pitching. Sanchez used to be a good pitcher with the Giants but that’s the worst I’ve ever seen him. All good for the Reds but masking the need to make a trade could be overlooked. Can we really trust Cozart & Stubbs going forward? Once Votto returns, BP goes back to Cleanup and that’s not where he wants to hit. Dusty is so obstinate it concerns me. Will roll with the good times for now.

  45. According to MLBTradeRumors.com, the Reds have been all over the place this trade deadline. To me that is a product of being very, very good of late and seemingly having current players step up.

    They were looking for a LH bench bat and seem to have found that in Xavier Paul, reaching base 6 times in 12 PAs. They were looking for an everyday middle of the order LF, but Ludwick has certainly stepped into that role with an OPS of 1.046 in July (.908 in June). They were looking for a CF/leadoff hitter and since the break, Stubbs has hit .298/.359/.509 with 12 R and 4 SB.

    Assuming Paul, Ludwick and Stubbs really are the answers, going after Shin Soo Choo, Shane Victorino, or Denard Span seems like an unnecessary expense for a moderate upgrade in production.

    However, there are two areas where the Reds really could improve. SS and SP.

    Cozart has been awful, but he escapes a lot of the same criticism Paul Janish received. In 2011, Janish was hitting .227/.259/.271 at the break. Cozart is hitting .243/.289/.393. Is Cozart hitting better than Janish? Yes. Is it outstanding? Ha. If I were the Reds, I would be all over Stephen Drew. He’s got about $3 million left on his deal with a $1.3 million buyout.

    I want to start by saying, I love Mike Leake. Having said that, he is the weakest member of the starting rotation, and I don’t trust Bailey/Leake/Arroyo to win a playoff game. Leake along with others could make a good package for an upgrade at SP. There are a number of quality arms available who are just better than Leake. The Reds should go for one.

    • Cozart is significantly better than Janish and he is still a rookie. Drew has been hurt most of the season and has an OPS of .539 in 79 at bats. Does not sound like a big improvement to me.

      Cozart has been awful, but he escapes a lot of the same criticism Paul Janish received. In 2011, Janish was hitting .227/.259/.271 at the break. Cozart is hitting .243/.289/.393. Is Cozart hitting better than Janish? Yes. Is it outstanding? Ha. If I were the Reds, I would be all over Stephen Drew. He’s got about $3 million left on his deal with a $1.3 million buyout.

    • Cozart has been awful, but he escapes a lot of the same criticism Paul Janish received.In 2011, Janish was hitting .227/.259/.271 at the break.Cozart is hitting .243/.289/.393.Is Cozart hitting better than Janish? Yes.Is it outstanding?Ha.If I were the Reds, I would be all over Stephen Drew.He’s got about $3 million left on his deal with a $1.3 million buyout.

      First, 120 points of OPS is a *lot* better. I’m not even a huge Cozart fan (I worry about his lack of discpline), but he is certainly not awful. You have to compare him to other SS in the NL. There are a few SS that hit a lot better (Desmond, Lowrie, Reyes), but that’s really about it. SS’s don’t hit. I don’t think you are going to find any reasonable, attainable upgrade from Cozart.

  46. @David: I am surprised they didn’t make a play for Zach Greinke (maybe they did?), although I think Arroyo, not Leake, is our weak link.

  47. @David: If it was 2010 or 11 I might agree with you, but I think Cueto/Latos/Bailey is our post-season rotation and I like the sound of that. I think Bailey’s turned the corner. And with the bullpen we have, we can get out of a bad start in a pinch better than any other team out there. Leake still has upside, I wouldn’t give him up for a rental like Grienke when there’s no reason to think Bailey can’t do the exact same job.

    As for Cozart, part of his problem has been Dusty forcing him into the leadoff role. If he even batted second I think he’d be fine. Go out and get a Denard Span for Drew Stubbs and you put Span and Phillips at the top of the order. Then there’s no reason to bat Cozart higher than 7th. I think he’ll turn it around with less pressure. He’s shown he has pop. He’s a big league SS who just hasn’t been used optimally yet. Besides, he plays excellent defense and our problem is not lack of production from our SS, it’s lack of production from the top of our order. A gold glove caliber SS who bats .246 in the 7 hole is perfectly fine. One who bats leadoff is not. That’s Dusty’s problem, not Cozart’s.

  48. @seat101: We’re all biased, but I feel like the Reds could/should always be the perennial little engine that could like the Rays were a few back. Cincinnati is not an affluent, dense market like New York, but there is as much baseball history in each town as the other, with Boston and the Braves/Sox coming in a somewhat distant third. Screw the Red Sox Nation that ESPN pushes down everyone’s throats, and there are too many Yankee fans. If you are a fan of baseball that doesn’t live near a team, don’t root for the guys in Washington; how does Washington have that homey, blue collar feel? It’s pretty harsh there. Pittsburgh? They just wait until football/hockey season. If you want to root for a major team, why the heck not the Reds? We’ll take anyone that has a shot of doing well (that wasn’t a great thing in 2011). If the Reds beat/sweep the Pirates this weekend, why not have the Reds as America’s team again?

    Sure every team has their own TV crew/lights for night games now, but what team has been the most fun to watch this season?

  49. @RichmondRed:

    I’ with you.

  50. BTW, if anyone thinks we are being hard on Stubbs for his lack of production at the top-of-the-order, you should sample how the Texas fans are treating Josh Hamilton.

  51. I was there for all three games (live in Colorado) and it was great seeing so many Reds fans around downtown. Some quick thoughts:

    -Arroyo and Latos pitched great…this is Coors Field remember
    -Drew Stubbs hit really well – but this is Coors Field remember. He’s hot, good time to trade him in my opinion.
    -I love seeing players on the front step of the dugout into the game and rooting the team on. Especially Cueto on Sunday after his un-Cueto like outing on Saturday.
    -I like the Rockies also having lived here almost four years now, but it’s not fun to see the local team doing so poorly. Their pitching is a complete mess.
    -Discussing during the game yesterday how it stunk that two of the best players in MLB were not playing.
    -Too bad Leake didn’t get to bat at Coors Field 😎
    -Jay Bruce had a HUGE smile after his homer on Sunday….I think he was trying to hit one into the upper deck every at bat all weekend.

    All together a fun weekend with some people from Cincinnati that made the trip. I always love going to a game at Coors Field and hitting some breweries pre/post game.

  52. Jacoby Ellsbury? Reds kicking the tires. I’d take him.

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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2012 Reds, Titanic Struggle Recap

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