Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

Cleveland 2
Cincinnati 8

W: M. Latos (5-0)
L: Z. McAllister (4-4)

–Excellent start by Mat Latos, as you might expect. Latos went six and a third, allowing one run on five hits. He did walk four, but struck out seven. I’ll take it.

–A ton of offense for the Reds tonight: eight runs on 18 hits. Let’s survey the damage: seven guys had two hits, and two players had three: Zack Cozart (3-5, double, run scored, RBI) and Xavier Paul (one run, 2 RBI).

The best of the rest: Shin-Soo Choo was 2-3 with a double, a walk, an HBP, and a run scored. Joey Votto was 2-4 with a walk, a run, and an RBI. Brandon Phillips was 2-4 with two runs scored. Devin Mesoraco was 2-5 with a run scored. Jack Hannahan was 2-5 with a double, a run scored, and an RBI.

Heck, Jay Bruce was the only Reds starter without two hits, and even he had an RBI double.

–In the seventh inning, with the score 3-1 and two runners on base, Dusty Baker brought Manny Parra out of the bullpen. This was likely going to be the most important point in the game, and your intrepid manager inserted his worst reliever into the game. Terrible bullpen management, right?

All hail Dusty. Manny Parra struck out Jason Kipnis on three pitches before Sam LeCure entered to finish the inning with a strikeout.*

–None. Life is good right now.

–The mighty Redlegs keep on rolling. That’s 7 wins in 8 games, and 14 of their last 18.

–It’s crazy that the Reds have the second-best record in the major leagues, yet remain in second place in the National League Central. Can’t say I’m too worked up about that, however. If the Reds keep winning games, that stuff will take care of itself.

–Well, the Indians got their revenge for last night’s Chapman/Swisher fireworks. They hit Brandon Phillips in the ribs with a pitch (they hit Choo, too, but he gets hit so often, who knows if it’s intentional). Ho-hum. Can we get back to baseball now?

–Xavier Paul is nothing more than a fourth outfielder, but he’s a pretty darn good fourth outfielder. He’s been a very good acquisition.

–So, the Reds sweep a two-game series with the Indians, and tonight they are flying to Cleveland to play two more games. That’s creative scheduling, but as a fan, I like it a lot. A neat way to play a four-game series.

*Yes, that was still terrible bullpen management, regardless of how it turned out. You’ll get burnt in that situation more often than not. I’m just glad tonight wasn’t one of those nights.

Source: FanGraphs

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! 106 Comments

  1. I think you are underestimating JUST how left-handed Manny Parra is. Advanced statistical analysis shows that Manny Parra is 100% left-handed and, therefore, the perfect reliever for a baseball manager to pitch against at least a 50% left handed hitter. With those kinds of numbers in our favor, how do you NOT put Parra in?

  2. Would like to say this:

    I was at the game tonight and my girlfriend and I wanted to watch the bullpen since the group behind us was wondering if we would get a foul ball. We were in section 106, which for those who don’t know is behind the left field wall right below the bleachers…ugh.

    We made it over to the bullpen to notice that Sean Marshall appeared to be managing the bullpen, taking the phone calls, getting guys up and letting them know who they would be facing. He comes out of the bullpen, and notices a younger fan leaning over the rail and tosses her not one but two baseballs, smiles and walks away. Nice guy, right? It gets better. A no more than two and a half year old kid walks up to the overview of the bullpen, he notices her, smiles and waves at her until she actually noticed him. One more thing, he then waved at my girlfriend, and obviously was trying to spit his game on her. Kidding.

    Overall, he has been by far the most friendly guy I have ever seen just hanging out in the Reds bullpen. It’s nice to have a guy like that on the Reds who not only is one of the best pitchers on the team, but is in for the long haul whether he is on the DL or not.

    Michael Brantley didn’t like the “Cleveland Sucks” chant either…it was a very interesting crowd tonight.

    • @rfay00: Great story, I’ve always had a good feeling about Marshall. Let’s hope he’s back soon, the Reds need him.

    • @rfay00: Cleveland most certainly doesn’t suck. At least the Cleveland Indians. Can’t vouch the same for the rest of the city though.

  3. You can’t teach left handedness. (Well you can but that just wouldn’t be natural)

  4. I feel like I’m the only person in the crowd that Sean Marshall didn’t wave to.

    Cleveland’s outfield is great – they cover like crazy and all have strong arms. The Reds wouldn’t run on Stubbs tonight. Brantley’s throw was great to get Robinson at the plate. I thought he had no chance. Both Bourn and Stubbs took extra-base hits away.

    I thought Dusty managed the bullpen pretty well tonight, including Parra. Kipnis bats left-handed and has a pretty significantly worse split against lefties. Baker had Parra in for one guy. I thought Baker made the right call on Latos both times he went to the mound.

    Obvious that the HBP on Brandon was intentional and obvious that the HBP on Choo wasn’t. That “drama” is over.

    The Cleveland bullpen is turrrrible. We haven’t seen Pestano and Smith, who are probably their two best, but the rest of them can’t be counted on to get anyone out. They have three left-handers and they might as well have none.

    The Reds held serve and won both games at home. Have to win at least one of the two in Cleveland to win the series. Pitching matchup favors Cleveland tomorrow and the Reds on Thursday.

    • @Steve Mancuso: Cozart got a double off Stubbs. I didn’t think Cozart’s ball wasn’t that close to the line and hit off the bottom of the fence. Stubbs fielded it cleanly and got a throw to second, but Cozart still beat it. The thing is, from what I hear of some talking about Stubbs, I would think he would have been able to get to that ball to catch it.

      Oh, and they ran on Stubbs yesterday, I believe. I couldn’t believe they did it. I think it was Cozart scoring. But, I’m not sure how much I go there.

    • @Steve Mancuso: It is SO great to see Stubbs being successful in Cleveland. He now seems like a threat at the plate. You know he can go yard at any time, and you definitely want to keep him off the bases.

      Because it was 8-2 in late innings and Simon was on the mound, I was hoping Drew would hit a home run. Just for old time sake.

      • @TC: Stubbs is playing so far about like 2011, when Reds fans were pretty disappointed with him. (As opposed to 2012, when he was horrible.)

        He’s not hitting with any HR power (on pace for 9 HR). He’s killing lefties and incompetent against righties (sub .600 OPS there). I’m not really certain he’s any better, I guess we’ll know at year’s end.

  5. Good to see the glue guys (Hannahan/Paul/Mez) do their part, but you gotta hand it to the Reds pitchers the last two days for keeping a pretty darn good offense in check. It’s amazing we’re not in first, but barring a trade by the Cardinals, I just don’t see how they maintain their pitching and hold us off. The season is just too long, right?

    Raise your hand if this winning stretch reminds you of last year when Joey got hurt.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: Well, their top 3 guys have really good underlying numbers: Wainwright is actually well over his FIP, which is 1.88.

      There is no way Lyons can keep pitching like he is over the long haul.

      Michael Wacha, top prospect, is now the next guy. We’ll have to see about him. He still doesn’t look ready to me. But of course, Tyler Lyons wasn’t ready either.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: It just hasn’t been their pitching but their offense as well. Third in runs, 4th in hits, third in BA. And, from what I remember, that’s a decrease from what they’ve had in recent years. It is obvious, their pitching is carrying them right now, like with us overall. But, their hitting isn’t too shabby at all.

        Oh, the Cards starters league leading ERA, 0.50 better than the 2nd place team, us. Our pen’s ERA, 8th in the league.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: A lot of people on here keep saying that the Cardinals’ pitching is due for a regression, and that may be true. But the numbers for Bailey, Arroyo, and Leake (and possibly Cueto, although he has a much smaller sample size) suggest that they may regress as well, since all of them have a fairly high strand rate and FIP significantly better than previous years. Also, it’s important to keep in perspective that the Reds have mostly been doing this against the league’s bottom dwellers.

      The Cardinals organization seems to be on a very different track from the Reds. Long gone is the Jocketty-era mentality of cultivating the farm system only to trade the young talent for star free agents. Since 2007, the Cardinals have re-invented their scouting and player development to make it the backbone of the organization, and it is starting to bear substantial fruit for them. They are in an envious position that is not built around taking advantage of a “window to contend” but around contending every year.

      Maybe the Reds pitchers are really this good and we are seeing them finally play to their true talent level. Then again, maybe the Cardinals are too. My point is that it is one-sided thinking to assuming that the Cards will regress without also expecting some regression from the Reds at some point.

      Remember at the beginning of the season when everyone talked about how the Reds have a clear advantage in the bullpen? Since Rosenthal and Mujica have become the 8th and 9th inning guys for the Cardinals, does anyone still think that the Cardinals pen is that much worse?

      • @yoobee: There’s no doubt that if you play the “Cards will regress” game one ought to also look at the Reds that might be regress (Leake, for one).

        Yes, the Cards back end of the bullpen to date is much better than the Reds’. However, the Reds’ pen has more depth. The Cards lack of depth seems to me to be hidden somewhat by the ridiculously good starting pitching.

        To be fair, I don’t know that the Reds have a window to contend, unless you mean a pretty long window. The Reds’ organization boggles my mind quite often, but overall, they’re doing well. It’s just that the Cards happen to share the division and are significantly better in terms of the organization…and better than basically anyone.

      • @yoobee: Not to put too fine a point on it—I could easily see Lyons, Wacha, and Miller have their way with the league initially. But then the scouting reports take over and the innings limits/fatigue start to creep in. If I’m Mozeliak, I’m leveraging my prospects to land a stud pitcher at the deadline.

      • @yoobee: I like contending every year, as opposed to loading up for one or two years and then spending 10 or more years thrashing around in the wildnerness. Even a team built to win now is far from a sure bet to win the WS.

  6. Our pitching has been terrific and I will call it now- Mike Leake is stepping forward this year! If Leake does step forward, then our staff will be excellent enabling the Reds to go on runs like these. I know we are facing a tough schedule, yet I believe our starters will give us a significant advantage. With the young arms on the farm, we have more starting pitching than forever!

  7. Missed the game. With all the opportunities the Reds had in innings 3 thru 6, they should have had a sizable lead at that point. Would have gotten nervous with the Indians batting in the 7th.

    It was good to have a LeCure sighting.

  8. I like Robinson’s short quick swing. Not everyone should try to hit HRs. A pesky switch hitting bat off the bench is something the Reds haven’t had for a while.

    I like Paul too, as a 4th OFer. Chokes up with 2 strikes and makes solid contact pretty consistently.

    Having said all that, to have an advantage over the Cardinals (the above discussions are excellent), the Reds need a big bat in LF. If Ludwick comes back hitting with power in mid-August, that would be great. But it seems unlikely. I think WJ needs to make a move.

    • @pinson343: I don’t agree. I think they could be ok with just a good righty half of the platoon. Paul’s got a .406 OBP vs righties. It’s not ideal to have little power out of a corner OF spot, I agree, but it’s not fatal, IF they get someone who also puts up a .400 OBP from the right side. And the bat that platoon 2nd. Lot of if’s with Baker.

      I like what Robinson’s doing, to my extreme surprise. He does not look like a guy who couldn’t get on base in the minors. He looks like a guy who knows he can’t hit with any power and understands that if he doesn’t get on at a high rate, he’s useless. And he’s getting on a lot. Of course, small sample, but he isn’t swinging at a lot of bad balls, and he knows his role. I just think he’ll possibly be too exposed as half a platoon. I want Hairston or Denorfia, or someone like that.

  9. Corky Miller pitched 2/3 of an inning (scoreless) for the Bats. Now has a 3.38 ERA in 4 career AAA outings. Would he be better than Ondrusek ?

  10. Dusty Baker brought Manny Parra out of the bullpen. This was likely going to be the most important point in the game, and your intrepid manager inserted his worst reliever into the game. Terrible bullpen management, right?

    I’ve been critical, very critical, of Dusty in the past but bringing Parra in last night is exactly why guys love playing for Dusty. He does everything he can to build their confidence. Even Parra said afterwards he was thankful Dusty brought him in a tight game.
    We are 14 games ABOVE .500 even before June 1st. I will not complain one bit about anything Dusty is doing at this point. Even Cozart is starting to hit. Life is good…so far…for the Reds. Remember, this is all without Ludwick too but that’s allowed Paul to step it up. I swear, Heisey is the forgotten man right now. Anybody miss him?

    • @sezwhom1:

      Sez stole my line about Parra: I’m really annoyed by a lot of things Dusty did, but I can understand bringing in Parra there in this sense: Parra is on the staff, he has to do something, why not give him a shot and see if he delivers? It was a relatively low pressure situation (game in late May, non-divisional opponent, Reds had the lead), so let Parra show if he can do it. If he fails, we have our answer.

      The counterpoint is Parra has had a whole career of opportunities and frankly hasn’t capitalized. So why think he can change? It’s a fair point.

      Of course, in a perfect world, Dusty would have brought in his best reliever to close out that inning and pitch the 8th. But, that will never happen.

      • @per14: @sezwhom1: That’s really not that far a reach. Bring in the Loogy for the lefty. It would have been a reach if Baker left Parra in for another inning plus. What he did was pretty much “by the book”.

        But, don’t it ever be known that Baker follows “the book”. He follows “his book”.

  11. Has anyone else noticed how awful the American League just did against the National League? SSS I know but damn, the entire AL won 3 games last night. Also, the Reds have the most Runs scored in the NL and the second fewest runs allowed. I’m glad to see people easing off the manager for one night at least. Funny what winning a box full of wins will do for one’s reputation, great game.

    Bruce really should have been a two hit guy last night, Bourne is one of maybe three CF’s (Ben Revere and I don’t know who else) who catches that first line drive.

  12. I have one negative from yesterday, but it is a fine point because of the score. Votto’s pickoff was a rally killer in the 3rd when the Reds could have used a rally. It really was a fine play by Cleveland’s defense to hang him out like that, but it was still a mental error by Votto.

    • @TC: Votto also giving Robinson the “stay up” signal cost us a run/out also.

      • @3PuttPar: Yeah, I noticed that too. I can understand getting picked off once in a while like that (say, once a year, max), but I’ve never seen an on deck batter say “stand up” on a close play. Weird.

        • @Hank Aarons Teammate: That play getting Robinson out at home was weird. He got there SO quick I think it threw everybody off. I think Votto might have been signaling for him to hold up at third and he was just flying so fast that he was 10 feet from the plate by the time he was even looking in. Hannahan barely had time to touch the plate and turn around before Robinson was on top of him.

          Personally, I think the pickoff players worse on Joeys part. Not sure what he thought he was doing.

          • @eric nyc: Votto got caught in between on a ball that bounced away from the catcher. Cleveland has had a lot of passed ball/wild pitch situations this week, especially on balls that hit in front of the plate. On that one, the ball hit out front, bounced a few feet in front of the catcher and Votto was indecisive about whether to go to third or not. He flat got caught in between and was easy to throw out.

  13. Pittsburgh shut out Detroit for 11 innings…Sheesh. This division is ridiculous right now.

  14. Cards, Reds, Bucs – 1, 2 & 3 in winning percentage in the MLB. Kind of nuts.

    • @RedManifesto: Looking at the run diff’s, Pittsburgh is over-performing right now and I don’t see them keeping it up. Basically us and the Cards are right where we’re supposed to be, but the Bucs have a couple extra games in the win column and aren’t anywhere near the run diff we’re putting up. Still a bit early to put TOO much stock into those numbers, but it’s getting to the point where they start becoming a bit more relevant. Huge series this weekend and next. Could do a lot to clear up the picture – and I think the Bucs play the Cards in between?

      • @eric nyc: I’ve been watching the Pirates this season as often as I can. I get ROOT so when the Reds are off or playing at different times, I’ll watch the Pirates. They are a very good team. Great chemistry and leadership. They remind me of the 2010 Reds in a lot of ways.

        They are, however from what I’ve seen, playing above themselves. They are getting some great pitching and hits when they need them and winning some very close games.

        Another big thing for the Pirates is their bullpen is really shortening games. When the Pirates get 9 innings to score and the opposition is only getting 6 it makes it possible for the Pirates to win more games.

  15. This is where the rubber meets the road for the Reds. The patty-cake portion of their schedule is in the rearview mirror. Including the past 2 games with the Indians, between Memorial Day and the All-Star break the Reds have 46 games. 33 of those games are against teams that are in first, second or third in their respective divisions (.500+ teams). 13 games against the Cubs, Brewers and Mariners in that stretch. That also includes an 8 game west coast trip (Ari,Oak, Tex).
    And it doesn’t get any easier after the AS break. The Reds open with 3 against the Buccos and then go on a 10 game west coast trip to close out July against SF, LAD, and SD. And they start August with 3 games against the Cards. June and July are going to be tougher than April was when the Reds only managed a 15-13 record. The Reds have played very well in May and now its time to man up.
    If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. Over the next 44 games we will see what kind of playoff caliber team this is. Already off to a nice 2-0 start.

    • @WVRedlegs: A lot of those teams have the records they have because they haven’t had to play many games against teams like the Reds yet. I don’t think there’s any doubt that we’re an elite team. Yeah, we still have to go out and execute, but I’m not worried about anyone in particular. If anything, those teams are looking at us on the schedule and sweating.

    • @WVRedlegs: If the Reds can win 22 of them, I am happy.

      • @TC: 22 of the 33 or 22 of the 46? 22 of the 33 is a .667 winning percentage, which is historically fantastic. If the Reds can take 26 of the 46, I think we should be happy. If they can take 17 of the 33 against teams with winning records, I think we should be happy.

      • @TC:

        I am hoping for 27-17 over the next 44 games. That would give the Reds an outstanding record of 60-36 at the All Star break, 24 games above the .500 mark. And that might not be enough for 1st place in the NL Central. Hang on, this is gonna be better than a Kings Island ride.

        • @WVRedlegs:

          Just for comparisons sake, the Cards have 42 games between now and the AS break. Two less than Cincinnati. They have 19 games against .500+ teams, compared to Cincy’s 31. And 23 against the rest (KC-2,NYM-3,Mia-6,Cubs-8,Astros-4) compared to Cincy’s 13. If the Reds are in 1st place at the AS break, that would have to be a monumental achievement. On the flip-side, August and September schedules would favor the Reds over the Cards.

    • This is where the rubber meets the road for the Reds. The patty-cake portion of their schedule is in the rearview mirror. Including the past 2 games with the Indians, between Memorial Day and the All-Star break the Reds have 46 games. 33 of those games are against teams that are in first, second or third in their respective divisions (.500+ teams). 13 games against the Cubs, Brewers and Mariners in that stretch. That also includes an 8 game west coast trip (Ari,Oak, Tex).And it doesn’t get any easier after the AS break. The Reds open with 3 against the Buccos and then go on a 10 game west coast trip to close out July against SF, LAD, and SD. And they start August with 3 games against the Cards. June and July are going to be tougher than April was when the Reds only managed a 15-13 record. The Reds have played very well in May and now its time to man up.If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. Over the next 44 games we will see what kind of playoff caliber team this is. Already off to a nice 2-0 start.

      well, a part of the reason the teams we’ve played have bad records is because we have been adding to their loss column.

  16. I hate to say it, but the presence of Manny Parra could improve the bullpen…if Marshall can get healthy. He will be used in that case in the middle innings, maybe 6th-7th, to get one left hander out. That will in turn have Baker using Marshall for more batters (maybe). I mean, teams with Hank on them didn’t have two LOOGYs.

    Also, I am hoping the return of Marshall will coincide with Ondrusek being sent out to clear the roster spot. Overall, that would make for a better bullpen, I think. IF Baker does the above.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: I meant “he” as in Parra, the LOOGY for the 6th-7th.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: I agree with you 99% of the time, just not on this one. Parra in no way could make any team better. He’s awful.

        • @TC: .229 AVG against and .635 OPS against left handed batters last year. So far this season, .657 OPS against LHB.

        • @TC: No issue disagreeing, I just want to make sure you understand what I’m saying, which is that Parra on the team makes the other parts of the bullpen stronger.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: One can hope. Baker’s been using them backwards, Parra goes multiple batters in an outing and Marshall pitches to one or two batters. Parra’s stat splits are those of a LOOGY – he should be facing the 1 left-handed batter. Marshall should get a full inning.

      Hopefully, when both are on the active roster at the same time, this is how Baker uses them.

  17. I don’t want to be debbie downer here about Ludwick but even he admitted in an article a couple of days ago that he was going to be hard pressed to be playing at full strength before the end of the season. He implied that he’s got a long way to go and won’t be playing in july.

    • @B-town Fan:

      I read that article too. And the first thing that came to mind was watching Nomar Garciaparra on ESPN a few weeks ago on Baseball Tonight. They were talking shoulder injuries, surgeries and the Dodgers Matt Kemp. Garciparra, who had shoulder surgery, said that a player may think he’s healthy and go out and play after a few months of rehab. But Garciaparra said it took about 18 months for his shoulder to be completely healthy and most of his power restored.
      This from ESPN dot com yesterday on Kemp: “The Los Angeles Dodgers insist that center fielder Matt Kemp is healthy even as his production continues to lag dramatically.”
      In other words, don’t count on Ludwick for much in 2013 if he returns at all. A trade for a LF is imminent.

  18. Would anyone else have PH for Latos in the bottom of the 6th inning? Hannahan led off the inning with a double.

    Latos is up to bat with no outs, runner on 2nd, Reds up just 3-1.
    Latos was at, I think, just 90 or 91 pitches.
    Indians had 8-9-1 due up in the top of the 7th.

    • @Greg Dafler: It crossed my mind at the time. Of course, Dusty might have had the pinch hitter lay down a bunt, too. I felt at the time (and was proven wrong) that Latos still had another good inning left. I was surprised when Baker visited the mound after the first walk and felt glad that he left Latos in. Then he walks Bourn on four pitches. I was happy that Baker decided then to take him out.

      Regarding Parra: The Reds really could use a LOOGY in certain circumstances. Parra is far from ideal. But he’s on the roster and the Reds can either try to get him to the point where he’s a plausible help or they can just write him off to completely irrelevant situations. I’ve been as critical of the Parra signing as anyone. But given where the Reds are, I’d rather see them try him in a strict left-only role than just let him rot on the bench. He really helped out last night.

      • @Steve Mancuso: LOOGYs are worth it, especially in the postseason when you can more afford to have one (and have other pitchers pick up the slack for a few weeks).

        Heck, we don’t want Choo facing a lefty, and there are many other hitters with fairly substantial splits. I agree that they should see if Parra can fit this limited role.

      • @Steve Mancuso: Your thought process about that situation last night matches mine almost perfectly.

    • @Greg Dafler: I don’t know for certain, but I would think it reasonable to assume that Dusty may be trying to extend the starters’ innings a bit. None of them are averaging 7 innings per start, and the bullpen will be taxed over the course of 162 games and (dare we hope)a lengthy run in the postseason if the current trend continues.

  19. Another Manny Parra comment – I read or heard that Sean Marshall has also been working with him. Talking strategy and helping him with his breaking ball. Maybe all it takes is a little friendly advice and a confidence boost like last night to make Manny Parra a contributing member to this bullpen. It certainly worked for Alfredo Simon last season.

    • @Greg Dafler: Comments like this (along with the outstanding content the editorial team runs out on a daily basis) are what makes this the best Reds blog on the internet.

      I never considered the chance that Parra could be this year’s Simon. Wouldn’t that be outstanding? And the fact the Marshall is taking the time to work with him says so much about this team’s chemistry. I love this team!

    • @Greg Dafler: Yes. That says a lot about both players. But I’m still not confident when Parra is on the hill.

  20. Expectations have been raised. Simply having a good season or getting to the playoffs via the wildcard and losing in a one game roll of the dice isn’t good enough. A serious WS-contending team should not have to rely on Manny Parra for this critical role, period. Marshall has been dealing with a mysterious shoulder problem all season. Wouldn’t you all have felt much better with Cingrani on the mound last night? I know using him that way will hurt his development as a starter, but so be it. I’d rather borrow from the future that way than trade away valuable prospects.

    • @Eric the Red: One thing with that, would anyone know? I mean, we have the 2nd best record in the league, but we would be the WC in the playoffs. Does the WC have to play the #1 seed in the playoffs? Wasn’t there a stipulation that, like right now, we would play one of the other first place teams and not the Cards? Just wondering.

      • @steveschoen: First, we’d play the other wildcard in a one game playoff. (Any team can beat any other in one game. Plus, you’d have to burn a top starter). This is how the Cards snuck through last year, beating a superior Braves team. Then we’d have to play the top seed, even if they were from within our own division. The “not in your division” thing was changed; last year, I believe.

      • @steveschoen: I could be mistaken, but I think that they did away with that rule. That last year and this year the wild card team could play a division rival in the first round of the playoffs.

    • @Eric the Red: I just don’t believe that the tradeoff is worth it, right now. In the postseason is another story.

      One thing I wonder is whether Cingrani is as effective against lefties as your typical lefty, given his fastball reliance.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: What if it guaranteed winning the division vs getting in via the wildcard? (Obviously it can’t; I’m just trying to get a feel for how strongly people feel about this.). Regarding the postseason, if he keeps starting he probably won’t be available because of innings limits. Plus, Dusty wont want to use him because he hates doing things differently in the postseason.

        • @Eric the Red: I’m with HAT… maybe in the playoffs I’d consider it, but in no way would I sacrifice the innings for Cingrani’s starter arm and opportunity to continue to learn his craft by making him a relief pitcher this season in the Bigs. A) Odds are good we’ll see him again making up for another injured/hurt starter… and there is nobody I’d rather see in that scenario. B) He’s all but sure to be Bronson’s replacement next year, and we’ll need his starters innings built up. There’s no reason that the Reds won’t be just about as good next year (Choo notwithstanding)… and pitching is a HUGE piece of that.

          • @Matt WI: And make no mistake, I’m not signing up for the Parra fanclub, I’m just saying that Cingrani isn’t the best choice to replace him. Cingrani just isn’t that kind of difference maker where the tradeoff is worth it.

          • @Matt WI: I guess my point is a couple of games could be the difference between the Division and the Wildcard, which is a huge difference. And Cingrani is more likely than Parra to help us win those few games. There’s no “right” answer, of course, and I fully recognize that using Cingrani as a reliever this year will diminish him as a starter next year. Most importantly: I’m very worried about Marshall, and a WS-contending club simply can’t have Manny Parra filling this role.

          • @Eric the Red: Of course, if it were the difference you mention, then you’d want Cingrani.

            But, that is so unlikely that I’d leave Cingrani starting (somewhere).

  21. It will be interesting to see who Dusty uses as the DH tonight. Maybe Paul with Robinson in left?

  22. Anyone else getting the distinct impression yet that we’re going to be kicking ourselves for trading Gregorious for the next 10 years? Would be a shame if we traded away a real franchise SS after all these years…

    • @eric nyc: No. It was a good trade that filled a huge need for us. If Didi keeps up his hitting–and nothing in his minor league numbers suggests he will–then I’d look back on it as a one of those crazy things we love about the game of baseball.

      • @Eric the Red: Not saying I wouldn’t have made the trade – especially if by some miracle we end up extending Choo – but it would still just be ironic that we finally produced an All Star SS after 10 years of trying and then traded him.

    • @eric nyc: Once again, no player in the last 10 years with 1900 or more minor league ABs with an OPS of .725 or less had more than a .741 OPS in the majors overall. (Assuming 500 MLB ABs). Gregorious was below .700.

      Could Gregorious break the trend? Yes. Is it likely? No. Would I blame the Reds brass if he becomes Derek Jeter? No.

  23. Sir Isaac Newton and the Laws of Gravity will soon catch up with Gregorius. What goes up, must come down. Gregorius’s batting average will return to earth in due time. The question is, will it be a soft landing or will it be with a thud?

  24. On Gregorius, I agree that there is no way he can keep up the kind of pace he’s been on. By the end of the season I think we’ll see a slash line something like .277/.321/.385 and most of that will be due to his red-hot start. By the way, those are better than the projections I had for him before the season started: .261/.303/.377

  25. Tonight’s lineup:

    1. Shin-Soo Choo (L) CF
    2. Zack Cozart (R) SS
    3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
    4. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
    5. Jay Bruce (L) RF
    6. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
    7. Xavier Paul (L) LF
    8. Ryan Hanigan (R) C
    9. Jack Hannahan (L) DH

    And since the DH is replacing the pitcher, he must bat 9th. (which probably isn’t unrealistic for most NL teams anyways since their DH is one of their bench players.)

    A potential issue of using Hannahan as the DH is that the only backup infielder on the bench for all 4 infield position is Izturis.

    • @Greg Dafler: Yeah, I’d use Robinson and bat him 2nd.

    • @Greg Dafler: Sigh…I don’t mind Hannahan playing, but not letting Votto or Frazier take the day off from fielding is silly.

      Seems like Hannahan, a defensive specialist, would at least play in the field and let Frazier DH. Nope.

      Also, seems like a good opportunity to improve the OF defense by letting Robinson start in CF and Choo DH. Nope.

      Also, good opportunity to get Mes at bats in 3 straight games. Nope.

      The fact that a corner guy with a career OPS below .700 is the Reds DH AND is a major improvement over the guy that DH’d against the Yankeees last year (Cairo), is kinda sad. #NLbaseball

    • @Greg Dafler: After the way Hannahan hit last night, AND the fact it is a ballpark he is familiar with, I’d say that works. If he goes 0 for 2 though, I’m putting in Robinson or Lutz.

      But here is another argument for the DH. They get to insert one of their best hitters into the lineup tonight where the Reds put in their 24th player.

      • @TC: That’s not an argument for the DH, that’s an argument for getting rid of it. It’s an abomination.

        In the NL I’m happy if we get 6 good innings from Bronson; with an extra batter, I’ll take 5 good innings tonight.

  26. Here I go with the same old tired discussion… but I am making an official statement about a change of mind. Of the three options:

    1.) Get rid of the DH,
    2.) Keep things the way they are, or
    3.) Bring the DH to the NL

    The first is NEVER going to happen. The second cannot continue to happen. The third is the last option standing. It will be a sad day though.

    • @TC: I guess I’m saying that I am now in favor of the DH in the NL. Though not because I think it is the best option. Just the best available.

    • @TC: if not 1, then 2. I can live with it for these few games a year.

    • @TC: Yes, yes…welcome to the dark side. We have cookies.

      The DH is now used at every level of baseball, except for one league in the MLB. It’s just a matter of time. We shouldn’t have to watch Alfredo Simon hit, or Johnny Cueto run the bases… 😀

    • @TC: I came to this conclusion early last season. I’m not looking forward to that day, but I think the time has come. They don’t even let the pitchers hit until they get to AA, and then they only hit for themselves if both clubs are NL affiliates.

    • @TC: I do want to qualify one thing… I believe the DH has led to the decline of interest in baseball. It takes away a good portion of what makes the game interesting.

      • @TC: I strongly disagree. The decline of baseball has everything to do with the rise of other fun alternatives-football, basketball, television, internet.

        Plus, baseball is relatively expensive to play, and expensive time-wise. Amateur baseball now entails playing > 80-100 games a summer and costs thousands depending on what level you play. It’s basically unpaid, semi-professional baseball.

        MLB wise, 3-4 hour baseball games are the scourge of baseball. The umps need to start enforcing delay of game type rules.

        If anything, I think the DH has helped baseball retain some fans. Boston fans aren’t complaining about Big Papi, that’s for sure.

  27. Jamie Ramset, via twitter…

    The #Reds have purchased from the Mexican League (AAA) 21 year-old outfielder Sebastian Elizalde. In 147 career Mex-Lg games: .301/.353/.450

    Another LH outfielder, but an interesting pickup.

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

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


2013 Reds, Titanic Struggle Recap


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