Fresh off his dominating complete game against the Marlins, Homer Bailey takes the mound for the Reds in the series rubbermatch against the Phillies. Game time is 1:35 ET. The Reds face rookie right-hander Jonathan Pettibone.

In the latest edition of irrational lineup construction, Dusty Baker has designated Cesar Izturis (.167/.286/.194) as today’s cooler, batting between Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto.

Apparently how often one gets a hit, makes an out, or hits the ball far, is less important than not disrupting the delicate process of Xavier Paul (.261/.386/.406) getting used to that unique feeling of batting seventh. Or creating the horror of three left-handed hitters in a row. Better to confound late-inning relief pitching than to get hits, get on base and hit with power the first three trips through the line-up. Unless the score is 10-0 by then, or something.

I’m sure there’s more to it. Izturis is probably great at sacrificing outs with the bunt play.

Oh well, as Hunter Thompson said, buy the ticket, take the ride. Go Reds!

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 203 Comments

  1. His one out recorded was picking off a baserunner that he walked. Awful appearance. It feels like the Reds dominated this series but walk away with the series loss.

  2. Also, I’ve been saying this all year, but have gotten no traction: there’s something wrong with making a closer a guy who takes 1-2 batters to get to full speed. Given that the closer pitches only the 9th…

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: I think the Reds organization is the one who underrates and overrates the closer role at the same time somehow. They glorify the position yet seem to have not worked with chapman on how to be a dominant closer if that is what his role is going to be? meaning retaining 100 + velocity at all times and a sick slider

  3. And the Reds are going to lose a game to the Cards. Just wow. The Cards closer is coming in so it’s pretty much over in STL. Unreal.

  4. One run saves a little different than 3 run saves. Most anyone can feast off of 3 run saves.

  5. If Chapman is not going to throw in triple digits anymore, than he is going to have to figure out to way to fully command another pitch. Any major league hitter can sit on a 94-95 mph fastball. Really disappointing loss. The bullpen was responsible for both losses in this series

  6. Our bullpen has looked very mediocre this first quarter of the season (especially the back end)!

  7. Glad to see Dusty got his personal closer of choice this season. He’s sure making a difference in the Reds’ success this season and we can certainly thank Dusty for his supreme insight.

  8. We have completely ruined Aroldis Chapman. When he came here, he was a physical freak who could throw a fastball faster than anyone in history. But we wanted him to start eventually, and his control was off, so we started working to slow it down. Build some endurance. Work on your breaking ball. Develop a change up. Then we scrapped that plan and made him a closer where we said “You know what? Trow as many fastballs as you want.” But the damage was already done and now he’s just a tall reliever with an above average fastball and nothing else. And he doesn’t even have particulalry good control on that.

  9. Are you having fun Chapman? I sure hope so because you’re ruiningthe games for Reds fans.

  10. I think the reaction in here is mostly knee jerk right now. Having said that, i think there is obviously something wrong with chapman and maybe a sore shoulder is in the making? I wasn’t watching the game but was he throwing 100 +?

  11. Best to put this game in the rear view mirror and forgettaboutit. Regroup and on to the next game and a nice little winning streak. Plus Cueto’s coming back, can’t wait to see Cueto back in action. Shake it off boys, shake it off. Go Reds!! Adios Amigos.

  12. Chapman’s talent is just straight up not being utilized effectively by the organization. You don’t take a guy like that, pay him like a starter, and then tell him to throw one pitch straight.

    Chapman is a good pitcher and things like this will occasionally happen, but his full potential is being wasted here. We have Justin Verlander pitching one inning every 3 days.

    • @BearcatNation: A *left-handed* Justin Verlander (maybe).

    • @BearcatNation: Chapman may be talented, but don’t overhype him, either. It is a lot easier to come in and pitch one inning with the lead, 100+ mph at the end of a long game with little control. The other team has to try to swing at the balls, can’t really take a chance with the ones on the corners. At 100+, Chapman may have been able to get by today. But, at 94-95, he’s more of an average pitcher, pure and simple. He doesn’t hit his targets very well, and doesn’t have much breaking stuff. I wouldn’t go Verlander. Verlander has more control and more pitches he can throw.

  13. Convert Chappy to a starter and let someone else close. Closer role is way overrated as today demonstrated. Of course I’m dreaming as I’m not delirious.

    • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: You know on the Reds team everyone’s role is etched in stone. The big question is how many more times do u let chapman go out in ninth to get blown up like this? 1? 2? and is he hurt?

  14. Chapman has a devastating slider. We’ve all seen it. I heard Bryan Price say in the pre-season that Chapman’s change up is actually even better than his slider. The problem, as I see it, is that the organization hasn’t made enough of a commitment to developing those pitches because of moving Chapman to the bullpen. His irregular work pattern that comes from the overly limited role he’s been assigned compounds that problem.

    Not that anything is going to change about any of that. Dusty Baker will never, ever, ever, ever, ever move Chapman out of the closer role now. Not only is he tenaciously loyal to his closers (other than those named Marshall), but he has a huge judgment investment in Chapman.

    • @Steve Mancuso: I think worst case scenario (barring chapman being injured) is that Chapman gets blown up in 9th a couple of more times and gets sent down to triple A only to be closer again lol

    • @Steve Mancuso: Exactly. His slider was his out pitch when he first came up. It’s incredible. But now even he refuses to throw it. He shakes it off whenever it’s called for. And the organization has allowed it to keep happening.

    • @Steve Mancuso:

      Not that anything is going to change about any of that. Dusty Baker will never, ever, ever, ever, ever move Chapman out of the closer role now. Not only is he tenaciously loyal to his closers (other than those named Marshall), but he has a huge judgment investment in Chapman.

      If this is really the case and Dusty is putting his own judgement and reputation above the welfare and needs of the club, then it is quite plain to see why he is among elite company having managed so many wins and talented clubs, yet never won a world series.

      When you fail to adapt, you die. Dusty has never gotten that in his whole career and it may cost him his reputation in the end, the thing he wanted to preciously to protect.

  15. The Reds will pay 13,208,333$ this year for Chapman, Broxton, Marshall. If they all pitched 60 innings each, based on a minimum of 1,458 innings a season (which it will be more), that’s 12.3% of the total innings pitched by these three.

    I would much rather use 13 million to go buy a SS or LF who could affect 155 games a year hit above .220.

  16. I want to throw up right now.

  17. What’s really sad is the Cards 4th option as closer is making Chapman look bad in the comparison and is just another example of how their organization is heads and shoulders above the Reds.

  18. I dont mind losing but not like that. Chapman has been off a little this year. Either he is hurt, or it is because he goes like 4 days in between outings.

    • @Larry1980: The season is a quarter over. He looks like he needs one of the breaks they’ve given him the periodically over the last two years.

      Like gets said about JBruz every time he gets into one of his funks, maybe this is just what Chapman is. Maybe this is why “they” never get “serious” or “committed” about making him a starter.

    • @Larry1980: And, that goes to Bakerman’s use of the pen. He’s never been known to use his pen wisely. I remember just this season, what was it, he used Chapman and Hoover each 5-6 of the first 7 games, others maybe 4 appearances total.

  19. Counting down the days (and blown saves) until we’re told Chapman has shoulder fatigue, and has to go on the DL. Which won’t add up, since he, and Broxton only pitch like, once or twice in a seven day stretch. Dusty probably blames Marshall for the go ahead run.

  20. Please, please, please trade Chapman. Please, please, please trade Chapman. I’ve been saying for a month he’s miscast as a closer, as MLB closers’ roles go. Please, please, please trade Chapman.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Given the reality of the situation, it would be the best course of action. I’d do it tomorrow if a decent deal was put on the table.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Sorry that I don’t lapdog for the organization or manager. Broxton should not be pitching key innings—that’s on Baker.

      I first thought you might be joking with statements like these. Then I realized you are dead serious. Trade Chapman? Broxton should not be pitching key innings? Wow.

      • @kywhi: He’s not alone. I’ve thought Chapman should be traded since ST. One of my first posts was Stanton>Chapman in response to someone saying they wouldn’t trade Chapman for him, an I stand by it now, even with Stanton’s struggles. Chana is being wasted as a reliever and will never achieve his full potential. I am convinced he will never reach his potential with the Reds.

      • @kywhi: Many people here have advocated trading Chapman, not just me. Doesn’t mean I think he’s bad or anything. He’s completely wasted.

        I’d trade Joey Votto for Mike Trout, in a second. And I love Votto.

        Broxton is not as good as Lecure, Hoover, or Simon. Or Marshall. Just because he was good many years ago does not mean he’s good now. Unless you ask Dusty Baker.

        • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Exactly. He’s wasted because of Baker first, some on Walt, mostly on Baker. But, regardless of who’s in the pen, Baker is going to misuse them. And, we need to have someone back there.

          I didn’t think we needed Broxton at all last season. I can only think Walt brought him in as a closer plan B if Chapman starts. Which I can understand. The thing is, small markets don’t have the kind of money to be using on plan B’s for positions that only see 60 innings a season.

  21. I am as concerned about Marshall as Chapman. He failed Friday because he wouldn’t try to bust a fastball in on MYoung and walked him.

    The situation today with Utley called for a fastball in under his hands and instead they tried to start him with a slow breaking ball away which he predictably served to the left for the RBI hit.

    The he ended up getting seriously tagged by Brown but fortunately it was right at Bruce.

    When Marshall really hit his strife last season was when he started leading with fast ball and harder breaking stuff (cutter or slider) and worked his big bender off of them. It is not good to see he ia regressing to his previous style. It is enough to make one wonder just how healthy his previously problematical shoulder is

    • @OhioJim: I agree with you overall, but that ball hit to Bruce was hardly tagged. Was definitely off the end of the bat because of the huge break. The one to Utley was similar to be honest.

      I don’t know whether to be worried about Marshall or not because we never see him. And when we do, he isn’t long enough for anyone to tell how he looks or for him to even get warmed up.

      • @BearcatNation: Although I don’t believe Broxton shouldn’t be pitching in key innings like some on this site, it ought to be noted that Marshall would not have been in position to give up that soft single had Broxton taken care of business and not walked the runner into scoring position.

        • @kywhi: And Marshall dug a big piece of the grave Friday by walking MYoung then not making a very makeable play on the Howard topper. That’s the kind of game baseball is.

      • @BearcatNation:
        Utley was sitting on the pitch he got and did what he wanted to do with it. They should have taken control of the AB by going inside edge with a fastball.

        Utley did not want to hit the ball very hard. He was just like Votto when he “serves one into left for a “cheap” rbi hit.

    • @OhioJim: You got all that from two pitches? That’s classic.

      Utley swung at a ball and hit a bloop single. Brown swung at an outside corner type curve, tried to pull, and flew out. And somehow you knew Utley was looking for a ball outside to try to bloop a single on?

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: You think Uttley wasn’t leaning? And why wouldn’t he be when Marshall has suddenly forgotten about his fastball.

        Wasn’t Uttley looking for the same pitch and didn’t he do the same thing when he got his hit off of Bailey?

        What’s the saying, fool me once…. I don’t think Hannigan is anybody’s fool; so, I’m going with the reason they threw that pitch is because that was what Marshall wanted to throw. A slider or a cutter away would have been fine too in that situation if they were worried about leaving a heater out over the inner half of the plate.

  22. Dusty needs to wait for another 10-0 blowout to let Broxton & Chapman work out their issues. But then, they wouldn’t be allowed to, because the situation wouldn’t call for it. Madness.

  23. I said yesterday (not posted, but verbally)….when they pulled Arroyo, pitch Chapman since he’s been struggling to find his rhythm…but no, since it wasn’t a save situation, Dusty won’t do that. He has situations and can’t deviate from that and it hurts the team. He has no ability to adjust or find the right time/place for pitchers beyond their defined roles.

    • @Bill Lack: Also in this case if Chapman’s issues are from rust of whether he is going through one of hsi “dead arm” cycles. We don’t have a clue whihc it might be.

    • @Bill Lack: Agreed. That is Baker. He has his “guys” in the pen when it is a save situation, then his “guys” when it isn’t a save situation. The thing is, what if we have 3+ games in a row where it is a save situation? Baker needs to cut this b.s. out and pace his pen a lot better. Like, “mix it up” like he said he was going to do with the catching roles. Oh, wait, he did say that but he didn’t do it, did he?

  24. Come August 1st, you have to wonder if Chapman and Broxton are still with the Reds. The way the Reds have mismanaged both of them this year, plus their off performances, you’d think that will detract from their real trade value.

  25. No comment on Chapman’s performance. I’ve said my piece on closers in general and Chapman in that role in particular (especially with Dusty Baker at the helm). My conclusion is the same: trade Chapman > utilize him badly.

    Bummed for Homer Bailey. Really nice 7 innings of work on a day when he didn’t have his best stuff. It’s been fun watching him mature on the mound.

    Nice to see Frazier warming up again. A couple of really hard hit balls today.

    Like everyone else I hate these games where the Reds win 8+ innings only to lose at the last, but I’m very optimistic about the next few weeks with the way this team is playing.

  26. You all say Chapman is wasted but I feel Marshall is too. I guess he has a one batter pitch count.

    • @sezwhom1: Oh, yeah, I forgot, I’d trade Marshall too, if the usage pattern is going to stay the same. Paying a guy 5+ million bucks per year to get one lefty out is ridiculous.

  27. Over/under Manny Parra is back once his DL/Rehab is wrapped up? I could really see Dusty insisting we need another lefty in the bullpen, which he’ll proceed to overuse in place of Marshall.

  28. Wish Bailey could have went a complete game today.

  29. Seems like, regardless of the outcome, this is Dusty’s last year. Don Mattingly & Mike Scioscia will probably be available for 2014. Any opinions?

  30. Dusty is signed for 2014 and Bob Castellini loves him, so just get used to the Reds getting about 90% of their potential wins and having zero playoff success until this talent breaks up.

Comments are closed.

About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.


2013 Reds, Dusty's Lineup Shenanigans, Game Thread


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