Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

National League Division Series, Game Four
FINAL
San Francisco 8
Cincinnati 3

W: T. Lincecum (1-0)
L: M. Leake (0-1)
BOX SCORE

Series tied 2-2

POSITIVES
–None. That was terrible. Just terrible.

NEGATIVES
–I try not to be too hard on Dusty, but he was unbelievably incompetent tonight. Why he insists on pinch hitting with the likes of Miguel Cairo is beyond me. The timing of pitching changes. The use of Arredondo when their were better options. If there is blame to lay at anyone’s feet in this game, it should be at Dusty’s feet.

–Mike Leake was not good.

–Jose Arredondo was worse.

–The Reds did not hit especially well. They left a ton of men on base today.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–This was a bad game, but I still think it was the right choice to start Leake. The Reds will have Latos on full rest tomorrow and that is cause for celebration.

–The Reds have their backs against the wall now, but this team has fought all year long. I have to believe they’ll pull it out one way or another. It will be all hands on deck and the Reds are better than the Giants. They just have to show it one more time. I’ll be watching and cheering and I hope you will be, too. It’s been a great season and it isn’t over. Don’t despair yet.

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.

Join the conversation! 120 Comments

  1. The hitters left too many runners on base. Two of the pitchers were ineffective. The team in general seemed to be going through the motions. That’s mostly what happened.

    Also: This game was managed from the line-up on as essentially one of those “give away” games. Pretty unique approach for a postseason game. Ryan Hanigan can’t catch three games in a row in the postseason?

    Earl Weaver had a saying that when you play for one run, that’s all you get. A new corollary: When you manage for Game Five, that’s what you get.

    Wasn’t the reason that we didn’t use Chapman for a second inning last night that we might need him for today? Where was the “give away Game Four” thinking then?

    Pinch hitting with Miguel Cairo when the game is still close? With Rolen, Heisey, Paul and Hanigan on the bench.

    Using Jose Arredondo in a close game? Raise your hand if you were surprised that the right-handed Giants hitters torched him.

    Mike Leake was guaranteed to give up more runs and end poorly because that is exactly how he was managed. Leake was never, ever, ever, ever going to be replaced in this game until he was in fatal trouble. At no time did Baker have the bullpen up during Leake’s innings until the very end. At a minimum, Baker should have had LeCure up at the start of the fifth inning. That might have saved two runs.

    Today’s game looked exactly like Major League Baseball when one manager is playing for today and the other is playing for tomorrow.

    “There’s always tomorrow.” has, predictably, turned into “There’s only tomorrow.”

    • The hitters left too many runners on base. Two of the pitchers were ineffective. The team in general seemed to be going through the motions. That’s mostly what happened.

      Also: This game was managed from the line-up on as essentially one of those “give away” games. Pretty unique approach for a postseason game. Ryan Hanigan can’t catch three games in a row in the postseason?

      Earl Weaver had a saying that when you play for one run, that’s all you get. A new corollary: When you manage for Game Five, that’s what you get.

      Wasn’t the reason that we didn’t use Chapman for a second inning last night that we might need him for today? Where was the “give away Game Four” thinking then?

      Pinch hitting with Miguel Cairo when the game is still close? With Rolen, Heisey, Paul and Hanigan on the bench.

      Using Jose Arredondo in a close game? Raise your hand if you were surprised that the right-handed Giants hitters torched him.

      Mike Leake was guaranteed to give up more runs and end poorly because that is exactly how he was managed. Leake was never, ever, ever, ever going to be replaced in this game until he was in fatal trouble. At no time did Baker have the bullpen up during Leake’s innings until the very end. At a minimum, Baker should have had LeCure up at the start of the fifth inning. That might have saved two runs.

      Today’s game looked exactly like Major League Baseball when one manager is playing for today and the other is playing for tomorrow.

      “There’s always tomorrow.” has, predictably, turned into “There’s only tomorrow.”

      Very, very well said.

    • The hitters left too many runners on base. Two of the pitchers were ineffective. The team in general seemed to be going through the motions. That’s mostly what happened.

      Also: This game was managed from the line-up on as essentially one of those “give away” games. Pretty unique approach for a postseason game. Ryan Hanigan can’t catch three games in a row in the postseason?

      Earl Weaver had a saying that when you play for one run, that’s all you get. A new corollary: When you manage for Game Five, that’s what you get.

      Wasn’t the reason that we didn’t use Chapman for a second inning last night that we might need him for today? Where was the “give away Game Four” thinking then?

      Pinch hitting with Miguel Cairo when the game is still close? With Rolen, Heisey, Paul and Hanigan on the bench.

      Using Jose Arredondo in a close game? Raise your hand if you were surprised that the right-handed Giants hitters torched him.

      Mike Leake was guaranteed to give up more runs and end poorly because that is exactly how he was managed. Leake was never, ever, ever, ever going to be replaced in this game until he was in fatal trouble. At no time did Baker have the bullpen up during Leake’s innings until the very end. At a minimum, Baker should have had LeCure up at the start of the fifth inning. That might have saved two runs.

      Today’s game looked exactly like Major League Baseball when one manager is playing for today and the other is playing for tomorrow.

      “There’s always tomorrow.” has, predictably, turned into “There’s only tomorrow.”

      Bingo. I feel the exact same way on all the above.

  2. This one is easier to take than last night, as I think winning with Leake starting would have been a bonus. But I am still totally on board with this team. I am betting they are exactly what we thought they were all year. Can’t wait for tomorrow.

  3. Why can’t the Reds find themselves a Pete Kozma: career OPS of .652 in 6 minor league seasons, and now a .950 OPS this year for the Cards. Give me a break.

    • Why can’t the Reds find themselves a Pete Kozma: career OPS of .652 in 6 minor league seasons, and now a .950 OPS this year for the Cards.Give me a break.

      Pete Kozma = 2012 David Freese. Nuff said.

      • Simple answer…God always smiles on the Cardinals. They are the New England patriots of baseball. That team can collectively fall in a pile of s*hit and come out smelling like a rose every time.

        Pete Kozma = 2012 David Freese. Nuff said.

    • Why can’t the Reds find themselves a Pete Kozma: career OPS of .652 in 6 minor league seasons, and now a .950 OPS this year for the Cards.Give me a break.

      I warned you about Cardinals dumb luck in the postseason didn’t I! Chipper’s error on a sure double play ball turning into 3 runs. Getting to face Washington with no Strasburg. Freaking Pete Kozma hitting a 3run HR. And that’s just in the 2012 postseason which isn’t out of the divisions series yet.

  4. If I ever see Miguel Cairo make a start and/or an at bat again in this postseason, I will accelerate my car off the Hoover Dam, yelling “WOOOOOOOOO!!!” all the way down, to impact with the Colorado River.

  5. Win tomorrow, and Dusty looks pretty smart. lose tomorrow, and Dusty looks for a job.

  6. I have only left a game early a handful of times and today was one of them. My family left in disgust in the 7th inning. I knew when Arrendondo came in that the Reds weren’t going to win the game. But I still feel good about the fact that Mat Latos is pitching tomorrow. I hate losing Johnny Cueto but really Mat Latos has been the ace lately. Let’s hope the team we saw in San Francisco and not the one we’ve seen at home is the one that we see tomorrow.

  7. Could someone tell me why a GAME 5 is being played at midday? I have to work and can’t watch. Anyone notice that not one of the Reds games have started at a time that is “normal” for the Reds? there’s no conspiracy here, just the idiocy that is playoff baseball directed by Bud Selig.

    • Could someone tell me why a GAME 5 is being played at midday?I have to work and can’t watch.Anyone notice that not one of the Reds games have started at a time that is “normal” for the Reds?there’s no conspiracy here, just the idiocy that is playoff baseball directed by Bud Selig.

      Can’t go up against Thursday Night Football! Steelers/Titans!! Ohhh YEAHHHH!!!. I seriously don’t get the WC play-in game hype, when you follow it up with Division Series’ games in the middle of the day, during the work week. Complete idiocy.

  8. Why didn’t the Reds disable Arredondo instead of Cueto?

    • Why didn’t the Reds disable Arredondo instead of Cueto?

      This is a SERIOUS question.

      • This is a SERIOUS question.

        Still looking for an answer, here.

        • Still looking for an answer, here.

          Cause we got to get Arredondo going. We’ll need him in the Series. Big time.

          • Cause we got to get Arredondo going. We’ll need him in the Series. Big time.

            In order for Arrendondo to go on the dl, he would need to fake an injury. Not a good idea, especially in the playoffs.

          • In order for Arrendondo to go on the dl, he would need to fake an injury. Not a good idea, especially in the playoffs.

            Thanks. Bummer that this isn’t the NFL.

        • Still looking for an answer, here.

          The MLB actually has to approve a DL move in the playoffs, i.e. no gimmick moves.

  9. If the Reds lose tomorrow, their biggest victory would be in the losses that come from it: The loss of Dusty Baker, loss of Drew Stubbs, Miguel Cairo, Jose Arredondo, Wilson Valdez. Not to mention the loss of Todd Frazier the Utility Player and the loss of Cozart hitting anywhere before seventh.

    • If the Reds lose tomorrow, their biggest victory would be in the losses that come from it: The loss of Dusty Baker, loss of Drew Stubbs, Miguel Cairo, Jose Arredondo, Wilson Valdez. Not to mention the loss of Todd Frazier the Utility Player and the loss of Cozart hitting anywhere before seventh.

      Stubbs? We gotta get him going!

      • Stubbs? We gotta get him going!

        Yeah. Going to Seattle or Houston. I think Willy PatterStubbs is who is who he is at this point.

  10. Tonight was a case of Dusty wanting all his guys to get playing plain and simple.

    • Tonight was a case of Dusty wanting all his guys to get playing plain and simple.

      Get playing time is what I meant to say.

  11. I actually thought that Latos was pitching better down the stretch than Cueto (but by NO MEANS am I saying that I don’t miss him). That being said, in an elimination game, against the Giants, there is no pitcher on this team that I would rather see than Mat Latos, on the mound. The offense let us down the last two nights, but they also looked awful the entire month of September. Then, who saw last Saturday and Sunday night coming? They have it in them again. Latos will be like an uncaged wild animal tomorrow (he H-A-T-E-S the Giants, see my new avatar), and the lineup will follow him to victory. Positive thoughts, people. GO REDS!

  12. Just wondering, does anyone really think even after we lose tomorrow Dusty won’t be back? Bob loves Dusty, if Dusty wants to return he will be back…

  13. Right. I think the real question is, why was Arredondo on the postseason roster to begin with? If he isn’t active, Leake could have had he spot, thereby making it unnecessary to deactivate Cueto for the duration of the NLCS so they could have a starter for Game 4.

    • Right. I think the real question is, why was Arredondo on the postseason roster to begin with? If he isn’t active, Leake could have had he spot, thereby making it unnecessary to deactivate Cueto for the duration of the NLCS so they could have a starter for Game 4.

      Yes. Better question! Arredawful has been bad all year in important situations.

  14. @jessecuster44: You can only replace a player who is injured mid-series. Arredondo was not injured. MLB has to approve any moves, so even if you act like he’s injured, if MLB doesn’t buy it, no dice.

  15. @wildwestLV: dont do that.

  16. If Mat Latos pitches great all will be forgotten Be positive people.

    • If Mat Latos pitches great all will be forgotten Be positive people.

      Homer was dominate…what did that get us?

  17. Let’s look back here! Many of the Reds’ legends that we hold in such high esteem is due to their post season heroics. Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, George Foster, Jose Rijo, Chris Sabo, Eric Davis, Joe Oliver, and yes even Billy Bates. I have to believe that tomorrow another Reds’ legend will be born tomorrow. Is it a touch of irony that the key acquisition of the off-season holds the key to our entire season now? You could not write a novel with that much irony. Could Mat Latos become a Reds’ icon tomorrow with the performance of his young life? Could Joey Votto surprise everyone of us by doing something that he has not done since June…hit a key home run with runners on base to cement his role as a Reds’ legend? Could Scott Rolen get up out of the wheelchair, drink from the Fountain of Youth, and come up big in a key situation? Could Brandon Phillips experience his defining moment as a Red by coming up huge in a key moment in the game? Jay Bruce walked off a hero in 2010. Could he walk off a legend in 2012? Could the much maligned Drew Stubbs come up huge and make us forget all of his failures over the past two seasons? Will Ryan Ludwick hoist this team upon his shoulders for his defining moment as a Red? Who will become a Reds’ icon tomorrow? I know that I can hardly wait as the most gut wrenching game in recent Reds’ history will be played tomorrow in truly the biggest game in GABP and perhaps one of the most important games in over twenty years. These are the games that I love but yet hate. There are moments that your you feel like throwing up as you put something over your head because you cannot bear to watch. You sit in front of the television shivering in anticipation and fear at the same time. Am I sadistical or what? Let the game begin!!! Here is my prediction. Jay Bruce was the hero in 2010. I predict that Joey Votto will become a Reds’ legend tomorrow. Remember the home run that Kirk Gibson hit on a bad knee in the 1988 World Series. Many times people that are facing extreme adversity rise to the occasion. He has not had a run batted in during the LDS. I think, I hope, and I pray that Votto or someone will rise to the occasion and become a post season hero!!! #Believe #RedsOctober

  18. If the Reds offense does not wake up tomorrow, management needs to think long and hard about Jacoby’s future as Reds hitting coach.

    • I’ve been saying he should have been canned after the 2010 playoff debacle. Obviously this tool has compromising photos of Dusty or Walt, he has life long tenure.

      If the Reds offense does not wake up tomorrow, management needs to think long and hard about Jacoby’s future as Reds hitting coach.

  19. I know the Reds did not do so well today, but it’s difficult for me to understand why people in Cincinnati were booing the players. This may sound very odd, but I find it actually heartbreaking. You don’t high-fie and cheer for a tough loss, but you don’t boo your own players who have gotten to where they are and like the team chemistry.

    In my very biased opinion, the city of Cincinnati has been gifted with one of the greatest and most storied sports team ever (the Reds, not the Bengals… definitely, definitely not the Bengals). If you’re going to squander that by booing the players at the games you bought tickets for, please email me so I can buy your tickets and go cheer on my team tomorrow. I will drive all night, sleep in my car, and miss a midterm for this just so you don’t have to boo our guys and embarrass your city and your team. The Castellinis have said that their ownership of the team is that of public trust. Watching them, I trust them with this team. Win or lose, this was a great season for the Reds. There will be a sting of failure that each player will deal with differently, as will the coaches and the roster as a whole. They do not need you throwing salt in the wounds.

    I know I’m speakign to the wrong crowd here, but as frustrating as that game was, this is far more bothersome.

    • I know the Reds did not do so well today, but it’s difficult for me to understand why people in Cincinnati were booing the players. This may sound very odd, but I find it actually heartbreaking. You don’t high-fie and cheer for a tough loss, but you don’t boo your own players who have gotten to where they are and like the team chemistry.

      Yes, but even many athletes will tell you that the paying customers have the right to boo or cheer as they wish. They didn’t cheer an injury, like the Giants fans did with Cueto.

  20. @jessecuster44: Given the Cueto injury, I suspect it is Dusty’s call whether he will be back next year. I hate what has transpired the last two days as much as anyone.

    However take a step back and consider this team is in a game 5 having lost its #1 starter, a Cy Young contender, 8 pitches into game 1 of a 5 game series. There is no true contingency plan for such a circumstance. The one they came up with was to use the #2 starter for 4 innings in that came. It was hailed as brilliant in most quarters at the time.

    However, today the piper had to be paid in the form of starting a guy who rightly had been left off the original playoff roster. Unfortunately, everything he did today only underscored that original decision had been correct. Look back over this season or any other season and I think you will find that most of the criticisms of the game management here and elsewhere are carbon copies of the kind of complaints that flow out of a starting pitcher being unable to keep his team in the game.

    We all need to pull together and hope that the decision to hold Latos back for a run on full rest pays dividends. If not is wait till next year; and given the prospects, there are worse things.

    • @jessecuster44: Given the Cueto injury, I suspect it is Dusty’s call whether he will be back next year. I hate what has transpired the last two days as much as anyone.

      However take a step back and consider this team is in a game 5 having lost its #1 starter, a Cy Young contender,8 pitches into game 1 of a 5 game series. There is no true contingency plan for such a circumstance. The one they came up with was to use the #2 starter for 4 innings in that came. It was hailed as brilliant in most quarters at the time.

      However, today the piper had to be paid in the form of starting a guy who rightly had been left off the original playoff roster. Unfortunately, everything he did today only underscored that original decision had been correct. Look back over this season or any other season and I think you will find that most of the criticisms of the game management here and elsewhere are carbon copies of the kind of complaints that flow out of a starting pitcher being unable to keep his team in the game.

      We all need to pull together and hope that the decision to hold Latos back for a run on full rest pays dividends. If not is wait till next year; and given the prospects, there are worse things.

      Sorry but bull, losing Cuteo is not why we are even after four games. The pitching we got in games 1-2-3 was far more then enough to win this series. This crap we are seeing is due to our manager not knowing how to field manage in the playoffs. At no point in this series has Dusty ever forced Bochey to make a tough decision. Weather you like or hated him, if Tony Larussa was managing this year’s Red this series would be over now and the whole Cuteo thing would have never been an issue.

  21. Dusty not walking Arias in game 3 is looking to be the turning point of the series. By not doing so, Lincecum was still available to be used today. All the work that went into chasing Zito was nullified by the Freak. You can almost hear the joy in Bochy’s voice when he talks about that decision.

    This much I believe—our season will boil down to the first 6 innings of tomorrow’s game. Whichever starting pitcher holds the lead after six will likely turn the game over to a lockdown bullpen that will turn the final few innings into a formality.

    • Dusty not walking Arias in game 3 is looking to be the turning point of the series……

      I agree things turned on the 10th inning Tuesday. I think given where the Reds line up was, the bottom of the 10th was their time had that run not been scored in the top of the inning. It was one of those situations that just happened so fast. Still the fact remains if Hanigan does misplay the passed ball or Rolen doesn’t boot the grounder the Reds get out of the inning.

    • Dusty not walking Arias in game 3 is looking to be the turning point of the series.By not doing so, Lincecum was still available to be used today.All the work that went into chasing Zito was nullified by the Freak.You can almost hear the joy in Bochy’s voice when he talks about that decision.

      This much I believe—our season will boil down to the first 6 innings of tomorrow’s game.Whichever starting pitcher holds the lead after six will likely turn the game over to a lockdown bullpen that will turn the final few innings into a formality.

      Broxton, to me, is very shaky.

    • Dusty not walking Arias in game 3 is looking to be the turning point of the series.

      No, the Reds being completely helpless at the plate and not being able to score a single run in eight innings was the turning point in the series. A sac fly, a solo HR — anything — in innings 2-9 and the Reds don’t even need game 4 or 5.

    • Dusty not walking Arias in game 3 is looking to be the turning point of the series. By not doing so, Lincecum was still available to be used today. All the work that went into chasing Zito was nullified by the Freak. You can almost hear the joy in Bochy’s voice when he talks about that decision. This much I believe—our season will boil down to the first 6 innings of tomorrow’s game. Whichever starting pitcher holds the lead after six will likely turn the game over to a lockdown bullpen that will turn the final few innings into a formality.

      Not walking Arias in Game 3 was the stupidest move or non-move I have seen a manager make in the post-season in a long long time. Dusty is taost after this season if they do not make it to the WS.

    • Dusty not walking Arias in game 3 is looking to be the turning point of the series.By not doing so, Lincecum was still available to be used today.All the work that went into chasing Zito was nullified by the Freak.You can almost hear the joy in Bochy’s voice when he talks about that decision.

      This much I believe—our season will boil down to the first 6 innings of tomorrow’s game.Whichever starting pitcher holds the lead after six will likely turn the game over to a lockdown bullpen that will turn the final few innings into a formality.

      Agreed. I said it at the time.

  22. @Y-City Jim: They need a new hitting coach the Reds sometimes look like the Cubs, in that they have 0 plate discipline outside of JV.

  23. There was a lot of poorly played baseball today and there were some questionable managerial decisions, but nobody is perfect, people are human and days like that happen. But I am going to root my heart and soul out tomorrow because Dusty is my manager and these players are my players and they have my full and complete support. Go Reds! Make October 11th one to remember

  24. @Sultan of Swaff: I think the turning point was BP being to agressive in the 1st inning yesterday.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: I think the turning point was BP being to agressive in the 1st inning yesterday.

      Everyone that’s ever listened to one of our podcasts know that there is no bigger critic of Brandon than myself, but this team, for the past 3 years, has been known for taking the extra base…it’s a source of pride to both our players and the fans. I don’t think it’s really fair to criticize when someone gets thrown out doing what they’ve been doing for 3 years. Bad decision? Absolutely, but out of character for this team (taking the extra base, not the bad decision)? Not at all.

      • Everyone that’s ever listened to one of our podcasts know that there is no bigger critic of Brandon than myself, but this team, for the past 3 years, has been known for taking the extra base…it’s a source of pride to both our players and the fans. I don’t think it’s really fair to criticize when someone gets thrown out doing what they’ve been doing for 3 years. Bad decision? Absolutely, but out of character for this team (taking the extra base, not the bad decision)? Not at all.

        I think it’s pretty fair, actually. Being aggressive and taking the extra base makes sense when you’re not making the 1st out at 3rd base, for example. You should be easily safe if you are trying to take 3rd there, otherwise don’t do it.

      • Everyone that’s ever listened to one of our podcasts know that there is no bigger critic of Brandon than myself, but this team, for the past 3 years, has been known for taking the extra base…it’s a source of pride to both our players and the fans. I don’t think it’s really fair to criticize when someone gets thrown out doing what they’ve been doing for 3 years. Bad decision? Absolutely, but out of character for this team (taking the extra base, not the bad decision)? Not at all.

        Completely agree with this

    • I think the turning point was BP being to agressive in the 1st inning yesterday.

      That was 54 outs ago. Homer kept them in that game 3 the entire way, and I don’t see that as some catalyst of momentum for the Giants.

  25. Just got back – wow, what a great atmosphere (at least for the first half)! Regarding the boos I was surprised too, but I really think the boos were aimed at Baker who was coming out to make the pitching change rather than Arrendondo. Not sure if that matters, but the folks around me (myself included) were questioning why JA was in there at that point anyway. Oh well, let’s hope we can scratch a few more runs off Cain and that Latos is on and we can live another day (or week).

  26. If this were football, they’d bring Bench to give a pep talk tomorrow (i.e. the 72 NLCS final game comeback after a crushing loss the previous day). I wonder if anything like that will happen….

  27. The boos are ridiculous. I’m as mad as the next guy, but this team doesn’t deserve boos.

  28. I should also note that was that only time during the game I noticed any boos. It’s Baker, not the players that people are booing. Right or wrong.

  29. Continuing with Stave Mancuso’s theme, I can see either:

    1. playing to win game 4 during game 3, or
    2. playing to win game 3 and potentially leaving yourself short in game 4

    For example, if Chapman pitches 2 innings yesterday, they lose, and then he can’t pitch today, people would have been angry, so it’s not so obvious that Baker’s decision in game 3 was bad.

    But what does not make sense, if you choose option 1, which Baker did, is to not do your best to win game 4 in the middle innings. That’s the part that makes no sense to me.

    • …..

      But what does not make sense, if you choose option 1, which Baker did, is to not do your best to win game 4 in the middle innings.That’s the part that makes no sense to me.

      Agreed pretty much; however he was hedging his bets for game five from the start by sitting Hanigan and Rolen (though many us at this point would see sitting Rolen as a positive in any circumstance)

      I thought he should have shot the works in the inning when they scored the 3rd run to make it 5-3. The outcome there would have gone a long way toward dictating which bullpen line he used the rest of the way. Arrendondo just didn’t seem to make sense to me except as another hedge for game 5. So, I guess he wasn’t willing to bet the house on making up a two run deficit with 9 outs to go.

      • Agreed pretty much; however he was hedging his bets for game five from the start by sitting Hanigan and Rolen (though many us at this point would see sitting Rolen as a positive in any circumstance)

        I thought he should have shot the works in the inning when they scored the 3rd run to make it 5-3.The outcome there would have gone a long way toward dictating which bullpen line he used the rest of the way. Arrendondo just didn’t seem to make sense to me except as another hedge for game 5. So, I guess he wasn’t willing to bet the house on making up a two run deficit with 9 outs to go.

        Shooting the works means bringing up your best pinch hitting option. Not your worst to save the best for later. Why is it that Baker is constantly saving everything for later in the last 2 games?

        As I said, I’m ok with losing a series, but it would be nice to lose it intelligently if we’re going to have the long offseason.

      • Agreed pretty much; however he was hedging his bets for game five from the start by sitting Hanigan and Rolen (though many us at this point would see sitting Rolen as a positive in any circumstance)

        I thought he should have shot the works in the inning when they scored the 3rd run to make it 5-3.The outcome there would have gone a long way toward dictating which bullpen line he used the rest of the way. Arrendondo just didn’t seem to make sense to me except as another hedge for game 5. So, I guess he wasn’t willing to bet the house on making up a two run deficit with 9 outs to go.

        He reminds me of when a losing football coach gets asked why they didn’t get the ball to Joe Blow (as had been rumored was the game plan) more often and the reply is that well that was the plan but the opportunity just never quite presented itself then it was too late etc…. I’m often wanting to yell at the screen, hey, you are the coach; you call the plays; take the opportunity….

    • Continuing with Stave Mancuso’s theme, I can see either:

      1. playing to win game 4 during game 3, or
      2. playing to win game 3 and potentially leaving yourself short in game 4

      For example, if Chapman pitches 2 innings yesterday, they lose, and then he can’t pitch today, people would have been angry, so it’s not so obvious that Baker’s decision in game 3 was bad.

      But what does not make sense, if you choose option 1, which Baker did, is to not do your best to win game 4 in the middle innings.That’s the part that makes no sense to me.

      Hank’s teammate: Yep. Game 4 was managed as a giveaway game, so why not go all out to win Game 3 ?

  30. If the Reds lose tomorrow, Dusty will be back if he wants to come back. He’ll just have a shorter leash. Which was pretty much guaranteed unless the Reds made a deep run anyway.

    There is no hitting coach alive that can change guys like BP, Cozart, Navarro, Frazier, and Stubbs. Calling for Jacoby to be fired is pretty much just picking a scapegoat out of a lineup. The real culprit was the GMs who signed, drafted, or traded for these guys. I’m not saying BP and Frazier are bad, just saying these guys all share a common trait that will never be “fixed” by and hitting coach–an inability to take walks and get on base consistently.

    But at least some fans will feel better…

    • If the Reds lose tomorrow, Dusty will be back if he wants to come back.He’ll just have a shorter leash.Which was pretty much guaranteed unless the Reds made a deep run anyway.

      There is no hitting coach alive that can change guys like BP, Cozart, Navarro, Frazier, and Stubbs.Calling for Jacoby to be fired is pretty much just picking a scapegoat out of a lineup.The real culprit was the GMs who signed, drafted, or traded for these guys.I’m not saying BP and Frazier are bad, just saying these guys all share a common trait that will never be “fixed” by and hitting coach–an inability to take walks and get on base consistently.

      But at least some fans will feel better…

      I agree. Either Jacoby is a good hitting instructor or not. I don’t know what good is when you have a bunch of hackers.

      As I said in another thread, they have years of info and data on Jacoby, a 5 game series should not decide his job.

      One thing you left off was the development of non-hacktastic players at the lower levels.

    • If the Reds lose tomorrow, Dusty will be back if he wants to come back.He’ll just have a shorter leash.Which was pretty much guaranteed unless the Reds made a deep run anyway.

      There is no hitting coach alive that can change guys like BP, Cozart, Navarro, Frazier, and Stubbs.Calling for Jacoby to be fired is pretty much just picking a scapegoat out of a lineup.The real culprit was the GMs who signed, drafted, or traded for these guys.I’m not saying BP and Frazier are bad, just saying these guys all share a common trait that will never be “fixed” by and hitting coach–an inability to take walks and get on base consistently.

      But at least some fans will feel better…

      Stubbs will change if/when he gets traded to a team that won’t let him play unless he commits to making contact more than 20 percent of the time. Cozart can still learn, but Stubbs is what, 27? 28?

      • Stubbs will change if/when he gets traded to a team that won’t let him play unless he commits to making contact more than 20 percent of the time. Cozart can still learn, but Stubbs is what, 27? 28?

        Stubbs and Cozart are only ~10 months different in age. Stubbs turned 28 about 6 weeks ago; Cozart will be 28 in June of 2013.
        This is why I suggested a couple of weeks ago that Cozart’s window of opportunity might be very short and that Gregorius at age 22 and already a better fielder and similar hitter should be given preference in their future planning.

        • Stubbs and Cozart are only ~10 months different in age. Stubbs turned 28 about 6 weeks ago; Cozart will be 28 in June of 2013.
          This is why I suggested a couple of weeks ago that Cozart’s window of opportunity might be very short and that Gregorius at age 22 and already a better fielder and similar hitter should be given preference in their future planning.

          How do we know he is better?

        • Stubbs and Cozart are only ~10 months different in age. Stubbs turned 28 about 6 weeks ago; Cozart will be 28 in June of 2013.This is why I suggested a couple of weeks ago that Cozart’s window of opportunity might be very short and that Gregorius at age 22 and already a better fielder and similar hitter should be given preference in their future planning.

          yes, cozart already 27, and supposedly in “peak” career years, he may improve his hitting/OB% but dont think its going to be by “leaps and bounds”. I think the Reds move of Hamilton to CF, shows they are already comtemplating a Zach/Didi show at SS in 2013+, possibly some type of platoon or maybe move Cozart to 3B and Frazier to LF if Reds are unable to keep Ludwick or find another option for LF.

        • This is why I suggested a couple of weeks ago that Cozart’s window of opportunity might be very short and that Gregorius at age 22 and already a better fielder and similar hitter should be given preference in their future planning.

          I think Cozart has the definite edge at the plate. Similar BA and OBP, but Cozart’s power sets him apart.

          Cozart BA OBP SLG OPS
          MiL Career .270 .332 .421 .753

          Gregorius BA OBP SLG OPS
          MiL Career .271 .323 .376 .699

          Also interesting to note how Stubbs compares to Cozart. Note the similar OPS, but they got there differently. Stubbs with the better on base skills and Cozart with the better power. Stubbs is the better choice between the two for the top of the order.

          Stubbs BA OBP SLG OPS
          MiL Career .268 .363 .399 .762

  31. @Hank Aarons Teammate: The Reds basically willingly decided to accept a game 5 coin flip. Weird.

  32. One thing I learned today:

    Being a stout sabermetric-type fan prepares you very well for the regular season’s ups-and-downs. Not so much for the playoffs. If anything, knowing that the Reds were slight favorites to start the series, massive favorites to take the NLDS after the first 2 games, and back to 50/50ish for game 5 has me more nervous than going on a big job interview.

    • One thing I learned today:

      Being a stout sabermetric-type fan prepares you very well for the regular season’s ups-and-downs.Not so much for the playoffs.If anything, knowing that the Reds were slight favorites to start the series, massive favorites to take the NLDS after the first 2 games, and back to 50/50ish for game 5 has me more nervous than going on a big job interview.

      Well, I try to keep in mind that they had some good fortune in 1990. I mean, another foot and the Pirates are up 3-2 in game 6. The two teams in the NLCS then were both good.

      It might be that the Reds lose the NLDS to a very slightly inferior team. It’ll piss me off, but, well, that’ll be that.

  33. I was hoping they would do something really out of the box today….. The thought crossed my mind to activate Cingrani instead of Leake. Hard thrower in the shadows and dappled light, unknown and probably largely unscouted by the Giants etc. If he could have outlasted Zito with the game even or Reds in the lead……

    I guess maybe they had more confidence than I in what Leake might do. Unfortunately what we got was pretty much what I expected.

  34. Wow, Stephen Drew just channeled Brandon Phillips in an absolutely idiotic baserunning play that may well cost the A’s the game.

    • Wow, Stephen Drew just channeled Brandon Phillips in an absolutely idiotic baserunning play that may well cost the A’s the game.

      Can’t fault Drew on that one; 3rd base coach was waving him all the way. BP did it on his own.

  35. Given the wonderful 4 runs over 19 innings at home, what leads any one to think we will explode on Matt Cain in game 5?

  36. Steve M.: “When you manage for Game Five, that’s what you get.”

    Brilliant, that says it all. In Games 3 and 4, Dusty managed to set up the Reds for Game 5. No need to go thru all the examples.

    Well, the Reds are all set for Game 5, so now all they have to do is win it.

  37. In the poll I predicted the Reds in 5. That’s still my prediction !

  38. The Reds haven’t been swept at home all season. Let’s keep it that way, Reds.

  39. The horrible storm that hit at the start of the season, which caused the sky to fall in July, has now fallen on a bus that the wheels have come off of. Look guys, the Giants are a pretty good ball club. Votto isn’t 100%, they wont even face our cy young pitcher, and this club is right there. I will say not walking Arias is a major brain cramp, and that i thought Leake should have been on this roster, simply for his ability to hit. But, it is what it is, and these guys really laid it out there when Joey went down, so i’ll not give up on them. Remember, those dramatic, incredible, once in a life time games come from situations like this. This time, Ryan Hanigan plays Carlton Fisk, and the Reds walk off to the NLCS.

  40. @OhioJim: I think you’re dead on that it’s Dusty’s call. The owner has stated publicly that he wants him back, while the GM has been much less obvious in his desires (which I suspect probably differ with the owner’s). Also, regardless of what happens Thursday, the local lapdog media, which never misses a chance to defend Dusty, will do their usual “what do you expect, he can’t play for these guys”, unless they go on to win the series in which case it will have been “Dusty’s genius in handling the adversity that sustained them”. I personally believe that on his best day Dusty Baker is a mediocre manager, but he will be back next year. Take that to the bank.

  41. Two things…

    1) I know the Reds have claimed that Rolen and Hanigan not being in the lineup yesterday had nothing to do with Game 3. But am I the only one that finds it pretty coincidental that the two guys whose defensive miscues led to the winning run scored were not in the lineup the next day?

    2) I am thrilled to have Mat Latos going today and believe he’ll do well. But I’m extremely concerned about trying to beat Matt Cain for the 4th time this year.

    • Two things…

      1) I know the Reds have claimed that Rolen and Hanigan not being in the lineup yesterday had nothing to do with Game 3. But am I the only one that finds it pretty coincidental that the two guys whose defensive miscues led to the winning run scored were not in the lineup the next day?

      2) I am thrilled to have Mat Latos going today and believe he’ll do well. But I’m extremely concerned about trying to beat Matt Cain for the 4th time this year.

      I’m still very nervous, but I think the Reds really are in Matt Cain’s head. I mean he’s been their best pitcher until it came to playing the Reds. And I certainly hope that Matt Latos is in the Giants heads. Just typing this out, I’m starting to believe that the Giants and their fans have a lot more to worry about than we do. Come on guys make it so.

  42. I had no idea that tickets on stubhub would be as cheap as they are. Skipping work in Columbus today to head down to the game.

    Hopefully that drive home is a happy one.

  43. Yesterday the guy sitting next to me said “I just wish I didn’t care so much”. That sums up my feelings. No matter what happens today my weekend plans are not going to change. Tomorrow I will still get up and go to work. Next week whether I am watching post season baseball or not my life will go on pretty much as it has been. But still, I just wish I didn’t care so much.

    Come on Reds, go get em today!

  44. Winners win, losers lose. Cincinnati Reds…you’re on the clock starting at 1:07 PM today.

  45. Hi there from sf, it’s funny reading your post because it’s the same crap we bich about in sf, hitter are hack no discipline, no walk, strike out. I had hope for a game 5 after we left att, now its here so amp. just my observation for game 5, sf has better manager, i still like dusty and hes really good, but he hasn’t close the deal yet. he gets u there but cant close. yes lato does well against sf but in the last elimination game against sf he lost. go sf, giant baseball – torture!

  46. A reminder from Lance’s page…(and for those that are too young to remember this, IMO, the most exciting single Reds moment of my lifetime)

    On this date: October 11, 1972
    It’s one of the greatest moments in franchise history.
    Game 5 of the NLCS: Reds vs Pirates at Riverfront Stadium.
    Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the 9th, Johnny Bench led off with a home run against Dave Guisti to tie the game. Tony Perez singled and was replaced by pinch-runner George Foster. Dennis Menke then singled to advance Foster to second. Cesar Geronimo advanced Foster to third with a fly out. With Hal McRae at the plate, Pirates pticher Bob Moose uncorked a wild pitch. Foster scored and the Reds won the NL pennant.

    Read more: http://www.espn1530.com/pages/lancesBlog.html#ixzz28zpOUKcU

  47. Regarding the boos… someone said they were for Baker, not Arredondo. I was there and the boos from my section most certainly were for Arredondo. There were several audible groans when he was announced, and he didn’t fool a single batter. The one out he got was a few feet from being a home run. He took a winnable game and turned it into a laugher in a matter of a couple of minutes. Any boos that were for him, he deserved.

  48. @lanai1003: I’m sorry, but I don’t understand a thing you just said except that you are a Giants fan. Good luck today!

  49. @Bill Lack: It is indeed coincidental that Hanigan and Rolen were out yesterday. There’s no way on God’s green earth Dusty dropped Hanigan because of a passed ball. Navarro has been catching Leake, Dusty clearly values his postseason experience, and maybe he wanted some extra power in the lineup. I don’t agree with it, but that’s Dusty. Rolen probably wasn’t ever going to get 5 starts in a 5 game series, but his weakness at the plate–more than the error–most likely ensured a Frazier sighting.

  50. If we pull this out, do they drop Arredondo and put Ondrusek on the roster for the next round? I wouldn’t pitch either of them if I could avoid it, but Arredondo was generally better and might get a lefty or two out…

    • If we pull this out, do they drop Arredondo and put Ondrusek on the roster for the next round? I wouldn’t pitch either of them if I could avoid it, but Arredondo was generally better and might get a lefty or two out…

      I’d drop Arredondo and pick up Cingrani, but they’ll pick up Ondrusek.

  51. Anybody know how to watch the game ONLINE without forking over 5 dollars to MLB for postseason.tv?

  52. My second ticket is available today. Anyone interested in being at the game in person and sitting in the lower deck, section 130, right at first base, leave your email address in a comment and I’ll get back to you. Face value: $78. Downside: you have to sit with me.

  53. @jessecuster44: a thursday 1pm game is a normal start for most reds games so we have that going for us

  54. I don’t understand the obsession over the Arias decision. Even if Baker walks Arias, Sanchez might have gotten a hit. He actually has a better split against RHP than Arias does. Even if Broxton would have gotten Sanchez out, the game would still have been tied. The Giants had other pitchers for the tenth inning beside Romo.

    People are talking about this as if it definitely lost the game. It didn’t. Plus, keep in mind that Arias hit INTO AN OUT. But Rolen made an error.

    How can the focus of that play be Baker’s mistake, not Rolen’s? If Rolen had made the play without error, Baker’s move would long have been forgotten.

    • I don’t understand the obsession over the Arias decision. Even if Baker walks Arias, Sanchez might have gotten a hit. He actually has a better split against RHP than Arias does. Even if Broxton would have gotten Sanchez out, the game would still have been tied. The Giants had other pitchers for the tenth inning beside Romo. People are talking about this as if it definitely lost the game. It didn’t. Plus, keep in mind that Arias hit INTO AN OUT. But Rolen made an error. How can the focus of that play be Baker’s mistake, not Rolen’s? If Rolen had made the play without error, Baker’s move would long have been forgotten.

      For me it’s simple,it forces the Giants manager to make a move/decision. Baseball for me is like chess, you make a move to make your opponet think and make a move that hopefully is the wrong move. By not pitching to the 8 hitter it forces the Giants to either use up their last bench player (backup catcher) or hit the relief pitcher. That is a HUGE decission and also had no runs scored used up more of the Giants pitching staff and could have caused them issues had they come back to that spot in the batting order. Dusty is “afraid” to make moves, to challenge the other manager and that is the difference between someone like Dusty with no WS titles and say oh…Tony Larussa who has what like 3?

    • I don’t understand the obsession over the Arias decision. Even if Baker walks Arias, Sanchez might have gotten a hit. He actually has a better split against RHP than Arias does. Even if Broxton would have gotten Sanchez out, the game would still have been tied. The Giants had other pitchers for the tenth inning beside Romo.

      People are talking about this as if it definitely lost the game. It didn’t. Plus, keep in mind that Arias hit INTO AN OUT. But Rolen made an error.

      How can the focus of that play be Baker’s mistake, not Rolen’s? If Rolen had made the play without error, Baker’s move would long have been forgotten.

      Steve I normally agree with you, but not this time. You have to walk Arias. 1) You get Romo out of the game and 2) You make them use their last hitter. I don’t care if Sanchez hits a grand slam it’s the right move to make. It’s really the only move to make. Not saying the Reds would have won (who knows), but you have to make the Giants burn their best relief pitcher and their last hitter on the bench.

      • Steve I normally agree with you, but not this time.You have to walk Arias. 1) You get Romo out of the game and 2) You make them use their last hitter.I don’t care if Sanchez hits a grand slam it’s the right move to make. It’s really the only move to make.Not saying the Reds would have won (who knows), but you have to make the Giants burn their best relief pitcher and their last hitter on the bench.

        I think that the decision wasn’t obvious. Here’s the tradeoff:

        * walk Arias to get to Sanchez (I assume they would have hit Sanchez). You have a higher chance of losing in the 10th, but if you get Sanchez out, you have a higher chance of winning the game in the bottom of the 10th and beyond.

        * pitch to Arias: higher chance of getting out of the top of the 10th, but a lower chance of winning after that.

        It seems to me that Baker’s move is defensible. Personally, taking all things into account, I’d have walked Arias even though I hate intentional walks.

        What happened after the decision is irrelevant, though, in terms of making the right decision.

  55. Obviously, it’s hard to attribute intent to the booing. My two cents was that the booing in my section had as much to do with Baker’s use of Arredondo as Arredondo’s pitching himself.

    Either way, put me in the group who thinks it’s bad form to boo a Reds player or manager in that situation.

    • Obviously, it’s hard to attribute intent to the booing. My two cents was that the booing in my section had as much to do with Baker’s use of Arredondo as Arredondo’s pitching himself.

      I think you are spot on with this. The disgust was with Dusty’s decision to go with him and then to stay with him when he had nothing. It was clear to everyone.

      On the Votto situation, I sure would like to know if his procedure was botched or if the recovery is just taking way longer than expected. We’ll never know, but something about the whole thing STILL doesn’t set right.

  56. The game time today stinks. I realize that kids can skip school (again) and working adults can skip work (again). But it would be nice if fans who wanted to attend – or watch on TV – weren’t inconvenienced like that. Especially for a Game Five. Those burdens should be placed equally on the various fan bases.

    At least the precious Yankees play every single one of their games in prime time.

  57. It was pretty obvious to me from the moment Leake was announced as the starter that Dusty had given up on winning this game and was just looking at game 5. If I had any questions abotu it that weren’t answered by Navarro starting then the starting lineup quickly confirmed it at the plate. THose guys did NOT look like a playoff team that wanted to win a series last night. In the 4th with Leake in scoring position Brandon, Joey, and Ludwick all struck out swinging. That was when I knew there was no hope.

    I am about to say something that will be wildly unpopular and get me flailed on here. Joey Votto did not earn his money last night. $250 million means you don’t get to strike out 3 times in a playoff game, twice with RISP. I’m sorry, I’m as big of a Joey Votto fan as you will ever find, but that is some A-Rod bulls**t right there. He did not look focused at all. As much as I’ve been joking with friends this whole series about the TBS announcers harping on his knee and acting like he is basically crippled, now I have to wonder if it really is a problem. To have this whole season play out as it has and then disappear because our two best players are hurt…I’m going to try to stay positive but I am not a happy Reds fan this morning.

    • THose guys did NOT look like a playoff team that wanted to win a series last night. In the 4th with Leake in scoring position Brandon, Joey, and Ludwick all struck out swinging.

      You’re saying that those three guys didn’t want to get a hit? And what exactly clued you in that Joey wasn’t “focused”? The two hits? If he’d been focused, he’d have gone 5-5?

  58. @lanai1003: Great to hear from Giants fans. Lots of respect for you guys.

  59. @tgarretson82: Not possible. At least legally.

  60. @eric nyc: There’s no doubt that Joey Votto isn’t himself physically. It shows both in the field and at the plate. It has been that way since he injured his knee (and was allowed to play on it for more than a week). I’ve been saying for some time that he shouldn’t be batting third. I’d prefer he hit lead off.

    But it’s wrong to say that he wasn’t focused or determined yesterday. There’s no way to know that. He didn’t play any differently yesterday than he has all series. At least from what any of us can tell in the cheap seats.

  61. It’s pretty clear Arredondo cannot help us in the NLCS. The Reds should’ve announced he came up lame after yesterday’s ‘performance’ and dropped him from the roster in favor of Cingrani for today’s game.

  62. Thoughts on a few things:

    I think the only way Dusty’s not back next year is if he steps down for health reasons. Regardless of what happens today, managers who tie for best record in the NL regular season don’t get canned.

    Yes, you pay your money, you have the right to boo. I have the right to think of you however I think of you for doing so – that’s how it works here in the good ol’ USA. It was an utterly classless thing to do.

    I don’t know what to think about the Hanigan/Rolen-gate thing – both have gotten regular days off every 4th or 5th game during the season, so maybe their off days were already planned… but still…

    There’s certainly a case to be made for cutting Jacoby loose at the end of the season. Or last season. But the Reds’ hitting philosophy comes from the top and goes all the way down – we don’t draft plate discipline, we don’t coach it in the minors, and we won’t hire a new hitting coach who stresses it unless there’s a fundamental change in organizational philosophy. We all hope for that, but we probably shouldn’t expect it.

    dn4192, are you OK? You’re usually the “everything’s OK” guy… come in off the ledge.

    Oh, and GO REDS!

  63. @RC: Well said. I love it when losing somehow translates into a narrative of lack of desire. As we sit in our offices and homes and whatnot. I stand by my assertion earlier in the year that if Joey didn’t hit like a god, people would be painting him as standoffish and unfriendly, not a good team guy, etc. But because he hits (most of the time) he’s intense and locked in.

  64. @Matt WI: This whole “wanting it” thing is very insulting to the players. I’m not an athlete, but I’m pretty sure that if I was, and someone came up to me after a playoff loss and said “I guess the other guys just wanted it more”, I’d punch them hard.

    • @Matt WI: This whole “wanting it” thing is very insulting to the players.I’m not an athlete, but I’m pretty sure that if I was, and someone came up to me after a playoff loss and said “I guess the other guys just wanted it more”, I’d punch them hard.

      I agree, but to be fair, sometimes the players on the losing side say that the other team wanted it more!

      • I agree, but to be fair, sometimes the players on the losing side say that the other team wanted it more!

        I know they do, but mostly I file that under “sports cliche talk 101″… I doubt they really believed it. They’re not impervious to the power of that narrative, even if it’s false.

    • @Matt WI: This whole “wanting it” thing is very insulting to the players.I’m not an athlete, but I’m pretty sure that if I was, and someone came up to me after a playoff loss and said “I guess the other guys just wanted it more”, I’d punch them hard.

      Completely agree. It’s just plain stupid and wrong. Nobody wants to win more than the guys in the dugout and if you think otherwise then you have never been a part of a sports team.

  65. Lineup same as games 1-3. No surprise there. I wish Baker just would say nothing, but instead he said “it’s what got us here”. Well, yes, in a sense, playing Rolen over Frazier might well be what got us past game 3. I’m certainly not blaming Rolen, I just wish Baker would actually play who he thinks are the best guys to win THIS game. If that’s really, truly, Rolen, ok. I would start Frazier, myself, and never think twice about it.

  66. @Hank Aarons Teammate: Being too amped up is usually a recipe for disaster in baseball, yet a positive in basketball or football. It’s sport specific. In baseball, you simply want to be ‘intense, but not tense’.

    I’m glad the game is earlier today. I’m gonna need a good 8 hours to process it either way, so maybe I’ll get a good night’s rest.

  67. I’m about to leave for the game, so can’t continue the Arias debate beyond this right now.

    I’m not saying it was the right decision. Only that (a) it wasn’t crazy and (b) it wasn’t decisive. People are treating it like the Reds would SURELY have won if we had just walked Arias. The game would still have been tied even if Sanchez makes an out.

    Arias hit a weak ground ball to our third baseman.

    How would everyone have reacted if Baker had walked Arias (a .248 hitter vs. RHP) to face Sanchez (a .277 hitter vs. RHP) and Sanchez had gotten a hit? Baker would have been killed for that.

    You have to weigh the Romo/bench factor vs. the better split/load the bases factor. That’s a close enough call that I wouldn’t refer to it as “the thing that turned the series around.”

    Rolen’s error was a much bigger factor than Baker’s decision.

    • I’m about to leave for the game, so can’t continue the Arias debate beyond this right now.

      I’m not saying it was the right decision. Only that (a) it wasn’t crazy and (b) it wasn’t decisive. People are treating it like the Reds would SURELY have won if we had just walked Arias. The game would still have been tied even if Sanchez makes an out.

      Arias hit a weak ground ball to our third baseman.

      How would everyone have reacted if Baker had walked Arias (a .248 hitter vs. RHP) to face Sanchez (a .277 hitter vs. RHP) and Sanchez had gotten a hit? Baker would have been killed for that.

      You have to weigh the Romo/bench factor vs. the better split/load the bases factor. That’s a close enough call that I wouldn’t refer to it as “the thing that turned the series around.”

      Rolen’s error was a much bigger factor than Baker’s decision.

      I personally wouldn’t have killed him for it because it was the right play (in my opinion).

  68. @Hank Aarons Teammate: Yeah, also to be fair, there are places where pure desire can make a difference – the trenches in football being a likely example. But like the Sultan just said, hitting a baseball isn’t one of those places. “Wanting it” too much probably just makes you swing at pitches you shouldn’t have.

Comments are closed.

About Jason Linden

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.

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