Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

San Diego 3
Cincinnati 1

W: T. Ross (3-5)
L: T. Cingrani (5-2)
S: H. Street (22)


–This Reds team is just sloppy. Night after night, they make mistakes you wouldn’t expect out of a good Little League team. I don’t know who to blame for that, but it is a fact.

–Jack Hannahan, starting at 3B tonight, committed three errors and had no hits in three ABs, but did hit into a double play. As ugly a game as you’ll see anyone have in the major leagues.

–Xavier Paul couldn’t outdo Hannahan, but he tried. Paul committed an error and had an awful TOOTBLAN, a terrific baserunning blunder that cost the Reds an out when they had a chance to score some runs. With runners on first and third, Paul (at first) inexplicably took off running for second on a short fly to right field. It was an easy out for a double play that essentially ran the Reds right out of the inning.

–Manny Parra gave up two hits and a run in two-thirds of an inning. He’s been so good lately, we’ll give him a break on this one.

–A completely winnable game, and the Reds just gave it away. You just can’t do that at this point in the season, if you expect to be a contender.

–Do the Reds really make more mistakes on the basepaths than any other Reds team of recent vintage, or is that just my memory playing tricks on me?

–Tony Cingrani wasn’t bad: five innings, no earned runs allowed on two hits and two walks. The only reason Cingrani got the loss was that Hannahan and Paul combined to allow two unearned runs to score in the first. He could have pitched longer if two innings weren’t extended by the errors committed behind him, causing Cingrani’s pitch count to rise as he had to collect four or five outs in an inning.

–There was some frustration with Dusty Baker over his decision to start Hannahan at third base instead of Todd Frazier. As much as I hate to defend Dusty, any such criticism seems to me to be overblown. First, Dusty generally does a pretty good job of making sure the bench guys play — and they have to play sometimes — as a strategy for keeping the starters fresh. Dusty also had his reasons, something to do with San Diego starter Tyson Ross’s pitch repertoire (namely the slider) and Frazier’s particular weaknesses as a hitter. I gotta give Dusty the benefit of the doubt about that. He has more information than I do.

The criticism that made me laugh the most, however, was that Dusty was sitting the hot hand in favor of an inferior player. After all, Frazier went 2-4 last night with a double, a walk, and three runs scored!

Now, I will concede that Frazier is a better player than Hannahan. I’ll even agree that starting Hannahan was the reason the Reds lost, even if I think it was a perfectly defensible decision by Dusty. But don’t use that lame argument about Dusty sitting a guy just as he’s getting hot. Frazier, you may know, is the same guy who was 2-for-his-last-35, even after last night. Give me a break.

–When you start to complain about Joey Votto not swinging at a ball outside the zone, repeat this to yourself: “Joey Votto knows more about hitting than I do.

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

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

Source: FanGraphs

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 107 Comments

  1. Thank you for the comments on starting Hannahan over Frazier. You are 100% spot on, even though I expect the majority to disagree with it.

    • @renbutler: I agree with you and Chad. I had just posted my thoughts, very similar to Chad’s, on the game thread when I saw the summary had come up.

      Frazier is an easy guy to like which makes it even easier to not see his weaknesses.

    • @renbutler: I have to disagree. I can entirely understand why. But, when your regular starting 3rd baseman just had his best game in months, and you are trying to work out the 2 hole batting order with that 3rd baseman, you don’t sit him in favor of the bench guy. It entirely lacks building any sort of team chemistry on the ballfield.

      • @steveschoen: @steveschoen:

        I couldn’t agree more….what kind of message does it send when Frazier FINALLY has a good game and finds himself on the bench the next night? Also, before the game, would anyone (other than Dusty) believe Hannahan gave the Reds a better chance to win than Frasier? Plus, Cozart back in the 2 hole? Know the definition of insanity?

      • @steveschoen:
        Exactly, The frustrating part is not so much sitting Frazier when he is hot, but sitting him when it looks looks like he might get out of his slump.
        When there is a glaring weakness for a 2 hole hitter and the one player, that has been obvious to everyone that should not be batted there, starts, it makes the fans feel that their manager just does not see this as a priority.
        It did not help that his replacement makes the error and it was just a bad game

  2. Hannahan and Paul should not be on this team, same with Izturis. Chalk tonight up as yet ANOTHER blown game. It amazes me that Baker is still the manager of this team.

    • @Josh: It’s getting to be about time for a Red’s catalyst – stands 6′ and weighs 160 lbs – a player out of Taylorsville HS in Mississippi. He should be here in the next couple of weeks (if the Reds knew what they are doing which is often questionable – if he keeps stroking the ball like he has in AAA.

    • @Josh: if you don’t think they should be on the team, you’d have to blame Jocketty, not Dusty.

  3. I know who to blame for all the base running blunders. Dusty Baker!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    It starts with him..

    • @Larry1980: You are absolutely correct. The man is, what, 62 or 63? He really shouldn’t be trying to steal or go from 1st to 3rd on a single anymore.

  4. The Reds bench is terrible. Has anybody been watching Dioner Navarro play great for the Cubs. They should have kept him.

    • @Larry1980: Dioneer choose to split as soon as last season was over – probably because he wanted to play for a major league baseball team and not appear on a regular basis at a Dusty Baker family reunion picnic. And remember everyone, tomorrow is Sunday and Baker believes it should be a day of rest (check out Baker and the Reds record is on Sunday). Probably another Seattle series, bad team, even worse results.

  5. Discipline – nah, not for a Dusty Baker team.

    Dusty is seen waiving to fans and acting like every game is a family picnic and not a major league baseball game. Sure bring along your son, the more the merrier.

  6. I refuse to join the “blame Dusty club” but there is only a handful teams in all of sports that criticize/defend their coach/manager like the Cincinnati Reds. It really is interesting to watch, especially for a manager who has won so many games.

    Reds postgame show is saying zero percent chance to win the Central.


    • @Boneill1621: There is a reason for that. And Reds fans aren’t the only ones that dislike Dusty, as many in the national sports media constantly ridicule Dusty.

    • @Boneill1621: Did you happen to read anything out of LA over their first 100 games of the season about their current manager? From what I read, my ears were blistered as LA fans were definitely livid (and their manager – Don Mattingly within an eyelash of losing his job). I guess winning changes a few things. And please keep your ear to the wall over the next week or so in regards to the Cardinals and the comments coming from their fans – especially if they get swept at home by the Cubs this week-end and continue their losing ways. There will be plenty of barbs a flying (btw, Reds fans who complain about Dusty are like the majority of other team’s fans when it comes to their team under-performing – normally the #1 reason that managers and coaches get fired – that and its tough to fire players on extended guaranteed contracts).

    • @Boneill1621: Fans of all teams complain about their managers/coaches. There are even Pirate fans complaining about Clint Hurdle every time they lose.

      • @Y-City Jim: @Y-City Jim:

        Sure. Plenty of teams question the coach when their team isn’t winning. The Dodgers this year are a great example. That said, antisocial kind of hits on my point. People either love Dusty or question his every decision. The national media certainly questions him to the point where they just begin to laugh at his decisions. That really doesn’t happen to that many coaches/managers. Very little credit or respect is shown to Dusty Baker for one reason or another.

        I wonder what another manager would do with the Reds. And then I remember we have Frazier, Cozart, X Paul, Hannahan, Heisey and Robinson making up a large bulk of our roster. We could be a ton worse.

  7. Cozart back in the 2-hole??? That is my disappointment. Is this going to be a regular thing from now on? God, please tell me no.

    • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Agreed. There is no reason why Zack Cozart should ever bat 2nd for Cincinnati Reds. He is awful and I hope Walt finds a replacement in the offseason.

      • @antisocial21: I can live with Zack hitting seventh, or preferably eighth, but 2nd is ridiculous. It’s not his fault, it’s the Skipper’s.

  8. At this rate, we may as well rename them to the Cincinnati Miltons… I’ve been holding off on the despair; but this is not a playoff team right now. The Dodgers had April and May, and I have a feeling we’ll view the Reds July and August similarly.

    • @Zach: rewind to Memorial Day -after beating the Indians the Reds record stood at 32-19. Currently, 64-52. So what kind of record have the Reds has since Memorial Day:


      and thus a losing record.

      • @cincyreds14: IN a sport wher virtually all the teams play at between .400 and .600 when all is said and done, there is nothing unusual about a team playing roughly .500 ball over a two month plus period.

        They laid a good foundation in the first two months, now they need to finish strongly to make it count.

        • @OhioJim: Really hope you are right, and would really love to see it, Jim – but there is also something called momentum and it appears, at least to me (not sure about others), that the Red’s are currently at ground level zero after efforts like today(with the Braves and Dodgers starting to flex their muscle while screaming skyward).

          Braves – Dodgers NLCS? Not calling it yet, but like any horse race at the 3/4 post – those teams have recently broken out to a lead after lagging behind the field for the first 100 games. Can the Reds make a strong break as MLB teams head to the finish – absolutely. Counting on this current team doing it, probably not.

          • @cincyreds14: The numbers theory says I am right about the linear behavior pattern; and I’ve actually crunched seasons game by game and seen it time and again.

            Teams pick up and drop games (to .500) in bunches and not consistently over the season. The winning teams tend to have the biggest (and most frequent) positive bumps but more importantly they tend to avoid really bad stretches, for instance like this one the Cards are in the midst of. As inconsistent as the Reds have been they haven’t fallen off the table like that (yet at least).

            Who know if the 2013 Reds will a team that surges again toward the end. I would tend to agree with you that they aren’t showing signs that would lead one to believe that they will.

          • @OhioJim: These numbers are always easy to see. They don’t explain what’s going on with the team. As soon as we get a bit of energy going on, like last night or a couple of games winning streak, Bakerman has to do his Great Thinker impersonation and make some sort of stupid decision like start Hannahan instead of Frazier after Frazier had his best game in months last night. And, why? It’s always something stupid like, “We need to get Jack going?”

          • @steveschoen: I think that it had to do with Frazier’s likely difficulty hitting the SD pitcher.

  9. The Reds are 3-9 in their last 12 Sunday games.

    • @Larry1980: You had to say that, didn’t you? My only day to follow the games closely is Sundays. Let’s see now … what would be a good idea for a Sunday lineup from Dusty?

      Izturis 2B
      Cozart SS
      Bruce RF
      Frazier 1B
      Paul LF
      Robinson CF
      Hannahan 3B
      Hanigan C

  10. I understand Baker needs to give bench players occasional playing time but he needs to remember that they are bench players so don’t give several of them playing time on the same night. On nights that Sparky played Daryl Cheney at SS he didn’t also throw Ed Armbrister, Bill Plummer, Doug Flynn, and Bob Bailey out there as well.

  11. Nobody will ever convince me that at least part of the reason Hannahan started is because it was Irish heritage night at GABP. And that is a completely ridiculous reason for a line up decision. I am okay with him getting some playing time in light of Frazier’s poor hitting but not because of a ball park promotion.

    • @Kyle Farmer: Won’t convince me, either. This is the front office that refused to get rid of Jonny Gomes in 2011 because he had a Bobblehead Night coming up. Then, gee, whaddaya know, but a few games after the promotion, he’s released. An amazing coincidence!!!

  12. Complete cop-out of a re-cap, that I normally always agree with. Dusty’s substitution of Hannahan, over Frazier, at this moment and time, was imbecile. Paul over Heisey? Okay, maybe a discussion. But still pretty weak. This was nothing short of a complete homer re-cap that overlooks the severity of the Reds situation. Sorry, I have the most respect for this site’s admin and their insight, but this is just…bunk. It’s a free country, right?

    • @wildwestLV: Hey wilde, the Reds have such a difficult time putting forth a consistently solid effort. This team seems to doze off when a good team would be on a roll (Dodgers). Not sure what Dusty’s idea of a momentum is, but after efforts like today – this team appears quite mediocre – and since Memorial Day – that’s exactly what they have been.

      And by golly, whose that playing CF for Louisville and hitting .301 (34-113) since the 1st of July? Well I’ll be darn, that’s the player some scout recently said couldn’t hit. I hope the Reds aren’t asleep at the wheel on this one like that unknown scout evidently is – because if that unknown player continues to hit well over the next 2 weeks – he had better be in a Reds uniform before Aug 31st so he’s available for the playoffs.

      And tell him to play Choo in LF with this unknown player in CF. Darn, he could even be a catalyst for the Reds.

      • @cincyreds14: Nice homework reds14! Keep us posted.

        That is the best Reds related news I have heard in awhile. A real Catch-22 though in that I don’t want Billy to save Dusty from a well deserved firing.

        • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Knowing Dusty’s penchant and love for veterans – Billy will hopefully keep hitting in AAA, the Reds will bring him up in about 2 weeks and then Dusty will have BH sit the bench because that is where rookies belong (Dusty’s rule #126.7).

          And thanks for the kind complement Charlotte, but you aren’t implying that Puig may have saved Mattingly’s job in LA (tic – of course he did) – heavens – that scenario doesn’t even appear in Dusty’s book.

          But I am definitely with you, Dusty really should head out to greener pastures and roam with other retied vets and extol their wisdom of how the game was played 40 years ago to the younger players – just like Pete did yesterday, because Pete knows his place (and thank you so much Pete for your unexpected visit with Frazier yesterday, he soaked up your wisdom like a sponge. Just too bad a player with 3 errors today started in his place and didn’t get a chance to gain some mo (see I said Dusty doesn’t have a true appreciation for momentum – but humor me,how do the Dodgers and Braves how feel about that, pray tell).

      • @cincyreds14: The only thing with this team is Dusty’s been stupid. For so long he did the same thing with the 2 hole and with Frazier. He decides to put Frazier in the 2 hole, to shake things up, and he gets one of his best games in months. Then what? He benches him.

        • @steveschoen: That’s the final straw – a new fan club is currently forming – FDNATJWY (please feel free to contact me to join)!

          Info on FDNATJWY found below

    • @wildwestLV: Agree with you 100% wildwestLV.

  13. “First, Dusty generally does a pretty good job of making sure the bench guys play — and they have to play sometimes — as a strategy for keeping the starters fresh.”

    With all due respect to our fearless leader – I’m not a buyer. It sounds good but in reality isn’t. I’d much rather DB go with a set lineup, with possibly a platoon or two, and play the B-team a couple times a month. This seems better than the day-in-day-out mixing it up, getting guys going, resting 27-year old guys unnecessarily, cooling guys that are producing, etc. Like the Sarge says, you get Baker starting to managing and bad things tend to happen. He just isn’t very good at that part of his job. I believe it is near impossible to argue this point.

    • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Agreed. Put the best line-up out there.

    • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: This is the post of the night. Well stated!

      • @tpteach: Thumbs Up.

        • @Sergeant2: Agreed. Baker’s way shows absolutely no sort of team chemistry. When he does get set, though, it’s normally something like Cozart in the 2 hole. The only thing consistent with this team right now is Bakerman’s lunacy.

          • @steveschoen: How about team unity – make it clear who the starter is and who the “sub” is. Dusty just keep them constantly confused. Says a little about Dusty, as he seems constantly confused and befuddled. This IS NOT A FAMILY PICNIC WHERE EVERYONE HAS TO PLAY.

    • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: When Dusty used to go with the B lineup on certain Sundays, people would go crazy. “Don’t rest them all at once, you idiot, that’s giving a game away !”

      The bench players HAVE to play, and when they do, if they stink, the manager takes the heat regardless of circumstances. This bench stinks and it’s Walt Jocketty who put it together and it’s Jocketty who did nothing to improve it at the deadline.

      The bench happens to have the kind of “versatile” no bat no glove veterans that Dusty likes, but it’s makeup is still Jocketty’s responsibility.

    • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: You mean like Sparky did? He didn’t rest Bench with Plummer at the same time he was resting Pete or Joe or George. He wanted to build momentum in an effort to continue winning – something entirely foreign to the current Reds commander. If Sparky, God rest his soul, was Captain Hook, what does that make Dusty?

  14. I am not a Dusty hater but he does from time to time puzzle me. I certainly don’t have the information that he has and I’m obviously not in the clubhouse. That said, I really can’t believe he sat Frazier tonight. I said it before the Hannahan disaster and it’s still true in my mind. Here is the real question….if this team is going to win, is Todd Frazier the guy you’d rather have at third base? If he is your guy, then sitting him tonight after he finally show signs of breaking out of his prolific slump, doesn’t make sense. If you think it’s a straight platoon or if Hannahan is now your guy, then fine. Otherwise, Frazier needed the at-bats toniight, IMO.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think Frazier or Hannahan is really the answer. I am wondering if the Reds might make a play for Michael Young? If they have any hopes of making a postseaon run, I think he’d be a perfect addition to this club.

    • @Greenie55: Michael From what I have read, Young does not want to play for the Reds – he has made that abundantly clear (the Reds are not on his list of teams he would play for) – he would prefer to be back in Texas or wearing the pinstripes.

    • @Greenie55: Agree, Greenie. I don’t think Frazier and Hannahan would be “the guy” at 3rd, also. But, they are who we have. And, if either, I do believe we should go with Frazier. But, shake him up in the batting order, like Baker had with him in the 2 hole.

  15. How dare you guys disagree with me???


    • @Chad Dotson: Even Joe D. had an 0-fer every now and then.

      • @

        @Chad Dotson: Even Joe D. had an 0-fer every now and then.

        Sorry, normally I am in lock step with you Chad. But I have to majorly disagree with you on the Hanahan start (and the game itself ended up justifying my frustration with DB’s decision). It is entirely reasonable to keep your starter playing, especially after he is proving to be a better #2 hitter than any of the subs. He finally gets on track and the next day – he sits. Just lame. We obviously disagree on this, but I think it’s apparent that the decision was incorrect.

        • @tpteach:

          “Proving to be a better #2 hole hitter”?????

          It has been 2 games.The first he went 0 for something and the other one game he had 2 hits… Hard to say he is proving anything with that small of a sample size.

          Dusty didn’t like the match up. Why put Frazier back in when he is facing a guy who has his kryptonite…. A slider.

          I’m ok with the idea of sitting him.

          • @NYredfanatic: Sure he went 2-7 in those games (.285 is still better than any of our other #2 hole hitters), but the more important things is he reached base *5 times* in those 2 games. You can go 0-3, but if you also have a walk and a HBP, then suddenly you had a pretty decent game.

            He also hit into 0 GIDP, which is a novel concept for the #2 hitter.

          • @ToddAlmighty:
            Just humorous that people are claiming him to be the next great 2 hole hitter… And another 0’fer day on Sunday. Man he sure is getting it done

    • @Chad Dotson: I had to disagree, also, Chad. Sorry. But, like I said, I can entirely understand why Bakerman started Hannahan. It was just a stupid decision. If Frazier is going to work in the 2 hole, he needs AB’s there. After just having his best game in that hole in several months, he deserved another immediate shot. Hannahan started 2 of the previous 5 games. No need to have brought him out tonight.

    • @Chad Dotson: I agree with you, and so do a couple of people at the top. We’re in the minority though. A manager should be able to put in his backup 3rd baseman without a disaster. I’m not giving Dusty a complete pass, but the bench players do have to play: the bench is terrible, and that’s on Jocketty.

      • @pinson343:

        Nobody is saying bench players shouldn’t play…but why last night, after Frasier finally has a good game? Let’s remember Hannahan played on Tuesday also.

      • @pinson343: Oh, hey, I entirely agree that the bench players have to play. Like I said, I can entirely understand why Baker played Hannahan. As far as playing the bench players, though, Hannahan started two of the previous 5 games. Given that, along the lines of starting the bench players, Hannahan didn’t need to be starting last night.

  16. Perhaps you are getting soft in your old age?

  17. The Cubs are going for the sweep tommorow of the Cardnials.

  18. And I love that this site allows us to (respectfully) talk Reds. I think Judge Dotson used the phrase: “Reds Therapy Group”, or something to that effect, in the past. That’s what the Nation is, to me. Thank You.

  19. I feel confident that I know a well coached team when I see one, and this Reds team does not have the look of a well coached team. Whether its their approach at the plate, running the bases, stealing a base or even bunting for crying out loud. Even a well coached and disciplined team makes boneheaded plays occasionally, but this team keeps making the same ones over and over. I realize the Reds are favored for a wild card, for now anyway. The Diamondbacks are 4 1/2 behind the Reds for the wild card spot and wins are becoming more of a precious commodity with each passing day. The Reds should have went all out to get a win tonight against a team where one of those precious commodities was there for the taking, instead the Reds sent the “B” team as if the commodity wasn’t worth much.

    • @Sergeant2: Amen. Opportunity. Amen.

    • @Sergeant2:

      Im just confused when the Reds quit playing smart baseball. Bad baserunning, errors and other bonehead plays. Its pretty baffling when this club, the past few years, has been very good at those things

    • @Sergeant2: Sarge, I certainly agree that this Reds team seems ill prepared and poorly disciplined. I also agree that for the most part this falls on the field management. But sometimes horses are so stupid you can lead them to water and dunk their noses and they still won’t drink. In other words, I think some of the problems this year are that they have a number of players who simply aren’t skilled enough and/ or are too stubborn to take direction. And that falls as much on the GM as the field manager.

      • @OhioJim: All of these players having either been in the majors for several years already or who have been brought up through the Reds own minor league system already, it’s more likely the coaching is lacking. Just consider this, with two hitting instructors on the field nightly (Bakerman came up a hitting instructor), our strengths are pitching and defense. One would think our batting should be a strength.

    • @Sergeant2: “There’s always tomorrow.” -Dusty Baker, Game 5 NLDS (I know he didn’t actually say that, but it sure seemed like this thought process.)

      • @TraviXDM: I’ve been having bad fantasies of the Reds losing the WC play in and Dusty coming up with a line about he had to hold somebody back for the the next game. 🙂

  20. I was hoping this would be a time where we’d minimize throwing out our B Squad lineup and really press. The Pirates don’t have an easy schedule over the next week and being only a couple of games behind the Cards, we had a chance to put together a nice run and get back in the mix for the division. We still might, but this seemed like a game we let get away and instead of being 5 games back of Pitt and 1 of Stl, we’re still 6 and 2 back respectively.

    • @RES: Hey, Cezar Izturis made that least back in 2010. Reds FO, are we paying attention?

  21. Does anyone else wonder why, with two batting instructors on the field every night (Bakerman came up as a batting instructor), why is it our strength is defense and pitching?

    • @steveschoen:

      Because they can’t hit for them?

      • @JMac1984: Exactly. Frazier and Cozart’s MLB numbers are about where a person would project them based on their minor league body of work.

        Guys are supposed to know how to hit when they arrive in the majors. The job of the MLB level hitting coaches is to keep them tweaked and prepared. To pull out another old tired farm analogy, you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

  22. Sure crapped on a golden opportunity tonight. Cards, Pirates and Snakes all lose and the idiot’s team plays like the Bad News Bears. Fundamental sloppiness should always lay at the feet of the head dog in charge. Please dismiss this dope from his duties so I can get some sleep.

    • @homerandbruce:

      I can’t believe he forced players to make errors! These guys are payed well to do their jobs. Put some of the pressure on them, why don’t you? Dusty isn’t up there swinging the bat or playing the field (although wouldn’t it be amazing if we had Dusty (in his prime) in left? He won a few silver sluggers and gold gloves, if I’m not mistaken. It’s almost like the guy knows baseball.

  23. Even Milton is insulted about being linked to Saturday’s game!! Isn’t there a way to superimpose a mug of Hannahan and/or Paul over poor Milton’s face?? … But I’m told that Richard from Springboro thought it was downright sporting of the Reds to keep giving the Padres all of those chances.

  24. Yep, another blown game led by Baker. SET A LINE UP AND LEAVE IT ALONE. The Reds could be only 5 games behind the Pirates and 1 game behind the Cards, plus we’d be up 5 1/2 on the Dbacks.

  25. Every game is not winnable. That’s a fact. No team has ever come close. This team is in fine shape. I’ve seen people call for the media scrutiny of a New York or a Boston for this team, which, in my opinion, would be way more headache than it’s worth.
    We need to make the playoffs, and we will. What happens after that is anyone’s guess. A healthy Cueto going into the playoffs would certainly be a plus. The negativity surrounding this team is mind boggling to me. I watch baseball for the enjoyment, and if you can’t find enjoyment from this team in the past few years, than I ask you to think about why you enjoy baseball. Generally, this team does “it” better than almost any team in the MLB, much less most of the Reds teams from the past 20 years. We have one of the best hitters of this generation, to go with a once in a blue moon pitching staff. Enjoy friends.

    • @JMac1984: I agree with you in principle that every game is not winnable. Sparky Anderson’s operational axiom was that a teams wins a third and conversely loses a third regardless of what the manager does and that his job was to position them to win as many of the remaining third as possible and to not do anything that would cost them one of that third.

      I would put the Saturday game into the third that was up for grabs and say that the Reds lost because of incompetence on defense and the base paths.

  26. Every game is not winnable. That’s a fact. No team has ever come close. This team is in fine shape. I’ve seen people call for the media scrutiny of a New York or a Boston for this team, which, in my opinion, would be way more headache than it’s worth.
    We need to make the playoffs, and we will. What happens after that is anyone’s guess. A healthy Cueto going into the playoffs would certainly be a plus. The negativity surrounding this team is mind boggling to me. I watch baseball for the enjoyment, and if you can’t find enjoyment from this team in the past few years, than I ask you to think about why you enjoy baseball. Generally, this team does “it” better than almost any team in the MLB, much less most of the Reds teams from the past 20 years. We have one of the best hitters of this generation, to go with a once in a blue moon pitching staff. Enjoy friends.

  27. Whether you fault Dusty’s use of the bench or not, the fact remains: the Reds bench is putrid. Why is a corner IFer who can’t hit on the roster ? Answer: He plays multiple positions and is a veteran. I won’t even dignify that answer with a rebuttal.

    Walt Jocketty put this pathetic bench together, and could have improved it at the trade deadline. He didn’t bother, apparently feeling it was good enough to get the Reds to the WS.

    • @pinson343: Says quite a bit about WJ, as he may just want to join Dusty in that green pasture.

      The Reds need a new infusion of talent not only on the field but also in team management.

  28. As far as Dusty’s use of the crappy bench goes, I have a problem with his starting Paul so often. His defense is terrible and he hasn’t hit since mid-June. And he can’t argue that Heisey and Robinson both need a rest.

  29. 3-9 is a pitiful record for Sunday games. You would think even Dusty would realize he’s hurting the team with these backup all in games. All one can hope is that Saturday’s line-up was the Sunday give away game this week and today will see better.

    I’m coming down on WJ somewhat for this situation. Signing both Izturis and Hannahan puts two weak bats on the bench. The player I really wanted the Reds to get for 3B backup was Eric Chavez. He hits LH pitching about as bad as Choo, but kills RH pitching, making him a good choice to occasionally substitute for Frazier and a solid DH for the AL away games. Arizona signed him as a free agent to a one year deal for $3 million. Guess that was $1 million too high for Walt’s bench player pay slot.

  30. Another question. Why wait until Monday until you activate Ludwick? As offensively challenged as this team has been don’t you think that it might be an emotional boost for the team’s morale? And, if he’s already in Cincinnati why let him rot on the bench and lose whatever batting eye and timing he might have and need to succeed? Are you waiting for someone else to get hurt and put on the DL so as not to have to DFA? Anybody?

    • @George Culver: The Reds and their fans are going to be awfully disappointed if they really expect Ryan Ludwick to give them much in the way of offensive punch over the next month and a half. If he can’t hit minor league pitching, how in the world will he hit MLB pitching?

    • @George Culver: Maybe waiting to see who clears or doesn’t clear waivers off the Reds own roster.

      There is a limit of how many a team can have on waivers at one time. It used to be seven, not sure if that is still the number. Then they have to be exposed for 3 (business) days with no claims before they are cleared.

  31. Are stats on TOOTBLAN (Thrown out on the bases like a nincompoop) kept? And are the Reds the current MLB leaders (because they sure seem to be)?

  32. For all interested Reds fans, the new fan club currently forming is…


  33. All you Dusty apologists need to go play soccer. It’s sickening coming on here and reading people defending that clown.

    • @EastCoastVibes: Sparky is rolling in his grave due to the Bakerman – he can’t find peace knowing how horrible a job he is doing with his beloved Reds.

      • It’s unbelievable..Score 1 run against another no name pitcher and I’m reading stuff defending the Toothpick..There is 12 year olds on espn2 that would of shut that lineup down..I could write a 200 page book on why Dusty is a joke..

        @EastCoastVibes: Sparky is rolling in his grave due to the Bakerman – he can’t find peace knowing how horrible a job he is doing with his beloved Reds.

  34. I’m critical of Dusty on many occasions but did Dusty make 3 errors at 3B? Did Dusty make another error AND get doubled off 1st too? I mean, come on. Dusty does some weird things but he can’t be blamed for everything bad that happens. Let’s not forget, Frazier looked awful for about three weeks.

    Look, I’m not here to defend Dusty too much but he’s been without Ludwick all season, Marshall most of the season and he just got Broxton back. That’s a tall order. Are his lineups mind-numbing? Yes! Is he tardy to make obvious moves or changes? Yes! However, not everything that happens on the field is his fault. My biggest beef is when he bats Izturis 2nd. Now we have something to complain about.

  35. No, he didn’t..He’s that guy, that put both of them in the starting lineup..Frazier hasn’t had a hit since the Reagen Administration, gets 2 friday and rides pine last night..EXPLAIN THAT TO ME…Or explain why Cozart is hitting 2nd once again…Not Dustys fault though..Right

    • @EastCoastVibes: My thoughts exactly. Bad time for Hanahan to screw up but no predicting it. And the wrong time for his insertion into the lineup.
      What XP did was just plain stupid. No excuse. Do teams fine player for things like this?

      As for the batting order, Dusty plays not to lose rather than play to win. The insistence of a military marching batting order (left, right, left, right…) Great for the end of the game vs relief pitchers but does not set up for getting a lead. And mixing weak hitters ( Cozart and Isturis )at the top of the order with the best just kills a lineup. Just awful baseball IQ. A lack of baseball IQ at the top is oozing it’s way into the performance on the field by the players..

  36. With Ludwick’s pending activation, XP is probably feeling the heat. I wonder if that could be the case with Hannahan as well. It seems like a stretch that Hannahan could be on the bubble but sometimes surprising things happen; and of course a waiver deal pick up is always a possibility too as far as making a guy feel uncomfortable.

  37. Sitting Frazier has been covered, so I’ll mention a couple of other things:
    1) Dusty’s LF platoon has been a disaster; Heisey started out hitting well, but Dusty’s insistence on using 3 guys in LF appears to be hurting all of them.

    XP should be the one leaving with Ludwick back; hopefully he “hurt” the same thing Corky “hurt” while committing a crucial error or while killing our rally in the 7th. That way he, too he can be DL’d rather than lost to waivers. I’m sure Dusty is lobbying hard to keep XP over Robinson, however.

    2) Pulling Cingrani made sense, if it was done to conserve his arm. But I’d sure rather have had the 6th last night instead of that extra inning in the blow out in SF. You remember that one: the game Cingrani went close to 120 pitches for absolutely no reason.

    3) I can live with sitting Frazier. But there’s no excuse for batting Cozart 2nd.

  38. The Old Cossack walked into stadium yesterday just as the Reds took the field and the first thing I noticed was Hannahan at 3B. The second thing I noticed was Cozart hitting in the #2 hole. I was stunned and the lineup certainly took the wind out of my sails as a fan and after the 1st inning the team didn’t seem to be particularly into the game either. If Dusty wants to experiment with a quasi-platoon at 3B, I’m OK with that approach. I don’t agree with sitting Frazier after his last 2 games hitting in the #2 hole, but reinserting Cozart into the #2 hole (or even worse insaerting Izturis into the #2 hole) is patently counterproductive.

    Since the all star break:

    .254/.318/.373 for Cozart
    .219/.315/.328 for Frazier
    .167/.375/.167 for Hannahan

    Those results reflect Cozart getting his act together while hitting in the #7/#8 hole and Frazier mired in a prodigious slump. Frazier still is better suited to hit in the #2 hole then Cozart. Even if Hannahan substitutes at 3B, Hannahan is better suited to hit in the #2 hole than Cozart.

    Dusty didn’t lose the game. Multiple errors and bonehead plays lost the game, but Dusty didn’t put the players in the best position to contribute and give the team the best chance to win. Dusty failed his job miserably and he does this repeatedly, but he did not lose the game. Funny thing, if I fail my job responsibilites repeatedly and miserably, I lose my job. MLB is a business and BC is an astute businessman. I just don’t understand the dynamics involved in giving Dusty a open-ended pass to fail. I’m not sure about WJ performance, but Dusty’s inept decision-making masks any external evaluation of WJ performance.

    • Multiple errors and bonehead plays lost the game, but Dusty didn’t put the players in the best position to contribute and give the team the best chance to win.

      This should be tattooed on the foreheads of people who go with the “Dusty can’t hit for them!” defense. No, he can’t. But he is the guy who decides when they go to the plate and how often, and he has a penchant for giving his weakest hitters hundreds of PAs with little to no sensible justification, or going to his weakest bullpen guy in a high leverage situation just because it’s the 6th or 7th inning, not the 8th or 9th.

      When you have this craptacular bench, you must use them sparingly. There is no such thing as “keeping Izturis/Hannahan sharp.” They’ve never been sharp. Ever. It’s on Jocketty for acquiring them, but it’s also on Dusty to keep them out of the lineup so they can’t do damage, and when Walt says, “Hey, Dusty, why aren’t you playing the bench guys I signed?” Dusty can say, “Sorry, boss, but they haven’t been getting the job done when I give them a chance, and we have to win ballgames.” But that’ll never happen.

      • @John: Agreed. Sparky Anderson only used his bench when he had to. If the starting eight were in decent shape, he played them. Too much use of the bench could be a reason Baker has never won the big one.

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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. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.


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