Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

Cincinnati 1
San Diego 2

W: L. Gregerson (5-5)
L: A. Chapman (3-4)

–Mike Leake and JJ Hoover were great, everyone else was terrible. No offense once again, terrible defense by the shortstop, a guy with a .250 OBP batting second, and the All-Star closer — pitching for the second time in ten games — gives up a walkoff homer.

This team is nothing short of a dumpster fire right now, and they are not fun to watch.

A terrible showing today, Redlegs. Just awful. Milton is disappointed.

A terrible showing today, Redlegs. Just awful. Milton is disappointed.

92 Responses

  1. Josh

    Our manager is purely awful. Chapman has pitched 1 inning in the last 10 days, good stuff. NO OFFENSE, pathetic. Predictable outcome though, felt it coming.

  2. wildwestLV

    I missed the game tonight. So, how well did Chapman pitch?

  3. Steve Mancuso

    Chapman seems to have a terrible time with the erratic way he is used. I can’t help but think that if he had a set routine and knew when he was going to pitch, he’d be much better. He’s certainly proving that he’s not an exceptional closer. He’s right in the middle of the pack. What an awesome waste of talent by the organization — now over several years.

    Dusty Baker needs to do something to shake up the hitting – a radical change in the batting order perhaps. There is certainly nothing to lose. Leaving it the same is completely indefensible.

    Batting Cesar Izturis second tonight may be one of the worst examples of managerial malpractice all season. Just no defense of it. Zero. It’s really breathtaking.

    Yes, the Reds have missed a great opportunity to gain ground on the Cardinals the last four games. Of course the other way to look at it is they have also missed the chance to bury the Reds. Even after losing four in a row we are still just five games out of first.

    • zab1983

      @Steve Mancuso: Cards have seemed to hit their “We can’t hit anything for months” period like they seem to do every year? or is just me?

      • pinson343

        @zab1983: I had the same thought, except it doesn’t go on for months, it goes on for weeks. And it probably happens to every team, we just notice it more with the Cardinals.

    • redskaph

      @Steve Mancuso: Graph 1: Absolutely; Graph 2: Not gonna happen, to any significant extent; Graph 3: Breathtaking – like getting punched hard in the gut. There are a lot of adjective or expletives) we could use to describe Izzy batting in the 2 hole; Graph 4. Well, sure, but the Reds need to step it up in a big way for it to matter.

    • LWBlogger

      @Steve Mancuso: See Steve, I still disagree. I look at some of his struggles closing this year and I see a guy who is also going to struggle in the rotation. I could easily see him with an ERA/FIP of 4.00+ in the rotation. Not terrible but not great either. I think there are times he’d dominate but also times that he’d be out of there in a big hurry. Would he still be more valuable in the rotation? Perhaps he still would be as we all seem to agree that closers are overvalued. Of course with the Reds front-office and manager, we aren’t going to find out.

  4. abox03

    In case walt reads this too…..as I posted in the game thread….

    Walt, make the call to the Giants. Dusty Baker for Hunter Pence. And throw in a box of toothpicks.

    • cincyreds14

      The Reds need some experienced hitters (Pence) – as this team under Dusty’s sad direction is bad and only getting worse by the day. A quality manager would have found a way to win these last 2 games and with the Cards coming up this w/e for a series they really needed some momentum. Dusty is driving the Reds 2013 season off a cliff …

  5. cincyreds14

    You’ve heard of guys driving their car into the ground, well how about Dusty driving this Reds team into the ground. So, so sad … and pathetic.

    Well, the Bengals are starting training camp with their first game in 5 weeks. Looking forward to it.

    So good night Red’s fans – as this is becoming so very sad indeed.

  6. zab1983

    I know you guys are upset (I am too) But this kind of thing happens to just about every team in baseball. Really amazing is how our pitching has stayed pretty good this whole year and as long as our pitching stays good we will be ok. IF our pitching starts to totally tank, then i’m with you guys # dumpster fire#

    • prjeter

      @zab1983: Walk-off homers in back-to-back games after the manager doesn’t put the team in a good position to win?

      Nope, don’t think this happens to just about every other team in baseball.

      A loss is a loss, but these kind of losses affect the mental fortitude of the team when they occur like this, I truly believe.

    • prjeter

      @zab1983: Walk-off homers in back-to-back games after the manager doesn’t put the team in a good position to win?

      Nope, don’t think this happens to just about every other team in baseball.

      A loss is a loss, but these kind of losses affect the mental fortitude of the team when they occur like this, I truly believe.

      • zab1983

        @prjeter: Everyone was really down on the reds before the jumped all over SF. IF reds come back and win next 2 in SD then everything will be OK in reds world.

      • pinson343

        @zab1983: It would taking the next 2 in SD and then winning the home series against the Cardinals. All of which is do-able, but they need to do it.

      • CharlotteNCRedsFan

        @pinson343: Much more likely the Reds lose the next 5 games than your scenario. They just look flat-out bad as individual hitters right now and Dusty is struggling as bad as I have seen him in a very long time. Honestly think the pressure has got to Baker and he has transferred it to the players. Thank God for great pitching; at least it makes the games interesting.

      • pinson343

        @prjeter: Former players say all the time that 9th inning blown lead losses and extra inning losses hurt a team’s confidence.

      • LWBlogger

        @pinson343: And that’s one of the reasons the Reds chose to keep Chapman in the closer’s role. The issue is that he isn’t converting at an exceptional rate. So, Chapman isn’t really doing much to help the team in his current role.

    • cincyreds14

      @zab1983: Zab, not every team in baseball has a manager as bad as Dusty. Yes the Red’s pitching (as well as pitching coach) is top notch, but their manager and hitting coach sure leave a lot to be desired. Another sad, sad night for Reds baseball.

    • redskaph

      @zab1983: On the other hand, the pitching has been great all year and the Rds are below .500 for more than their last 100 games. You can’t win morethan you lose scoring 1 run a game like they have (actually a little less) the last four.

  7. BearcatNation

    Titanic Struggle Recap: In the words of Ron Burgundy-I am completely miserable San Diego!!

  8. zab1983

    I suspect even Dusty is starting to have his doubts about Chapman in the 9th. IDK what you do? What would it take to demote Chapman out of the closer role?

    • Steve Mancuso

      @zab1983: Will never happen. Baker staked too much on the decision to make Chapman the closer. He’d never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever admit that mistake. In fact, in all the years he’s managed the Reds I can’t ever remember him admitting a mistake or taking responsibility for any failure.

      • cincyreds14

        @Steve Mancuso: Steve, we are definitely in agreement. The Reds owner, manager and hitting coach have NEVER admitted to making a mistake – it sure would be refreshing if they did but please don’t hold your breath.

      • standage

        @cincyreds14: Give me a break. What manager is obligated to apologize for a team with a plus-10 game winning season, and two division titles in the last three years when before that we went fifteen years without even making the playoffs? A manager in this position has absolutely no obligation to apologize for anything. The only obligation he has is to do his best to convince his players that he has their back. There is absolutely zero evidence that any of the players don’t believe in Dusty. As fans, we have every right to complain about Dusty’s in-field strategies and his lineups. But, Dusty really has no obligation to defend his “mistakes” in front of the media. The only people he has to really concern himself with is his players and getting the best out of them. I see absolutely no evidence that Dusty is not focused on getting the best out of his players. And, indeed, Dusty has a strong reputation as being a manager that players believe in and respect.

      • Baseclogger

        @Steve Mancuso: I’m sure he’ll admit a mistake if he ever makes one. Can he help it if he happens to be right 100% of the time?

      • cincyreds14

        @Steve Mancuso: Appears you are of the opinion that Dusty is the culprit (by stating ‘ever’ a few extra times). Yes, the Reds goofed last fall – twice. Losing the playoffs and then re-hiring Dusty only a few days after the season’s end – and that’s all on Uncle Bob C who was going to bring championship baseball back to Cincy – and how many home playoff games has this Reds team won since Bob’s purchase of the Reds? None, Nada, zero, nothing … well, you get the point. And how fitting would it be for Pittsburgh, after 20 years of futility, to make the WS this year after winning the NL Central Division.

      • NYredfanatic


        Good point… But how many home playoff games did they have in the previous 10+ years before he took over?

      • CharlotteNCRedsFan

        @cincyreds14: This Blog was littered with folks who said Dusty deserved the extension last year.at the time. Some pretty big names, too. Hope they remember who they were and get it right at the close of the season. I have my doubts that many will.

  9. zab1983

    I also truly believe in the bottom of my heart IF Bob let the Editors of this Site run the Reds franchise it would be ran better than it is now. I mean, it’s so obvious to me that the Reds are way too old school with how they run things. Look at TB. They’ve won like 25 out of 28 games or something. Johnny Cueto for Wil Meyers anybody? *Shields for Meyers*

    • cincyreds14

      @zab1983: You mean the Reds have their head stuck up their **yohoo** and too much in the past. Like it!

  10. buddy

    is anybody really surprised by chapman? he lost his control quite awhile ago and there’s no signs of it coming back. The All-star thing was just a glitch based on last years performance and the sexy fastball. That’s why I’d trade him now for somebody that can hit. Frazier and Cozart continue to amaze. Cozart in particular, adding the “lazy side arm toss to first base” into his repertoire ..wow…exciting stuff. Choo had the day off again…why? Must be the sweltering 74 degree CA heat. Burned by ex-Red Chris Denorfia, how fitting.

    • cincyreds14

      @buddy: Buddy, did you see Chapman’s appearance in the All-Star game? Walked the first batter and the 2nd batter, being aggrssive helped Chapman out by hitting a(rocket)DP grounder at the SS. Call that lucky, tonight wasn’t.

      • pinson343

        @cincyreds14: Walked the first batter and fell behind on 3-1 to Encarncion, who hit into the double play. One more ball to EE and he would have been taken out, 2 walks to 2 batters faced.

    • pinson343

      @buddy: Choo sprained his ankle sliding on his stolen base on Sunday.

    • joelie1274

      @buddy: I was wondering if someone else was thinking similarly to me. It’s quite possible that in spite of our best hopes, this is exactly the pitcher that Chapman is. So far this year his ’13 numbers are looking a bit like his ’11 numbers. It’s possible that ’12 was the outlier. It’s possible that he lacks the work ethic to keep up that ’12-level dominance.

  11. zab1983

    Tigers FO seems to be pretty good, few people (including myself) were thinking about Reds trading Chapman to Tigers for one of their glutton of OF. They probably got a better closer (Veras) for cheaper

  12. Baseclogger

    By my count, Reds hitters swung at 16 first pitches in this game. None of those first pitch swings resulted in hits, meaning 16 out of 16 resulted in something negative. 6 of them resulted in outs (and one was a double play, so 7 outs on those 6 first pitch swings), and the rest resulted in 0-1 counts. Of the 16, a grand total of one eventually reached base by hit or walk. (It was a hit.) To repeat: 1 out of 16 reached base by way of hit or walk. By contrast, roughly half the players who took the first pitch eventually reached base by hit or walk. HALF. But Dusty thinks the hitters need to be aggressive.

    I realize it’s a lot to ask, but maybe someone in this organization might want to start taking note of these kinds of things. It shouldn’t just be random fans doing all the legwork.

    • cincyreds14

      @Baseclogger: Like it, Tony LaRussa would have definitely noticed – Dusty, not a chance.

    • Eric the Red

      @Baseclogger:Good stuff. Thanks for doing the legwork for this post. Excuse me while I go cry.

  13. Josh

    This organization needs to operate better, we should have traded Chapman and Hamilton last winter when we had maximum trade value and leverage. This team needed a Wil Myers type young talent and still do. I am afraid we missed the boat on trading Chapman/Hamilton, we could have received a MONSTER package of prospects to help our current and future club without inflicting much damage. We need to operate like the Rays and A’s. Draft and develop pitching, pitching and pitching. Trade players when they get expensive or reach maximum trade value. I would look to trade Cueto or Bailey this winter, along with Chapman.

    • redskaph

      @Josh: The Reds are developing pitchers, its the lack of hitters that’s killing them. But, yes, trade a pitcher or 2 for some lineup help.

  14. redskaph

    Moving on, I wonder which of our 4 top hitters besides the injured Choo gets Tuesday off? (Probably none, but I had to ask.) … Wonder if Phillips would have done more than Izturis tonight? We’ll never know. Then again, we’ll never know if Chapman would have even gotten an out.

  15. pinson343

    Don’t know if anyone has commented on this. Chapman has been awful on the road this season. Now at a 6.89 ERA, 2.03 WHIP, all 4 blown saves. Of course, we’re not talking about a lot of innings here, but he’s been dominating at home and terrible on the road.

    Overall, in his limited innings, looking at his peripherals (e.g. high walk rate), he has not been the pitcher that he was in 2012.

    • pinson343

      @pinson343: It should be noted that Chapman has only pitched 15 2/3 innings on the road. (That’s absurd, BTW.) So those stats are for a very small sample. He’s been dominating at home in 26 innings.

      His getting more use at home is not a coincidence – he’s brought into tie games at home, but not on the road. And perhaps his pitching more often on home stands is part of the reason he’s pitched so much better at home.

      More grist for the mill, as far as misuse of Chapman goes.

  16. EastCoastVibes

    Let me get this straight..You score 1 run a game and decide to rest Phillips the same day Choo is out and insert Izturis in the 2 hole..As soon as I saw the lineup, I decided not to watch the game. Name another roster in baseball that Izturis would be on, let alone hitting 2nd. It’s like this manager works for the Cardinals. And you know what…NOTHING will be done about this guy. This is a friggin disgrace. The owner doesn’t seem to care..That’s his boy. STOP GOING TO GAMES. It won’t happen, but that is the only way to boycott this guy. Hurt big bag clueless Bob in the wallet.

  17. concepcion13

    Someone earlier said something about Dusty digging his own grave. Ordinarily I’d agree, but Castellini apparently thinks Baker is the second coming of John McGraw. Why else extend him after the playoff collapse? And no matter if the team misses the playoffs, or loses the wildcard game (that seems to be Baker’s only goal – not winning the division), Baker has a built-in excuse: “well, Big Ludwick was out all year, and so were Marshall and Big Broxton. And Big Cueto was hurt most of the year too, Otherwise we would have won 120 games.” This manager is beyond frustrating. He needs to go. This team needs a major wake-up call.

  18. dn4192

    We need to come to realize the Reds are what they are, a talented team lacking a true on the field leader and an outdated manager in the dugout.

    I think this season is lost and the upcoming off-season may be the most important in many decades. Bob and Walt need to decide where they want to go and if they want to maximize the talent now.

  19. Truman48

    This place is getting toxic. Remembe how everyone was mad that Dusty didn’t pitch Chapman? Well in his very nexr appeaeance he blow it. Can someone admit Dusty made the right call in LA? No, didn’t think so.

    • homerandbruce

      @Truman48: I don’t think anyone is saying using Chappy was the wrong move. Given that Chapman tends to have problems when not used regularly everyone is upset because of how he has been misused all year. I mean, even a fifth grader can read a stat sheet and draw certain conclusions.

    • rightsaidred

      ayoff collapse? And no matter if the team misses the playoffs, or loses the wildcard game (that seems to be Baker’s only goal – not winning the division), Baker has a built-in excuse: “well, Big Ludwick was out all year, and so were Marshall and Big Broxton. And Big Cueto was hurt most of the year too, Otherwise we would have won 120 games.” This manager is beyond frustrating. He needs to go. This team needs a major wake-up call.

      It is negative but what do you expect after the last four games?

      Chapman’s BS yesterday is not proof that he would have blown a hold in LA. That is Dusty logic, bro.

      • homerandbruce

        @rightsaidred: He should have been used on Sunday to keep him sharp if for no other reason.

  20. BenL

    I went to bed when it was still 1-0 last night, so I guess I’m cheerier than everyone else this morning. Hopefully this will cheer everyone up:

    In July, the Reds have scored 109 runs (4th best in the NL) and given up 71 (2nd best in the NL).

    • homerandbruce

      @BenL: Doesn’t mean a lot when the manager can’t properly deploy his team in order to actually win games.

  21. RedZeppelin

    See? It’s just like everyone said after the previous loss: You need to put in Chapman in those high leverage situations.

    • homerandbruce

      @RedZeppelin: Yes. And other situations as well. Point is he needs to pitch 3 times week no matter what. That’s how you keep him effective.

  22. Eric the Red

    Let’s review Cesar’s night, just for fun. Numbers in () denote the % of Reds outs he’s responsible for at that moment. Personally, I think Dusty is trying to prove the SABRE guys wrong: “see, lineup construction really DOES matter!”

    1st inning: Strikes out. Reds then load the bases with two outs (50)
    2nd inning: Makes the 3rd out with runners on 1st and 3rd, keeping Votto from batting (33)
    5th inning: Comes about as close as you can to hitting into a double play with a runner on 3rd. (17/25 if we count the fielder’s choice he hit into as an out)
    7th inning: Makes an out to lead off. Next two batters get hits. (17/22)
    9th inning: Strikes out to end the inning, keeping Votto from batting (15/19)

    There are things that can be defended: giving BP the night off, even with Choo out. Pitching Chapman so infrequently and inflexibly that he gets rusty and pitches poorly even though we’ve seen it over and over again. Pulling XP for defense in the 7th even though he’s leading off the next inning vs a RHP, thereby giving us a worse lefty/righty matchup. Not giving X the red light in the 1st inning on a 3-1 count with a struggling pitcher who has just given up a bullet and 2 walks. But batting Izturis 2nd? I’d like to see Dusty’s best friend or even Mr. Castellini come up with a defense for that.

    • wildwestLV

      @Eric the Red: “Personally, I think Dusty is trying to prove the SABRE guys wrong: “see, lineup construction really DOES matter!” ”

      CLASSIC! I think you found it. This, almost single-handedly, explains Dusty’s ways.

  23. Gusandwally

    Wow, I watched the game and thought El Stinko the Cuban Misfit blew the game.Now, I wake up and find it was actually Dusty. Guess I will watch the replay today.

    • Eric the Red

      @Gusandwally: Do you really believe the way Chapman is used has no bearing on the result? Prjeter posted some fascinating numbers about Chapman’s results when he’s used vs not used at the end of last night’s game thread. I recommend checking his post.

      Dusty did lots of other things that made it tougher to win the game. Baseball is a difficult game, so a manager needs to put his team in the best possible position to win. Sure, if Chapman was sharper on his sliders to Alonso or if Bruce’s ball goes 5 inches further or if Votto hit 3 homeruns then maybe they would have overcome things like batting Izturis 2nd. But they shouldn’t have to overcome their own manager to win.

  24. wildwestLV

    Dusty did say that Cozart was batting second because it was his job to teach him how to hit at the major league level. Izturis is a veteran, but still doesn’t know how to hit at the major league level, so maybe that’s Dusty’s logic?

  25. Eric the Red

    So, Frazier draws a walk on a close pitch in the 1st inning to load the bases* but the Reds don’t score. His next two times up–including in the 5th with runners on 2nd and 3rd and one out, with a pitcher who has thrown 36 balls and 41 strikes–he hacks at the first pitch and makes an out. Question: does Todd have the baseball IQ of Thom Brennaman’s young son Luke, or or did someone tell him he needed to be more aggressive since he wasn’t producing like “an RBI man” in the 1st?

    * After both Bruce and Frazier walked to load the bases, XP inexplicably swung at a 3-1 pitch and fouled out. Does XP have an even lower baseball IQ than Little Luke or is he perhaps worried that to stay with the Reds after Ludwick comes back he needs to do more than draw run-producing walks? Maybe his manager rewards aggressiveness? XP drew 5-pitch walks from the same pitcher his next two times up, swinging at one of the two pitches that were anywhere near the strike zone.

    • LWBlogger

      @Eric the Red: You’re reading way too much into Dusty’s hitting philosophy and how the players are thinking. You’re projecting what you might feel onto them. These are MLB players and once you get to this level, it is very, very rare for a hitter to change his approach no matter who is managing. Paul may have been pressing but it was likely because his team hasn’t been scoring a lot lately, not because he was worried that Dusty would press for sending him for drawing a bases-loaded walk.

      • Eric the Red

        @LWBlogger: You really don’t think the hitting philosophy of the manager and hitting coach matter?

        I’m (slightly) tongue in cheek in suggesting that Frazier responded to being “dressed down” after the walk. But I don’t think it’s impossible, and I do think it’s a hitting philosophy issue. (Heck, maybe Phillips good-naturedly teased him after the walk and that made him even jumpier than usual.). It sure doesn’t seem we ever adjust when a pitcher has trouble throwing strikes, when an umpire has a particular zone, when we need to move a runner over, etc. Dusty has been very clear that he wants aggressiveness, he believes in RBI guys, etc. Another manager probably would have given XP a red light at 3-1 in the 1st with the bases loaded and with the pitcher having just walked 2 guys. Not doing so is a philosophy, and one the hitters are well aware of.

      • LWBlogger

        @Eric the Red: Of course the philosophy of the coaches matter, it’s just that I don’t think it matters as much as your post was implying. I didn’t realize you were being a little over-the-top on purpose. Sorry.

        I was a selectively aggressive hitter. As such, I may have given XP the green-light on the 3-1 pitch but with the 2 prior walks, I may not have. The reason being that I think the chances are that the pitcher grooves one in there and XP could have done serious damage. I think it should be clear with the green-light in that situation that “one pitch, one zone” should have been in effect. I didn’t see the AB so am not sure if the pitch XP swung at was a meatball that he just missed or if it was a pitcher’s pitch, or even a ball.

      • Eric the Red

        @LWBlogger: It was probably a strike, but not a meatball. If memory serves, it was a fastball and XP is a good fastball hitter but I don’t think he’s “earned” a green light there. I agree with you about “one pitch one zone” and if he’d gotten “his” pitch and smashed it right at someone I don’t think it would be as upsetting. But on a team where the philosophy is swing, swing, swing, it’s not really a surprise if he erred on the side of taking a hack and fouled out.

      • LWBlogger

        @Eric the Red: If you can’t be sure that XP would only swing at “his pitch” there, then I agree, the take-sign should have been in order. If he took it and it was a strike, he’s at 3-2. The pitcher still has to put one in the zone.

  26. wildwestLV

    If Ryan Ludwick doesn’t walk across to GABP on top of the Ohio River, his return will be deemed nothing short of a disaster. The Reds are placing their entire chip stack, and season, on him at this point.

  27. Truman48

    They need another bat. The Cards and Pirates aren’t going anywhere for a long time. I would think Jockety would be acting with a little more urgency at this point. Frustrating.

  28. Eric the Red

    Poster prjeter put this up at 12:48 last night after most people probably stopped looking at the game thread and went to bed sobbing. I think it deserves a wider audience:

    “Just for fun; Chapman splits:

    0 Days Rest: .136/.174/.205 (45 pa)
    1 Days Rest: .114/.220/.182 (50 pa)
    2+ Day Rest: .271/.394/.441 (71 pa)

    Looks like Chapman likes tossing the ball! Not sitting on the pine.”

    • Eric the Red

      @Eric the Red: My mistake. I’m watching/reading Tuesday morning. This post was made at 12:38, so I think it was up before Chapman blew the save. So, nice post prjeter, but did you have to jinx him like that? 🙂

    • msanmoore

      @Eric the Red: I thought along similar lines as I shut off the game in disgust. 50% of the blame for Chappy’s “mistake” is on Baker for not using him. Bullpen sessions don’t mimic a real game and Chappy needs to throw.

  29. Hunt4RedsOctober

    So who goes when Ludwick comes back this weekend?
    Robinson? He has actually been a pleasant surprise and provides the team with something they are sorely lacking, speed. Still has options. .270/.343/.355
    Paul? He is the only guy on the bench with any power. Out of options. .241/.340/.402
    Heisey? He gives you defense and hustle but has been hurt. Still has options. .216/.267/.410.

    I suspect there will be a trade and one of the 3 will be included.

    • bohdi

      @Hunt4RedsOctober: Where did you hear Ludwick was coming back this weekend? I can’t find any reference to that anywhere. I feel so alone and left out…

      To answer your question, barring any trades, I think Robinson goes because he has options. Heisey is too veteran-y for Dusty to send down.

    • Eric the Red

      @Hunt4RedsOctober: When Ludwick comes back–which I doubt will be this weekend–they will probably discover that Heisey’s hamstring is giving him trouble and DL him. (Or XP; his hamstrings are looking a little vulnerable.). He’ll return when rosters expand. If they actually make a choice they SHOULD keep Robinson and Heisey, but they’ll probably keep XP and Heisey. XP’s had a nice little run and he’s our only LH bench player who can hit a fastball with any power, but Robinson’s speed and defense give him the edge IMHO.

      One other plus to keeping Robinson around is to see if there’s any chance he can provide CF insurance next year, and maybe even be an adequate leadoff hitter since Billy Hamilton doesn’t look like he’ll be ready.

  30. ToledoRedsFan

    This is just food for thought. I subscribe to ESPN’s Baseball Tonight Podcast, and Monday’s topic was coverage of Atlanta/Looie from Sunday night. Buster Olney interviewed John Mabry, the WLB’s hitting coach. When asked about their insane hitting numbers this season, Mabry apparently cringed and Olney said “why did you react like that when I asked you about the numbers?” Mabry replied that they are process-oriented, and he doesn’t want his hitters thinking too much about outcomes. He repeated this contrast, process vs outcomes, several times during the interview. The dichotomy struck me.

    I am definitely not one of those people (cough Bresser cough) who thinks that the solution to the Reds’ offensive woes is as simple as looking to St. Louis and copying them. That said, I also don’t think something should be discounted as invalid simply because it comes from Looie either, and I do think there might be something to thinking of hitting in terms of process and not outcomes. It seems to me that every time I hear some Reds players talk about hitting, it’s about outcomes. Mainly I’m thinking of phillips here–since being moved into the four hole he’s been talking numerically: “I want 100 ribbies.” Every time I hear Dusty speak it’s about ribbies–outcomes. Votto is the only one I don’t hear talking much about outcomes and he’s the most productive one offensively.

    So I’m just throwing this out there: 1) is there something to the process v outcomes dichotomy, and 2) if there is, do the Reds have it backwards from an organizational standpoint?

    • LWBlogger

      @ToledoRedsFan: 1) Yes, I believe there is something to it. Most hitting outcomes are failures and I believe that it’s due to this fact, that hitting is about the approach more than the results. I mean you can evaluate on results of course but if you have talent and a good approach, the results will come.

      2) Yes, I feel the Reds as an organization seem to have it backwards. I mean the results matter for evaluation but their hitting strategy from how they draft to how they coach in the minors, to how they coach hitting in the Majors focuses on outdated philosophies and statistics. That’s why I can’t blame Baker for all the Reds hitting woes.

      I may be way off-base and completely wrong about this but that’s my perception as an outsider looking in. The only way to know for sure is to be a player or know some players/coaches that you can talk to about this stuff.

    • Sultan of Swaff

      @ToledoRedsFan: I don’t think there’s original about this. I specifically remember Rolen talking about process over results last year.

      • ToledoRedsFan

        @Sultan of Swaff: I don’t think it’s anything terribly original either. It just seems to me that this team has the approach backwards this season.

  31. Sultan of Swaff

    All the Chapman points are spot-on, but I gotta lay nearly all the blame here on the offense.
    –XP popping up weakly on a 3-1 fastball.
    –Bruce missing a HR by inches.
    –Mez not being able to hit behind the runner on the hit and run.
    –Votto trying to stretch an obvious single into a double.

    The totality of those little things adds up.

    I’m sick to my stomach at how little we competed against the last two starting pitchers. The fact that we couldn’t generate any offense against them is a really bad sign. I suppose in theory if we win these next two games the road trip won’t have been a complete failure, but eventually you run out of opportunities like this. We’re starting to get into that danger zone.

    • LWBlogger

      @Sultan of Swaff: Bruce missing the HR by inches is luck and also a product of the ballpark. Mes not being able to hit behind the runner is poor execution. XP popping up the 3-1 fastball as well as Joey’s TOOTBLAN are likely results of players pressing and trying to make something happen. It’s a tough situation.

      Yes, they should have done more last night. A post from yesterday showed that Capuano is nasty when he’s on. He’s had multiple games where he gave up no earned runs. Since finding that out, I have cut the Reds some slack on that game. Last night though was disappointing, even with Izturis in the lineup batting 2nd.

      Lastly, if the Reds take the next two, they have a winning west-coast road-trip that included four games against a hot, talented Dodgers team. I will take that any day. Of course if the Reds lose this series or get swept, then we can consider the road-trip a bit of a disaster.

  32. VTRedsFan

    Posted without further comment:

    Brian Kenny ‏@MrBrianKenny 1h
    In NL, only 25 players w 100pa’s have sub-.270obp.
    3 of them regularly fill 2nd most imp.spot in lineup for Reds, #3 offense in NL.

  33. WVRedlegs

    Votto has me a little concerned. Not his HR and RBI numbers. Its his doubles numbers. Last year, pre-knee injury, Votto was leading the world in doubles. This year he has only 22. That’s about half of what he had this time last year. The double he hit last night in the first inning was a shot. It was good to see, although we haven’t seen enough of those this year. Obviously his RBI decline is attributed to his fewer HR’s, and a black hole in the #2 spot. But I think it has more to do with the decline in his number of doubles this year.

  34. Jason1972

    5-6 would be a solid west coast trip. It’s just frustrating because it could have been much more productive. I wish there were such a thing as manager WAR.

    • Eric the Red

      @Jason1972: Dusty leads the league in Manager: WHAT?!? and Manager: WHY?!? and Manager: WAHHHH (that’s the noise I made when we extended him).

      Dusty thinks WAR stands for Wanted: Aggressive RBI-man.

      (I think last night’s game sent me over the deep edge a little. Maybe I should stop posting for awhile.)

  35. icee82

    Everyone gives Dusty his proper credit of being a good manager over the Big 162. He has proven that. However in games such as the last three or four, Dusty’s weaknesses are revealed. He is not a good “game tactician”. Frankly I beleive that is why we lost the LDS to SF last season as Bruce Bochy “outmanaged” him. That is why his teams (Chicago and SF) were close but could not win the big one to get over the hump. Dusty’s “in game management” has always been suspect. On the other hand, you have to give it to Don Mattingly over the weekend. Even though he is relatively inexperienced according to major league standards, he has taken a team that has been decimated by injuries and strife and is leading them to an potential division title. He is getting the most out of the team that he puts on the field. That two hole has been a Dusty issue for years now. He believes that if they can hang on, when Ludwick returns he can move into the clean up spot so BP can move back to the two hole and all will be good. I hope that he is right but we saw how a shoulder issue severely hampered Scott Rolen’s ability to get around on a fastball and it hindered his power as well. Will Ludwick’s return be the answer to the prayer? I hope.