Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

FINAL — 11 innings
Cincinnati 5
Miami 4

W: L. Ondrusek (4-2)
L: C. Zambrano (7-10)
S: J. Broxton (2)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Ryan Ludwick singled in the game-winning run in the eleventh inning. Ludwick 2 RBI) had three hits; Dioner Navarro and Didi Gregorius also had three hits, plus an RBI each.

–Todd Frazier had two hits. Joey Votto had two hits and two walks, because of course he did.

–Sam LeCure was outstanding out of the bullpen once again, striking out three of the four batters he faced. Jonathan Broxton was pretty effective in the bottom of the eleventh, though he did walk a batter. With two outs and the tying run on base, Broxton and Miami’s John Buck engaged in an epic at-bat. It ended with a blast to deep center field. Drew Stubbs made a nice play to corral it for the final out. It was scary; that ball would have been a homer in every single park in America, methinks.

NEGATIVES
–None.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–Nice win for the Reds, though it was more exciting than it should have been. Oh well…magic number drops to five!

–At times, Mat Latos was very effective, but his final line was just okay: 7.2. innings, 4 runs allowed on seven hits and three walks (with 8 strikeouts).

–Reds tied their season-high with 17 hits today.

–Y’know, Zack Cozart has been great this season, but it may not be long before Didi Gregorius causes a shortstop controversy.

–Perhaps the best part of today’s win is that our old friend Carlos Zambrano took the loss.

–It was good to see Austin Kearns today. Is it possible that Kearns is only 32?

–Off-day tomorrow, then the Reds begin a series with the Cubs.

–I feel dirty saying this, but…go Dodgers. Let’s get that Cincinnati magic number down to 4. Current magic number:

Wooooo!

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! 69 Comments

  1. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  2. Painful to watch at times, but a big improvement over the last two games (and I’m not only talking about the win). Those Fish can hit hard and often, but we kept at it today. Go Dodgers – let’s beat the Dirty Birds!

  3. I like Austin Kearns but did not enjoy his leadoff PH single, leading to a tie game.

    He’s an old looking 32. Had such a great start to his career. Well on his way to rookie of the year in 2002, bur pulls a hamstring in mid-August. Then a great start in 2003 but in May there was the shoulder injury on his head first slide into home. Never really turned things around after that.

  4. @pinson343: Didn’t it turn out that the hand/ thumb injury which also has dogged Kearns throughout his career also happened in the same infamous play at the plate involving Ray King who was with the Braves at the time?

    For folks who have come on board since then, it may be hard to fathom but up top that point Adam Dunn was the other hot shot young outfielder for the Reds…..

    • @pinson343: Didn’t it turn out that the hand/ thumb injury which also has dogged Kearns throughout his career also happened in the same infamous play at the plate involving Ray King who was with the Braves at the time?For folks who have come on board since then, it may be hard to fathom but up top that point Adam Dunn was the other hot shot young outfielder for the Reds…..

      @OhioJim: I seem to recall Dunn even saying something along the lines of “If you like what you’re seeing with me, wait until you see Mr. Kearns!”

  5. I turned the game on in the early going and was happy to see that Latos is on and Nolasco is off. I expect a win at that point but that was a whole lot more difficult than it had to be.

    Latos did have some bad luck, but put himself in a bad position with the 2 walks in the 4th. The leadoff double by Carlos Lee was on a bloop but Latos could have stranded him, allowing the sac fly to a seemingly overmatched RHed batter was key. The Marlins announcers thought he was overmatched, anyway, until he hit the line drive to CF.

  6. Colts last second win, reds pull it out in 11th, not s bad day if you like dramatic sports finishes…

  7. The Cardinales next 9 games are versus the Astros (6) and Cubbicles (3) . However 6 of them on are on the road. Still hopefully today will provide the impetus for the Reds to go out and string together some wins to get the division settled in the next week or so.

    • The Cardinales next 9 games are versus the Astros (6) and Cubbicles (3) . However 6 of them on are on the road. Still hopefully today will provide the impetus for the Reds to go out and string together some wins to get the division settled in the next week or so.

      Astride not phoning it in…look what they just did to the phillies

  8. @OhioJim: Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns, Griffey Jr.’s OF mates and buddies, were THE FUTURE for the Reds in 2002 and beyond, and Reds ownership and most of fans felt good about that part of the Reds future. (Not so good about the pitching staff.)

    Kearns could do it all – the proverbial 5 tools. Dunn played a lot of RF in 2001 and he could throw, not surprising for a quarterback who had committed to play at UT. (Don’t know what happened to his throwing arm.)

    Ahh, the Kearns hand injury. On the head first slide into home, huge Ray King made a ridiculously hard tag on his shoulder that ruined 2003 for him. I don’t believe the hand injury happened then. I remember the hand injury just wouldn’t go away, bothered and DLed him in 2004 and 2005. The Reds even tried a special batting glove, it didn’t work.

  9. @OhioJim: The Cubs (at home) and Astros are both playing well right now.
    Astros take 3 of 4 from the Phils, Cubs come back to beat the Pirates again, unbelievable stuff.

  10. Lots of wild games today. A Rizzo grand slam sinks the Pirates. A grand slam by Rutledge and the Rockies-Padres are tied at 11. Who cares ? The Padres are only 6 back for the 2nd WC !

  11. I think we should all take a moment and be thankful that we aren’t Pirates fans. 13-9 come-from-behind loss to the Cubs on a grand slam? How many indignities must one fanbase suffer.

  12. bases loaded, two outs for Matt Kemp in the bottom of the 10th. C’mon…

  13. And he pops up to the center fielder. Darn!

  14. @BenL: Today I would not want to be a fan of the Pirates, Phils, or Tigers. Very tough losses. And either Cardinal or Dodger fans are in for a disappointment.

  15. Another win for the Reds bullpen today. Marshall was sailing along until a 2-1 curve ball right over the plate was called a ball. The Marlin broadcasters were amazed by the home plate ump a number of times today, but especially on that pitch: “He must have blinked.” Afterwards Marshall walks that guy and gives up a single to Reyes, setting up the scary situation where Ondrusek faced Stanton. Struck him out on a great breaking pitch after getting away with a mistake.

    Broxton made things too interesting by walking Solano with two outs. Had to go after him instead of Buck.

  16. Yonder Alonso’s 4ht hit of the game is a walk off winner for the Padres, 12-11.

  17. Chad rightly singles out Sam LeCure for his performance. He was the most impressive guy out of the pen today. When he’s getting his breaking pitches over, which he usually is, it’s fun to watch.
    If he throws a first pitch fastball right down the pipe, the hitter might crush it.
    So he starts with breaking pitches for 2 strikes and THEN he throws a fastball right down the pipe and the hitter freezes. Did that twice today.

  18. On Carlos Lee’s pop up double, the Marlin broadcasters were saying that Bruce had a better chance to catch it with a head first dive than with his feet first dive. But Bruce broke his wrist making a head first diving catch in 2009. My guess is that since then he’s been coached to dive feet first. Can anyone confirm that he’s been feet first since that injury ? Or starting at some later time ?

  19. I’ve seen him try several head first dives. And I think of that injury every time he does it.

  20. A question for those who saw the 4th inning, which I missed. Recall that in his early September start against the Phils, Latos got upset by a pitch that he thought was strike 3 and called a ball. He went on to walk that hitter to load the bases and then walked in a run. He got bailed out by Stubbs’ trap “catch”.

    I notice that he went 0-2 on Stanton in the 4th, and then walked him on 4 straight balls and then walked Carlos Lee on 5 pitches. My question: Was one of the balls to Stanton a pitch that Latos indicated should have been a called strike 3 ? I noticed he was annoyed at the umpire about a call later in the game. Can’t blame him, the home plate ump sucked. But if he momentarily unraveled again because of a bad call, he’s got to cut that out to become a number one.

    He sawed off Dobbs’ bat on the triple that hit the line, but it wouldn’t have mattered without the walks.

    • A question for those who saw the 4th inning, which I missed. Recall that in his early September start against the Phils, Latos got upset by a pitch that he thought was strike 3 and called a ball. He went on to walk that hitter to load the bases and then walked in a run. He got bailed out by Stubbs’ trap “catch”.

      I notice that he went 0-2 on Stanton in the 4th, and then walked him on 4 straight balls and then walked Carlos Lee on 5 pitches. My question: Was one of the balls to Stanton a pitch that Latos indicated should have been a called strike 3 ? I noticed he was annoyed at the umpire about a call later in the game. Can’t blame him, the home plate ump sucked. But if he momentarily unraveled again because of a bad call, he’s got to cut that out to become a number one.

      He sawed off Dobbs’ bat on the triple that hit the line, but it wouldn’t have mattered without the walks.

      Yeah, I think Latos was expecting to get a call on at least one pitch to Stanton there, and even with Lee next up, there was a pitch to him that might have been a tad low but was right on the plate, and you could almost read Latos’ body language as, Gee, give me SOMETHING here …

  21. @Steve Mancuso: So it seems that Bruce has an understandable preference for feet first dives.

  22. Carlos Lee has become an outstanding contact hitter, seriously. Very hard to strike him out, he takes short swings and goes to RF a lot. Surprised he wasn’t picked up by someone in the AL to DH.

    • Carlos Lee has become an outstanding contact hitter, seriously. Very hard to strike him out, he takes short swings and goes to RF a lot. Surprised he wasn’t picked up by someone in the AL to DH.

      I’ve noticed the same thing. He’s also better on the basepaths than I remember.

  23. Jay made a really great headfirst diving catch on 8/27 this year.

  24. I like Dioner Navarro more and more. I generally don’t like using small sample sizes, but his 4 for 7 against Nolasco (with a HR) going into today’s game caught my eye. And now he’s 7 for 10.
    He hits line drives lefty and long flies righty.

    His throwing out Reyes reminded me once again of Javy Valentin. Valentin was not known for throwing out many base runners, but I recall his throwing out Reyes twice. I saw one in person at Shea Stadium.

  25. @CP: Thanks, I’ll look for the video of that. Vaguely recall it, now that you mention it.

  26. I’ve always liked Navarro. I think the LLM comparison is a fair one. I didn’t watch much of the game but I saw a couple of throws by Didi that I could have sworn I saw steam coming off. Talk about an arm. Can he play any other positions? Next year will be interesting, but this year is special. WOOOOOOOO!!!!!

  27. @pinson343: I always thought he had a baby face. He was playing heavy for awhile years back and now looks in better shape.

    Years ago while watching the Reds v Mets Tom Seaver was announcing and noticed how late Kearns would be on his swings. Kearns sort of inside out the ball. Used his wrists a lot and his bat head lag. This is when Kearns was going good.

  28. @pinson343: I think it depends. I’ve seen him diving forward for catches. In fact last week he did that and Welch mentioned that kind of play lead Bruce to breaking his wrist.

  29. @preach: Didi’s arm and fluidity are out of this world. I like Cozart but the Reds are going to have a SS controversy sooner rather than later.

  30. Guess what St. Louis pitcher makes his season debut this coming friday…..

    • Guess what St. Louis pitcher makes his season debut this coming friday…..

      @dn4192: Is it the king of the cry-babies, Chris Carpenter? Don’t like the guy at all but considering the surgery he is coming off of, it’s impressive he’s able to make a start this year. It says something about his work ethic that he made it back to pitch in a game this season.

  31. Are we being quiet about the offense for at least a day?

  32. @pinson343: How old is Didi if been noticing his nice playing latly

  33. @athensRed: Now that you mention the offense, with a season high of 17 hits they should have managed more than 5 runs. Outhit the Marlins 17-8. What a frustrating loss that would have been.

    Having said that, the bats did come to life, an encouraging sign of things to come. Ten hits allowed by Nolasco was a season high for him, and in only 5 innings.

  34. @steelheels: Right, 22 and before September split the season between AA and AAA.

  35. Didi is 22, Zack is 27…it shouldn’t be much of an issue really. You err young when the guys are close in age. Didi hasn’t really proven he can hit at the MLB level though, so he’ll rot in the system, or Walt will include him in another overpay.

    Both Didi and Zack are too light hitting to play anywhere but 2nd base. It isn’t like this wasn’t a completely obvious issue coming down the pike when they resigned BP to a 6 year extension though.

  36. “You err young when the guys are close in ability…”

  37. @vegastypo: Thanks. I can understand Latos getting pissed off at being squeezed, every pitcher does. But he can’t let it get to him to where it affects his next pitch. Easier said than done. I don’t think Marshall was the same after his obvious strike was called a ball.

    • @vegastypo: Thanks. I can understand Latos getting pissed off at being squeezed, every pitcher does. But he can’t let it get to him to where it affects his next pitch. Easier said than done. I don’t think Marshall was the same after his obvious strike was called a ball.

      I get angry at umpires who are inconsistent with corners or up and down as the game progresses, but this guy had a few that appeared to be clearly strikes that weren’t called. Amazing. Point taken about Latos learning to put it aside. … Radio crew made a point of saying that when Bryon Price finally went out and talked to Latos, it seemed to settle him back down. It would be nice if he could get there on his own, or maybe the catcher could talk to him. But he didn’t have Hanigan back there today.

  38. @CP: I was surprised by the 6 years to BP, given the middle IF talent coming along, including Hamilton. I read Hamilton will be playing OF this winter.

  39. @musicjoker319: Kearns played for about a month at AAA in both 2004 and 2005. In one of those seasons, he pouted after losing his starting job in RF to Willy Mo Pena and the Reds sent him to AAA for an attitude adjustment, including orders to lose weight. He did “adjust” and was finally having a good season in 2006 before the infamous trade.

    About Seaver’s comment, it makes sense in that Kearns would go to RCF a lot, including HRs that way.
    But prior to the shoulder injury, anyway, he could turn very quickly on an inside fastball, and pull it over the fence.

  40. @dn4192: Yeh I saw that, our old friend C. Carpenter. Why did they have to introduce the 2nd WC this year ? Without that the Cardinals are out of it. Actually whoever the 2nd WC team is, winning one in Atlanta will not be easy, especially if Medlen pitches. But I’ve already heard an mlbnetwork expert guess it will be Hudson pitching, due to experience.

  41. I was surprised Dusty let Latos pitch to Reyes. I thought he was finished at that point. Lucky Reyes didn’t hit it out.

  42. Me too. Latos went to high school and community college there or very near there. Would Dusty have been trying to give Latos extra rope to look good in front of the hometown crowd?

  43. Gregorius looks like more of an athlete (than Cozart) to me. I believe somebody used the work fluidity above in describing him. So far I see that in him at the plate also. To me Cozart looks a lot like Stubbs at the plate; he makes contact a little more often but the difference in their OBP is tweedle dee and tweedle dum.

    At age 27, I am not sure how long a team waits around to see if Cozart ever does any better. Interestingly enough Stubbs and Cozart are roughly the same age and Stubbs has actually regressed offensively each year.

    For 2013, I think the problem is not a problem. Because of Gregorius’s tender age and short exposure at AAA this season, it makes perfect sense to start him out back at AAA.
    .

  44. @OhioJim: After apparently jumping the gun with the catching situation (Mesoraco vs. Grandal), a person would think the Reds would take the time to be sure with the SS situation.

  45. So with the Reds pulling that DL maneuver with Kris Negron last day before the sept 1 deadline, what does this mean for them setting a playoff roster?

    Does this mean they could either pull in someone not on the 25 yet on the 40 man for the playoff roster say like Mesoraco or even get creative like say Tony Cingrani?

    • So with the Reds pulling that DL maneuver with Kris Negron last day before the sept 1 deadline, what does this mean for them setting a playoff roster?

      Does this mean they could either pull in someone not on the 25 yet on the 40 man for the playoff roster say like Mesoraco or even get creative like say Tony Cingrani?

      They can sub for any and all of the DL folks with guys who were anywhere in the organization prior to 1 September, regardless of respective position(s) played.

      Anyone not already on the 40 man roster would have to be added to it to be on a playoff roster.
      The Reds are covered in this regard too since they outrighted Jordan Smith and Chris Valaika off the 30 man at the end of the AAA season to create a couple of openings on the 40 man.

      The talk is that they may carry as few as 10 pitchers for the divisional series which would open two additional spots on the 25 man roster. I’d think it is pretty much a lock that Meso gets a spot since that would allow them to use Navarro as PH without having to worry that might leave them out a catcher if Hanigan were subsequently injured.

  46. I did not get to see any of the game prior to the 8th inning. However, during the time I was watching I thought the home plate ump was calling a tough zone on obvious breaking pitches but a zone that seemed to agree with the TV picture most of the time on pitches that weren’t obvious breaking pitches. I finally decided that the camera elevation and location must be such that some of those breaking pitches were different heights than they looked to be on the TV.

  47. @OhioJim: I think I read somewhere that the Reds have 4 DL spots to play when putting together their playoff roster. Those would be Massett, Madson, Bray, and Negron.

    Cigrani seemingly is being auditioned as LH reliever for the playoffs.

  48. Playoff roster prediction, assuming all the injured are healthy:

    Votto, Phillips, Cozart, Rolen, Frazier, Valdez, Cairo (7)

    Heisey, Stubbs, Ludwick, Bruce, Paul (5)

    Hanigan, Navarro (2)

    Cueto, Latos, Arroyo, Bailey, Chapman, Marshall, Broxton, Lecure, Ondrusek, Arredondo, Leake (11)

    Left off: Simon, Hoover

    Note: this is not what I want, but what I expect. If it were me, I’d put Hoover and Mesoraco on, and take Leake and Ondrusek off. And I hate not having Simon on there and would be tempted to put him in over Lecure, but I’d probably go with Lecure.

    • Playoff roster prediction, assuming all the injured are healthy:Votto, Phillips, Cozart, Rolen, Frazier, Valdez, Cairo (7)Heisey, Stubbs, Ludwick, Bruce, Paul (5)Hanigan, Navarro (2)Cueto, Latos, Arroyo, Bailey, Chapman, Marshall, Broxton, Lecure, Ondrusek, Arredondo, Leake (11)Left off: Simon, HooverNote: this is not what I want, but what I expect. If it were me, I’d put Hoover and Mesoraco on, and take Leake and Ondrusek off. And I hate not having Simon on there and would be tempted to put him in over Lecure, but I’d probably go with Lecure.

      Ondrusek has no business on a post-season roster. Not so sure Arredondo deserves a spot. Hoover has earned a spot. Leake should be the long reliever and can also be a valuable pinch-hitter if summoned by Baker.

  49. @pinson343: @Steve Mancuso:

    Not sure what time you guys are talking about when Bruce broke his wrist, but he most definitely did NOT break it on a head first dive. It was a sliding catch where his hand got bent backwards during the slide.

    I’m sure there are videos at there, but my memory of it is vivid enough and I prefer not to see it again.

  50. @Hank Aarons Teammate: I’d rather have LeCure and Hoover over Simon and Ondrusek. I wouldn’t be so sure that Hoover won’t be on the playoff roster. I think Baker’s use of Hoover as a closer in the Pirates series foreshadows his position on the postseason roster.

  51. The Pirates fell to 4th place int he division yesterday. The Brewers are 2 games over .500 and now in 3rd place.

  52. The Reds only trail the Nats by 1.5 games (2 games in the loss column) for the top playoff seed. The Birds now have a 1.0 game lead over the Dodgers and a 2.5 game lead over the Brew Crew for the 2nd wildcard playin seed. Braun has put the Brew Crew on his back and is taking them for a ride, al la Pujols last year with the Birds.

  53. I was watching the end of the Pirates vs. Cubs game Saturday afternoon before college football came on and the Pirates announcers were just blasting Brandon Phillips. It was late in the game and Cubs second baseman Barney made a very good play. Then all of a sudden one of the Pirates announcers starts berating Brandon Phillips. Called him over rated. Said that Phillips makes routine plays look hard so he can get on TV or Sportscenter. Complained about Phillips fielding a ground ball with his bare hand and throwing out a Pirates runner at first base in the Pirates series. Phillips was just showing off. The announcer went on with a couple of more insults and then said I’m going to stop berating Phillips because he didn’t want to say his name again. Then went on praising Barney as the best second baseman in the NL. Said barney makes the hard play look routine. Barney is a good second baseman, but not the best. It was WAY over the top in criticism. Totally uncalled for and totally unprofessional on whichever announcer it was. Made me re-think my position on hoping the Pirates break their LONG losing season streak. Just re-name Pittsburgh to Loserville.

  54. @BloodyHo: What’s also interesting is that the Braves sweep of the Nats pulled them to within 5.5 games of the division lead. A pretty big gap still in 15-16 games, but the Braves schedule looks to be easier than the Nats.

    Braves get: Miami 6 times & the Phillies, Mets, and Pirates 3 times each.

    Nats get: Phillies 6 times, the Brewers 4 times, and the Dodgers & Cardinals 3 times each.

  55. Nice to see Luddy apparently back on track and protecting Votto from the cleanup spot. Frazier got a nice 3 day break and is lokking better at the plate, at least I guess he’s looking better. He has the most unorthodox hitting approach I have ever seen, but it apparently works for him. I think Phillips needs a similar break to get rejuvenated for the playoff push.

    @Greg Dafler: Wouldn’t that just put the wildcard playin game into total chaos if the Rays outplayed the Nats and took the NL East title? What a long strange trip it’s been!

  56. It was good to see Austin Kearns today. Is it possible that Kearns is only 32?

    Probably be saying the same about Stubbs in five years. Per current roster, much rather see Didi than Valdez. Experience or not, I’ll go with youth in this case.

  57. RE: The home-plate umpire… I thought he missed a call early on a fastball during the Buck AB against Broxton. Then later in the AB, I thought he missed what would have been called stike-three on a breaking-ball that looked like it caught A LOT of the plate. I even said, “I wonder if Navarro said anything there?”

  58. If the Marlins keep that super big outfield, except on the corners, they should groom their team for speed and doubles and triples hitters, because few long balls will be going out of that place.

  59. @Steve Mancuso:

    I’m not sure how you can say that is headfirst when he is clearly sliding on the seat of his pants. A headfirst dive would have someone sliding on their chest/stomach, right?

    Basically, Bruce leaned forward then brought his feet up into his trademark sliding catch. Even before his injury, I don’t remember Bruce doing many catches where he would sprawl headfirst and land on his chest/stomach.

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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2012 Reds, Titanic Struggle Recap

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