Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 2
Milwaukee 3

W: J. Axford (4-6)
L: J. Broxton (1-1)
S: J. Henderson (2)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Mat Latos pitched seven very strong innings, allowing just one run on three hits and a walk. Latos struck out eight, and to cap things off, he went 2-2 at the plate. I told you he was going to be good.

–Dioner Navarro hit a two-run homer, before his shoddy defense helped cost the Reds the game.

NEGATIVES
–TOS* Please hurry back, Joey Votto.

–Four straight losses for the Redlegs, and a sweep at the hands of the Brew Crew.

–Jonathan Broxton came in to pitch the eighth, with the Reds leading 2-1. With two outs, the first Brewer (Aoki) reached on a softly-hit, 55-foot grounder down the third base line. Unlucky. Aoki then attempted to steal second. He got a decent jump, but a good throw would have nailed him. Unfortunately, Navarro’s throw was not good, and it ended up in right-center field.

Carlos Gomez proceeded to dump a ball into short left field (a ball that Zack Cozart probably catches — and Paul Janish definitely would have snagged it — but Wilson Valdez couldn’t quite get it, despite a good effort). Tie game.

Gomez then takes off for second and Navarro mishandles the pitch, so Gomez stole the base without a throw. Ryan Braun proceeds to get a double that put the Brewers in the lead.

Broxton gets the loss, and he deserves the loss, but none of the hits he allowed were hit very hard.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–I don’t have any words of wisdom for you today, Nation. That was simply a punch in the gut.

–Want yet another reason the Reds need Votto back in the lineup soon?

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–I can’t really argue with this:

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–I really wish Dusty weren’t afraid to use Sean Marshall more often.

–This has been a bad week so far, but it’s off to Chicago. The Cubs: Good For What Ails You!

*This Offense Stinks

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! 92 Comments

  1. I understand that Mesoraco will be back tomorrow. Have seen enough of Navarro behind the plate.

    With either Hanigan or Cozart in the game in the bottom of the 8th, I believe the Reds win it.

    With a Latos-Wolfe matchup, the game shouldn’t have been so close. The offense to blame for that, and not just the subs. Navarro did get the Reds their only 2 runs.

    When BP has a leg problem, he can’t hit.

  2. Aaargh! I jut know someone somewhere is saying “if I had told you after X games after Votto was injured that we would win Y games, picking up ground in the Division, wouldn’t you be happy?”.

    That is so not the point.

  3. I think the main thing is, is that this team is gassed. After winning 22 of 25 that’s going to happen to you, like Mo Egger tweeted, “This isn’t video game baseball. Guys are gonna get days off. Rookies hit walls, others wear down with overuse….”

  4. We’ll get back to some decent ball in Chicago. Wouldn’t be shocked to see Votto in the line-up tomorrow.

    If we do play as poorly in Chicago as in Milwaukee and we see guys yucking it up in the dugout, I will officially be concerned.

  5. I said it before the game started, I said it during the game and I’ll say it again now … Mr. Baker is a complete idiot when it comes to managing a lineup and managing a bullpen. During August, Cozart is hitting .333/.355/.567. During August, Valdez was hitting .000/.167/.000. Of course Valdez starts in place of Cozart. I mean we have to get Valdez going, right? Against LHP, Stubbs is hitting .300/.347/.544 and Heisey is hitting .263/.311/.491. Of course Heisey gets the start while Stubbs sits. The hitting difference between Stubbs & Heisey is not grossly lopsided, but against RHP, Stubbs is hitting .212/.291/.348 and Heisey is hitting .277/.316/.379. There is simply no question that Stubbs hits LHP better and Heisey hits RHP better. Common sense for anyone except Mr. Baker dictates that Stubbs should rest against a RHP, especially a tough RHP like the Reds’ played during the previous 3 games, so Heisey will hit against a RHP. Nope, Mr. Baker is going to do it his way even if it makes no sense and costs the Reds a game or two or three or four or five or…

    The result today: 0-9 from the top two hitter (Heisey and Valdez) with 2 SO, 7 LOB and no RBI opportunities for the meat of the order. Right now there are few good options available since Votto was replaced in the lineup with an OF, thereby dictating Cairo & Rolen must platoon at 1B & 3B until Votto returns. Cozart must be spelled occasionally, but it does not have to be when Cozart is on a hot streak and Valdez is stinking it up. It also doesn’t have to be when the lineup is weakend by Cairo replacing Rolen in their platoon.

  6. I was wondering why Navarro was getting no interest from the teams looking for catching assistance. I understand now.

  7. In my opinon, Latos is showing more to all that he is worth what the Reds gave up to trade him.

    These Reds hitters -most of them just can’t do basic things- bunt, steal and be smart. They are too sure of themselves too much .

    Manager- I would not bring himm back next year even if he takes them to the playoff.

    Hitting coach needs to be fired because he can’t teach his players to do simple thing.

    Xavier and Navarro wanted to show that they belong but I think it is a temporary stay.

    Reds for sure need better bench players with good hitting skill and have good record before.

    Uncle Walt needs to equalize the L and R batters and the new manager has to be smart not to beat an old horse until death. Dustman has done this year in and year out. Again, I will say this Dustman SSS. 😆

  8. @BloodyHo: This is why Dustman wants to spare his players for the last run. I think he should be ready to run from Cinti and go back to California. He is an old dog who will not learn a new trick. He will use some one (Broxton) until the arm comes apart !!! Some one has to stop him from this madness. 😆 👿

  9. A Slight Positive: Brandon Phillips looked better today than he did in his first two games back, not good but better. He really needs his legs completely healthy to hit effectively. He should have been DL’d for both his hammie and his calf. He’ll come around but it will probably take a week or two to get his legs completely healthy and back up to full speed.

  10. What frazzles me so much about games like this is Dusty sitting so many guys all at once. I get that guys need rest, that we can’t have our A lineup (such as it is without Votto) in there every game. Why though does he insist on playing these games with the D lineup instead of a few games with the B lineups? If I were Latos right now I would feel completely cheated.

  11. Things are never as good as they seem when you are winning and never as bad as it seems when you are losing. Truer words have never been spoken.

    Honestly though, I mentioned this during the long winning streak right before the trade deadline, but that little streak made a lot of people forget about the holes that existed on this team all season. No bench/depth and lack of consistent hitting. I would go as far as to say that the pitching was the significant part of the winning streak we went on if you look at the numbers. The lack of bench depth shows when we have to give guys days off with a couple guys hurt and then we trot out a C+ lineup. Its part of baseball but that also means its something you can plan for. Obviously, we didn’t do a very good job with that.

    Reds are going to need more offense if they want to win a championship, which I still honestly believe they are capable of doing. Wish we had added something a little more offense at the deadline, but thats inpatient me talking and I trust we made the right moves for the overall picture.

    Final thought, the bullpen is NOT the reason we lost this game, none of those balls were hit hard in the 8th and Navarro was busy letting runners run all over the diamond. The offense is the reason we didn’t get it done, with the missed opportunities. It doesn’t always come back to bite you, but today it did.

    Bring on the Cubs!

  12. Any one know what our record is on get away day when Dusty decides to rest as many staters as possible? Dusty brags how good his teams are down the stretch because he stategically rest players.

  13. It will be too late when Baker wakes up. He is mr. Rip Van Wingle at the moment. Baker said ” I try to preserve my players and win..” Yes the wise one have said. I think Baker spoke out from his lower end…. PUUUUUUUT. I for one can”t beleive that this manager is still here . I hope that the Reds won’t make a mistake signing this dude again even if he takes the Reds to the play this year. 👿

    • @Bumbum:

      It will be too late when Baker wakes up. He is mr. Rip Van Wingle at the moment. Baker said ” I try to preserve my players and win..” Yes the wise one have said. I think Baker spoke out from his lower end…. PUUUUUUUT. I for one can”t beleive that this manager is still here . I hope that the Reds won’t make a mistake signing this dude again even if he takes the Reds to the play this year.

      Get a grip Francis.

  14. 1-12 with runners in scoring position and get swept- no shock here since we didn’t hit multi HRs each game.

  15. Well , folks the Pirates went ahead with three:lol: hits from three daddies of I Kennedy. Kennedy just can’ take care of these daddies even with 0-2 pitches. What a Joker he is?

  16. No one has noted that without Navarro the score likely wold have been 1 or 2 to nil against the Reds because it has been a while since Hanigan or Meso has thrown anyone out either; and, Aoki score from 2nd on that on the bloop single regardless of the error.

    This is not a defense of Navarro here but an indictment of the Reds offense. Let’s not lose cite of the forest because of a bad tree along its edge.

    • No one has noted that without Navarro the score likely wold have been 1 or 2 to nil against the Reds because it has been a while since Hanigan or Meso has thrown anyone out either;

      This is not a defense of Navarro here but an indictment of the Reds offense.

      OhioJim: You’re correct about the Reds offense yesterday. Disagree about Navarro. Even the Brewer broadcasters said Aoki should have been thrown out, just a decent throw would have nailed him at 2nd. Hanigan and Meso both have strong and accurate arms – when given a chance to throw a guy out, most of the time they do it.

  17. @LVW: That was Baker’s philosophy…. hit home runs! Reds hitter were hacking at evry Dang Ball which was thrown to them even if it was 3 feet on the ground! Pathetic! 😆

  18. Not to bum people out but the Cubs are an amazing 27-24 at home. Hard as it is to believe. Reds better go into Wrigley ready to go. The team needs a better effort tomorrow.

    • Not to bum people out but the Cubs are an amazing 27-24 at home.Hard as it is to believe.Reds better go into Wrigley ready to go.The team needs a better effort tomorrow.

      CharlotteNC: The Reds do need to play better to beat anybody, including the Cubs. But the Cubs winning home record should not be a factor. They had a hot streak at home that was largely based on the pitching of the departed Dempster and Maholm, and the Notre Dame football guy, and he’s not pitching this series.

      The Reds could not ask for a better opportunity to come back and make this a decent road trip.

  19. The guy that just might have made a difference on defense in the 8th was Rolen had he been in the game. Broxton sort of gummed up the works but, Rolen might have had a play on Aoki if he could have worked around Broxton.

  20. We are fans- overstating the positives and undervaluing our shortcomings. My issue is that there seems to be some much talent and we are not reaching our potential. The BRM had many shaky moments yet we only remember the good times. This team is primed not only for this year but for years to come. Yes, Uncle Walt will have to crack the wallet, but we need to fill the stands!

  21. Everyone can call all 3 of those hits in the 8th soft and/or bad luck all they want to. The one Gomez hit was a 2-0 fastball that was up- he gets ahead 0-2 and get the ball down it’s an out; Braun’s was off the end of the bat; BUT it was also up- get that pitch down at the knees it’s a popup or K.

    • Braun’s was off the end of the bat; BUT it was also up- get that pitch down at the knees it’s a popup or K.

      Broxton broke Braun’s bat. You saying Broxton didn’t do his job?

      • Broxton broke Braun’s bat. You saying Broxton didn’t do his job?

        I’m saying if he gets the ball down at the knees; we’re not talking about a GW RBI double.

      • Broxton broke Braun’s bat. You saying Broxton didn’t do his job?

        Of course not. We don’t need to enable these guys. They are already joking around in the dugout with 2-out in the bottom of the ninth. Seemed to me there were quite a few folks a couple of months back getting on Sean Marshall about those seeing-eye singles. No, Broxton did not get the job done: Brewers 3, Reds 2!

        Someone said “we” need to toughen up. BS, the Reds need to toughen up. 4 in a row now. I’m not impressed and in no mood to let the guys off from their responsibilities.

  22. Reds fans need to toughen up. There is still a long season left.

    Baker does need a little urgency, however. Not winning the division would be an epic disaster. Making the playoffs is not enough. This is the weakest NL I think I can remember in my lifetime. The Reds have to make a deep run this year.

  23. I had no problems with our lineup today. Hanny had to have a break, Rolen played through the day game last time and we have a few day games ahead. Cozart is a rookie so we have no idea of all the growing pains and road wear at this time with Zack, presumably Dusty does.
    My biggest issue is with Bruce, not our second string.

    Bruce does not run out ground balls and today it cost us. BP makes a stink to get in and pulls up more than he runs through. These are the issues, not how our bench confirms the given, they are bench players.

    Maybe this team had achieved too, too fast and began reading their press clippings, spending too much time in the mirror. On this subject I will defer to an expert, Dusty……

    • I had no problems with our lineup today. My biggest issue is with Bruce, not our second string.

      Bruce does not run out ground balls and today it cost us. BP makes a stink to get in and pulls up more than he runs through. These are the issues, not how our bench confirms the given, they are bench players.

      localboy: I agree with the above, but would qualify your statement. I did not have an issue with the lineup, and Bruce’s and BP’s lack of production hurt today. But I would like to have seen Cozart brought in for defense in the 8th, simply because that’s such a key defensive position and there is such a difference between him and Valdez, and Broxton is a ground ball pitcher. (Turned out it was a popup that mattered but anyway.) I’m not going to complain about leaving Navarro in.

      As for BP pulling up and not running hard on ground balls, the Reds radio guys said those are the orders from Dusty.

  24. @Steve Mancuso: Brox did his job, Braun got a gift.
    Runners left on, stranded by undisciplined bats – that is the issue. Brox’s job is to saw off MVP’s, not control all phases of nine innings.

    • @Steve Mancuso: Brox did his job, Braun got a gift.
      Runners left on, stranded by undisciplined bats – that is the issue. Brox’s job is to saw off MVP’s, not control all phases of nine innings.

      Better go watch the replay again; the pitch Braun hit was away, he didn’t get sawed off.

      • Better go watch the replay again; the pitch Braun hit was away, he didn’t get sawed off.

        It also wasn’t up. Which was your entire point, yes? It was low, if anything. Braun had to lean down to get it. Broxton did nothing wrong. Sometimes, the other side is just lucky.

      • The pitch Braun hit was away, he didn’t get sawed off.

        Right it was Gomes who got sawed off on the pop up just over Valdez’ head.

        Braun took an outside and somewhat low slider and punched it into left center. Nice piece of hitting.

        • Right it was Gomes who got sawed off on the pop up just over Valdez’ head.

          Braun took an outside and somewhat low slider and punched it into left center. Nice piece of hitting.

          For a slider away it was too high. On Gomez’s he didn’t get jammed that much; he got a fastball on a fastball count that was high enough for him to start his swing early enough to get the pitch before it got to the handle of the bat.

  25. Giants up 5-0 in the 6th and threatening to add more.

  26. Cards losing 7-0 b6th; P’s 4 errors up 7-6 b8th,

  27. Hanaran dominated 3 excellent hitters in the 9th P’s win 7-6.

  28. @LVW: Have not seen it.
    Bottom line, it broke his bat and blooped over the SS’s head….it happens.
    What broke the bat, the perfect pitch…..and it was just soft wood ?

    Brox did the job – what he failed to do is get BP and Bruce to lead by example.

    3 runs on 6 hits is not bad pitching, 1 error and two stolen bases is bad catching. 6 hits and 2 runs against Wolf and the Brewers pen is letting them off the hook.

  29. Pirates win 7-6.

    Reds lead down to 2 1/2 and falling fast.

  30. I don’t know of another Mgr. in baseball right now who has more issues with the lineup than the crusty one. Its like he’s shuffling the lineup just to shuffel it. Why do the best and hottest Reds players need all this time off? How come some guys do and some don’t. I wish he would just play the best 8 and be done with it. With the pitching we got last month I could have managed this team into 1st. It seems like the ole crusty we knew and loved from last year and the beginning of this year has returned. Example: Leaving Arroyo in the other day when everyone watching could see he was done. The Crusty ones quote “the wheels come off Bronson so fast we just couldn’t get someone up quick enough” B.S. BA was done the inning prior and was bailed out with the D.P. He played a hunch that backfired. Forget we have the best Bullpen in the national league. Let Bronson truck his ass back out there to give up a 4 spot. I hope the Crusty one gets back in the game soon.

  31. Cards announcers just touted Champman as a legitimate Cy Yound award candidate for this year.

  32. Good recap Chad. A lot of my same thoughts. Boy was I wishing Cozart had been playing SS today. Wilson Valdez contributes so very little to this team. What a shame.

    Also… I didn’t go into the game threads where I imagine this came up, but raise your hand if your ready to be away for Aoki in RF. The man was everywhere.

    Man what a frustrating loss.

  33. Wow. The Reds are just off, dare I say it, an historic winning streak. At times they were pulling victories out of their arse. The worm has turned.

    Come in off the ledge. The losing streak should have ended tonite, but will end tomorrow. Be thankful that the Cards can’t seem to make up any ground on us, whether we’re winning or losing.

  34. I basically agree with all the comments about the shortcomings of this squad and our fearless manager. However, the team just went on quite a run w/o Votto and sometimes Phillips. Some of that, quite frankly was luck. Getting critical offense during the run from Valdez, Paul and even Latos led to wins. Those were gifts. Luck or, if you want to talk statistics,regression to the mean, is a huge part of sports. A run of good luck leads almost inevitably to a run of bad luck. Being swept by the Brewers is bad execution and bad luck. People were talking 99 or 100 wins during the streak. Phooey. People want to argue about who we are going to pitch in the playoffs. We have to make the playoffs first and that is going to take some real effort and smart effort and is far, far from a sure thing. It is also going to take a return of some of that luck.

  35. @BloodyHo: Dusty removes hot hitters from the lineup. This hurts on two fronts.The hot hitter loses his momentum(feeling it or seeing the ball)and the replacement player is all around weaker,otherwise he would be the starter.

  36. I see by Fay’s post game blog entry where JoeyV says he isn’t ready after sliding for the first time post surgery on Wednesday.

    Also (per MLB.com) Dusty said that Meso will be activated before the game Thursday and catch the first two games in Chicago which would be his regular rotation (Leake/ Bailey)

  37. The silver lining is that now the Pirates have to play the Brewers 9 times (6 home 3 away) and hopefully the Brew Crew will enjoy the spoiler role. Note: I know this is not the for this but it is time for Dusty to go. Managing in his 19th season and only been to the playoffs 5 times while having arguably 2 of the 10 best power hitters in history with Bonds and Sosa not to mention where Joey Votto will place in his career.

    I figure it is win/win in that if the Reds make the playoffs I will be glad to admit I was wrong and if they miss out we can reasonably hope it it time to move on from Baker. Way past time….

    • The silver lining is that now the Pirates have to play the Brewers 9 times (6 home 3 away) and hopefully the Brew Crew will enjoy the spoiler role. Note: I know this is not the for this but it is time for Dusty to go. Managing in his 19th season and only been to the playoffs 5 times while having arguably 2 of the 10 best power hitters in history with Bonds and Sosa not to mention where Joey Votto will place in his career. I figure it is win/win in that if the Reds make the playoffs I will be glad to admit I was wrong and if they miss out we can reasonably hope it it time to move on from Baker. Way past time….

      If you want to use that set of rationale, consider Lou Pinella. He managed 23 seasons and only went to the playoffs 6 times (yes and had his solitary WS title with the ’90 Reds). This despite having arguably 2 of the 10 best power hitters in history with A Rod and Griffey Jr., as well as periennal All Stars Edgar Martinez, Tino Martinez, and Jay Buhner — ALL ON THE SAME TEAM. Bonds, Sosa, and Votto played for different franchises, unlike the dynasty that Pinella had in Seattle.

      Using your criteria, Baker is a better manager than Pinella, who some around here revere.

  38. @LVW: The Brewer announcers felt it was a good 2-0 pitch to Gomes, and I agree with them. That was a weak popup.

    I just read your main point above. That the pitching to Gomes and Braun could have been better and if so the Reds still lead after 8. I wouldn’t argue with that.

  39. @Red3610: I agreed the Reds should have done this a long way back. Dustman is a Joker who can’t take any criticism . He can’t win even if the Reds give him all the hitters and pitchers from Timbucktoo! It is time to let an old dog to rest because he thinks that players have to love him in order to produce. There are some players who do not need any discipline but some do and he needs to be more disciplinarian type of manager to get the best out of thes type of players. 👿

  40. @OhioJim: Dusty firmly stated that Joey will NOT be playing on this road trip and he gave sliding as a main reason. That was before Joey had even tried sliding.

    One thing that watching Navarro has done is to give me an appreciation of Hannigan and Mes’ defense. I’ll be happy to see Mes back.

  41. I did not see the 2nd half of the game so I watched a replay after the kids were all in bed and came away with these observations.

    The 6th inning was an absolute dagger. The top of the order hitters could not get on base so the middle of the order hitters loaded the bases with one out. After two walks ahead of him, Cairo swings at the 1st pitch and so much for that rally.

    Latos pitched a solid 7th inning with two SO in the inning. He finished the inning with only 97 pitches. Why did Mr. Baker feel compelled to pull him?

    Broxton pitched a solid 8th inning. Sometimes bull pucky happens. The Reds should have had more than a one run lead going into the 8th inning.

    In the 9th inning, Mr. Baker pinch hits XP for Cairo, huh? If a pinch hitter is needed to fill in for a Cairo, he has no business on the roster. Since Frazier can play every infield position and both corner outfield positions, wouldn’t an additional dependable LH bat on the bench be more useful annd productive than multiple, duplicate utility infieders that can not hit?

    • Wouldn’t an additional dependable LH bat on the bench be more useful annd productive than multiple, duplicate utility infieders that can not hit?

      Yes and that’s been true all season. Valdez is staying though. The powers that be do not want Frazier playing SS.

  42. @BloodyHo: I’ve said good things about Cairo thru the years, but at this point he does not belong on the 25 man roster and I do not believe he will be after Joey’s return.

    I was listening to the game on the radio in the 6th, and after the Reds didn’t score off a struggling Wolfe and pad the lead I felt they would probably lose.

  43. @Matt WI: Aoki was the supreme pest, played a key role in all 3 games.

  44. A small positive: Stubs did not strike out on a way outside slider from Henderson today. He took such a pitch with two strikes. The Brewer broadcasters were surprised: “Doesn’t he (always) swing at that pitch ?”

    Led to his walk and stolen base, setting the stage for more disappointment.

  45. Anyone who says Broxton deserved that loss was not paying attention.

    If Navarro does his job defensively, we get out of the inning unscathed. I don’t care who you are as a pitcher, if you keep giving the other team extra outs (and extra bases), sooner or later they are going to burn you.

    And that’s exactly what happened.

    Also, I hate Aoki. I hope he keeps being an annoying thorn in the side of all teams who play the Brew Crew, especially the Pirates.

    • Also, I hate Aoki. I hope he keeps being an annoying thorn in the side of all teams who play the Brew Crew, especially the Pirates.

      CI3j: “Thron in the side” is the exact phrase I thought of yesterday for Aoki. He was a thorn in the side for all 3 games. Let’s hope he keeps it up against the Pirates.

  46. @CI3J: Agreed if Faker hadf yanked him out after the second hit, the Brewers would have to face another Pitcher instead of Broxton. Broxton was used in several games since he arrived here. Faker just can’t mess with it because he has the only system – when the Reds were winning- Ondrusek , Marshall and Chapman. Now when they are behind, Simon. Maclure, Arredondo and so on aand so on. Faker is very predictable by the opponents. Now he is a protector- Hey spare my players for a long push….He is a saint all of a sudden.Look what he did to Codeiro- 4 games against the Brewers before the ASG . It was an acceptable for a manager to ruin the guy’s career. This year is BP, VT, Rolen and BP again. He let them played when they were hurting,,, Why did not he think of this subject before this. Broxton will be next. Harang was happy to get out from Faker for sure. 😆

  47. @Bumbum:

    @earmbrister: EARMBRISTER – YOU NEED GLASSES LIKE Baker becuase if you are a real Eddie Armbrister you would not have written a $#@@!87&¨&&&* comment like that Get a grip dude … becuase you a Fake like Dusty Faker so you don’t like it when a person sent in his/or her comment. Are you dating Faker’s daughter?

    The “get a grip Francis” was a line from the movies Stripes.

    The point is, there is much too much hysteria around here considering what place these Reds are in without Joey Votto. If anyone had given us the chance to “sign up” for a 2.5 game lead over the Pirates, and a 6 game lead over the Cards when we lost Votto for a month, we all would have jumped at the chance (not to mention losing Phillips for some of that time as well).

    The whole series of Dusty Faker, Dustman, et al references/attacks are a bit weak, unless of course you spice them up with a series of smiley faces at the end of your posts.

  48. The Reds weaknesses really showed up in this series. Not much offense without Votto and a weak bench. The bench woes were pointed out by a lot of people on this site before the season began and many times over since. Dusty’s away game line-ups put this on full display because as he says, “Everyone plays on my team”.

    I was hoping the Reds would get Overbay at the trade deadline because he is a good OBP guy. He is very limited though, only capable of playing 1st base.

  49. I in part agree with some of the assessment about the reds offense but just consider some of the defense played by the Brewers. Two instances come to mind and both where at bats from Dioner. Game 1, Aoki steals a bases loaded 2B hit, turning it into a sac-fly, instead of 3 runs and Dioner on 2nd base. Yesterday’s game, again bases loaded, 3B Aramis Ramirez makes an excellent diving stop and throw with 2 outs to keep reds at 2 runs. If those are hits, big changes to games outcomes and opinions of Dioner. Then add all the other defensive plays Aoki made in the series, but sometimes the other team makes plays(just like Reds do on D constantly) and thus have to give the other team credit.

    Time for them to go sweep the Cubs!

  50. @CaptainTonyKW: Oops. Only Marty can get away with that. If he knew how to Twitter in the first place.

  51. You know, the one thing that no one is really talking about is the terrible year that Jay Bruce is having. This is a guy who is supposed to be one of the cornerstones of the team.

    His slash line is .245/.329/.486.

    We haven’t really seen Bruce step up and become the player he should be.

    Yeah, the 21 HRs is nice but he only has 67 RBI on the 21 HRs. That is really quite bad. Brandon Phillips has 62 RBI on 13 HRs in the same number of ABs.

    Just my observation.

  52. After this four-game losing streak, I’m starting to believe that the Reds just simply don’t have what it takes to bring home the Stanley Cup, and I’m starting to find it doubtful that they will even make it to the Super Bowl.

    You can argue with me if you want, but I realize that, eventually, I simply have to face reality.

    :mrgreen:

  53. Weather forecast for Chicago this weekend.
    Today: PM T-Storms 75.
    Friday: AM Showers/Wind 75. Afternoon game.
    Saturday: Sunny 78.
    Sunday: Cloudy 79.
    If Votto gets activated this weekend I think they will wait until Saturday for the nicer weather day.
    No sense sending him out on a possibly wet field tonight or tomorrow and re-injure a freshly mending knee.

  54. @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Team game. Broxton did his job well enough to have had the side retired if not for a terrible throw by Navarro and a 90 year old at SS not being able to get to a flare. A defensive replacement at SS was absolutely reasonable in a one run game. Maybe Cozart doesn’t get it, but Valdez was close enough that I think a younger, 1″ taller, and a more athletic Cozart gets it. The Braun shot is about the only thing one can lay on Broxton. And that was Braun’s first hit of the entire series, and occurred after the inning should have been over.

    What happened on defense that inning is a primer on why pitchers shouldn’t be evaluated only on outcomes. And the offense missed more than one opportunity to put that game away.

    • Team game.

      @Matt WI: You said it. Broxton doesn’t get a pass either just like the guys in the 6th, or Bruce not running out that ball, or when he and Luds were having a good time in the dugout when the ship was going down. I’m not in a panic but I am not impressed with this team’s effort or attitude right now. “Team”. Four straight games they lost, that were close, and they could win a single one. If they take this approach in Chi-town, it won’t be pretty.

      I expect them to turn it around and they better because when I’m watching the Pirates, I see a team hell-bent on winning.

      • Bruce not running out that ball, or when he and Luds were having a good time in the dugout when the ship was going down.

        Ever read “Ball Four” by Jim Bouton? He has great stuff in there about the culture in MLB of how one is “supposed to” act in the face of defeat. Basically he lets the reader know that ballplayers have the ability to care about the game but not get so emotionally tied in that they can’t separate themselves from it…. but for face sake, act mad or sad if you lose, its the professional way to be . But not really. To each their own, but once we get down into reading body language at large and its significance to a player’s desire, it’s dicey territory.

        If the Reds win that game, then Bruce and Luddy are “loose and relaxed, a sign of a great team.” If they lose “they’re not paying attention and not trying hard enough.” Asking a ball player to live and die with every out makes them worse most of the time. The best ones accept the lows, forget it, move on until the next opportunity.

        To wit: Edwin Encarnacion: Betcha Toronto doesn’t care about his relaxed and laconic style. That poor guy got crucified for “not caring enough” in Cincy. People care whole lot less about BP’s mouth and flash now that he’s been an All-Star. There was a person on this board ripping Volquez and his lack of success due to his “crooked hat.”

        The attributions that get made are so tied into success or lack thereof one forgets that these players are’t often all that different people except for the results. It’s not impossible that one’s body language is indicative of something from time to time, but making global assessments about it is pretty unfair.

  55. @WVRedlegs: All the quote are pretty adamant that Votto won’t get activated until after the road trip. It’s not really worth playing mind games with the Cubs as to whether he’ll play or not. I hope they aren’t put in a desperate enough position to have to break their plan.

  56. @RedForever: Be careful, dude, the Jay Bruce lovers will rake you over the coals for criticizing their beloved OF. Bruce is even worse this year. I hope they package him up this winter and trade him off for a real RF. He has disappeared so much from this lineup that I saw Jay Bruce’s picture on a milk carton this morning at the store.

  57. Hope to God, Baker puts his best healthy 8 in the line-up tonight. It would be really nice to see a sense of urgency from him. No more, taking pride in how “rested” his guys are in September or express worries that the “rookies” are getting worn out. To me this stuff does not spell W-I-N. I wonder does this stuff really inspire people to greatness or a firm determination to overcome obstacles?

    Who cares if the guys are fresh as a daisy come October and the team is not in the post-season?

  58. @doctor: I just saw the video of Ramirez’ play on Navarro, and it was a gem. It could be argued that it was the turning point of the game. I’d heard it on XM radio, and thought the Brewers broadcasters were exaggerating.

    Speaking of Navarro, he reminds me a bit of Javy Valentin. Like Javy, stout and can’t catch or run and a switch hitter. Javy was a good LHed hitter and an outstanding PHer. Navarro is better from the right side than Javy, not as good a hitter overall but not weak.

    In September I wouldn’t mind seeing him as a 3rd string (emergency) catcher, would improve the bench a bit if he can PH.

    • Yep, that was the turning point of the game, and I forgot to mention it in the recap. A few inches to the left and it’s game over, losing streak over. Great play by Ramirez.

  59. @Matt WI: You make reasonable points, although coming from Jim Bouton – who was a far better writer than a player, I’m not totally sold.

    Greta story I heard from Marty B:
    On the “ask Marty” portion of the broadcast, a week or so ago, the question was what was his favorite Sparky story. Marty said it was hard to pick just one. But a story he liked was that after a sweep by the Astros in the 70s, the team was on the plane to next destination. Apparently Johnny Bench and Bob Baily were in the back of the plane having a fine time. Smoking cigars, maybe an adult be beverage, or two, and laughing loudly. Sparky asked Alex Grammas, his right-hand man, to “go back there and tell the guys to settle down” as the Reds were just swept by the lowly Astros”. Obviously, Sparky was not as joyous as JB & BB. So Grammas comes back to his seat and all is quiet for “awhile”. The boys start acting up again and now Anderson is furious. Old Spark goes back to the plane himself. Marty relates that it got real load, for a few minutes, and than is was quite as a Sunday service after that.

    Point being: I rather take my cues from SA than a Jim Bouton any day of the week. Bouton is very entertaining but I don’t believe he had any idea how to inspire a team to greatness. Jay Bruce & Ryan Ludwick are no Johnny Bench and if Sparky would lay Bench out, I would have loved to know his reaction to the shenanigans in the 9th yesterday.

  60. @Matt WI: Really nice statement. With the mental and emotional grind of 162 games in 6 months, baseball players have to have a certain kind of personality. The cliche “can’t get too high or too low” is true. During the game, if they’re too concerned about the outcome of the game or even a play, it hurts them. Managers and coaches at all levels always say to focus on execution on every play, play hard, etc. but don’t think about outcome.

    And after the game, if you can’t leave a loss behind, forget about being a ML baseball player. There are some players who say that a loss ruins their day but as of the next day, it’s forgotten, and it should be.

    • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Bouton’s limitations as a player were due to his physical limitations. He was a tough competitor.He had a couple very good seasons and WS wins by stretching his limited ability to the full.

      Also comparing a player and a manager is apples and oranges. I wouldn’t want a manager who did not live and die with every game. But for a player it’s just too exhausting.

      None of this is to defend a player who is comfortable with or complacent about losing. Someone tweeted BP today about whether he is upset about losing. His sarcastic reply, referring to the tweeter’s anatomy, showed how he feels about losing.

      @pinson343: Little personal insight. I have been a manager of various businesses starting when I was 24 until I was 28. At that point, I started my own business that I hold until this day. If I was in an office setting and my company had just lost a large job, and a couple of the sales people were joking around? I would lose my cool, to say the least. There is nothing particularly entertaining about losing to me. I’d admit that may not be right but it’s the way I’m made and I related the Sparky story to show that there are different ways of handling situation. Is any of this life threatening? Heck no, but Bouton was right to infer that it would be wise not to be seen as “happy” in such circumstances. But I can see the opposing point of view and honor it.

      There are some players who say that a loss ruins their day but as of the next day, it’s forgotten, and it should be.

      By the way, I believe this is spot on. Next day or even that evening, players need to let it go. Good or bad, either way. But during the meltdown? I’ll stick with my opinion but valid points have been made by Matt WI.

  61. @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Bouton’s limitations as a player were due to his physical limitations. He was a tough competitor. He had a couple very good seasons and WS wins by stretching his limited ability to the full.

    Also comparing a player and a manager is apples and oranges. I wouldn’t want a manager who did not live and die with every game. But for a player it’s just too exhausting.

    None of this is to defend a player who is comfortable with or complacent about losing. Someone tweeted BP today about whether he is upset about losing. His sarcastic reply, referring to the tweeter’s anatomy, showed how he feels about losing.

  62. I didn’t see the Bruce/Ludwick laughing/smiling thing and won’t judge it. But I just saw the replay of Bruce jogging down to first on the ground ball where Weeks made a bad throw. He’s easily safe if he runs to first. That’s a whole different thing, and calls for someone to give him a good talking to.

    • I didn’t see the Bruce/Ludwick laughing/smiling thing and won’t judge it. But I just saw the replay of Bruce jogging down to first on the ground ball where Weeks made a bad throw. He’s easily safe if he runs to first.That’s a whole different thing, and calls for someone to give him a good talking to.

      To his credit, later in the game in a similar situation, he hustled it on up the line. Obviously, I can’t say if he was talked to about the earlier episode, or not, but it was good to see. I congratulate Jay on that. Everyone makes mistakes but it is great to see a person learn from one.

      I expect to see a little more intensity, out of the guys tonight, as they screwed up our 5 game win streak prediction. 😀

  63. @preach: Wow, embarrassing for Jamie. Hopefully he learned from it. The Big Mike guy crossed a line and got very personally insulting, but the thing to do was just block him and let his idiocy speak for itself.

  64. @pinson343: But wouldn’t you like to see a little fire from the players, when its called for of course??
    Something like the Pirates McCutcheon after the game in the dugout after he got plunked on the shoulder by a 101 mph Chapman fastball and the Pirates lost. I can see Phillips doing that maybe, its just not Votto’s style, but I just cannot see any other Reds player getting fired up like that. Bruce is too much of a p*ssy to be a leader like that. Mez and Frazier, maybe, but they are rookies, and it wouldn’t really be thier place to do that. Stubbs is fighting to stay in the lineup. With Votto out and Phillips out too at times, the Reds team is looking to Bruce for leadership. And Bruce has provided no leadership at all that a young team needs. None by example and none by active leadership. Bruce, whether he likes it or not is the # 3 guy on the team, offensively. Votto is #1 and Phillips #2. When #1 and #2 go down, it is now up to #3 to assume the role of #1 and lead until #1 and #2 can return. That just doesn’t happen with Bruce. What is he afraid of?? Other than the outfield wall.

    • its just not Votto’s style, but I just cannot see any other Reds player getting fired up

      And probably the only reason Votto gets a pass is because he hits like a man possessed. If Joey was an average player, I can easily see how his privacy and reticence (generally speaking… he’s a quiet intense man. I know he’s been open in occasional interviews) would lead people to find him stand-offish. It’s a little chaotic to have all of these qualifications for “showing fire.” People are who they are. Us wanting them to be something else is our problem most of the time, and it has little to no impact on the game. The next time a player goes on a hitting bonanza because he suddenly cares more will be the first time.

      • And probably the only reason Votto gets a pass is because he hits like a man possessed. If Joey was an average player, I can easily see how his privacy and reticence (generally speaking… he’s a quiet intense man. I know he’s been open in occasional interviews) would lead people to find him stand-offish. It’s a little chaotic to have all of these qualifications for “showing fire.” People are who they are. Us wanting them to be something else is our problem most of the time, and it has little to no impact on the game. The next time a player goes on a hitting bonanza because he suddenly cares more will be the first time.

        @Matt WI: Votto is extremely intense. You can see it in his eyes when he is hitting. I agree not all players are like that. In fact very few are.

        Take a look at that Trout kid sometime. He has a lot of the Joey Votto intensity and for that reason alone, I think the best is yet to come – scary ain’t it. I always thought and think that Babe Ruth was the greatest player of all time because he was just so much better than his peers. Obviously there is a long road ahead, but I would not be surprised if this Trout kid tops him. I have not enjoyed watching a player do his thing, this much, since Ken Griffey, Jr. or Eric Davis when he first came up.

  65. @Matt WI: Very good example in citing “Ball Four” … Very well stated overall. I agree.

  66. @CharlotteNCRedsFan: The heavy-handed approach motivates some players and just makes other players’ get more upset and even develope attitude problems. I was one of the latter. I responded very well to positive reinforcement and having faith shown in me. I just got pissed off when a coach or manager would get in my face. I also was very loose in the dugout but much more focused and intense on the field. My looseness in the dugout or after the game didn’t mean I didn’t care about winning. I freakin’ hated to lose and most professional athletes are the same way. Very few of them like losing.

    Now if you want to get on Bruce for not running out his grounder, then go for it. I’ll contend that it’s a pretty common practice for players not to hustle as much as they should but I also accept that it’s just as easy to hustle and that a lot of players do hustle every play. As a guy who used to hustle himself, I won’t put up much of a fight for a guy not hustling with the exception of BP and Griffey when they are/were under orders not to hustle due to possibly aggravating an injury.

    You mentioned Bench and Baily on that plane and Sparky giving them the what for. Do you think for one second that Bench and Baily really didn’t care? I’m willing to bet that Sparky was pretty intense all the time and it just flat didn’t sit too well with him. He’s the boss and he told them to knock it off. I’m willing to bet that he didn’t think it was a matter of them not caring though. I think it’s more that he thought they shouldn’t behave that way after a sweep.

    • According to Pete Rose, Sparky believed there were 3 different types of players who needed to be treated in one of 3 ways: “Kick ‘em in the butt, pat ‘em on the butt, or leave ‘em alone.”

      @LWBloggern: The heavy-handed approach motivates some players and just makes other players’ get more upset and even develope attitude problems. I was one of the latter. I responded very well to positive reinforcement and having faith shown in me. I just got pissed off when a coach or manager would get in my face. I also was very loose in the dugout but much more focused and intense on the field. My looseness in the dugout or after the game didn’t mean I didn’t care about winning. I freakin’ hated to lose and most professional athletes are the same way. Very few of them like losing. Now if you want to get on Bruce for not running out his grounder, then go for it. I’ll contend that it’s a pretty common practice for players not to hustle as much as they should but I also accept that it’s just as easy to hustle and that a lot of players do hustle every play. As a guy who used to hustle himself, I won’t put up much of a fight for a guy not hustling with the exception of BP and Griffey when they are/were under orders not to hustle due to possibly aggravating an injury.You mentioned Bench and Baily on that plane and Sparky giving them the what for. Do you think for one second that Bench and Baily really didn’t care? I’m willing to bet that Sparky was pretty intense all the time and it just flat didn’t sit too well with him. He’s the boss and he told them to knock it off. I’m willing to bet that he didn’t think it was a matter of them not caring though. I think it’s more that he thought they shouldn’t behave that way after a sweep.

  67. @pinson343: On the Bruce play, Dusty isn’t one to embarrass or call out his players publicly. I wouldn’t be surprised though if Dusty didn’t call him into his office and tell Bruce that’s not how the Reds play baseball. I’d be very surprised if nothing was said. Picture the following exchange:

    Dusty: “What happens on that grounder had you been running your off?”

    Jay: “I’m safe.”

    Dusty: “That’s right. You never know and that’s why you gotta run. Back in the day, I would have trotted down the line like that and I would have gotten yanked on the spot… That’s not how the Reds play baseball. We hustle around here.” Pats Jay on the back “Go get ’em tomorrow.”

    Jay: “Yes sir”

    Out of the question?

  68. @CaptainTonyKW: That’s probably accurate. And I’m sure Sparky had a knack for knowing which was which.

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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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2012 Reds, Titanic Struggle Recap

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