I had Dustin Hoffman in my head last night.  The Rain Man:

Elimination game.  Yeah. Ten left on base.  Yeah.  Got to go get Leake, Dusty.  Yeah.  Runners in scoring position.   Bad.  Yeah.  Elimination Game.  Yeah.

This series should probably be over now.  I keep searching for reasons why it isn’t.  I keep coming back to the obvious.  This team has won all year long with pitching and the long ball.  Before yesterday, the pitching has been spectacular in this series. The long ball was there in AT&T Park, of all places.  But, the Reds are being out slugged in of all places, Great American Small Park.

I’m mad at Dusty.  He didn’t take advantage of Bruce Bochy when he was vulnerable Tuesday night.  Didn’t make him burn his last position player on the bench.  Didn’t make him get his Closer out of there.  Said Hector Sanchez was too dangerous.  When the Baseball Gods hand you a free raffle ticket, you don’t say, “no thanks.”  Not in October, when the margin for error is razor thin.  You don’t tell the media it’s Scott Rolen’s turn to play because “it’s his last rodeo,” that Todd Frazier will “get his chance.”  But this is a hot discussion for a cold November day.  There are more pressing matters today.


Remember that great dugout mantra the Reds had in 2010?

“Need ya on third, Brucie.”

It was a call to arms, a bumper sticker-type message to everybody on the team to go from first to third.  Take the extra base.  Be aggressive.  Play Cincinnati Reds Baseball, as DatDude shouted up close and personal into the camera at the All Star Game, a smile as white and as wide as all get out.  Now, they need more than third from Brucie.  Brucie being a metaphor for the team as a whole.

I have faith that Latos will keep it close for the home team.  He has “Guts” tattooed on him somewhere.   Of that, I’m sure.  I believe.  Maybe the Reds can do it today with Small Ball.  Maybe Miguel Cairo is the hero today. You don’t rule out anything in the postseason.  But, I have a feeling it’s going to take the very thing that got the Reds to October 11th in the first place:  Pitching and The Long Ball.

Need ya to go yard, Brucie.

Join the conversation! 10 Comments

  1. The Reds scored 13 runs in two games at ATT. 4 were scored via the home run. The long ball didn’t get them their runs.

    They hit a HR yesterday, and they got lots of walks, something you (and I) have been calling for. They just didn’t hit in the clutch.

    I don’t really think the weakness of “only score via the longball” holds in this particular series.

  2. This one’s a crapshoot. If the good guys win, the whole “FIRST BASE IS OPEN AND THE PITCHER (or pinch hitter and eliminate the closer) IS ON DECK! WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU MORON? OH NOOOO!” debacle is thought of the same way as the drunk uncle at the wedding (sure he made an ass of himself, but we had fun, right?). . . . If the good guys lose, . . . well, let’s just hope they win.

    If there is such a thing as momentum, the Redlegs may soon all be on vacation. The Giants are playing with house money. However, I have to think that Latos is up to the task. Will the Reds be able to do what they have done all year and persevere? I sure hope so. If not, it will be a long and cold winter.

  3. I like the reminder of the mantra.

    Baseball games are basically coin flips. We’ve got a 50-50 chance now.

    Can’t agree with singling out that decision by Baker on Arais (see detailed discussion in previous thread), though. How about criticizing Rolen’s error on that play? Arias did hit a weak ground ball. Critics are acting as though “burning the last bench player” meant we automatically won the game. The score was still tied.

    On to today! Go Reds!

  4. You have Rain Man in your head. I’ve had Star Wars in mine.

    “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

    I so hope I’m wrong.

  5. Someone on twitter (retweeted by a RLN editor, I think Greg) said Dusty was managing like it was a routine game in mid-May. Yesterday was winnable. Very winnable until it got out of hand in the 5th due to the on-field managing skills of a 1st grader. Dusty does the 90% very well, but completely sux at the 10%.

    • Someone on twitter (retweeted by a RLN editor, I think Greg) said Dusty was managing like it was a routine game in mid-May.Yesterday was winnable.Very winnable until it got out of hand in the 5th due to the on-field managing skills of a 1st grader.Dusty does the 90% very well, but completely sux at the 10%.

      Well, at least Baker keeps the clubhouse very upbeat and happy after he goes out and completely sucks at managing game 4.

  6. Also, I saw tweets mid game from Giants fans asking Dusty to please leave Leake in indefinitely. This was before runs 4 and 5.

  7. to me the most depressing thing about all of this is votto. is it 100 % he will be joey again next year? why is that a foregone conclusion?

  8. @Steve Mancuso: Nowhere did I say that burning the last player was going to win the game. It was going to ensure that Romo didn’t go out for the 10th inning. Could that have made a difference? It meant that a player cold off the bench, a slower player would have been at the plate? Could that have made a difference? It was going to ensure that Lincecum was going to have to pitch in a save situation, something he had never done in his career? Could that have made a difference?

    But we gave up all that because Hector Sanchez is a dangerous hitter? Really?

  9. I shuddered at the phrasing of “be aggressive and take the extra base.” We often try to do that to the extreme and it bites us. … Phillips short-circuited that first inning the other day by trying to take the extra base. There’s aggressive and dumb, and I hope we can be the former today without being the latter as well.

    The point about pitching to Arias, or making Bochy make a painful decision by walking Arias, is quite valid to me. It ensures nothing regarding a win vs. a loss, but it would’ve make life a bit harder for the Giants. Maybe Sanchez would’ve delivered and we lose anyway, but geez, let’s make ’em work harder for it, use every player.

    Two to three more years of Dusty’s giveaway games will be hard to take. …

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2012 Postseason


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