Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….
FINAL (13 innings)
San Diego 2
W: S. LeCure (2-1)
L: T. Stauffer (1-1)
–Let’s start with the pitching which, minus one glaring exception which I will address in a moment, was excellent. 13 innings. One earned run. That’s gettin’ it done.
–Xavier Paul homered in a pinch hitting appearance to give the Reds a fresh start. It took a while, but they made use of it.
–Dusty pinch hit Ryan Hanigan. I know, I know, there was no one else left, but still, Dusty never uses his extra catcher.
–Poor fielding today. Fortunately, they overcame it, but if the fielding is clean in this game, it’s over in 9.
–Logan Ondrusek escaped by luck. He was not good today. This is normal for him.
–Not much offense today against a not very good pitcher.
–I’m going to be honest, I wish Votto had walked to drive in that run just so I could tease people. I’m not complaining about the sac fly, though.
–I do not care that Sam LeCure pitched yesterday. There is no reason – none at all – to use Ondrusek before LeCure. I’m sure Ondrusek is a nice guy, but he should be the mop-up reliever. Big deficit, send him in to eat innings. Otherwise, he sits until you have no other options.
–However, I do not have a problem with how Chapman was used. He felt a twinge in his leg or whatever, but finished the inning. If I’m Baker, I don’t take that chance either.
–I was listening to the game today and found a particular bit of the conversation with Sheldon interesting for what it reveals. The topic was where Ludwick bats tomorrow. Marty and Jeff were piling praise on BP for the job he’s done as the clean-up hitter, but initially only acknowledge that Bruce had been okay in the five spot. There are zero ways in which Phillips has been a better hitter than Bruce. That includes RBI as he’s had more men on than Bruce. It just speaks to the ridiculous narrative that’s been created in the broadcast booth that Jay Bruce is some kind of lesser hitter. He is an excellent hitter and, frankly, a much better choice for clean-up than Phillips.
–Paul made a case for staying on the roster today. If it were up to me, I’d keep him. He’s not much in the outfield, but what the Reds really need is a pinch hitter, and he can do that. UPDATE: Robinson has been sent down.
–The Cards are reeling right now (though it looks like they’ll win today), absolutely reeling, and the Reds have a real shot at catching them for the top wildcard spot, thus insuring a home game for the right to enter the Division Series.
Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.