2012 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: A punch in the gut

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

92 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: A punch in the gut

  1. 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.

  2. 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:

  3. 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.

  4. @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.

  5. @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.

  6. @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.

  7. 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?

  8. @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.

  9. @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.

  10. @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.

  11. @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.

  12. 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.😀

  13. @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.

  14. @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.

  15. @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.

  16. @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?

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