Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

National League Division Series, Game Three
FINAL — 10 innings
San Francisco 2
Cincinnati 1

W: S. Romo (1-0)
L: J. Broxton (0-1)
BOX SCORE

Reds lead series, 2-1

POSITIVES
–Homer Bailey was nothing short of brilliant tonight: 7 innings, one run allowed on one hit. He struck out ten and walked just one. Everyone was on the edge of their seats when Homer took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. Unfortunately, I jinxed it on Twitter and the Giants got a hit.

Still, a spectacular performance by Homer tonight.

–Sean Marshall and Aroldis Chapman were no less brilliant than Bailey, except for the fact that they only pitched one inning each.

–Jay Bruce had the only RBI for the Reds tonight.

NEGATIVES
–Wow, the offense was just bad tonight. Four hits in ten innings.

–In the tenth inning, Jonathan Broxton allowed the first two runners to reach base, before striking out the next two. Then a passed ball by Ryan Hanigan, of all things, allowed the runners to advance to second and third. Broxton induced a chopper to third by Joaquin Arias; Scott Rolen tried to short hop the ball, but booted it for an error.

To be fair to Rolen, it wasn’t a particularly easy play, but it was a play that Scott Rolen usually makes with no problem. Brutal way to lose.

–I don’t know whether this is a negative or not, but it was a curious situation. In the tenth, as I noted above, the Giants had runners on second and third with two outs. Arias was at the plate, and the pitcher (Sergio Romo) was on deck. The Reds pitched to Arias, and he hit the grounder to third. If Rolen makes the play, we aren’t even discussing this, no doubt.

But why didn’t Dusty walk Arias to get to the pitcher’s spot. There’s no downside to that move. First base was open, it would have created a force at any base. The Giants only had one remaining player available to hit for Romo; if Giants manager Bruce Bochy pinch-hits, it burns their last pinch-hitter and forces them to remove Romo from the game. If Bochy didn’t pinch hit, all Broxton has to do is retire Romo — a relief pitcher — in order to keep the game tied at one.

Seems like an obvious move in hindsight. But we all know what they say about hindsight.

–Brandon Phillips led off the game with a single. A bit later, he took off on a steal attempt of second. The pitch was actually a wild pitch, and Phillips rounded second and tried to advance to third. It was the type of aggressive base-running that the Reds — and BP in particular — have been known for. Unfortunately, BP was thrown out at third.

–Jonathan Broxton is going to give me a heart attack in the playoffs. At some point.

In that first inning, thanks to that play, the Reds got three hits and a walk, but they were only able to scratch across one run. That missed opportunity proved more costly than anyone could have known at the time.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–What can I say? The pitching was excellent (the Giants only had three hits), the offense was terrible. It’s a story that we’ve read before. Reds have a chance to win the series tomorrow.

–So what’s up with the Reds hitting well in a pitcher’s park, but being unable to score at GAB? I don’t like it.

–Attendance was 44,501, and it appeared to be a very raucous crowd. (The only larger crowd in Reds history was the 2010 NLDS game vs. Philly.) Let’s hope tomorrow’s crowd is even crazier.

–Wow, Homer Bailey was just flat dealing it tonight. In command the entire evening. He looks like an entirely different Homer than we’ve ever seen before. At one point, he struck out six Giants in a row, tying a Cincinnati post-season record.

–Some people will argue that Dusty took Homer out of the game too soon. After all, he had only thrown 88 pitches at that point. I find that a difficult argument to make. Homer probably had one more inning in him, and he was throwing well, no question. But the Reds needed runs, and I can’t argue with Dusty’s decision to pinch hit for him.

Also, how much grief has Baker gotten for leaving pitchers in for too long? I think his handling of the staff tonight was very defensible.

–The Reds had just one hit after the first inning.

–Scott Rolen is a Hall of Famer, but his defense in the playoffs for the Reds (2010/2012) leaves a lot to be desired. (Not even going to mention his bat.)

–The game started late because some idiot ran out onto the field…before the first pitch. That’s gotta be some kind of record. Anyway, here’s the moron.

–Some thoughts from Twitter:

–Tonight’s loss is likely to give Walt Jocketty and Dusty Baker a big headache. It certainly will force a difficult decision. We learned before the game that Johnny Cueto is suffering from a strained oblique (rather than just back spasms), and no one sounds confident that he’ll be able to pitch soon. So if Cueto can’t go tomorrow…who pitches?

It’s a tough call. Do they go with Mat Latos, on short rest again? The bullpen is fairly well-rested, if Latos isn’t able to go deep into the game.

Do they go with Mike Leake? That’s the toughest decision. If they remove Cueto from the roster and put Leake in his place, Cueto won’t be eligible for the NLCS roster. Do you want to play in the NLCS without Johnny Cueto? Me either, and I imagine that’s going to be an option of last resort for the Redlegs.

My opinion, based on the limited information I have before me, is that they have to go with Latos. I look forward to seeing what the Reds do.

A win tonight would have allowed the Reds to delay this decision until Sunday, giving Cueto more time to heal and the Reds more time to decide what’s best for the club. In the long run, tonight’s loss may end up stinging more than we know right now.

–Okay, keep those chins up, Reds fans. Cincinnati still leads 2-1, and they’ll have a chance to finish off the Giants tomorrow. Even better, I’m taking my son to the game, so that’s going to be a fun experience for us.

UPDATE: Homer Bailey says that Mike Leake is going to start tomorrow, which means Cueto will be removed from the roster for the NLCS too. I’ll wait for the Reds to announce this officially before I comment.

If I were the Reds, and I wanted to add Leake…I’d think outside the box here and remove Jose Arredondo from the roster. Who cares if he isn’t available for the NLCS? Can Arredondo fake an injury on such short notice?

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! 134 Comments

  1. I’ve been to many sporting events. The NFL. March Madness. Michigan vs. Ohio State football in Ann Arbor and Columbus. Kentucky basketball against Bobby Knight. The Fab Five vs. Duke. Rose Bowls. And I’m not sure I’ve ever been in a better atmosphere than the Great American Ball Park rocked tonight. (At least until the last ten minutes.)

    Homer Bailey gave a breathtaking performance. Six strikeouts in a row the second time through the line-up. After the fifth inning, fans were on their feet chanting Ho-mer, Ho-mer, Ho-mer as he walked back to the dugout. I’ve never seen anything like that for a pitcher at GABP. That said, I don’t seriously question the decision to take him out when Baker did. Yes, I’d feel better if pinch-hitter Super Todd had done something other than weakly ground out to second base. I definitely think Homer had at least one more, maybe two more great innings in him. The Giants only had one hard-hit ball off him all night. And let’s not forget Homer did this at a Little League park.

    • I’ve been to many sporting events. The NFL. March Madness. Michigan vs. Ohio State football in Ann Arbor and Columbus. Kentucky basketball against Bobby Knight. The Fab Five vs. Duke. Rose Bowls. And I’m not sure I’ve ever been in a better atmosphere than the Great American Ball Park rocked tonight. (At least until the last ten minutes.)

      Homer Bailey gave a breathtaking performance. Six strikeouts in a row the second time through the line-up. After the fifth inning, fans were on their feet chanting Ho-mer, Ho-mer, Ho-mer. I’ve never anything like that for a pitcher at GABP. That said, I don’t seriously question the decision to take him out when Baker did. Yes, I’d feel better if pinch-hitter Super Todd had done something other than weakly ground out to second base. I definitely think Homer had at least one more, maybe two more great innings in him. The Giants only had one hard-hit ball off him all night. And let’s not forget Homer did this at a Little League park.

      His performance was Jose Rijo game 4 like. One small lapse where he walked Crawford, or the Reds win 1-0.

      • His performance was Jose Rijo game 4 like.One small lapse where he walked Crawford, or the Reds win 1-0.

        Hank’s teammate: Yes and that was the only AB where I didn’t like Homer’s approach. He seemed bothered by having the speedy Blanco on fist base. He was so far outside on a couple of pitches to Crawford that the broadcasters thought he was throwing a “semi-pitchout”. I don’t believe that but it was the only point in the game where he lost focus a bit.

        Overall an incredible performance by Homer. I didn’t see his no hitter, but that was near total domination.

  2. Scott Rolen now has more errors in the series than hits. To me, that’s not a particularly compelling output to keep Todd Frazier on the bench.

    Brandon Phillips base running mistake really reduced the chances for a big inning. He stole second on ball three on Cozart, so there was a good chance for two on base or Cozart getting a good pitch to hit. Brandon has done a lot of good in this series, but that doesn’t mean we should paper over this mistake. And he was out by a mile.

    JoeyMVP did take at least one big, huge, enormous home run swing in one of his later AB in the game. I think that’s a positive sign, especially if his knee didn’t hurt when he did it. And it didn’t seem that it did, judging from my seat in the stands. BUT, if his power doesn’t come around, I repeat that he should be hitting first, not swinging for the fences, and Jay Bruce should bat third.

    • Scott Rolen now has more errors in the series than hits. To me, that’s not a particularly compelling output to keep Todd Frazier on the bench.

      Brandon Phillips base running mistake really reduced the chances for a big inning. He stole second on ball three on Cozart, so there was a good chance for two on base or Cozart getting a good pitch to hit. Brandon has done a lot of good in this series, but that doesn’t mean we should paper over this mistake. And he was out by a mile.

      JoeyMVP did take at least one big, huge, enormous home run swing in one of his later AB in the game. I think that’s a positive sign, especially if his knee didn’t hurt when he did it. And it didn’t seem that it did, judging from my seat in the stands. BUT, if his power doesn’t come around, I repeat that he should be hitting first, not swinging for the fences, and Jay Bruce should bat third.

      I agree with everything here also. I know the “Reds can do no wrong” folks are already around, saying that to criticize Phillips is “scapegoating”. No, actually, it’s having principles and sticking to them. I hate baserunning outs. The other things I can live with, the errors that is.
      I don’t like them, but they’re physical.

      Votto looks like a very good version of David Eckstein right now. I think they should consider batting him leadoff. They won’t. Just like they will never take Rolen out of the lineup, even if
      he has one soft bloop single and two errors. He played a role in the game 2 loss in the NLDS 2010, and same today. He’s not hitting and he’s not fielding. This isn’t scapegoating, it’s recognizing that there’s a guy that plays his position that ought to get a chance to start, because Rolen is not healthy.

  3. Some people will argue that Dusty took Homer out of the game too soon. After all, he had only thrown 88 pitches at that point. I find that a difficult argument to make. Homer probably had one more inning in him, and he was throwing well, no question. But the Reds needed runs, and I can’t argue with Dusty’s decision to pinch hit for him.

    And if they need and get a couple of innings out of Homer in a game 5, how many of these folks will realize saving those 20 pitches tonight was part of what made it possible…..

  4. My guess is that Mike Leake will pitch tomorrow because Johnny Cueto’s injury is serious enough that he doesn’t have a real prospect for pitching in this series or next. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the Reds didn’t handle Cueto’s diagnosis well. He was hurt before the game on Saturday. First it wasn’t serious. Then we were optimistic he could pitch soon. It was just a back spasm after all. He said it wasn’t bad. How could we possibly go wrong relying on the player’s assessment? Well, now it’s Tuesday and the Reds still haven’t given him an MRI but have diagnosed Cueto with a strained oblique.

    I’m not placing blame on the medical staff, although it certainly could be their fault. But SOMEONE in this organization should have insisted on an MRI on Saturday so they could have been operating with accurate and full information. Maybe it wouldn’t have changed anything. But maybe it did. All because no one thought it necessary to take that essentially costless step of ordering an MRI. Whether this falls on Jocketty, Baker, the medical staff, or someone who is assigned to handle these situations, it’s hard to avoid the impression this is the gang that can’t shoot straight.

    By the way, if allowing Joey Votto to play over a week with his injured knee in any way made his condition worse (which seems pretty likely), keep in mind the team is still paying a steep price for that.

  5. Marty, Jeff and Thom after the game were offering their thoughts about who would pitch tomorrow. Brantley said Latos, even for just enough innings to get to the bullpen. Thom said MIke Leake.

    When Marty said to Thom “But what about Johnny Cueto?” Thom said “I didn’t say anything about Johnny Cueto.”

    Thom either (A) didn’t realize that Mike Leake isn’t on the 25-man series roster, (B) didn’t understand that activating Leake required disabling Cueto, or both. Thom really, really, really doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  6. One last comment and then I’ll shut up. This was a big loss. Especially in comparison to winning the game, clinching the series and having three days off. Winning would have let us get our pitching lined up for the NLCS. It would have postponed the need to make a decision on Johnny Cueto. It would have created lots of positive momentum.

    Winning would have also meant we won the series. And while I still expect the Reds to win the series, that’s not anywhere close to a sure thing now. The Reds have been resilient all year and I expect that quality to appear sometime in the next two days. But the Giants didn’t win their division this year without possessing much of the same.

    Given the situation with the starting pitching, color me concerned about the outcome of the series.

    • One last comment and then I’ll shut up. This was a big loss. Especially in comparison to winning the game, clinching the series and having three days off. Winning would have let us get our pitching lined up for the NLCS. It would have postponed the need to make a decision on Johnny Cueto. It would have created lots of positive momentum.

      Winning would have also meant we won the series. And while I still expect the Reds to win the series, that’s not anywhere close to a sure thing now. The Reds have been resilient all year and I expect that quality to appear sometime in the next two days. But the Giants didn’t win their division this year without possessing much of the same.

      Given the situation with the starting pitching, color me concerned about the outcome of the series.

      Very well said. The Reds should win this series, and if Cueto/Latos were opposing Zito/Cain, I’d be very confident. As it is, though, I’m only somewhat confident.

    • One last comment and then I’ll shut up. This was a big loss. Especially in comparison to winning the game, clinching the series and having three days off. Winning would have let us get our pitching lined up for the NLCS. It would have postponed the need to make a decision on Johnny Cueto. It would have created lots of positive momentum.

      Winning would have also meant we won the series. And while I still expect the Reds to win the series, that’s not anywhere close to a sure thing now. The Reds have been resilient all year and I expect that quality to appear sometime in the next two days. But the Giants didn’t win their division this year without possessing much of the same.

      Given the situation with the starting pitching, color me concerned about the outcome of the series.

      I’m with you. The Reds can absolutely NOT go with Mike Leake. I like Mike Leake but the Giants are due to start hitting and we all know that Leake can be a batting practice dummy at times.

      I would go with Latos on short rest. He only pitched 4 innings and 70 pitches in game one so I think he would be fine. If it goes to a game 5 tomorrow (it won’t if Latos goes), then you can bring back Arroyo on short rest as well. We all know that Arroyo has no problem going on 3 days rest.

  7. In terms of taking Bailey out of the game, we have no idea what was going on. Maybe he said he was tired. I doubt it, but it’s possible.

    One thing though, he might have had 2 more innings given he was at 88 pitches.

    • In terms of taking Bailey out of the game, we have no idea what was going on. Maybe he said he was tired. I doubt it, but it’s possible.

      You’re right to doubt it. He was angry. When he got pulled from the on deck circle, his disdain was obvious and not just perfunctory. There was also a brief shot of him in the dugout immediately after that and he was one angry Texan. I know he hates ever coming out of a game, but this was the strongest I’ve ever seen him react. He was feeling it and the fans were giving him incredible support.

      • You’re right to doubt it. He was angry. When he got pulled from the on deck circle, his disdain was obvious and not just perfunctory. There was also a brief shot of him in the dugout immediately after that and he was one angry Texan. I know he hates ever coming out of a game, but this was the strongest I’ve ever seen him react. He was feeling it and the fans were giving him incredible support.

        I did not see that, hence my comment. Interesting.

  8. I don’t like it but you have to go with Leake on game 4, then have a fully rested Latos for game 5. This is where not using Sam for three and Simon for three in game 1 is bitting the Reds in the butt.

  9. Wow, I didn’t realize the exact situation with the Arias at-bat until I read it described on here. I don’t consider myself a Dusty basher, but that is beyond stupid not to make that move in that situation. You can’t blame the loss on him when the offense gets one hit in the last five innings, but damn.

  10. Right now you have tofeel the pressure is all on the Reds over the next two games facin Zito and Cain again, if this goes five we are in trouble big time.

  11. I don’t think the loss was as damning as we think IF they can win tommorrow. It still leaves Latos on pace to get two starts in the NLCS. At the same time, our other starters who would also get 2 starts in that series (Bailey/Arroyo) are pitching like aces. Essentially, Cueto would be an insurance policy.

    I’d go Latos tomorrow and throw the kitchen sink at them on Thursday if necessary.

  12. I may blame Dusty for his inexplicable decision to pitch to Arias after the passed ball. But I don’t fault him for taking Homer out for a pinch hitter in the 7th. The game was tied, and we needed a run. Much better chance of that happening with Todd Frazier coming to the plate than Homer Bailey.

    The sad part is, if we were ahead 2-1, or 1-0, then Homer stays in the game. Just goes to show how the little things early, like Phillips’ baserunning blunder or Bailey’s walk of Crawford, affect the way the game goes down in the later innings. As bad as the Reds’ offense looked tonight, we still win this game in regulation without either of those mental lapses early.

    • I may blame Dusty for his inexplicable decision to pitch to Arias after the passed ball. But I don’t fault him for taking Homer out for a pinch hitter in the 7th. The game was tied, and we needed a run. Much better chance of that happening with Todd Frazier coming to the plate than Homer Bailey.

      The sad part is, if we were ahead 2-1, or 1-0, then Homer stays in the game. Just goes to show how the little things early, like Phillips’ baserunning blunder or Bailey’s walk of Crawford, affect the way the game goes down in the later innings. As bad as the Reds’ offense looked tonight, we still win this game in regulation without either of those mental lapses early.

      Right. It appears to me that so far a lot of the bullpens are pitching very well, save for the mop up guys. So the games are being decided early, in large part.

      Another reason I don’t want the Reds to try to run up the pitch count just for the sake of getting into the pen. You saw that Bochy ain’t going to pitch mop guys unless a game goes extras, and Affeldt, Lopez, Casilla, and Romo are way better than whoever the starter is unless it’s Cain.

  13. @Steve Mancuso: On the Cueto situation…. What is your take on the rules? Could they “DL” Simon or Arredondo to bring on Leake or would it have to be a “starting pitcher”, i.e. Cueto?

    My off the cuff guess is that they go with Latos tomorrow and pray for rain if the Giants win.

  14. @Steve Mancuso: I wasn’t upset about yanking Bailey. His pitches were beginning to be elevated in the 7th, and the Giants were taking some good hacks at him. My big fear was a mistake pitch home run.

    On Broxton–if the decision to not walk Arias was based in part on a lack of trust in Broxton to throw strikes with the bases loaded, then Broxton shouldn’t pitch in high leverage situations. Of course we’ll never know because the beat writers never asked.

    • On Broxton–if the decision to not walk Arias was based in part on a lack of trust in Broxton to throw strikes with the bases loaded, then Broxton shouldn’t pitch in high leverage situations.

      If the only hitter the Giants had left on their bench was Hector Sanchez, their switch-hitting back-up catcher, the chances of him walking were remote. That guy has a walk rate smaller than even Brandon Phillips. It’s really tiny. Right after the wild pitch I said to my dad that at least they could pitch around Arias if they wanted to. The Romo angle didn’t occur to me. Then again, Dusty Baker is the one who points out he’s been in baseball for 42 years so how could the rest of us know what he knows. On the other hand, Sanchez would have been batting on the left side, where Arias was right handed vs. RH Broxton.

      • If the only hitter the Giants had left on their bench was Hector Sanchez, their switch-hitting back-up catcher, the chances of him walking were remote. That guy has a walk rate smaller than even Brandon Phillips. It’s really tiny. Right after the wild pitch I said to my dad that at least they could pitch around Arias if they wanted to. The Romo angle didn’t occur to me. Then again, Dusty Baker is the one who points out he’s been in baseball for 42 years so how could the rest of us know what he knows. On the other hand, Sanchez would have been batting on the left side, where Arias was right handed vs. RH Broxton.

        @Steve Mancuso: I think you hit the nail on the head there. Dusty liked the Broxton/Arias matchup better than he liked the Broxton/Sanchez matchup. It probably had a lot to do with Sanchez being a switch-hitter and therefore hitting from the left side against the RH Broxton. Sanchez is also a better hitter from the left side of the plate.

  15. I said the Reds should have put Mike leake on the roster and people thought I was crazy. I look good now. They should pitch Leake tommorow, I dont think Cueto will be back for the NLCS.

    • I said the Reds should have put Mike leake on the roster and people thought I was crazy. I look good now. They should pitch Leake tommorow, I dont think Cueto will be back for the NLCS.

      I also thought Leake should’ve been on the postseason roster as well. Would’ve been nice to have him available without having to KO Cueto for the NLCS.

  16. I kinda found myself wondering why Hanigan didn’t go out to talk to Homer during the Crawford at-bat. Just to tell him, “Hey, kid. The pitcher is on-deck, so go after this batter and don’t worry about the runner at first.” It just seemed to me that Homer paying way too much attention to the runner, and it made him lose focus on the batter.

    If Bailey just goes right at Crawford, just like he did every other batter tonight, then the Giants don’t score that inning.

  17. Baker did not manage this like a game they *had* to win. He’s in a difficult situation; normally you throw Chapman one inning and take your chances because you have a huge pitching advantage in game 4. But now they don’t. So he could have pitched Chapman 2 innings and really tried to win today, in particular if Chapman pitches the 10th, then Romo pitches bottom 10, and then Romo’s out. The Giants are down to Kontos and their lesser relievers. Not saying what he should have done, but it was a tough call.

    • Baker did not manage this like a game they *had* to win.He’s in a difficult situation; normally you throw Chapman one inning and take your chances because you have a huge pitching advantage in game 4.But now they don’t.So he could have pitched Chapman 2 innings and really tried to win today, in particular if Chapman pitches the 10th, then Romo pitches bottom 10, and then Romo’s out.The Giants are down to Kontos and their lesser relievers.Not saying what he should have done, but it was a tough call.

      I would’ve also run Chapman out there again in the 10th. He was dominant in his one inning, and I’m sure he could have gone another. But in fairness to Broxton, he had worked out of his own jam by getting two strikeouts and inducing a weak inning-ending grounder to third, but we all know how that went…

  18. @OhioJim: My sense is that MLB won’t allow shenanigans to be played with the DL in the postseason. So my guess is they wouldn’t let the Reds disable a presumably healthy relief pitcher. I’m also not sure it would be worth it since I don’t think Cueto can reasonably be expected to return even for the NLCS with an oblique strain. But your idea is certainly one to consider if it’s allowed and if they think Cueto could come back.

    • @OhioJim: My sense is that MLB won’t allow shenanigans to be played with the DL in the postseason. So my guess is they wouldn’t let the Reds disable a presumably healthy relief pitcher. I’m also not sure it would be worth it since I don’t think Cueto can reasonably be expected to return even for the NLCS with an oblique strain. But your idea is certainly one to consider if it’s allowed and if they think Cueto could come back.

      I also think we are all presuming that Leake is their preferred available option (other than Latos) in game 4 or 5 but I wonder if that is really the case? Maybe they would prefer to go all in tomorrow with Latos; and, the doomsday game 5 fall back would be getting 6 innings out of Arroyo and Bailey and hoping to be in a position to finish with Marshal, Broxton, and Chapman.

      • I also think we are all presuming that Leake is their preferred available option (other than Latos) in game 4 or 5 but I wonder if that is really the case? Maybe they would prefer to go all in tomorrow with Latos; and, the doomsday game 5 fall back would be getting 6 innings out of Arroyo and Bailey and hoping to be in a position to finish with Marshal, Broxton, and Chapman.

        OhioJim: I just assume that if they go with Latos in game 4, then they go with Bronson if game 5 if needed. Bronson has always said he doesn’t mind pitching on 3 days rest, but I don’t know how well he’s fared on 3 days rest.

        • OhioJim: I just assume that if they go with Latos in game 4, then they go with Bronson if game 5 if needed. Bronson has always said he doesn’t mind pitching on 3 days rest, but I don’t know how well he’s fared on 3 days rest.

          Career on 3 days rest 3-1 3.19 1.250 WHIP in 8 starts. Hasn’t made one since 2008.

  19. @Sultan of Swaff: I don’t disagree with you about pulling Homer. The Giants did have their one well-hit ball of him in the seventh (went for an out).

    • @Sultan of Swaff: I don’t disagree with you about pulling Homer. The Giants did have their one well-hit ball of him in the seventh (went for an out).

      Considering the situation (tie ballgame), I think pulling him was the right move. But if we we’re ahead, I think they leave him in to face the bottom of the order in the 8th, with a very short leash if he allows any baserunners.

      • Considering the situation (tie ballgame), I think pulling him was the right move. But if we we’re ahead, I think they leave him in to face the bottom of the order in the 8th, with a very short leash if he allows any baserunners.

        Yeah, I think they might have even left him in if Stubbs had reached base and Homer could have bunted.

  20. Why did Dusty pull Chapman I thought that was odd, Everytime broxton pitches I am nervous,he is so delibrate when he pitches.

  21. @Hank Aarons Teammate: Given the Giants had Posey leading off the 10th inning and the LH batter hitting 3rd, I wondered too if Dusty would go all in and send Chapman out for the 10th.

    I figured Dusty’s thinking was that the risk was too great because if the Reds didn’t score, he had probably taken Chapman out of game 4.

    Tomorrow the ante will be even greater. Via whatever means, suppose the Reds come to the 8th with a run one lead. Does Dusty send Chapman out to get six outs and nail down the series knowing if he allows a run and they eventually lose, Chapman is very likely not available for a full inning in game 5?

  22. I will say this much. Given his experiences with the Giants versus the Angels in the WS and Cubbicles versus the Marlins in the NLCS, Dusty certainly knows the feeling of a bridge too far. He needs to dig deep into his tool box one more time and find the motivational tools to lift his team through to victory, preferably Wednesday.

  23. The giants have only scored 5 runs in 3 games and they only have 6 hits in the last 2 games, we have to be a little confident despite the loss.

    • The giants have only scored 5 runs in 3 games and they only have 6 hits in the last 2 games, we have to be a little confident despite the loss.

      Or we could figure they are due for a big game.

  24. @OhioJim: lets hope not.

  25. I just keep replaying parts of this game over in my mind. Homer was so dominant, why in the world was he nibbling against Brandon Crawford, of all people. It was like he just had a brain fart for a couple minutes, and it cost him a shutout.

  26. Gotta identify a scapegoat.
    -Brandon Phillips, getting thrown out at third.
    -Jonathan Broxton, throwing a passed ball.
    -Ryan Hanigan, being charged with the passed ball.
    -Scott Rolen, fielding error for not getting speedy runner.
    -Drew Stubbs, he’s always to blame, right?
    -Dusty Baker, for asking Broxton to retire Joaquin Arias.

    Boy has this been a miserable season or what? Repeat of the 2010 NLDS alright. Oh wait, the Reds are still up 2-1!

    Somebody in the organization with more medical knowledge than Steve (or most of the rest of us) apparently determined that the Reds had an idea of what Cueto’s problem was and that the results of an MRI wouldn’t alter the treatment. MRIs take pictures of the inside of a body, they don’t cure people like Dermal Regenerators in Star Trek – I think there’s a big misunderstanding on that point.

    • Gotta identify a scapegoat.
      -Brandon Phillips, getting thrown out at third.
      -Jonathan Broxton, throwing a passed ball.
      -Ryan Hanigan, being charged with the passed ball.
      -Scott Rolen, fielding error for not getting speedy runner.
      -Drew Stubbs, he’s always to blame, right?
      -Dusty Baker, for asking Broxton to retire Joaquin Arias.

      Boy has this been a miserable season or what?Repeat of the 2010 NLDS alright.Oh wait, the Reds are still up 2-1!

      Somebody in the organization with more medical knowledge than Steve (or most of the rest of us) apparently determined that the Reds had an idea of what Cueto’s problem was and that the results of an MRI wouldn’t alter the treatment.MRIs take pictures of the inside of a body, they don’t cure people like Dermal Regenerators in Star Trek – I think there’s a big misunderstanding on that point.

      Repeat after me: the Reds’ organization is infallible. They cannot possibly make a mistake.

      And, there’s been quite little scapegoating here. Lots of discussion about baseball strategy though. You are one small step above what internet trolls do.

  27. The one thing about today GABP played a lot bigger, there were a few outs that would have been home runs in August.

  28. @docmike: Missed your comment about Homer’s nibbling against Crawford. Like I just said, it seemed to have to do with Blanco being on first.

  29. As an aside, Chris Berman is the worst play-by-play radio announcer I’ve ever heard. I mean in terms of describing the game. I’m driving home, and I barely have any idea what’s happening. A ball that Bruce “fouled off” ended up being caught in fair territory. He’s awful at the mechanics of play by play.

    Not to mention Giants fans shouldn’t be broadcasting neutral ESPN radio games, but that’s much less important than at least telling me where the ball’s hit.

  30. I don’t have a problem with Broxton pitching to Arias. If he walks him, it loads the bases and the pinch hitter is brought in. A bases loaded walk loses the game. Pitchers don’t like pitching in that situation. And Broxton doesn’t have Marshall’s control.

  31. Berman shouldn’t be broadcasting baseball at all. He just plays his name games, thinks that broadcasting is about him, not the game.

  32. “In the long run, tonight’s loss may end up stinging more than we know right now.” For me it already stings a great deal. And it might sting a whole lot more in 2 days.

    Even with the Reds not hitting after the first inning, it could easily have been a 2-0 win, without the mistakes.

  33. What a tough decision about who starts tomorrow. Leake hasn’t even pitched for a while. He’d have to be given a really short leash, if it’s one of his bad outings.

    To my mind it depends on how Latos feels. It’s reported that he was sick just yesterday. I would say give Latos his full 4 days, but Zito in game 4 is a great opportunity to clinch (pitching pretty well lately, but he does have problems with righties). That’s in contrast with Cain pitching in game 5.

    My only significant disappointment with the postseason roster was the choice of Simon over Leake. Puts the Reds in a bind now.

    • My only significant disappointment with the postseason roster was the choice of Simon over Leake. Puts the Reds in a bind now.

      Ding ding ding, we have a winner. This is where the root of the problem lies. It was a bad decision at the time and even worse now. Simon hasn’t even pitched, yet his (or Ondrusek’s) being on the roster might keep Cueto off the NLCS roster. Unbelievable!

      • Ding ding ding, we have a winner. This is where the root of the problem lies. It was a bad decision at the time and even worse now. Simon hasn’t even pitched, yet his (or Ondrusek’s) being on the roster might keep Cueto off the NLCS roster. Unbelievable!

        I disagree. Cueto’s injury might keep Cueto off the NLCS roster. That was a freak injury and impossible to predict. I’m among the first to criticize Dusty when he deserves it, but I can’t fault him for that call.

        • I disagree. Cueto’s injury might keep Cueto off the NLCS roster. That was a freak injury and impossible to predict. I’m among the first to criticize Dusty when he deserves it, but I can’t fault him for that call.

          I feel the criticism is warranted. While I agree that you can’t predict a freak injury, you can indeed better prepare yourself for other more likely scenerios. In a series when you absolutely have to have four starters, a fifth starter is way more valuable than the seventh releiver. You can’t plan for the injury, but it is entirely possible that one of the 4 starters has a bad game and you’re forced to go to the bullpen early. Mike Leake would have been a much better insurance piece over Simon or Ondrusek. Why do you think Lincecum is on the Giants roster?

          • In a series when you absolutely have to have four starters, a fifth starter is way more valuable than the seventh releiver.

            Fair point.

  34. Why is Frazier sitting the bench? So Rolen can go 2-11 with a couple of errors? Frazier was a big part of the Reds success when Joey went down & now he has to ride the bench. He should’ve started 1 or even 2 games of this series. Also it couldn’t hurt to start Heisey a game. Stubbs and his 2-12 aren’t exactly setting the world on fire.

    On another troubling note, the Reds medical staff or someone in the organization is really dropping the ball. Like Steve said, it couldn’t hurt to have the costless procedure of an MRI done. You would think they would take the proper procedures to diagnose & treat injuries instead of taking a players word for it. They paid Votto over $200 Million then let him play a week on an injured knee. Now they’ve mishandled Cueto, their other best player. What does that tell you? Tells me this gang definitely can’t shoot straight

  35. I hope Frazier plays 3rd tomorrow. Dusty said he’s waiting for a day game after a nite game. That’s an odd comment in the post season. Does Wednesday’s game count as a day game after a nite game ?

  36. In addition to Homer, Marshall and Chapman were at their nasty best. Remember all the arguments about Marshall ? Seems like ancient history. And I loved it when Chapman just smiled when he threw a pitch right over the plate and above the knees and the ump called it a ball. Contrast that with his game 1 outing, where he got bothered by a couple of calls that weren’t nearly as bad.

    • @pinson343:

      I loved it when Chapman just smiled when he threw a pitch right over the plate and above the knees and the ump called it a ball. Contrast that with his game 1 outing, where he got bothered by a couple of calls that weren’t nearly as bad.

      I got the disctinct impression that Chapman was directing that smirk at the batter and not the umpire. A little, “Oh, you are really in trouble now and I’m just the man to give it to you!”

      The home plate umpire seemed to have a lot of trouble with the pitches at the bottom of the strike zone, especially on the 3B corner. The SO call to Rolen was simply awful, but I counted at least 4 pitches low and outside, but clearly within the actual strike zone, that were called balls. He was just very inconsistent, but I don’t think his inconsistency was a deciding factor in the game.

  37. So, to recap what I’ve heard so far about Game 4:

    –The AP’ game story said the Reds were trying to decide whether Cueto would be a possibility, otherwise it was Leake or Latos

    –The San Jose Mercury News said Dusty has ruled out Cueto but hadn’t decided between Leake or Latos

    –And I heard or read where Homer said it would be Leake pitching tomorrow.

    Anyone with a straight answer, please let me know!

  38. @vegastypo: Hey Vegas. This is not a straight answer, but it’s a theory. The Reds have only ruled out Cueto for game 4. They’re still hoping he can pitch game 5.

    They have to decide before game 4 later today if Cueto can pitch game 5. if he can, then Latos will pitch game 4. If he can’t, then Leake starts game 4 and Latos game 5.

    They’ll be ready to go to the bullpen early for both games. Bronson will be available to pitch relief in game 5.

  39. I was at the game last night and the crowd was pumped. Bailey was just great. Phillips baserunning issue in the 1st inning really killed their chances for a big inning. I didn’t know at the time how crucial that lost run(ner) would be, but just hoped that it wouldn’t end up mattering in the end. After Cozart scored in the 1st, the Reds didn’t get a runner to 3rd base the rest of the game.

    I didn’t question Baker’s pulling of Bailey in the 7th. I figured after he allowed the single in the 6th, ending the no-hitter, that he could come out at any time. Had the Reds gotten to his batting spot in the bottom of the 6th, they probably would have been up 2-1 or 3-1 to get to him and probably would have pulled him for a PHer at that point, depending on how many outs & where the runners were on base.

    The questionable move I had, and maybe they answered this on TV or radio, but why not go with Chapman for 2 innings there? His spot did not bat in the 9th & was due up first in the 10th. Unless he couldn’t go another inning, I’d have given Chapman the 10th inning.

    • The questionable move I had, and maybe they answered this on TV or radio, but why not go with Chapman for 2 innings there? His spot did not bat in the 9th & was due up first in the 10th. Unless he couldn’t go another inning, I’d have given Chapman the 10th inning.

      Me too… I couldn’t believe it took me reading this far down in the thread to see that. It might have cost them use of Chapman tomorrow (or, now, today), but it would have been playing for the win that night.

  40. I agree with Steve about the effects of this game…psychologically on the Reds w/ the uncertainty of the Reds pitching situation and losing a game in which Homer was so dominant. It sure would have been comforting to finish it last night and have a few days to sort this mess out.

    I don’t have a problem with Baker pulling Homer. Have to try to get that 2nd run…I think he might have stayed in to bunt, if Stubbs had gotten on base.

    I would have probably used Chapman for a second inning, but I think this is debatable.

    I don’t think the stupidity of not walking Arias cant be understated. Steve expressed it better than I can, but it again shows Dusty’s weaknesss…he may be great in the clubhouse, but he’s horrible once the game starts.

    I’m concerned also…not overly, but if they don’t win today, I’ll be VERY WORRIED if this game goes to game 5.

  41. You see, this is what bothers me. “Cueto hasn’t had an MRI yet. ‘We’re debating that,’ Lessard said.” Why? Why! WHY! Always, always always get one if there is even a question of whether the player needs one.

    Sorry if this has been said a hundred times before. I haven’t read the thread yet.

  42. Correct me if my math is wrong, but I believe the Reds have had 2 home playoff games in the last 17 years and have scored a combined total of 1 run. 1 run. In the world’s most hitter-friendly ballpark. Un. Be. Lievable.

    I don’t understand why people are blaming Phillips, Rolen, Broxton, Hannigan, or any other single player for that loss. It sounds like a broken record from the last 30 days, but the bottom line is if the Reds could have managed to score more than 1 run in 9 innings they win. Period.

    Yes, if Phillips hadn’t tried to make third the Reds probably score 2 in the first. But they had 8 other innings in which to score a single run. Do that and the game is over. The 10th never happens and there is no passed ball and no E5.

  43. I would also like to pile on Rolen. Aside from the lack of hitting, errors, and keeping SuperTodd on the bench, he also made another key mistake in the 10th (IMHO). Pence’s hit snuck through the 5-6 hole. I felt like Rolen could have gotten to it with a dive. Pence was limping up the line, so just stopping the ball would have been enough time to get up, dust yourself off, inspect the baseball and still throw to first to get the out. Granted, I don’t know if he could have gotten the ball for sure, but I would have liked to see him try, maybe get a little dirty on the effort, especially when you know you’ve got a one legged man running.

  44. http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2012/10/09/dusty-bakers-postgame-comments/

    Q. Did you ever consider bringing Aroldis for a second inning?
    DUSTY BAKER: No, because potentially we have three more chances to play. Big Broxton was almost out of that inning. It’s easy to look back now and say, did you think about putting him out there? But he wouldn’t have been any good to us tomorrow, either. That’s how we have used him all year since he’s gotten to the closing role. We haven’t used him more than one inning.

    So, Chapman was held back from pitching a second inning because (1) he’s the closer and (2) there night have been a game 4.

    I don’t agree with that. I could be convinced otherwise, but upon reading that reasoning…I don’t get it. It may not have impacted the end of game results. But w/Cueto’s situation, you treat this more a little more like a game 5 than you ordinarily would. Manage to win today. Worry about tomorrow (still plenty of solid bullpen options, including Marshall to close) if they would have even had to play.

  45. I’ll be in the minority but no way I take Rolen out now. He knows his error cost the game. You don’t remove an 8-time Gold Glover at this stage. I wheel him right back out there today. I’m rather tired of Drew Stubbs but I also slot him in CF today as well. Dance with the girl that brought ya in Games 1 & 2. You all should be more concerned with who is pitching for us today?

  46. About starter for game 4, just read this on the Enquirer:

    Q. There was some talk that Latos was not feeling well. Is that true? If so how much does that figure into your decision?
    DUSTY BAKER: Well, where is the talk coming from?

    Q. There was talk that he might have flu like symptoms.
    DUSTY BAKER: I can’t answer that.

    It’s going to be Leake.

  47. I just can’t picture the Reds winning a seven game series without Cueto right now.

    I know this is crazy talk, but I would almost want Cingrani to start today’s game over Mike Leake. Throw a starting pitcher that nobody has a major league scouting report on, have Latos warming up if he gets in trouble. Call it crazy, but who remembers what Matt Moore did to the Rangers last year? They probably called that move crazy too.

    Maybe the idea of losing Cueto is messing with my head here…

    • I just can’t picture the Reds winning a seven game series without Cueto right now.

      I know this is crazy talk, but I would almost want Cingrani to start today’s game over Mike Leake. Throw a starting pitcher that nobody has a major league scouting report on, have Latos warming up if he gets in trouble. Call it crazy, but who remembers what Matt Moore did to the Rangers last year? They probably called that move crazy too.

      Maybe the idea of losing Cueto is messing with my head here…

      Comparing Cingrani to Matt Moore is not a little stretch, it’s a mile long stretch.

      Taking an action because a team is “due” to start hitting is a mistake. Were the Reds “due” to start hitting in the 2010 NLDS?

      Just take the best option and go with it. I have no idea what that is, but presumably the Reds have information like: how injured is Cueto, how does Latos feel right now, etc. Personally, I’d like to keep Latos on 4 days rest this time. I didn’t love how he looked at SF. Results were good, but he wasn’t throwing quite as well as he had been.

  48. I am in minority here it seems. We have a better team. We are going to be playing at home in front of 45,000 wild fans cheering for our team. The team has proved, to me at least, that hey have that “clutch” gene and will come through. The Giants are a good team and sweeping them would have been great but unlikely, especially with all of their post season experience.

    Barry Zito is as hitable as Mike Leake can be, and Mike Leake is a bulldog. I’m kinda excited to see what he will do in this situation.

    Reds win tonight. Book it.

    • I am in minority here it seems. We have a better team. We are going to be playing at home in front of 45,000 wild fans cheering for our team. The team has proved, to me at least, that hey have that “clutch” gene and will come through. The Giants are a good team and sweeping them would have been great but unlikely, especially with all of their post season experience.

      Barry Zito is as hitable as Mike Leake can be, and Mike Leake is a bulldog. I’m kinda excited to see what he will do in this situation.

      Reds win tonight. Book it.

      Zito will do ok if the Reds swing at bad balls. Hopefully they’ll make him put the ball over the plate.

      I saw that Buster Posey is catching Zito instead of Sanchez, his personal catcher. What a laugh, it shows that when push comes to shove, managers don’t really believe in the personal catcher. If I were Bochy and some pitcher told me that he wanted a personal catcher and Posey was on the roster, I’d just laugh at him.

  49. @Hank Aarons Teammate: I guess we just have to “Trusty in Dusty” then.

  50. @RedZeppelin: I was in favor of Leake over Simon for a myriad of reasons. But if he were on the roster in game 1, does Latos still pitch game 1 or does the ball go to Leake? It’s easy to say that “I wish Leake were on the roster now w/o having been used yet in the series and w/o having to DL Cueto” but we’re not sure how game 1 would have unfolded from there.

  51. Waiting for this announcement on what the Reds plan to do is painful…

    • I disagree.Cueto’s injury might keep Cueto off the NLCS roster.That was a freak injury and impossible to predict.I’m among the first to criticize Dusty when he deserves it, but I can’t fault him for that call.

      Everyone knew Johnny Cueto would get hurt in game one, the writing was on the wall all year. 200+ innings pitched so we knew it, freak injuries are easily predictable in hindsight. Alfredo Simon is on the roster as a long reliever but they haven’t used him – they only trusted Jose Arredondo with a 9 run lead, does suggest to me that Arredondo was more deserving of a roster spot. I thought Arredondo was a waste of a roster spot, and I still feel that way.

      I’ll be in the minority but no way I take Rolen out now.He knows his error cost the game.You don’t remove an 8-time Gold Glover at this stage.I wheel him right back out there today.I’m rather tired of Drew Stubbs but I also slot him in CF today as well.Dance with the girl that brought ya in Games 1 & 2.You all should be more concerned with who is pitching for us today?

      Disgruntled fans need somebody to blame and Rolen is an easy target.

      I’m with you.The Reds can absolutely NOT go with Mike Leake.I like Mike Leake but the Giants are due to start hitting and we all know that Leake can be a batting practice dummy at times.

      I would go with Latos on short rest.He only pitched 4 innings and 70 pitches in game one so I think he would be fine.If it goes to a game 5 tomorrow (it won’t if Latos goes), then you can bring back Arroyo on short rest as well.We all know that Arroyo has no problem going on 3 days rest.

      Alright, Mike Leake is awful and a batting practice dummy. Homer Bailey, Bronson Arroyo, and Mat Latos, they’ve all been perfect every start all year. Oh wait, people usually want Bailey and Arroyo cut from the rotation and Latos gave up 7 or 8 runs in a game a few times. Arroyo and Bailey already exceeded everybody’s expectations in games 2 and 3, I think Leake can also exceed everybody’s low expectations in game 4. I just hope they don’t have to turn to him because it means giving up on Cueto for the NLCS.

      I just can’t picture the Reds winning a seven game series without Cueto right now.

      I know this is crazy talk, but I would almost want Cingrani to start today’s game over Mike Leake. Throw a starting pitcher that nobody has a major league scouting report on, have Latos warming up if he gets in trouble. Call it crazy, but who remembers what Matt Moore did to the Rangers last year? They probably called that move crazy too.

      Maybe the idea of losing Cueto is messing with my head here…

      Again, most people couldn’t picture the Reds finishing over .500 with Joey Votto out long term, but they did.

      Neither the Giants nor Nationals (who will hopefully reach the NLCS) are very reliant on left handed hitters or susceptible to lefties. Tony Cingrani pitched well in a short time in AA but taking weeks off and starting a MLB playoff game with little to no warning seems crazy, even more so if it means bypassing Mike Leake, who helped the Reds to get here.

      If Mike Leake gets the start (and I doubt he will, but who cares) you can be optimistic about the offense – maybe he can pull off a big hit. Maybe Zito will hang a pitch to the opposing pitcher not knowing that Leake hits better than many bench players. I expect a game starting by Leake to be higher scoring than a game started by Latos… for both teams.

      Waiting for this announcement on what the Reds plan to do is painful…

      Waiting is fine with me. The Reds making a major move (like shutting down Cueto for the NLCS) shouldn’t be done hastily. Waiting gives the Giants less time to prepare.

      For all we know we could be facing a bullpen day with Sam LeCure (3 homeruns and 3.14 ERA in 57.1 innings this season), Alfredo Simon (2 homeruns and 2.66 ERA in 61 innings this season), and JJ Hoover. The worst case scenario would be a loss with Latos starting game 5 on full rest.

  52. I was trying to find Rolen’s history against Zito. Anyone know where to find it? I know hw hit one of his HR’s against him earlier this year. I think that alone gets him in the line up today and also the standard “chance to redeem himself”.

    I like an angry, focused Scott Rolen today against Zito. I also think Stubbs gets a big hit.

  53. If you play out the scenarios for Cueto, it’s awfully problematic.
    #1–he makes a game 5 start in the NLCS. That would be optimal, but highly unlikely at this point.
    #2–you disable him and he goes nearly 3 weeks in between starts and then is thrown into the fire of a World Series game. Extremely risky, so I would figure the most he’d pitch would be one game.

    I dunno, it looks to me like we’ll have to do it without him.

  54. Espn’s Bob Holtzman just reported that Mike Leake will start today’s game, and Cueto will be out for the NLCS if we get there

  55. Wow. I realize this blog is home for Reds fans who are passionate and knowledgeable about this team, who live and die by the “smiling side of the scorebook” and who find added pleasure outside the foul lines by analyzing roster moves, lineup changes, pitching options and the like. But first and foremost we’re all Reds fans first. So here’s the scenario:

    It’s October 10th and the Reds are still playing. This afternoon we all get to watch a playoff game in Cincinnati (I love that the scoreboard is teaching fans what to do with a rally towel!), the Reds are AHEAD in this series with one or two games left at home. Win one of those and move on to the LCS. The Reds pitching has DOMINATED the Giants bats. Without their ace. Read that again – when was the last time two starters went 14 innings in the postseason and allowed a total of two hits? Win today OR tomorrow and move on. If we’d all been in a coma and just woke up this morning this would be fantastic news. So I would like to propose that we all take a deep breath, get excited for playoff baseball this afternoon and enjoy this day. Because I’m as into all this as the rest of you, I’ll predict that it’s Leake today (anyone remember how good his last start was?), Latos tomorrow on full rest if needed, and we’ll see Arroyo, Bailey, and Latos twice each if needed plus Leake once in the LCS, and we’ll probably be playing in the World Series in a week and a half. This is great stuff and I’m loving it. I hope everyone here can enjoy this as much as I am. It’s good to be a Reds fan!

    • Wow.I realize this blog is home for Reds fans who are passionate and knowledgeable about this team, who live and die by the “smiling side of the scorebook” and who find added pleasure outside the foul lines by analyzing roster moves, lineup changes, pitching options and the like.But first and foremost we’re all Reds fans first.So here’s the scenario:

      It’s October 10th and the Reds are still playing.This afternoon we all get to watch a playoff game in Cincinnati (I love that the scoreboard is teaching fans what to do with a rally towel!), the Reds are AHEAD in this series with one or two games left at home.Win one of those and move on to the LCS.The Reds pitching has DOMINATED the Giants bats.Without their ace.Read that again – when was the last time two starters went 14 innings in the postseason and allowed a total of two hits?Win today OR tomorrow and move on.If we’d all been in a coma and just woke up this morning this would be fantastic news.So I would like to propose that we all take a deep breath, get excited for playoff baseball this afternoon and enjoy this day.Because I’m as into all this as the rest of you, I’ll predict that it’s Leake today (anyone remember how good his last start was?), Latos tomorrow on full rest if needed, and we’ll see Arroyo, Bailey, and Latos twice each if needed plus Leake once in the LCS, and we’ll probably be playing in the World Series in a week and a half.This is great stuff and I’m loving it.I hope everyone here can enjoy this as much as I am.It’s good to be a Reds fan!

      I’m with you. I can’t wait to see them go out there and play another great game, just like they have all year.

      Go reds!

  56. I am at work getting nothing done waiting too see if Dusty is gonna give the ball to Latos or Leake. Rfay you are right it is painful and scares me… If the Reds want to go the Leake route, I would rather the Reds run LeCure out there for a couple of innings and piece together the game. Leake SCARES the crap outta me…

    I think Rolen starts today and has a huge game. Just have a feeling he will want some redemption… As far as Stubbs or Heisey. You have to start Stubbs, you lose so much on defense starting Heisey.

  57. It’s going to be Leake as it should be, I’m just not sure why they wouldn’t remove Cairo from the roster to make it happen.

    I was at the game last night, first time watching Broxton pitch in person, and man, it’s freakin brutal. Never realized how slow he works. Reds made dumb mistakes last night and San Fran didn’t – BPs bonehead play, Bailey hitting the light-hitting Crawford, the passed ball, and of course Rolen kicking the grounder. Easy to skewer Baker for not going with the IBB, but it’s hard for me to lay this one on him when if you take away any of those 4 mistakes the Reds win that game.

  58. @RiverCity Redleg: Absolutely… a least the effort, it was like he was stuck. I know in real time I was really upset he didn’t go after it. On the reply, I thought it looked maybe a little further away… but if there’s a time to try, that was it. This wasn’t a Sunday afternoon against the Cubs.

  59. @beavertucky: They can’t. A pitcher has to be replaced by a pitcher as I’ve come to understand it.

    • @beavertucky: They can’t. A pitcher has to be replaced by a pitcher as I’ve come to understand it.

      What if Babe Ruth were playing? Rick Ankiel? Can Mike Leake count as a position player because he has multiple home runs?

  60. @beavertucky: It has to be a player of the same position. That’s why you are hearing talks of removing Simon or Arrendondo, not Cairo.

  61. @Matt WI: Beat me to it.

  62. Given that the Reds will be facing a very hittable Zito and the Giants best relievers pitched 2 innings each last night, it’s still advantage Reds even if Leake starts.

    Leake would have the shortest leash imaginable, with LeCure/Simon/Hoover becoming the bridge to our Nasty Boys. That’s an entirely plausible strategy that has a decent liklihood of working.

    Plus, when you factor in that Stubbs/Votto/Bruce/Ludwick hit lefties well and Frazier might start, suddenly a lineup that was full of holes last night looks pretty appealing.

    • Zito is definitely hittable but the splits do not look great. The only players I noticed with good numbers were Phillips, Frazier and Rolen. Votto and Bruce have both struggled against him. I would not doubt that this played a role in the Giants decision to start him over Lincecum.

      Let’s hope this is somewhat a product of small sample size.

      Given that the Reds will be facing a very hittable Zito and the Giants best relievers pitched 2 innings each last night, it’s still advantage Reds even if Leake starts.

      Leake would have the shortest leash imaginable, with LeCure/Simon/Hoover becoming the bridge to our Nasty Boys.That’s an entirely plausible strategy that has a decent liklihood of working.

      Plus, when you factor in that Stubbs/Votto/Bruce/Ludwick hit lefties well and Frazier might start, suddenly a lineup that was full of holes last night looks pretty appealing.

      • Scratch that, Bruce is in good shape. Votto has a .452 OPS against Zito in 18 at bats. Time for that to turn around.

        Zito is definitely hittable but the splits do not look great.The only players I noticed with good numbers were Phillips, Frazier and Rolen.Votto and Bruce have both struggled against him.I would not doubt that this played a role in the Giants decision to start him over Lincecum.

        Let’s hope this is somewhat a product of small sample size.

  63. I’m inclined to hope that Leake will just take his cue from the rest of the pitching going on around him and he’ll get them through in good shape. I’d only ask 5 innings out of him, score dependent.

  64. Saw a tweet from the Giants beat writer that Cueto was removed from the roster and Leake is in. Crap.

    • Saw a tweet from the Giants beat writer that Cueto was removed from the roster and Leake is in. Crap.

      Leake and Latos have both been tabbed as the starter but I won’t believe it until the Reds make an official announcement. Sam LeCure is a candidate to start, and an option who they wouldn’t want to announce until the last minute. Ask him to pitch 3 innings before bringing in Alfredo Simon and JJ Hoover – worst case scenario Latos would start game 5 on full rest.

      If Leake is activated hopefully we’ll get more run production out of the #9 spot in the order.

      • Leake and Latos have both been tabbed as the starter but I won’t believe it until the Reds make an official announcement.Sam LeCure is a candidate to start, and an option who they wouldn’t want to announce until the last minute.Ask him to pitch 3 innings before bringing in Alfredo Simon and JJ Hoover – worst case scenario Latos would start game 5 on full rest.

        If Leake is activated hopefully we’ll get more run production out of the #9 spot in the order.

        The idea that the Reds replace Cueto with Leake and Sam Lecure starts is impossible.

        Not saying that Lecure isn’t a viable candidate, just that if they were going to do that, they would not have made a move. It’s Leake. Let’s be real here.

  65. (sigh) Can’t Cairo just suddenly “get hurt” so we can replace him instead? Leake is probably a better hitter than him as it is… I have no idea on Johnny’s health, but if we advance and he’s healthy enough to pitch in the NLCS, it would be devastating to not be able to use him. That being said, I think you need to look at the present, and presently I’d feel more comfortable about our chances with a fully rested Latos in game 5 and Leake tonight. Although, Latos HAS only thrown 9 total innings in his last 2 appearances, so it’s highly possible that he’s rested enough to pitch well tonight. In other news, give Rolen the night off and start Todd. Please. I’m begging you Dusty.

  66. Although I do like Chad’s suggestion of Arredondo having some sort of freak accident. Maybe a suitcase thing like Jonathon Lucroy. Or set him up with some community service P.R. and he can tweak his back lifting a box for Goodwill. No shenanigans here at all, MLB, look the other way.

    • Although I do like Chad’s suggestion of Arredondo having some sort of freak accident. Maybe a suitcase thing like Jonathon Lucroy. Or set him up with some community service P.R. and he can tweak his back lifting a box for Goodwill. No shenanigans here at all, MLB, look the other way.

      Paging Uncle Sal….do the Reds have someone from Jersey on call for this sort of thing?

      “Hey, what happened to Arredondo? He was just here yesterday!”

  67. Unfortunately I think we have to pitch Leake tonight. I know that means no Cueto for NLCS (I know he wouldnt be able to start the first couple games of NLCS anyway but who knows, maybe he would be ready by Game 6 or 7 of that series if needed).

    But the fact of the matter is the NLCS is not a guaranteed thing for the Reds, Dusty has to focus on winning one game in the next 2 days. Our whole season is down to 2 days and we can’t make decisions assuming a victory tonight or tomorrow and I don’t know about you guys but I wouldn’t be very comfortable throwing all our eggs in one basket and starting Latos on short rest tonight then left with a “Well now what” scenario in Game 5

  68. I would have extended Marshall and/or Chapman past 1 inning. With the uncertainty of the starting staff, I would have been managing last night’s game like it was a game 5(7), not like “we have 2 more chances”. I was confused when Marshall didn’t come out for the 9th, and down right furious Chapman wasn’t left in to face Posey – THE ONLY HITTER IN THAT LINEUP WHO CAN BEAT YOU. Posey is likely the MVP, Chapman has been historically great all year, that’s who I want facing Posey.

  69. @redsfanman: I love your optimism.

    • @redsfanman: I love your optimism.

      Thanks! Going into this series I thought leading the series 2-1 at home would be something to be optimistic about; apparently it’s quite the opposite, and major changes must be made to get the team straightened out. Flip flopping Reds fans aren’t setting a good example for certain politicians.

      • Thanks!Going into this series I thought leading the series 2-1 at home would be something to be optimistic about; apparently it’s quite the opposite, and major changes must be made to get the team straightened out.Flip flopping Reds fans aren’t setting a good example for certain politicians.

        It would have been until Cueto only threw 8 pitches and is done for the series.

  70. We can talk about who is going to pitch and all the options and possibilities all day. It should be encouraged in fact. This is what matters though.

    THE REDS HAVE NOT GOTTEN SWEPT AT GREAT AMERICAN BALLPARK IN 2012. Not once. I have a hard time thinking that it would happen now. There is stuff to worry about, but the big picture strongly suggests these guys can get the job done.

    I’d say go with Leake. Barry Zito is 1-1 with a high 4’s ERA, 19 Hits and 10 ER in 22 Innings Pitched at GABP. Not a huge strikeout guy. Translation – if the Reds go up there and swing the bats just like in Games 1 and 2 there should not be much to worry about. If Leake can keep the ball down and induce ground balls he usually has a decent outing. I don’t want to risk anything on Latos with Cueto out for what might be the rest of the playoffs.

  71. Why not just start LeCure, let him go 2. Bring in Simon/Arredondo for 2 each. It’s not like any of them are tired. And if Leake got bombed they would do that anyway, right?

    I’m not sure if I’m joking or being serious here.

    But if you are going to start Leake, bat him 8th.

    Ditto on the joking/serious comment. 😎

  72. I don’t think there is any way MLB would “believe” that another player got “hurt” so that the Reds could bring Leake in without having to remove Cueto. I think those in charge of MLB would not approve such a move by the Reds.

    I also believe that tonight’s game is it for the Reds. Even with a rested Latos, if this goes to a game 5 the Reds are done. Latos will try to overpitch and the hitters will be swinging from their heals and you don’t beat Cain twice in a 5 game series.

    The Reds did not go into last nights game like it was a game 5 which was a mistake. Poor managerial choices, sloppy baserunning and defense adn we are now in a whole even though we are up 2-1. Mo has left the Reds and is riding with the Giants. Now we have to hope after a long break Leake can keep us in the game because I just don’t see us scoring more then 2-3 runs today off of Zito.

  73. @slappy80528: I love this idea… Unless there is ZERO shot at Cueto pitching in LCS, you don’t remove him. LeCure/Hoover/Simon can get the job done for 5-6 innings… I have more faith in that than Leake for any amount of time at this point…

  74. @Hank Aarons Teammate: I don’t know, maybe they defer to fantasy baseball rules of logging a certain amount of games at a position before qualifying at that position 😀

  75. Asking LeCure to pitch 3 innings, Simon to pitch 2 or 3, Hoover to pitch 1 or 2 to get the Reds to the big 3 (Marshall, Broxton, Chapman) doesn’t seem unreasonable to me, especially if LeCure is announced at the last minute. LeCure and Simon have both pitched much better than they’ve gotten credit for this year – combined LeCure and Simon have given up 5 homeruns in ~120 innings (Leake has given up 26 in 179 innings).

    If Cueto is showing any signs of improvement and chance of being ready to pitch in the NLCS I think the bullpen option is worth a shot. I’m also not convinced that Mike Leake is a better option for one game than the long relievers, even if he is activated. Either way, whatever they decide will be fine with me. Pros and cons either way.

  76. Has the move been made official? Havent seen it anywhere, other than the “report” on ESPN. Holding out hope until the Reds make the official announcement (which they very well may have and I havent caught it).

  77. The only screwy thing about keeping Leake off the roster in the first place was the need to keep Simon — a “long” man — on the roster. So when they needed a “long” man in Game 1, they naturally turned to … Mat Latos!

    I wasn’t so opposed to keeping Leake off the roster initially, with the assumption that the bullpen could handle one game of heavy use in case of a starter’s injury or ineffectiveness, and the rotation wouldn’t get hammered. But if they don’t want to use Simon as a long man, what’s his role? How many arms does Dusty need to mix-and-match from the 7th inning on?

    Go Leake! That appears to be where it’s headed, just better score lots of runs tonight. Not sure I want to tempt fate by tangling with Matt Cain again!

  78. I think tonight will be a Leake versus Zito/Lincecum show. If Zito looks bad, they will get Lincecum ready.

    • I think tonight will be a Leake versus Zito/Lincecum show. If Zito looks bad, they will get Lincecum ready.

      It may very well be a Leake/LeCure/Hoover versus Zito show.

  79. Fay just tweeted based on his meeting with Dusty Baker that Mike Leake will start today and Cueto has been put on the DL.

    Baker also said that Todd Frazier will start today at 3B and Navarro will catch.

  80. @Steve Mancuso: Super Todd time! Excellent.

  81. If I were the Reds, and I wanted to add Leake…I’d think outside the box here and remove Jose Arredondo from the roster. Who cares if he isn’t available for the NLCS? Can Arredondo fake an injury on such short notice?

    Especially since you still have Leake. Say Cueto is able to pitch by game 4 of the NLCS — have Leake warm up as if he’s a starter and put him in when/if he’s needed. Should be at least as good as Arredondo, right?

    Homer Bailey is showing signs of being a total stud. Cueto already is. Latos has been doing it more consistently. With the three of them healthy I don’t know who could possibly have a better post-season rotation for the next couple years.

    I missed the irony in it, but: the Reds go the entire season without sending an SP down, and only one other guy makes a start because of a double header. Then the ace goes down 8 PITCHES in to the post season. Ugh.

    • Especially since you still have Leake. Say Cueto is able to pitch by game 4 of the NLCS — have Leake warm up as if he’s a starter and put him in when/if he’s needed. Should be at least as good as Arredondo, right?

      Homer Bailey is showing signs of being a total stud. Cueto already is. Latos has been doing it more consistently. With the three of them healthy I don’t know who could possibly have a better post-season rotation for the next couple years.

      I missed the irony in it, but: the Reds go the entire season without sending an SP down, and only one other guy makes a start because of a double header. Then the ace goes down 8 PITCHES in to the post season. Ugh.

      A doctor has to approve the move. So the idea of picking Arredondo to replace doesn’t work.

  82. @ColgateCrew: Thank you for a little optimism and excitement. I’m confident in Mike Leake. I like Navarro and Frazier in the lineup. I’m good with Stubbs vs. Zito. And maybe he’s struggled against Zito but this is Joey Votto we’re talking about. And finally, there will be 44,000 screaming, towel waving, happy Reds fans to root this team on. This team that won 97 games and 50 at home. I’m excited to see the champagne celebration after the game. 5-2 Reds. On to the LCS. Can’t wait!

  83. It’s not that I’m not confident in Leake – I still think we have this series locked up. But we are suddenly a MUCH weaker team in the NLCS. Any advantage we had over the Nats because of Strasburg being down is now out the window. Their top 3 is now HEAD AND SHOULDERS above ours, ,and if it takes 4 then it’s not even in the same stratosphere. Mat, Homer, and Bronson are going to have to keep throwing career games.

    • It’s not that I’m not confident in Leake – I still think we have this series locked up. But we are suddenly a MUCH weaker team in the NLCS. Any advantage we had over the Nats because of Strasburg being down is now out the window. Their top 3 is now HEAD AND SHOULDERS above ours, ,and if it takes 4 then it’s not even in the same stratosphere. Mat, Homer, and Bronson are going to have to keep throwing career games.

      Why do you think we have this series locked?

      • Why do you think we have this series locked?

        Because I’m being overly confident.

        No but seriously, we haven’t lost 3 straight home games all season, I just don’t see us doing it now. If Leake gets the job done today, then we wouldn’t have had to use Cueto again this series anyway. The fact that we were able to pull out the win in game 1 without him against Cain was the biggie. So of course we don’t have it “locked” but I’m pretty confident we’re going to win this series.

  84. Obviously that was assuming a Nats series. A Cards series is going to be a crap shoot either way. Regardless, losing Cueto for the entire NL playoffs is devastating.

  85. I like taking a chance with Leake today. Just be ready to bring in the relievers if he gets in trouble. That leaves Latos to start a key game 5 if necessary. If not, he leads off the LCS, meaning he can potentially pitch 3 times if necessary. He and Bailey are the hottest pitchers going. I would hate to think Arroyo pitches game 1 of the LCS. He was good. But he’s been spotty all year. He could get lit up at any time.

    Thank God, Dusty finally came to his senses and started Super Todd. You’d think that Dusty has been trying to power down a potential ROY of the year for the last few weeks. Save him for next year or something. Just too hung up on veterany-ness. I just realized Dusty’s ultimate nightmare — managing the Oakland As. Not to make light of Dusty’s health, but I think managing that rookie-laden roster would drive him up the wall. What would he do without a few washed up major leaguers to rely on like Cairo and Valdez and Rolen?

    • Thank God, Dusty finally came to his senses and started Super Todd. You’d think that Dusty has been trying to power down a potential ROY of the year for the last few weeks. Save him for next year or something.Just too hung up on veterany-ness. I just realized Dusty’s ultimate nightmare — managing the Oakland As. Not to make light of Dusty’s health, but I think managing that rookie-laden roster would drive him up the wall. What would he do without a few washed up major leaguers to rely on like Cairo and Valdez and Rolen?

      From another perspective you may notice that Frazier hit 13/72 in September, good for a .181 batting average. Sometimes players get benched when a competitor for their position hits better and has a whole shelf of Gold Glove awards.

      Dusty probably knows that Frazier has hit better against LHPs (like Zito) and had prior sucess against Zito (3/5 with a homerun). I don’t think we should expect to see Frazier’s role change – he’s likely to be back on the bench once they’re finished with Zito. In the NLCS he may face left handed starters or play day games after night games.

  86. Here are the career splits against Barry Zito. Seems like the Reds are in a good position offensively, and they’ve shown an ability to hit off Zito in the past. Maybe Mike Leake can be the secret weapon offensively for a big homerun.

    Bruce: 5/14 (.357 average) with 1 homerun
    Cairo: 4/13 (.308 average) with 1 homerun
    Cozart: 1/2
    Frazier: 3/5 with 1 homerun
    Hanigan (who is out of the lineup): 2/8
    Heisey (who is also out): 0/4
    Ludwick: 6/26 (.231 average) with 1 homeruns and a .355 OBP
    Navarro: Never faced Zito
    Phillips: 8/19 (.421 average, .520 OBP)
    Rolen (who is also out): 2/7 with a .538 OBP
    Stubbs: 5/13 (.385 average, .467 OBP)
    Votto: 3/18

    It’s a good sign when Joey Votto is the worst hitter.

  87. Walt Jocketty poked his head into the Holy Grail yesterday during the pregame to say it was a minor injury and that Johnny would be ready today or Thursday. Well, they disabled Johnny this morning. He should have stayed away from the whole thing. It shows either he had bad information, which is very very very bad. Or, that he lied, which is a 1000 times worse.

    • Walt Jocketty poked his head into the Holy Grail yesterday during the pregame to say it was a minor injury and that Johnny would be ready today or Thursday.Well, they disabled Johnny this morning.He should have stayed away from the whole thing.It shows either he had bad information, which is very very very bad.Or, that he lied, which is a 1000 times worse.

      I think you’re being a little hard on him. For all we know, he wanted that information to go right in Bruce Bochy’s ear. He’d rather have the Giants thinking they were facing Cueto all night than Leake, or at the very least to be unsure.

    • Walt Jocketty poked his head into the Holy Grail yesterday during the pregame to say it was a minor injury and that Johnny would be ready today or Thursday.Well, they disabled Johnny this morning.He should have stayed away from the whole thing.It shows either he had bad information, which is very very very bad.Or, that he lied, which is a 1000 times worse.

      Walt Jocketty isn’t a doctor and by sending Cueto to the DL he made a decision that wouldn’t have been made it the Reds won on Tuesday. Besides, lying about the condition of players isn’t new – remember Joey Votto being out with a mysterious inner ear infection? Jocketty has to say something to shut people up so they’ll quit asking but he’s under no obligation to tell the truth or offer the worst case scenario.

    • Walt Jocketty poked his head into the Holy Grail yesterday during the pregame to say it was a minor injury and that Johnny would be ready today or Thursday. Well, they disabled Johnny this morning. He should have stayed away from the whole thing. It shows either he had bad information, which is very very very bad. Or, that he lied, which is a 1000 times worse.

      I’m curious when that happened? I was listening to the pre-game on the drive down to Cincy from the start of the broadcast at the Holy Grail (2pm) until about 3:45. Lance broke in with the news around 3:15pm, I believe, that Cueto had an oblique issue instead of back spasms. After that the discussion was that a win tonight allowed them to delay their decision, but a loss would put them into a tough decision re: the roster. They hadn’t had anyone official from the Reds yet at that point, and I was out of my car by the time they got to talk to any of the Reds Front Office guys.

      Perhaps he was just trying to downplay fan fears?

  88. @Number 14: I agree in the Votto case that an MRI should have been done. The thing is though, if it is a strained oblique and not a torn oblique, the MRI wouldn’t tell the medical staff anything. The only thing it could tell them at the moment is that Cueto has or hasn’t torn anything. An oblique is pretty hard to tear too so I think the fact that no MRI has been done in the Cueto case isn’t a big deal… It’s funny because I had an appointment with my own ortho today and I brought it up. The explaination I gave was what he told me.

  89. @Hank Aarons Teammate: I like the idea of personal catchers when it comes to the regular season. My reasoning is that if a pitcher is more comfortable throwing to a particular catche during the regular season, let him throw to that catcher. If that catcher is the backup, all you’ve really done is build in an off-day for your regular guy. It’s a day off that he’s going to need anyway and your pitcher is happy throwing to “his” guy. During the post-season, it’s another matter.

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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 Postseason, 2012 Reds, Titanic Struggle Recap

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