Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

Milwaukee 1
Cincinnati 5

W: J. Cueto (4-0)
L: W. Peralta (4-8)
S: A. Simon (1)

–Johnny Cueto was very effective in his return from the disabled list, going six innings and allowing just one run on five hits. He also drove in a run with a suicide squeeze that was brilliantly-executed. Good day for the Reds’ ace.

–Zack Cozart and Joey Votto were each 2-4; Cozart had a double and a run scored. Jay Bruce hit a solo homer, his twelfth of the season. Jack Hannahan was 1-3 with a double and walk.

–Donald Lutz had a big pinch-hit single that drove in two.

–Phil Mickelson holed one out for an eagle on #10.

–Alfredo Simon pitched three shutout innings for the save. Wait, a multi-inning save? Is that even legal?


–Reds win two out of three, and I’ll take that every single time.

–Juan Francisco made an error for the Brewers. I’ve never seen him do that before.

–Okay, Pittsburgh comes to town now. It would be nice for the Reds to show the Pirates what a real contender looks like.

Source: FanGraphs

32 Responses

  1. Josh

    Great win, needed it. I think the upcoming 4 game set with the Pirates is the biggest of the year thus far. No AJ Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez and Starling Marte. Lets make a statement that is loud and clear. 3 out of 4 would be huge. The SP and the bullpen need to be filthy and the offense needs to be clicking.

    • Hank Aarons Teammate

      @Josh: I think they take 3/4 at least in this upcoming series. Time to bring the Locke kid back to earth, there’s no way he should have an ERA of around 2. Charlie Morton has killed the Reds in the past, and that needs to come to a stop too. But yes, no Burnett is huge.

  2. CharlotteNCRedsFan

    Little disappointed that our fearless leader, Mr. Chad, did not put The Skipper in the positives column. Seriously, Dusty had a very good game and even if it only lasts this one day, I’m grateful.

    Johnny Cueto, IMO, is one of the two or three best pitchers in the game. Just a load as a competitor and a true professional, as well. Lord just please keep him healthy as the team is very dependent on this true ace.

    • Hank Aarons Teammate

      @CharlotteNCRedsFan: If I had to win one game and could choose any NL pitcher, I’d take Kershaw, followed by Wainwright, then Cueto. And I’d say Wainwright and Cueto are about closer to even. If you expand to the whole league, I have to take Verlander over Cueto also, and I might put Felix Hernandez in the same group as Cueto.

      He’s definitely outstanding and a very top pitcher, if healthy. The contract Jocketty gave Cueto is one of his absolute best moves, they have him for another couple years at 10M per year, good lord, that’s about 15M per year below the value he’d have on the open market.

      One thing I don’t know that I agree is how dependent they are on Cueto. I guess I’m biased because I really like Cingrani, but I think the Reds can sustain one injury to their staff, of anyone. After that, it’s a disaster (and in the thesaurus, disaster is similar to “Villareal”).

      If I were choosing for the future, I love the Harvey kid.

      • rhayex

        @Hank Aarons Teammate: Hypothetical: what if you were choosing from the last 15-30 years or so? I’d take Johnson over Kershaw, I think.

      • Hank Aarons Teammate

        @rhayex: Johnson, as of right now. Kershaw’s great, but this is his first superhuman (half) year.

  3. eric nyc

    “What a job by Simon,” Baker said. “We all thought the days of the three-inning saves were dead, but he saved my bullpen today. He did a great job without a whole lot of pitches.”

    Does Dusty Baker not realize that he is actually IN CHARGE of who does what in baseball games? Does he think he might get his license revoked?

    • greenmtred

      @eric nyc: The manager, however, must pay attention to reality, in this case the health of his players. Dusty could decree that every starter will pitch 6 innings, and that Chapman will pitch the last 3 innings every game. Would that work?

  4. CharlotteNCRedsFan

    IMO, Wainwright can’t hold Johnny’s jockstrap but I know he is a Cardinal so there’s that. JC pitches in a bandbox and comparing stats since 2011, it isn’t even close. I will concede Kershaw and maybe Verlander but it is a lot closer call than one might suspect. To me, Johnny is Bob Gibson to Fergie Jenkins and Juan Marichal. In a big-game, give me Johnny every time.

    • Hank Aarons Teammate

      @CharlotteNCRedsFan: There’s this thing called ERA+ that takes into account the bandbox.

      Last 4 years: Wainwright, 155, 160, 97, 174
      Last 4 years: Cueto, 112, 171, 151, 190

      Like I said, it’s really close. Wainwright’s post TJ year is the 97. Cueto wasn’t “Cueto” yet 4 years ago. If it ends up this year that Cueto is at 190, I’ll change my mind. I have them as virtually identical, looking at the numbers I can see it either way. But the idea that Wainwright isn’t comparable is wrong. But then I’m just a Card fan, according to you. (Am I really a Dodger fan if I like Kershaw better than either?)

      • CharlotteNCRedsFan

        @Hank Aarons Teammate: Just take what you say about the Reds with a grain of salt, now that I know where your heart lies. Don’t Cardinal fans have a similar blog that you could post at?

      • Hank Aarons Teammate

        @CharlotteNCRedsFan: And to think all this time I thought you were taking everything I say as the gospel truth.

      • CharlotteNCRedsFan

        @Hank Aarons Teammate: Surprised you didn’t pick-up on the Gibson reference. Figured you would be pleased as I did that for your enjoyment.

  5. Mwv

    No debating that JC is fantastic. I don’t watch other teams enough to comment about Kershaw but I do think Wainwright is equally as good based on his games against us. I don’t follow the AL but when we saw Verlander last year he had great stuff even though for that one game we wore him out with high pitch counts.

  6. Steve Mancuso

    Baker pushed a few buttons that really worked today. Letting Bruce swing on the 3-0 count was one. The suicide squeeze was a gutsy and surprising call. Sticking with Lutz when the Brewers came in with a lefty is against the book, but worked. The bench players in the lineup (Robinson and Hannahan) both contributed to the offense.

    The Brewers really hack. They are up swinging for the fences every AB.

    • eric nyc

      @Steve Mancuso: I was cracking up listening to Chris and Jim go on and on about how there wasn’t a right handed batter on the bench to come in that spot. Then about 2 seconds before Lutz swung Cheis said “Oh well I guess Frazier could bat…”

      I’m glad Lutz got the RBIs, but any manager worth anything would have switched in Frazier there to burn their LOOGY.

      • Eric the Red

        @eric nyc: Yes, that was funny. I confess that up until that moment I’d forgotten about Frazier, but had already concluded that Choo (even with his LH pitching problems he’s a pro and I thought could get a bat on the ball), Mesoraco, and even Izturis were better choices there. (I didn’t think of it at the time, but you could make an argument for Leake, too…). I’d have gone with Mesoraco that late in a tight game with a shaky bullpen, but I’d rather risk losing a game to a theoretical catcher injury than to risk one to a LH-LH battle with a AA player. I’m glad it worked out, though 🙂

    • pinson343

      @Steve Mancuso: With a pitcher up who can bunt, I love the suicide squeeze. Good going, Dusty.

      I also liked Cueto going 6 and Simon going 3.

      Players who aren’t among the team’s best hitters came thru today. Plus Bruce’s moon shot.

  7. Eric the Red

    Come on. There is no way to justify batting Lutz there. Even if Frazier weren’t available there’s no way to justify it. The kid has potential, but you don’t send LH potential to bat against a LH specialist late in a close ball game. He’s striking out more and more as the book on him is written, and unless you believe in some sort of “Mothers Day/Fathers Day” positive karma for Lutz you’ve got to put someone else up there. I’m glad it worked, but this is the second time in a few days that Dusty has shown an almost crazy attachment to “I can’t ‘burn’ a pinch hitter”.

  8. Eric the Red

    RLN guys: for the second time in two days I’ve had a comment put into moderation. In both cases there’s nothing directed at other commenters, no swearing, nothing even a little controversial. Other comments have gone through. Am I doing something wrong? Please let me know, and I’ll stop doing it, I promise 🙂

      • Eric the Red

        @Bill Lack: Thanks. The software seems not to like criticisms of a certain German PH ing. Which is a problem, because Dusty really likes getting him at-bats, even when better choices are available.

      • greenmtred

        @Eric the Red: I certainly understand that, theoretically, you are correct about not batting Lutz in that situation, and I also understand–for years now–that baseball fans love to mull over the theoretical. However, Lutz drove in the runs, the Reds won the game, and the result is not theory but fact. Baseball–and any other human endeavor–has to do with intangibles and intuition, as well as theories sensible and insensible. It would be interesting, though probably impossible, to test which approach at its logical extreme would produce the best results. Neither, at its logical extreme, would work well, in my opinion, and I guess that’s my point.

      • Eric the Red

        @greenmtred: I’m glad it worked. I agree that the extremes are bad–you can’t replace a Manager with a computer stuffed with statistics. And I’d probably respect “I had a hunch Lutz would be able to hit that pitcher” more than “Mes is a better choice but I wanted to save him just in case Hanigan got hurt” or “I didn’t want to burn another pinch hitter.” But I don’t think that’s the case.

      • greenmtred

        @Eric the Red: You bring up an interesting point–one which has been made by others–about the disagreement with Dusty’s reluctance to use his second catcher as a pinch hitter in case he’s needed later in the game. I don’t understand the disagreement; catchers do get hurt (see Hanigan, Ryan) and it is one position very difficult to fill with a non-catcher bench player. Probably the Reds would do well to have a third option on the team, but it would almost have to be somebody who can play another position or two. Absent that, I think that Dusty’s caution is well-founded.

  9. rightsaidred

    I recorded this one and watched a shortened version.

    Cueto wasn’t even throwing his best stuff but he is so good that his average stuff was enough for the Brewers.

    Votto’s first hit of the game made me think that the off day was really necessary. I hadn’t seen him reach down and flick a base hit over the SS in a long time. That is typically a conspicuous part of his game.

    Lutz’s PH turn out well but I wish Baker would be more willing to use Mes on his off days. He needs play appearances and is the best R/L match up on the bench.

    Cueto’s start really seemed to loosen Dusty up and he was managing in a pretty relaxed, confident way.

    • RiverCity Redleg

      Cueto’s start really seemed to loosen Dusty up and he was managing in a pretty relaxed, confident way.

      He typically has to make fewer decisions when Cueto starts.

      • Eric the Red

        @RiverCity Redleg: Partly because his bench players are usually already in the game as starters when Cueto’s on the mound, especially on Sundays 🙂

    • Eric the Red

      @rightsaidred: Agreed. But Votto’s best AB was probably the one where he gave himself up to move Cozart over to 3rd with less than two outs. (Which reminds me: negatives for this game include some awful base running: Hannahan getting picked off at 2nd even if he miraculously got back without being tagged, somebody (Hannahan?) not scoring on Hanigan’s double, Hannahan breaking for third and getting nailed easily, Cozart breaking for home on a tapper to the mound. These are the sorts of things that can get us killed when we’re not playing a Cubs/Brewers type team.)

  10. RedManifesto

    How about that trumpeter in the 7th? Sounded great on TV, probably better at the park.

    • CharlotteNCRedsFan

      @RedManifesto: Nice observation. They should do that more often. It was a near perfect day at the ball yard.

      • RedManifesto

        @CharlotteNCRedsFan: I agree. While singing it has its place, an instrument can really elevate a notch. Wish I was there, but alas, it’s a 10 hour drive from New Brunswick, NJ.