Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

Cincinnati 3
Milwaukee 4

W: K. Lohse (5-6)
L: H. Bailey (5-7)
S: F. Rodriguez (9)

–With two outs in the ninth inning, and the Reds down 4-3, Derrick Robinson had an excellent at-bat, ultimately drawing a walk. Joey Votto had an excellent AB, as well, but…well, see below.

–Chris Heisey has really played well since returning from the DL. Tonight, he reached base three times, with a homer, a single, and a HBP.

The homer was a classic. Our old “friend” Kyle Lohse threw one high and tight, under Heisey’s chin. On the very next pitch, Heisey drilled a line drive over the left field wall and sprinted around the bases. Love it. (Oh yeah, and later in the game, as noted above, the Brewers did hit him with a pitch. Were they throwing at Heisey tonight?_

–Logan Ondrusek secured an important third out in a tense moment in the sixth inning, after Homer Bailey permitted two baserunners before exiting.

–Xavier Paul drove in the Reds third run in the top of the seventh. Paul was pinch-hitting for the worst hitter in the Reds lineup. Yes, Paul was pinch-hitting for Dusty Baker’s #2 hitter, Zack Cozart.

–JJ Hoover pitched two shutout innings.

–With Robinson on first, down one, two outs, bottom of the ninth, the Reds had what they wanted: Joey Votto at the plate. Votto delivered, with a long drive to dead centerfield for the go-ahead home run. Except that Brewers CF Carlos Gomez leaped high above the wall and robbed Votto, ending the game.

–Homer Bailey did not throw another no-hitter. Homer gave up four runs in the first three innings, and though he settled down to keep the Reds in the game, his line wasn’t great: 5.2 innings, four runs, ten hits, two walks.

–So, the Reds are down to approximately zero healthy major league catchers. Ryan Hanigan is hurt again, so Devin Mesoraco — who was supposed to get a night off because of back spasms — was forced to play. He was obviously hurting, and it was painful to watch.

–What a gut-punch of a finish. Tip your cap to Carlos Gomez.

–Reds relievers haven’t surrendered a run since last month.

–Strange situation in the fifth inning. With runners on first and second and two outs, Homer appeared to retire Ricky Weeks on a groundout to second base for the third out. Fox Sports Ohio went to commercial. Then we learned that some umpire called a balk on Homer, so the runners were permitted to move up a base and the inning continued.

Of course, Homer walked Weeks ultimately. Fortunately, Bailey proceeded to strike out Sean Halton to end the inning.

–With runners on the corners in the bottom of the eighth, one out, the Brewers hit into the classic 9-3-5-2 double play to end the inning. TOOTBLAN.

–Can you imagine catching a big league game with back problems like Mesoraco did tonight? Sounds like torture.









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.

Join the conversation! 176 Comments

  1. Sorry, but I remain amazed that this team, which was built to WIN this year, has become nothing more than a contender for a wild-card spot.

    • @Johnu1: What is it that amazes you? The injury to Cueto? The injury to Marshall? The injury to Ludwick? Yet, still only 4 games away from the best record in the NL with 73 games to play.

      C’mon, man.

      • @Richard Fitch: The Pirates and Cardinals have had injuries too, and worse ones. That’s not an excuse.

        Having Cueto back wouldn’t make them hit with RISP, having Marshall back wouldn’t make them get on base (third highest OBP on the team is Frazier at .330- Cardinals as a team are .350.) Having Ludwick back wouldn’t make them get 2 out hits.

        • @TeethOfTheHydra: Not sure where you’re looking, but the Cards are actually 3rd in MLB at .335 OBP, while the Reds are 7th at .326.

          Aside from a few guys we actually get on base better than most teams.

      • @Richard Fitch: I’m not trying to be a Negative Nancy or anything, I think this team has the potential to make a run, and a good chance to make it happen. They just need to rethink their approach, maybe the ASB will help.

        Injuries aren’t the problem, though.

        • @TeethOfTheHydra: Injuries may not be THE problem, but they are undeniably part of the problem: the #1 starter, the 7th and 8th inning guys, the clean-up hitter and both catchers, for starts. Yes, some teams find ways to win in spite of injuries, and that usually involves getting mlb-ready talent from their farm systems. We traded a lot of ours, and many posters are calling for trading more. This Reds team, uninjured, is certainly a contender, but certainly not a prohibitive favorite to win anything, what with 5 or more spots in the lineup that produce very little offense, so, yes, injuries are part of the problem, as we will see when Corky is batting 8th.

      • @Richard Fitch: Please stop making injury excuses. The Pirates and Cardinals have been hurt as well, and good teams win in spite of injuries. This team is FLOUNDERING. Maybe the punch in the gut tonight will wake them up.

        • @jessecuster44: Or will punch them right in the confidence, causing them to be worse, although I hope that isn’t the case.

        • @jessecuster44: And, that’s the key thing right there, “Good teams win in spite of injuries.” Now, I may not go that far with it myself, for it depends upon who gets injured, also. But, good teams win, period. They don’t wait for other teams to flounder and start to slump. Good teams win and will still find ways to win in spite of injuries, like this team did last season. They need a fire, and it is probably going to have to come from inside themselves.

      • @Richard Fitch: Every team has injuries, but the teams that win despite their injuries are the ones who are on the ship to October. Their record is much better than how they have played, and a lot of that comes from beating up on teams like the Cubs, Marlins etc. When you’re in double-digits win columns against teams like those, it’s easy to have a good record – but the point is, it doesn’t fall entirely on the players. Granted, I’m hoping something lights their fire soon, but a lot of this can be contributed to, as it was put in another thread, the manager putting his players in the best position to succeed.

        Instead, Dusty Baker has his lineup card already made out for both sides of the pitching rubber and has them at a discount rate at a local print shop. The Mariners did the right thing by stacking the lineup with left handers against Bronson, know why? Because they know Bronson has trouble with LHers. We’ll never see that out of Dusty, ever.

        CF bats first, always. SS bats seconds, always. The lefties must be split up at all times, even going with he ridiculous format of L-R-L-R-L-R-L-R if necessary, giving away outs, swing early swing often – don’t wait for your pitch, and just plain boneheaded decisions that just leave me scratching my head day in and day out. Like Cozart and Phillips, who both led the team in DP balls, batting behind the best OBP players on the team.

        On the subject of pitch counts tonight, Joey Votto saw a whopping 29 pitches in his ABs tonight. Next was Choo with 21, then Bruce with 15. Meanwhile, the Brewers had six players who saw 15 or more pitches in their ABs. Their waiting on their pitch obviously paid off, instead of this hacking at everything in sight.

        Sorry, little irritated tonight at this. I find it incredible as well that we are only four games back, but this team – to me, just isn’t as good as they look on paper. But then again, that’s not necessarily their fault.

        • @TraviXDM: Good Lord. I would think that this old drum is too full of holes to make a sound! How much difference do you really think it makes where guys hitting .240 or worse bat, especially when there are so many of them? I don’t like Cozart batting 2nd, either, but if he were batting further down, he’d inevitably come up with Votto on base, and everyone would scream bloody murder. Who should bat 2nd? There are only 2 reliable hitters on the team (ok, 3–BP and Bruce each counts as a half), and they can’t bat everywhere.

          • @greenmtred: Against a RH starter: Choo, Paul, Votto, Bruce, Phillips, Frazier, Hannigan, Cozart.

            Against a LH starter: Choo, Heisey, Votto, Phillips, Bruce, Mesoraco, Frazier, Cozart.

            Look at the splits man. It’s not that hard. No team has 1 – 8 totally stacked but both of those would be good lineups.

          • @al: Last time I checked, neither Paul nor Heisey was hitting that much better than Cozart–okay, Heisey since his return is, but the odds against his continuing that are longer than the odds against the Pirates winning it all. I could see Votto, who is really producing more like a 2nd hitter than a 3rd, but then who bats 3rd? I don’t really think that you can make a very good lineup from the Reds’ roster. They can pitch and catch, though, so let’s hope that’s enough.

          • @greenmtred: Um, not too hard to consider, a person with a higher OBP than Cozart should be batting 2nd, to give Votto a chance to drive him in. Teams are built for players like Votto to drive in runs, not for Votto to be driven in.

      • @Johnu1: What is it that amazes you? The injury to Cueto? The injury to Marshall? The injury to Ludwick? Yet, still only 4 games away from the best record in the NL with 73 games to play.

        C’mon, man.

        Excuses don’t cut it, Pirates and Cards both had key injuries, Reds just not playing up to their talent level plain and simple and a major reason sits in the dugout chewing on his toothpick each night.

    • @Johnu1: That’s what can happen when you are housed with two other teams playing excellent ball (despite injuries of their own). I don’t see what’s surprising here. Three good organizations reside in one division.

  2. I think it’s incredible that we are only 4 games back still.

  3. I don’t really think they were throwing at Heisey on purpose. 0-2 count, pitch ran in on him.

  4. Ultimate Air Shuttle is a promotional partner or sponsor on the telecasts, yet they couldn’t round up a plane to get Corky (or one of the other AAA catchers) to Milwaukee?

    • @OhioJim: Well, no roster move has been made, so even if he could get here, he couldn’t play until either Meso or Hani was placed on the DL.

      • @TeethOfTheHydra: And we all know the Reds wait until way too long to place anyone on the DL, and much rather play short handed for many games.

      • @TeethOfTheHydra: How can you not have a serviceable catcher available? They knew Mez was hurt, and crossed fingers that Hanigan would be enough. Gotcha! How far is Louisville from Milwaukee? The roster management of this team is laughable.

        • @jessecuster44: I agree, their medical staff is a joke. Either Mesoraco or Hanigan should be on the DL right now, but they’ll wait too long like they usually do to decide that they should be.

    • @OhioJim: I just checked. The Bats were in Columbus Sunday and moved to Toledo where they played tonight. If they couldn’t get a charter lined up on short notice out of Toledo, it is only an hour or so to Detroit where they probably could have gotten a lake jumper over Milwaukee and certainly a charter of some sort.

  5. We have holes all over this lineup,2 hole, LF, 3B and C. Bad luck, lots of injuries and no breaks thus far in 2013. Repeat of 2011 is here

    • @Josh: Except the 2011 Reds didn’t hit 50 wins until 101 games into the season.

      • @josephneely25: If the rest of the season is like June and July, they’ll be lucky to break .500.

        Totally agree about a repeat of 2011. Alarmingly clear that this team is in trouble, yet Dusty manages the same way, runs out the same lineups (kudos for pinch-hitting for Cozart- maybe that happens more often) and Walt can’t or won’t make a deal.

        The return of injured players will not fix all the cracks in a flawed team and manager. If the goal is to “Win Now,” then things need to be shaken up.

  6. Complete insanity is right. For those who didn’t see the game, Schafer’s big adventure at 3rd base in the 8th inning illustrates. He thinks a suicide squeeze is on, but the batter takes the pitch, so he’s hung up. But Mes is unable to reach 3rd base with his throw, so Schafer scrambles back safe. Then he runs homeward on a short fly ball to Bruce, who makes a good throw that will nail him. The 3rd base coach cheats, going well down the line, and seeing that it’s a good throw, signals Schafer to stop about the same instant that Votto inexplicably cuts the throw off. All Schafer had to do to score the insurance run was to keep running, but having stopped dead, he’s an easy out.

  7. Votto very angry after being robbed by Gomez. Maybe, just maybe, he lights a fire under his teammates.

    • @jessecuster44: Somehow, I doubt it. Votto is a great hitter, but he hasn’t shown himself to be much of a leader.

      • @TeethOfTheHydra: In fairness, I credit Bruce’s ability to hit opposite field and not go into a huge hitting slump to Joey Votto. Just watch them together on the bench. But no, Votto isn’t an inspirational speech/rah-rah sort of guy.

        • @ToddAlmighty: Yeah, that’s more what I was getting at. Hunter Pence could only dream of hitting like Votto, but there’s no way that Votto could even come close to doing what Pence did for the Giants in the postseason last year, in terms of leadership.

      • @TeethOfTheHydra: No kidding!

      • @TeethOfTheHydra: He wasn’t that angry… he wanted to make sure that Gomez actually caught the ball because as he was preening around the field, he hadn’t shown the ball itself.

    • @jessecuster44: Awww…that’d be nice. But I don’t see it happening. Dusty doesn’t like the potty-talk. But I’m sure Joey’ll try real hard, the next time, at the plate.

  8. The balk call was bizarre. What did Homer do ? I was listening on Brewers radio, Bob Uecker (whom I like) called the 3rd out on Weeks hitting a ground ball to BP. I’m waiting for him to finish a sentence and then off to a commercial but then there’s dead air for what seems like forever. What’s wrong with Uecker, I’m wondering. Then he says a balk has been called, inning not over. Bailey then walks Weeks but escapes with a K against Halton, who was overmatched all nite.

    • @pinson343: The call was that he didn’t come to a complete stop. The replay shows that he did. Brantley said it was a replacement umpire (AAA) and that major league umpires don’t make that call. “We don’t call that up here” or something. Either way, the replay showed he clearly did stop. Just one more part of a bizarre night.

  9. Normally, I have the stomach for these kinds of games. For some reason, this loss makes me sick.

    I’m frustrated, sad, and feel hopeless.

    I know it will get better because this team is too good for it not to, but it sure doesn’t feel like it right now. 😥

    • @BearcatNation: I’m also feeling worse than I normally would even after a tough loss. The walk to Lohse leading to a run, both catchers hurting, thought the Reds would come back after Paul’s RBI hit, thought Votto had homered, etc.

  10. I had a bad feeling about this team back in April. Unfortunately my semi-psychic vision is coming true. 😉

  11. Once again, for those who didn’t see it. The game seemed to be over for sure when KRod looked sharp and Derek Robinson, in a big slump and potentially the Reds last out, fell behind 1-2 on a pitch that looked below his knees. But he lays off a couple of breaking pitches for balls, fouls off a couple of fastballs, and takes ball 4. Setting up Joey Votto to hit the ball over the fence and put the Reds ahead.
    Joey does hit it over the fence, but the Reds lose anyway.

  12. So.. before Heisey went on the DL he had a .488 OPS, since he’s come back he’s managed to rocket it up to .662, passing Izturis, Hannahan, Lutz, Robinson, Hanigan, and Cozart in a span of just 25 AB.

    In those 25 AB he also has had more XBH than either Izturis or Hannahan have had all year with 6 (they have 4 and 5, respectively).

    • @ToddAlmighty: Heisey has looked really good at the plate after coming back, and he always plays good defense. Most of his XBHs have been off breaking pitches, which is not the Heisey I remember. The Brewers were countering that late in the game by pitching him inside fastballs. I hope they keep doing that.

      He might not even have started tonite, but Paul has been hurting. Heisey should be the regular LFer until Ludwick comes back.

  13. Despite what I said earlier, I think this team has a chance- if a few things can happen.

    -Votto starts hitting with 2 outs and RISP again.
    -Brandon Phillips starts hitting like Brandon Phillips again and less like Wilson Valdez.
    -Frazier gets some consistency with his power production.
    -Heisey gives the LF spot some power, while Robinson keeps it up.
    -Paul starts hitting well again.
    -Zack Cozart bats 2nd against lefties, 7th against RHP while Choo leads off against RHP and hits 7th against lefties.
    -The bullpen keeps it up.
    -The rotation keeps it up, including Cueto when and if he returns.

    All of these things are possible too. It just takes some focus from the players and some outside the box thinking from Dusty (probably the harder of the 2.)

    • @TeethOfTheHydra: Big X factors are does Ludwick come back strong and does WJ make a move for a power bat (even if it’s only a bench bat).

      • @pinson343: I’m honestly not holding out too much for Ludwick. It took him half the season to start hitting last year (hit near the Mendoza line for the first half of 2012) and that, with his shoulder injury, doesn’t bode too well, especially if Dusty immediately starts hitting him fourth.

        I agree that the focus is now on a RH power bat and not a reliever (although that would still be nice.) Apparently, Jocketty was talking to Francoeur’s agent about getting him. While I think Francoeur himself would be a bad fit as a defense first low OBP outfielder, it does show that he’s at least has some recognition of this team’s need.

      • @pinson43: If WJ doesn’t make a move, or that move is Francouer, he’s not even trying. I know there isn’t a TON available, but you gotta try to do something, even if it’s adding a new bat to the bench to shake things up.

        On a side note, can you imagine what the Reds locker room must be like? Running off 1-3 record against bad teams and being capped by the robbed homer? SOMEONE needs to step up and be a leader. I have a feeling Scott Rolen would have been that guy last year.

        • @prjeter: Yeah, like I said, Francoeur isn’t the guy, but it’s a sign that Jocketty seems to recognize what this team’s need is. That’s huge.

          You’re damn right this team needs a leader. Votto isn’t outspoken enough to be a leader, or to rally the troops like Pence did in the postseason last year. Ludwick *could* fill that role potentially, but I don’t really see him like that either.

        • @prjeter: Although, Francoeur + GABP might re-spark him like it did for Ludwick.

          Defensively, he has the arm to throw someone out from practically anywhere at GABP. At the plate, he could flash the 20 home run power again.

        • @TeethOfTheHydra: @prjeter: I agree that WJ has to get a potent RHed bat (or one that can hit LHed pitching), even if it’s a bench bat. Without filling that need, I don’t see the Reds making a run for the division title. And I thought winning this year is the priority right now, that’s why he traded for one year of Choo.

    • @TeethOfTheHydra: Dusty and thinking outside the box do not belong in the same sentence together. He is too set in his ways, I do not see him changing. Ever.

    • Votto starts hitting with 2 outs and RISP again.

      That’s supper silly. You know how you reduce that? Stop batting Cozart in front of him, reducing the amount of outs produced in front of him.

  14. I was at a AAA game in Colorado Springs tonight, so I wasn’t watching the game on MLB.tv. When I saw “Votto flies out to center” I was imagining a routine fly ball. When I got home and saw Gomez snatch victory from the Reds, it was like the ‘ol punch in the stomach. Geez. Reds luck can only get worse.

    • @prjeter: Even worse live, buddy, even worse live.

      Looked like a homer off of the bat, he thought it was gone- bat flip and everything, all leading up to nothing. Just a big punch in the gut, and a pretty accurate representation of how the season as a whole has been going.

      • @TeethOfTheHydra: Yeah. I can imagine. I guess it’s good I didn’t see it live. My wife might be making me sleep on the couch to cool off! hah!

        Meant to say “Reds luck can only get better” in my first post.

        Oh well! Best thing about baseball is that we get to play again soon! It’s much harder to swallow a whole week of a bad game when the Bengals blow one! 😉

        • @prjeter: Like I said in the game thread, Mrs. HAT came sprinting out of the other side of the house because of a suspicious loud noise after the Votto “home run”. Apparently I should not pound the desk late at night.

  15. What Hunter Pence did for the Giants? Good lord. What Pence did against the Reds for the Giants was to have an OPS of .400. Four singles in 20 ABs and no walks. Give me a break.

    So now having a team revival before the game is called being a leader? If Homer Bailey doesn’t hit a guy in game 3, they sweep, and then the Pence Revival is called amateurish.

    It’s freaking baseball, folks. It’s not a rah rah game. Votto doesn’t need to be a “leader”, he needs to hit. I just can’t believe some of the things that I’m reading. Was Votto a great leader when the Reds won 97 games last year? Did they even have a leader? (No. They had a good baseball team.)

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Yes, they had a clubhouse leader in Scott Rolen. They’re missing that this year, and the results are noticeable.

      I’m sorry that you’re under the impression that baseball is played on a computer, and that intangibles like leadership don’t matter. But they do, and the Reds are lacking it. And, boy, it shows.

      It’s clear you don’t know much about what you’re talking about. 🙁

      • @TeethOfTheHydra: How about this: how many wins did Scott Rolen get for the Reds last year with his leadership alone—not his play. Come on: give me a number. 1? 10?

        We’ll see how you let the insults fly if you have to actually get pinned down on it.

        If the answer is any more than 3, then the Reds made a terrible, horrible error letting Scott Rolen retire, right?

        • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Yes, it’s hard to argue that Scott Rolen would be any worse than Jack Hannahan.

          Even being naive and ignoring leadership like a fool, having someone like Rolen, someone Dusty clearly likes, would probably start a fire under Frazier and actually make him feel like he needs to produce in order to keep his job.

          So, yes, letting Rolen retire without replacing his leadership role was an incredibly silly decision.

          • @TeethOfTheHydra: Interesting how you did not answer the question. Playing ability aside, how many games did Scott Rolen win for the Reds with his leadership? And given that the primary reason the Reds are not on pace to win 97 games this year is the bullpen, are you suggesting that Rolen improves the bullpen of a team too?

            The Reds won 97 games last year and 79 in 2011. With Rolen’s leadership, how did they only win 79?

            I think the idea that Scott Rolen could make Todd Frazier play better by “lighting a fire under him” is far fetched. Are you really suggesting that Frazier is not trying as hard as he can because he does not feel threatened?

            Keep up the third-grade insults, though. The more the better.

        • @Hank Aarons Teammate: As for your number, that’s impossible to calculate. I do know, though, that this team wasn’t as inconsistent offensively (despite not being as good) last year as they are this year. I know that they seemed to be so much more focused last season and less scatterbrained up at the plate.

          Magic, or leadership?

          • @TeethOfTheHydra: You “know” that, or you are just saying that? LWBlogger on this site has debunked the inconsistent myth from both this year’s and last year’s team.

            So, now, having leadership means that you have more steady run production game to game? So fewer blowouts and fewer low run games?

          • @Hank Aarons Teammate: You don’t think this team is inconsistent? Lmao.

            This team is the definition of inconsistent. Despite having a lot of runs scored on the year, it felt like to me that they usually struggled to even score 4 runs on any given game. A quick look at Baseball Reference confirmed that, while they score 10+ runs a lot, they also get held to 2 or fewer a lot, the most in baseball.

            That, sir, is inconsistency. Sorry.

          • @TeethOfTheHydra: What you just wrote is laughable on its face. It is simply untrue. I haven’t looked it all up, but if you think the Reds have more games scoring 0, 1, or 2 runs than the Marlins, that’s funny. And no, I haven’t looked up any other team, but I know that if you score 100 more runs than another team, you don’t have more 0/1/2 run games.

            But, you wrote it assertively, so it must be true, right?

          • @Hank Aarons Teammate: If you don’t see that this offense explodes for one game and then falters continually, you don’t watch the games. Simple as that. Either that, or you’re lethally stupid, which I have no reason to think that you are.

            Now, let’s compare their numbers to a consistent offense.

            The Cardinals have been held to 2 or fewer runs 24 times. The Reds have been held to 2 or fewer runs 28 times. Meanwhile, they’ve been held to 3 or fewer 37 compared to the Cardinals’ 34.

          • @TeethOfTheHydra: So, what you are saying is: the Reds are slightly less consistent (10%) than the best offense in the National League. And, the Cardinals have scored 46 more runs, so that would be expected. Right?

          • @Hank Aarons Teammate:

            Also, in response to your last point- the Reds are near the top in runs scored. The Cubs are near the bottom.

            The Cubs have been held to 2 or fewer runs 25 times compared to the Reds’ 28. The Cubs have scored 10 or more only once, and the Reds have scored 10 or more 9 times.


          • @Hank Aarons Teammate: The Seattle series was the epitome of this.

            Looking at it from a pure runs perspective, the Reds won the series 16-11. However, while the Mariners split their runs up 4-4-3, the Reds slit theirs up 2-13-1. The more consistent team won.

          • @TeethOfTheHydra: Now I’m convinced. A single series example.

          • @Hank Aarons Teammate: I think I need to refresh my numbers. The offense has certainly struggled lately and another review is in order. I’m sure that the Reds may have dropped a notch or two in the “famine” column. Now, how far they’ve dropped remains to be seen. If I get a chance to run the numbers again, I’ll post it on some thread and send a copy to Chad in case he wants to post an update.

          • @LWBlogger: I would appreciate that.

            Did you see, though, that the person who called me “a fool” and “lethally stupid” also posted that the Cards have scored <= 2 runs 24 times (to the Reds 28) and <= 3 runs 34 times (to the Reds 37). So, be careful, or you too might be these things…

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: And baseball has a certain intangible about it, like any other team sport. Having a clubhouse leader is something that can’t be measured by a number, it’s more the spirit of the sportsmanship, camaraderie, and just having someone be there to step up and be like: “Hey guys, we can do this – we can do better. We can be better.”

      I believe Teeth is trying to convey that it’s not something that can be measured, but you have to take a look at the closed door meeting back in 2010, they went on an absolute tear. And leading just isn’t being vocal, it’s also by example. Votto doesn’t have to be vocal to be a leader, just wish that more of the guys would pay attention to his ABs and learn a thing or two about working a count and pitch selection. That is being a leader, because you are leading the team to better ABs, which in turn, can translate into more wins.

      Rah Rah or not, you would be amazed at what having a ‘general’ in the clubhouse can do to motivate the troops. No one is saying you have to believe it, nor is anyone saying you have to agree with the ones who believe it would help, but you have to respect the opinion of the people who would like to see it happen and perhaps see it light a fire in the eyes of these guys.

      As for the comment about Todd Frazier, it’s not that he’s not playing his heart out – but having a helping hand that can step up and say something to help him adjust to be better and put more effort into succeeding instead of trying and getting the same results, is an intangible that goes a long way.

      Again, it can’t be measured in numbers. It’s just one of those things you just see, just about anything team related has to have some sort of leader to rally the troops, keep things in order and get everyone motivated to do their best and beyond. Giving 120% instead of 110%. I was an instructor in martial arts in seven years, and I know that people always responded better when you lead them, instead of taught them. The idea of someone who was pushing them to be their best, made them work even harder and in turn, had some very dedicated people that went on to earn their belts of rank and medals during tournaments.

      • @TraviXDM: Sure, I must be the guy who never played team sports. Nothing is further from the truth.

        I’m not dismissing intangibles. It’s interesting how some people are sure that they are incredibly important, when they are INtangible.

        I don’t understand how Votto can be a leader if other guys pay attention to him, but he’s not if they don’t.

        What you are talking about for Frazier is a coach.

        You are missing the point though. Of course I don’t have to believe you, or anyone, and of course you don’t have to believe me. People are saying, though, that THE problem is a lack of leadership. It’s pretty clear to me that THE problem, if you are going to choose one, is the bullpen. You can have your leader, I’ll fix the bullpen.

        But, the leadership people always avoid assigning a number to it. Can it be as many as 10 wins? 5 wins? I really want to know.

        • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Hahahahaha, yeah the problem is the bullpen. That’s why they played their worst baseball (June-July) when the bullpen has been at it’s best, right?

          Wow, you’re amazing.

          • @TeethOfTheHydra: There is a distinction between believing that someone’s idea is wrong, far-fetched, or even dumb; and making statements that suggest the poster himself/herself is dumb. I don’t know if you mean to or not but your tone is bordering on attacking the poster and not the poster’s ideas or opinions.

          • @LWBlogger: Bordering? It seems like the more the Reds struggle, the more insulting posts get. Perhaps I should not be surprised.

          • @Hank Aarons Teammate: On some blogs, that’s just the tone unfortunately. I am still giving him the benefit of the doubt. I was mostly just letting him know how he’s coming off. It’s up to him on rather or not he wants to change it. If he keeps up the personal attacks and not focusing on the idea/opinion in question, then he’s going to end up getting tossed by one of the mods.

            I mean people disagree with me all the time. You and I sometimes disagree. What makes this site different is usually those disagreements don’t get personal. Hopefully this guy will make a stronger attempt to keep his posts from getting personal. Hopefully.

          • @TeethOfTheHydra: You’re new, so here’s the deal.

            This is not Fay’s blog, or ESPN, or any other website where people mistreat others. It’s very much like a fraternity here. Often, we disagree, even argue, but our replies tend not to be mean-spirited. HAT is a venerated poster here and has earned his place and the respect of others. That said, you are obviously a thinker so I hope you stick around and join the community here.

        • @Hank Aarons Teammate: You’re making assumptions, nowhere in my statement did I ever say you had not played team sports.

          Intangible, or tangible – however you want to look at it, are metrics that are hard to put into numbers.

          Votto, as it has been stated, lets his actions do his talking. If the other guys don’t take a look and study one of the best hitters in the game right now, that even if Votto wanted to be a leader at that point, it’d be wasting his time.

          What I’m talking about is an individual that can mold him into a better hitter, our coaching staff lacks that at the moment.

          I’ve stated many times, on many threads – what I believe is wrong with this team. The bullpen being one of them, like many others. But the Reds also need a RH power bat, and a manager who has some brains about him. But a grain of leadership certainly wouldn’t hurt at this point.

          You know why there are no numbers assigned to it? Because, as I said before, it’s a metric that can’t be measured in numbers. We’ll end up being all night with this I’m sure, so I will agree to disagree on this. We all know this team has issues, including as you stated, the bullpen. Others, have stated that a lack of leadership in any form (including managers and coaches) is among the top.

          If anything my friend – you are missing the point. People have their own ways of thinking the team can be helped. But in the end, just because you think the bullpen is the problem, doesn’t mean that someone else can’t attribute it to the lack of leadership. We all want to see this team make a change for the better, and we all have different (and probably similar on the same token) thoughts and ideas on how things can be changed for the better.

          I too, see the bullpen as a problem area, as do I with Cozart batting second, the lack of a RH power bat, and subpar veteran bench players. But since none of those things are likely to change unless WJ gives us an early Christmas gift in some form, all we can do is hope for what we think would help given the circumstances.

          Some just see that as a lack of a clubhouse leader, that’s all.

          • @TraviXDM: I’m not saying that having a guy people like wouldn’t help. I’m saying that the bullpen has, I believe, lost 8 games in which the Reds were up in the 8th inning or later. Last year, they lost 8 such games. If it were exactly like last year, the Reds would be 54-35 with the best record in MLB, and we’d be worrying about how to hold off the Cards.

            That’s a tangible 4 game swing. There is no way that leadership is worth 8 wins per year, so the bullpen is a larger problem than a lack of leadership.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Don’t you know… when you win, you’re showing leadership. When you lose, you’re loud and annoying or lacking passion, depending on the personality type.

  16. Even The Cubs’ offense, sadly, is more consistent than the Reds’.


  17. With that though, thank you for the lively debates and here to hoping that something happens soon. Be whatever it may be. Sound sword and sharp mind everyone. Goodnight and Go Redlegs 🙂

  18. It was a good AB by Robinson in the 9th to draw the walk. Not sure who said it but yes, it’s amazing we’re only four games back. Seems like 14. Something’s missing with this team. No spark, no moxy. Heisey is our hottest hitter so I fully expect him to be on the bench tonight. He’s changed his stance. Used to stand more straight up.

  19. For all you advance stat geeks, there is a TOOTBLAN database: http://tootblan.tumblr.com/database?fdall=true

  20. Guys, you are being way too pessimistic about this team. They have not played their best ball and are still only 4 games out of 1st.

    The bullpen seems to have settled down and can look forward to Marshall’s return at some point. Cueto is going to pitch again this year. Heisey has looked good upon his return. Hope he keeps it up – that’s a good glove for the OF too.

    And holy smokes! Dusty gets Cozart’s weak bat. He has him batting down in the line-up sometimes. He pinch hit for him last night against a RH pitcher in a crucial situation late in the game. Now that’s a reason to hope.

    The Reds had one pulled out last night and got robbed by a great play. Believe me, I am going to hear about it today at work here behind the cheddar curtain. But I still say the Reds win this series and am taking coffee machine bets.

  21. My wife blamed the loss on me wearing a navy blue shirt while watching the game instead of a red one. That will not happen again!

  22. I was looking at Manny Parra’s numbers….he had one bad week (5/28-6/5) when he got beat up by Miami and Colorado in the same week. If you erase those two games, his ERA is 1.30 and his WHIP is 1.21. I know it’s “cherry pickin'”, but still pretty impressive.

  23. I was at the game last night, an inch from snagging a Votto foul ball (went to the guy behind me), an inch from a game winning homerun by Votto. It was the best Reds’ loss that I’ve ever seen. I don’t know how anyone comes away from that game thinking, “Man, what a bad game. What a bad team.” It was a fantastic game. It’s a loss sure, and that part stinks, but take a minute and appreciate what happened last night from a sports fan perspective. It was a great game. Some times we are too consumed by the little things that we miss the big picture. The Reds have a 4 game lead on the 2nd wildcard. Let’s breathe.

    • @David: Nice report. Thanks.

    • @David: Agreed. The other team has 25 major leaguers, and they are trying to win, too. There is a lot of luck in any one baseball game, or even any 10 baseball games. You had to expect Homer to “bounce” off his last performance.

      Our guy hit one over the fence on the last play of the game. It is a frustrating loss, but they play another game each of the next five days.

    • @David: I thought you were going to say you were an inch from snagging the last ball Votto hit. I know there are no seats there, but that would have been a good idea.

  24. It wasn’t that long ago when this team was exactly like the Cubs and Marlins. How soon people forget the lost years for baseball in this city. You need to win games against losing teams too. There have been several teams that have beat up on bad teams, gotten into the postseason and succeeded. It does happen from time to time.

    No, the Reds can’t use injuries as an excuse but they do matter. They are also in the division that holds the teams with the two best records in the NL. Both of those teams have had injuries but what they also have is good depth in the upper minor leagues. The Reds simply don’t. They’ve traded away a lot of that talent. Of course I’m not sure who could be helping them right now out of the bunch traded away.

    I know we love blaming Baker around here and his lineups are puzzling. That said, it isn’t always CF, SS even if it seems like it is. His need to go L, R, L, R drives me nuts but that isn’t the reason why this team is losing right now. The players, no matter what order they are in, need to perform. Right now, the guys just aren’t getting it done.

    BP and Cozart are 1 and 2 in DPs BECAUSE they are hitting behind such great OBP guys. It’s also why BP has so many RBI. Moving BP to the 2-hole as many have suggested may solve some issues (such as Cozart hitting 2nd instead of 7th or 8th) but it won’t keep BP from grounding into DPs.

    Yes, the Reds sometimes seem to hack. They lead the league or recently led the league in 1st-pitch swinging. That said, as a team their walk rate isn’t that bad. They aren’t hitting for average and they have a couple people who don’t walk at all. That’s what’s killing them. Most of that approach is bread into a player long before they reach the Majors. It isn’t Dusty’s fault although I’m sure his aggressive mentality doesn’t help much either.

    I understand the frustration but maybe this team, with the injuries and a lack of depth, just isn’t that great. I projected 94 wins at the beginning of the season and that’s where I still think they will be. I think they are on pace for 92 wins at the moment. At the beginning of the season, I thought 94 wins would take the division. Now I think it will only be good for 2nd or 3rd.

    Lastly, a lot of folks here want to see Dusty get the axe. Well, the only way that happens is if the team underperforms in Jocketty’s and Castellini’s eyes. Maybe a 91 win season and missing the playoffs will get so many their wish. Then we can see some other old-school guy take the reins who doesn’t have some of Dusty’s intangibles. Gee, does anyone remember when Knight or Narron ran this team? Much worse than Dusty.

    • @LWBlogger: The thing about swinging at first pitches, though, is that mlb-wide, batters hit something like .330 on first pitches. It’s not that simple, of course, because when you do that you aren’t running up the pitch count or getting a look at all of the pitcher’s stuff, but swinging at first pitches is not entirely illogical. I agree that the guys who never walk are a problem, but will point out another: Joey again leads the league in walks, but doesn’t seem to hit doubles anymore (last year, before he got hurt, he was on a pace to threaten the all time record, as I recall). Walks are sometimes as good as singles, but they aren’t as good as doubles.

      • @greenmtred: I agree on everything here pretty much. The thing about the doubles though is some of that is luck and hitting the ball in the right places. There is also a matter of getting hits at the right time and getting hits at all. A walk isn’t quite as good as a hit but not making an out is big.

    • @LWBlogger: That’s an excellent sum-up.

      The one thing I’d quibble with is that planning for injuries is part of a GM’s job. Overall, one has to hold Jocketty responsible to some degree for the lack of depth, though some responsibility falls on the previous administration. In 2-3 years, it’s all on Jocketty; this team must draft well enough to be able to trade prospects now and then and not be left with zero depth. When people mention guys like Travieso as top prospects at the lower levels…that’s not good.

    • @LWBlogger: what intangibles does Dusty have that have helped the Reds for the past 6 weeks?

      • @jessecuster44: Just like with the leadership, I can’t point to anything without being in the clubhouse. The team still seems to be working and he still seems to have the team believing in their skipper. That counts for something. There have been no signs so far that he’s lost them or that they aren’t playing hard for him. Does that make up for his on field strategic blunders? Probably not. The thing is that almost anyone the Reds hire to replace him are going to do a lot of the same things. I just don’t see the Reds hiring a Joe Maddon type of guy.

  25. The hilarious thing about the entire “leadership” debate here is that not a single one of us has ever been in the Reds locker room or dugout. Not one of us has any first-hand knowledge of whether Joey Votto speaks up in the locker room or dugout or not. The predicate of the entire point is that Votto ‘only’ leads by example, but not only has no evidence been presented for that, none is possible by blog commenters.

    • @Steve Mancuso: If Joey Votto speaks up in the locker room and your average citizen isn’t around to hear it, does he make a sound?

    • @Steve Mancuso: Good points… And people need to realize that Jocketty may end up signing Francoeur because he feels the team needs a veteran leader. Does anyone here really think that Francoeur is an upgrade for this team? He is a rah rah guy afterall, is he not? I think that leadership is important but I don’t see this lack of fire or lack of a team playing hard that others seem to see. Mesoraco was out there behind the plate last night, clearly in pain. This team is playing hard in my opinion. They are losing because they aren’t executing. Heck, sometimes I think part of the problem is they are trying to hard.

      • @LWBlogger: Yes, I think the team is playing quite hard, but they just aren’t playing well.

        Frenchy is a Giant. And yes, there isn’t a better clubhouse guy in the entire league, from all reports over the years.

        Finally, it’s not even clear that a rah rah guy helps. Scott Rolen wasn’t even a rah rah guy.

  26. Thankfully, we can forget about Francoeur.

    FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Giants have signed outfielder Jeff Francoeur.
    Francoeur was released by the Royals last month, but it didn’t take him long to find a new home. The 29-year-old outfielder has a disappointing .208/.249/.322 batting line this season, but he owns an .809 OPS against southpaws for his career and it wouldn’t be surprising for him to provide some value in a platoon role.

  27. Man, you guys gotta stop feeding the trolls!

    This losing stretch isn’t the end of the world or anything like it. We still have a 4 game lead in the wild card race. Until that’s in jeopardy, I’ll hold my tongue. That said, it’s pretty important we right this ship before heading to Atlanta. Tonight is one of those games that has a bit more importance due to the circumstances.

    –I watched the Milwaukee broadcast. The mullet dude had me captivated all night!
    –If the glass panels were up in the outfield, Votto’s shot leaves the park, no doubt. Dumb luck I guess.
    –Heading there tonite or tomorrow. Can’t wait!

  28. For those complaining about Votto’s “clutchness” or his hitting with 2 out and RISP, is he somehow better if that ball goes three inches farther last night? He’s clutch if Gomez can’t quite catch it, but a bum because he did? And as for Hunter Pence…do you really believe the Giants beat us because of Pence’s cheerleading? Personally I think it’s because Bochy completely out managed Dusty. I’m curious how many of you who are arguing today that it was Pence’s “leadership” have also blamed our losing on Dusty on different threads? Sorry guys, you can’t have it both ways.

  29. This might be the most troll dominated thread in the history of RedLegNation

  30. I think our boy TeethOfTheHydra might be Josh Bresser, the troll who was recently banned from this site. Might be a good idea not to engage him.

  31. Gomez’s catch last night just keeps the June/July theme of one step forward, one (maybe 1.5) back going. He should get the save and not K-Rod.

    In any event the Reds are capable of better play, but are treading water now. Question is, how long can they continue to tread water? Eventually they have to go one way or the other, right?

  32. Also: Mullet dude in the front row last night was a sad sack replacement for Front Row Amy.

  33. That was a fun game last night. I was thrilled that they kept Gomez in check at the plate because I think he’s a prima donna who swings for the fences, so it burned me that he made that play at the end. I’m mystified as to how Juan Francisco keeps hitting this team.

  34. An appreciative tip of the hat and flamboyant bow to Meso for his herculean effort last night. Catchers are by nature dedicated, tough cookies, but Hanigan and Meso go beyond tough and dedicated in their performance.

    I absolutely detest the sac bunt and I hate that the Reds lead the universe in sac bunts. Last night Meso couldn’t throw, couldn’t run and it didn’t look like he could swing the bat effectively either. How he managed behind the dish for 8 innings is beyond my comprehension. With that said, one of the very few times I felt a sac bunt was justified and proper, was in the 7th after Heisey singled. With 0 outs and Meso at the plate, the only positive result would be a successful sacrifice so when was the one time Dusty opts to not call for a sac bunt? Ugh! Of course Meso grounds into a double play to clear the bases followed by 3 consecutive singles by Izturis, Choo and XP.

    • @Shchi Cossack: He was really hurting. The only reason I don’t think he’s on the DL is that he was feeling a bit better and figured that he probably only needed a few days off. Hanigan’s wrist sounds a bit worse. Hopefully he won’t need to go on the DL but if he’s going to miss more than a day or two, the Reds will have to put one of them on the DL. I was a catcher and obviously agree that catchers are tough but playing that position while actually injured is nearly impossible. There’s nowhere to hide as you are involved on every pitch.

  35. The substitution of XP for Cozart in the 7th speaks volumes about Cozart’s ineffectiveness in the #2 hole. If Dusty doesn’t trust Cozart to hit in the #2 hole in a high leverage situation like last night, why the heck does Dusty religiously put Cozart in the #2 hole in virtually every lineup? Not only that, but he used XP to pinch hit for Cozart and XP wasn’t even healthy enough to play LF.

    I really like Heisey’s performance since returning from the DL. He will certainly not maintain his recent level of performance (.368/.417/.895) and I’m not convinced he will maintain a positive performance, but he certainly deserves the chance to try. If he can continue with his positive production at the plate, the Reds have the stopgap they need until Ludwick returns with a Heisey/XP platoon in LF and a Choo/Robinson platoon in CF. with CF hitting in the #1 hole and LF hitting in the #2 hole. I don’t see any moves to bolster the 25 man roster, so this could be the best option available to the Reds. Cozart now has the worst (yep, dead last) OBP of all qualified hitters in the NL and this is Dusty’s choice to hit in the #2 hole between Choo and Votto.

    • @Shchi Cossack: I think there was at least one AB last year where Baker pinch hit for the lead-off hitter. Can’t remember if it was Cozart or Stubbs. I said at the time I wondered how many times Sparky pinch hit for Pete.

      Obviously, it shows how ridiculous the lineup is when you’d even have to consider it. Your best hitters should be up there, if for no other reason than they bat second most often. Baker’s move to pinch hit proves that he doesn’t consider being one of the good hitters to be a criteria for the #2. It’s an old, old school philosophy. One that has been discredited by the studies showing the importance of OBP. But one of the special thrills of being a Reds fan is watching a manager who is impervious to new thinking.

      • @Steve Mancuso: Except for the Closer. He has completely embraced the thinking that the Closer can only be used for three outs in the Almighty Save Situation. That’s not how they did it in his day–or Hank’s–but for some reason this is the one bit of “new” thinking Dusty embraces. Lucky us.

        • @Eric the Red: But the standard closer role now isn’t the most modern view, although it is more current than the 60s or 70s. The most modern view really devalues the closer.

          But treating the bullpen with super-rigid roles is consistent with Baker’s philosophy on the position players that they perform better when they know exactly what their role is and it doesn’t vary.

          • @Steve Mancuso: Baker still uses his closer the way pretty much every other manager does though, so I think that counts as the current thinking.

            Yes, a lot of articles have been written about the value of relievers (though I don’t think there’s the consensus that you seem to), but those ideas haven’t been put into practice by pretty much anyone.

          • @Steve Mancuso: I stand by the point. He does most things the way they were done when he played, but manages his Closer (and bullpen, generally) differently. And while some smart GMs and Sabre-maticians have wised-up on signing Closers for big money, there aren’t many Managers who step outside the box regularly.

      • @Steve Mancuso: @<a hre@Steve Mancuso: f=”#comment-2285946″>Steve Mancuso: I forgot to mention: in Old Timey Baseball, isn’t the two hole hitter supposed to have some speed, be able to handle the bat well, move the runners over, etc? Part of the mystery of Dusty’s stubbornness on this subject is exactly WHY he keeps putting Cozart there since he brings precisely none of these attributes to the party. He doesn’t fit the mold of a two hole hitter in any era of baseball that I’m aware of.

        • @Eric the Red: Dusty has always treated the #2 hitter with the Reds as being an afterthought. It’s sort of where the left-over guy goes. Going back the past five years to see all the AB he gave to hitters like Cozart is just stunning. I started to do the research on it for a post and it freaked me out to the point where I stopped.

          It’s process of elimination. Has to be right-handed. Can’t be the catcher. Frazier hits with power, so lower in the lineup.

          Baker did start the year with the intention of the #2 hitter being BP until Ludwick got hurt. But he quickly abandoned any logic toward it after that.

          • @Steve Mancuso: Yeah, just thinking about it depresses me. I suppose Choo should be really insulted that Dusty sometimes views him as “worthy” of the two hole against LHP 🙁

          • @Steve Mancuso: Yep, Dusty has said it: “It’s OK if the number 2 hitter makes an out.” Supposed to be a “productive” out, but just the same. This goes back to when number 2 hitters were good bunters and hit and run guys.

        • @Eric the Red: Cozart can lay down a sac bunt (he’s 2nd in the NL for successful sac bunts). That appears to be Dusty’s primary requirement for hitting in the #2 hole.

          • @Shchi Cossack: If memory serves he’s also failed quite often. He’s not a guy who is automatic at it by any means. Sadly, it seems Dusty always pulls the wrong lever, too. Sacrifice, and we don’t get the run in. Don’t sacrifice, and he hits into a DP. (Speaking of which: I wonder how often BP hits with two men on base compared to other NL cleanup hitters. I bet he leads the league in one on, but isn’t close to the top for 2 on.)

        • @Eric the Red: I think the #2 hitter issue is really just a bi-product of the cleanup hitter issue. Clearly Dusty gets that BP is the better #2 hitter, just look at the opening day lineup.

          But Dusty feels forced into having BP in the cleanup spot because A) he’s right handed, and B) he’s done it before, neither of which are actually good reasons. Votto has an OPS vs lefties in the .840s and Bruce in the .830s. They are both well above average hitters against LH pitching, so the platoon split thing is just silly. It simply doesn’t make sense.

          Put BP in the #2 spot, and put the guy with the most doubles and HRs on the team in the cleanup spot.

          • @al: Your proposal is far too logical for it to happen with this Manager. I cant believe you don’t agree it makes sense to screw up your lineup for most of the game just in case a situation arises in the late innings where Votto and Bruce are forced to face a Lefty.

          • @Eric the Red: What was I thinking!?

          • @al: It makes sense in one regard: it typically allows Phillips a late-game at bat against a lefty, and Phillips really hits lefties hard. But…that’s only if the leadoff hitter is right handed. Given that Choo is a lefty, it seems that doesn’t make sense.

            However, you could put Frazier in the 4 slot. He also hits lefties better than righties. I don’t know how to trade all this off. I’d probably go with Bruce at #4, but it’s not 100% clear to me.

          • @Hank Aarons Teammate: I hear you, there are some things to consider, but in the end, I do think it’s pretty clear.

            OPS vs L / vs R

            Phillips .681 / .848
            Bruce .811 / .832
            Frazier .705 / .818

            In previous years, when Bruce struggled more against LH pitching, getting that last AB against a lefty for Phillips may have made sense.

            But now, Phillips’ advantage over Bruce against LH pitching is marginal, and Bruce’s advantage over either of them against RH pitching is quite large.

          • @al: For BP, you mean .848/.681. Just a typo, but it could be confusing.

          • @al: Well, my point was that you get Phillips/Frazier an at bat vs a lefty instead of a righty, which is significant.

            I’m still on your side overall, but I don’t think it’s obvious, that’s all I’m trying to say.

        • @Eric the Red: Cozart is evidently pretty fast, actually, but you are right about the rest. Votto (not very speedy, though) and Choo are about as close to classic 2 hitters as the Reds have. And no, Steve Mancuso, I doubt that Sparky ever pinch hit for Pete, but, looking around, I don’t see any Petes on the current edition of the Reds.

  36. I hope at some point the internet can put down the leadership/chemistry debate. I know it’s been posted before, but here is an interview with Bill James where he talks about the importance of clubhouse chemistry: http://seattletimes.com/html/marinersblog/2011367174_bill_james_on_clubhouse_chemis.html?syndication=rss.

    We know it matters, and we know we can’t measure it, so we know we don’t know how much it matters. There was the “25 guys, 25 cabs” Yankee team that had terrible chemistry and one the World Series, and the old saying that “chemistry is a 3 game winnings streak.”

    As fans it’s just too easy to see guys play a tough game on TV and assume that if they look a little slow or off balance that the leadership is off. I think that’s just what it looks like to lose sometimes though.

    Would I object to the Reds bringing someone in who is a good clubhouse guy? Absolutely not. But from everything I’ve read, the Reds have a great clubhouse already. Maybe they miss Rolen and Ludwick, but I think they miss having good hitting more.

    • @al: And Ludwick is coming back before long. The Reds should not make “chemistry” a priority. As you say, they need good hitting more.

  37. Here’s an interesting thing. This is what I hope the Reds use stats for.

    What’s the conventional wisdom about what the Reds need to get to help the offense. A RH hitter, right? Well, first look at where the Reds are as a team vs. RH pitching and LH pitching.

    The Reds have the best OPS (.726) of any team in the NL against LH pitching. Why is that? Because Mesoraco, Phillips, Votto, Bruce, Frazier, Heisey, and Robinson are all above .750. A lot of our RH hitters and 2 of our LH hitters are doing very well against LH pitching.

    The Reds are 8th in the NL (.718) and that’s with Choo’s outrageous 1.048. Only the LH hitters are above .750. Of the RH hitters, only Frazier (.705) is over .700. Phillips (.681) and Cozart (.619) are the only ones above .600!

    Clearly, the vast majority of pitchers are RH, so what really needs to happen is that the Reds need to get better against righties. You can do that with more LH hitters, or you can do that by getting RH hitters who can handle RH pitchers.

    But the Reds need to be careful in assessing what the real problem really is, and not just let the conventional wisdom be the story.

  38. How did this team go from needing a LH hitter two years ago from needing a RH hitter this season? Did somebody forget to ask about that?

    • @Johnu1: Simple. Both our cleanup hitter and our 4th outfielder are RH and have been out most of the season. That makes things difficult. Our second RH bench bat last year plays 3B everyday this year. Our bench utility guys were terrible last year and are terrible this year, but we’ve gone from two RH to a LH and a switch hitter. Bottom line: Ludwick and Heisey have been missed.

    • @Johnu1: that’s sort of what I was getting at in the post right above. They actually didn’t, they still need to hit RH pitching better, which would usually mean getting more LH in the lineup.

      But, with Choo, Votto, and Bruce, and Dusty’s demand that lefties be split up, what the Reds really need is a RH hitter that can handle RH pitching, because our current crop of RH hitters are terrible against RH pitching, at least this year.

      • @al: Your stats are very interesting, but are obviously dominated by the starting lineup. I’ve called for getting a bench guy who can hit LHed pitching. The Reds bench has Robinson, who hits better RHed, but other than that there’s just Heisey, who right now is starting a lot (which, in Ludwick’s absence, he should be).

        Mainly it doesn’t have to do with lefties or righties, the bench needs a power threat. If he’s lefty, fine with me. My favorite example for this year is Matt Adams.

      • @al: Exactly the reply I was about to make to your own comment above. Everyone has talked about a RHed power bat for the Reds because Dusty will put that bat between Votto and Bruce in the lineup: i.e. he’ll replace Ludwick, and BP can return to batting second. If the Reds get a LHed bat, BP will still be hitting cleanup.

  39. Wow, the difference of Votto being a hero or a “not a leader” is about 3 inches. Good to know.

    I love baseball fans.


    • @CP: Even if he’d homered last nite, some people would still say he’s not a leader, because he’s not a loud vocal kind of guy. We don’t really know, but Fay says he is not too vocal. I don’t care. Let him lead by example on the field and let others talk.

      We also don’t know whether or not Joey is a guy who gets into someone’s face if he thinks they’re being lazy or whatever. We just don’t know.

  40. Here’s a look at the Reds offense by month. July has been a bit of a bounce back so far, hopefully they’ll keep it up.

    Month R OPS

    APR 126 .703
    MAY 136 .781
    JUN 93 .675
    JUL TBD .741

    I’d really like to see Dusty start to take advantage of the platoon splits he has more. Robinson in for Choo against some lefties, Paul in left against RH, Mesoraco against lefties always. He could be getting more out of this offense if he thought about it some.

    • @al: I’ll add Runs/Game (NL Average – 4.09)

      April: 4.50
      May: 5.03
      June: 3.44
      July: 4.71

      Runs against per Game

      April: 3.64
      May: 3.44
      June: 4.30
      July: 2.57

      A few other quick “fun-facts”:

      The Reds “Productive Out” percentage is 32%. NL Average is 31%. A productive out according to Elias is
      “Successful Sac for a pitcher with one out.
      Advancing any runner with none out.
      Driving in a baserunner with the second out of the inning.
      Failed means the batter made an out without advancing the runner(s).”

      The Reds are 2nd in the NL to the Rockies with 56 Sac bunts. League average is 45. The Reds are successful 79% of the time, good for 4th best in the NL. NL average success rate is 74%. I wonder how many times Baker bunts in the first inning? It drives me nuts. I would do the research but am afraid that it’s just a lot of work for more aggravation.

      In double-play situations, the Reds ground into a DP 11% of the time, which is the league average.

      • @LWBlogger: Great stuff, thanks for doing it. Good reminders that this is, lo and behold, a good team who just happen to be getting beaten by some teams playing even better. Can’t let Pirates/Cards success cause us to look for doom and gloom that isn’t necessarily there. Not saying the Reds shouldn’t try to get better or try some different things (cough, move Cozart down the order, cough), but this is far from a disaster.

      • @LWBlogger: I posted some of that a few days ago. Additionally, last I looked they were first (FIRST, that is) in getting runners home from 3rd with < 2 outs. And they were good at getting runners over from 2nd to 3rd with 0 outs, also.

  41. 14 guys in the majors have 20 or more saves this year. Only one, Jim Johnson of Baltimore, has more than 40 innings pitched, and he has 41.2. 6 of them have fewer innings than Chapman, and 7 have more, with the lowest being Craig Kimbrel of Atlanta with 32.1 innings. Fernando Rodney, managed by Joe Maddon, has 37.1 innings. None of the 27 guys with 10 or more saves has more innings than Johnson.

    The point is that for the most part, managers are using their closers pretty similarly to how Dusty uses Chapman. To me, they are all insane, but they are all insane together. The only good teams that don’t have a designated closer are Detroit and Boston, and they have both been trying to find one but can’t. Goose Gossage would be rolling over in his grave, except that he’s still alive.

    • @Big Ed: Great post!

    • @Big Ed: This doesn’t necessarily tell how the managers use their closers, only how much they have used their closers. For, like the first 7 games of the season, if I recall correctly, Baker called on Chapman in 6 of those 7 games, way too much for a closer. And, as a result, we had some games where Chapman couldn’t get into. I mean, seriously, I don’t know how many times I have heard from a variety of sources at different times during this season how Baker “was looking for work for Chapman”, then, Baker overworks him and has to back off, give him a couple of days off. Seemingly always too much, too little, looking for work for a reliever, then having to keep a reliever out for a while. All which to go toward Baker’s rep of not knowing how to use a bullpen.

      • @steveschoen: I think they all pretty much do the same thing. If you have a run of games, say, where no Save Situation arises, because you are either winning by 6 runs or losing, then there is no occasion to use the closer. Then, if you have 4 save situations in a row, very few managers will use the closer 4 days in a row.

        I think some of the posters unfairly single out Dusty as a Closer-Misusing Goofball, when pretty much all managers are Closer-Misusing Goofballs. Dusty may at this stage of the year stick more to one-inning only for Chapman than some managers do for their closer, but I don’t think any of them make a habit out of it.

        • @Big Ed: There are a couple of distinctions, the chief one being that a lot of closers are failed starters, and some of them are even guys who weren’t great middle relievers…guys that bounced around. Chapman isn’t (that we know of).

          There’s no doubt that closers are misused many places.

        • @Big Ed: You’re right, and you’re right that they’re all crazy. On the other hand, Chapman is supposed to be such a fabulous closer that we can’t try him in the starting rotation. And he’s a LHP, which is unusual for a closer. Plus we’ve been short LHPs in the pen. Put all that together, and “just doing what the othe Managers do” isn’t good enough. A Manager should get the most out of his players, and we haven’t gotten the most out of Chapman even in relief.

  42. Lineup posted for tonight. Hanigan has recovered enough to play. Hannahan in for Frazier. Heisey playing. Cozart still batting second.

    Choo 8
    Cozart 6
    Votto 3
    Phillips 4
    Bruce 9
    Heisey 7
    Hannahan 5
    Hanigan 2
    Cingrani 1

    • @Steve Mancuso: Man, I was really hoping that last night’s pinch hitting situation for Cozart was going to be a wake-up call for Dusty. Regardless, here’s to teeing up Peralta and scoring some big runs tonight. Maybe I can convince my wife to let me slide over there. Hmmmmmm.

  43. Good news that Hanigan is in the lineup. Mes was a mess last nite, so to speak, he was obviously hurting.

  44. For those who were concerned, Franceour has signed with the Giants. I wasn’t concerned, all WJ ever had to say is that he wasn’t a good “fit”. Sometimes the reaction to rumors here is as if they’ve already happened.


    • @EastCoastVibes: Dusty ain’t never going to change. Let’s just hope Cozart has a good night. He’s due for one of those 2 hit nights he has from time to time.

  46. Those Chapman for Stanton rumors are really enticing.

  47. You forgot to mention the 6th inning that Votto draws a walk to lead off the inning and both BP and Bruce make an out on the next two pitches, doesn’t anyone know to work a pitcher?

  48. Welcome back Milton

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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.


2013 Reds, Titanic Struggle Recap


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