Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Arizona 5
Cincinnati 2

W: P. Corbin (13-3)
L: T. Cingrani (6-3)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–None. Chris Heisey hit a pinch-hit homer, and that’s a good thing, I guess…but that’s it.

–Okay, I lied. Afredo Simon was effective in 2.1 innings after Tony Cingrani left with the injury.

NEGATIVES
–So, as you read above, Tony Cingrani was injured. He left the game after 3.2 innings with a lower back strain. Cingrani had been pretty effective to that point, giving up one run on two hits. We’ll wait to hear more about the injury, but I’m cautiously optimistic. At least it wasn’t the shoulder or elbow.

–Sam LeCure gave up three runs on three hits in an inning and a third. He actually pitched a pretty effective seventh inning, then gave up three straight singles with one away in the eighth. That loaded the bases for Paul Goldschmidt, with the score still 1-0, Arizona.

JJ Hoover was brought in to face Goldschmidt. Can you imagine a scarier situation? Well, Goldschmidt deposited a ball into the left field bleachers for a grand slam and the game was over, essentially.

–Brandon Phillips made an error.

–The offense was pretty bad, but then, Arizona’s Patrick Corbin was straight dealing tonight. That kid’s not bad.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–That was ugly. Let’s never speak of this game again.

–That homer allowed by Hoover snapped his 23-game scoreless streak, in quite dramatic fashion.

Source: FanGraphs

51 Responses

  1. ToledoRedsFan

    Gross. I agree–let’s not speak of this again, unless it’s in a conversation in which we wish Kid Furious a speedy recovery.

  2. Steve Mancuso

    Tale of two at bats. Devin Mesoraco comes up with bases loaded and swings at the first pitch well of out of the strike zone and pops it up. Paul Goldschmidt works the count full and knows the pitcher doesn’t want to walk him. Gets the pitch he wants and delivers.

    Not being critical of Devin, who hit well tonight otherwise. But it does point to the lack of consistency in approach.

  3. rfay00

    Game 5 flashbacks with that HR by Goldy…

  4. wildwestLV

    Padres going to Padre: already 2-0, Rats, in the first.

  5. Steve Mancuso

    One manager tonight took into account that his team was facing a tough lefty. He stacked his lineup at the top with his best right handed hitters. He moved the guy who hit lead-off the night before down to #7.

    The other manager went with the same lineup. Sent a lead-off hitter up there who was hitting .191/.331/.220 vs. LHP. The left-handed hitters were obliterated tonight. They were strategically place in the 1-3-5 spots in the lineup, as usual. Our #6 hitter still hasn’t hit a line drive yet in over 20 AB. Our best hitter against lefties this year batted seventh. We left on the bench a guy hitting .260 and slugging .493 against left handed pitchers.

    One manager adapted to the situation, the other was paralyzed by established roles, ego-stroking and veteran worship.

    Not sure it would have made a difference, but there was a pretty solid case tonight to start Chris Heisey ahead of either Shin-Soo Choo or Ryan Ludwick. Or even Jay Bruce if you just want to give him a deserved night off.

    • Baseclogger

      @Steve Mancuso: I’m having trouble figuring out which manager is which. Our guy is the one with decades of managerial experience, so I assume he was the one who made all the wise choices?

    • TraviXDM

      @Steve Mancuso: We all know that Dusty will never change. I truly do believe that Dusty just makes photocopies of his lineup card, just so he never has to really fill one out.

      This is why I have said it before, and do again: In my opinion, humble or not, the Reds will be lucky to ever win a World Series under the watch of Dusty Baker.

      • cincyreds14

        @TraviXDM: Watch out for the Dusty B factor in the playoffs. I am ready for football. Not putting much stock in the Reds with D Baker at the helm.

  6. Josh

    I agree, not starting Heisey was ignorant. Choo should have received the night off especially with the ailing hand. No small ball when Mes led off the inning with a 2B, just bad management all around. LeCure was dominant in the 7th, Broxton who hasn’t pitched in a week should have pitched the 8th. Reds could still have won this game

    • Steve Mancuso

      @Josh: I agree with you about LeCure’s second inning. Not sure why Broxton wasn’t available. Hoover had warmed up in the bottom of the seventh when it looked like there was a chance that the pitcher’s spot might come up. When it didn’t, Baker sent LeCure back out. At a minimum, I’d have liked to see Hoover come in a face Prado, so that he had a chance to avoid loading the bases. It may have worked out the same, but I think they stayed with LeCure too long.

    • pinson343

      @Josh: Agree on all points. In particular, it was a good nite to start Heisey over Choo.

    • Bill Lack

      @Josh:

      Am I the only one concerned that Broxton went back to back on the 14th and 15th and hasn’t pitched since?

  7. Steve Mancuso

    I don’t mean to imply in my previous comment that this loss was Dusty Baker’s fault. The players lost this game. Hoover let the count get full and grooved a full-count pitch to one of the best hitters in the NL. The left-handed hitters should be embarrassed by their performance. Tough break with Cingrani getting hurt. None of that was Dusty’s fault.

    But just because the loss wasn’t his fault doesn’t mean he did a good job with the lineup tonight. He didn’t.

    • wildwestLV

      @Steve Mancuso: Exactly. Dusty did not lose this game. He did not win it, either. He “managed” a loss.

    • rightsaidred

      @Steve Mancuso: Against a tough lefty a proactive manager may have elevated Mes to 5 (Bruce 6, Luddy 7), Heisey to leadoff and play CF. I would have been ecstatic to see that lineup despite it’s lackluster stats.

      R,R,L,R,R,L,R,R,P

  8. wildwestLV

    Brew Crew still up, so are Bucs. Call me crazy, but I almost wish for a Cards win over a Pirates loss, when the Reds tank it. I’d much rather face the Buccos in a one-game/play-in, over the Redbirds. They will absolutely SCOPE the Reds on the scoreboard, what with all our “issues” with them.

  9. HOF-13

    Momma said there’d be days like this, Reds just need to put it behind them and win tomorrow.

  10. prjeter

    Partch to Holliday. Hoover to Goldschmidt. Who will be next?! 😉

    Does anyone know of any stats bringing in a guy who is cold pitching to world-class hitters with the bases loaded? Hasn’t worked out so well for us this year.

    • pinson343

      @prjeter: Let’s not forget Weathers to Pujols. A 3-0 lead in the 8th becomes a 4-3 deficit and the Reds go on to lose. Would have to look up the year. Homer had pitched a shutout for 7.

  11. wildwestLV

    Don’t Mess With The Zohan: Pirates are having their way with San Diego.

  12. NastyBoys3

    So Cingrani says he’ll make his next start. He also said he didnt need to come out, but Dusty and the Trainers yanked him as a precaution. If, indeed, he’s fine in his next start, I’m a little upset that we gave the Dbacks a crack into our bullpen early. Seems like we could’ve stepped on their throats if we beat them tonight, and gone 7 games up for that last playoff spot.

    • wildwestLV

      @NastyBoys3: That’s just the start: once the Reds medical staff and Dr. Timothy Kremchek have a “look over” Cingrani, he’ll pitch the next start or two, until his left arm just ups & falls off, mid game. Everybody better start getting prepared for the Reds’ fifth starter: Pedro Villarreal.

      • pinson343

        @wildwestLV: The Reds 5th starter, if Cingrani misses a start, would be Greg Reynolds.

    • pinson343

      @NastyBoys3: Cingrani also said that his back has been bothering him for 2 weeks, and it became very painful last nite. It should not, cannot be left up to Cingrani when he pitches next.

  13. cincyreds14

    Corbin is Arizona’s ace. No embarrassment in losing to him – a very strong pitcher, not to mention that the Red’s LH hitters looked lost against him. And definitely hope that Cingrani is ok – can’t take a chance losing one of their aces.

    Btw, Leake, Latos and Bailey are initially scheduled to go next week against the Cards. It would be great if Leake could go Sunday with Cingrani opening the Cards series for the Reds. Little or no chance of that actually occurring though.

    As for my Billy Hamilton update, BH has hit .302 since the AAA All Star break, .272 for the season after eliminating his AAA start in the month of April.

    Remember BH is only 22 and getting better. Needs to improve his eye to raise his BB totals though. As for the article in the Enquirer today suggesting the Reds keep Arroyo – something definitely for the Reds to consider – dispatching with Choo (Boros will want $15/million a year – and Choo, who has been an asset, sure isn’t worth that kind of money after hitting .220 for 2 1/2 months (May 1st to mid July)).

    • cincyreds14

      @cincyreds14: Sorry for misposting the actual dates as Choo hit .222 from April 25th – June 30th (48-216). That sure isn’t a $15 M hitter – especially when you consider his inability to hit LHP. And yes, for all who posted the related comment, Heisey should have definitely started in CF. What did Heisey do when he finally got a chance to face Corbin? He broke up Corbin’s shut-out with a long blast (shame on you Dusty).

      And just wondering if the Red’s announcers were actually lobbying for Bob Brenley to be the next Red’s manager tonight on their broadcast?

      Remember, the ‘D Baker hadicap’ will come back to bite the Reds and all their fans in due time. Count on it.

      At least the Bengals open their regular season in 19 days.

      WHO-DEY!!

      • JerBear

        @cincyreds14: The Bengals handicap is bigger then any Reds handicap! I love the Bengals, but the Bengals winning a playoff game would be more surprising then the Reds winning a playoff series!

      • JerBear

        @cincyreds14: The Bengals handicap is bigger then any Reds handicap! I love the Bengals, but the Bengals winning a playoff game would be more surprising then the Reds winning a playoff series!

      • cincyreds14

        @JerBear: It would seem to be a colossal step for either team to win a MLB playoff series or NFL playoff game in the post season. It has been a long, long time for either team (over 20 years for the Bengals and 18 and counting for the Reds – 1995). I am getting older by the day.

      • David

        @cincyreds14: Who cares about Choo’s avg? Who cares about arbitrary end dates? His job is to get on base… If only there was a statistic for that… Oh, wait, there is. If you really care about meaningless time constraints, Choo’s OBP each month is .477, .411, .364, .417, and .375. In the last 10 days, Choo’s OBP is an even .500.

        Choo has the 4th highest OBP and 14th highest wOBA in baseball. He has the second highest walk percentage. All of this leads to the him scoring the 9th most runs. Both he and Votto (2nd, 6th, 1st & 6th respectively) are the reason why Phillips (5th in RBI) and Bruce (12th in RBI) have been such good run producers this season. Unfortunately, after these four guys, the rest of the offense is non-existent.

        Hamilton will be fun to watch on the bases but his OBP (.312), wOBA (.304) and walk rate (7.1%) is nowhere near ready to contribute to the level of offense that the Reds got from Choo this season. I’d LOVE to have Choo back to play LF next year and a 4 year/$60 million deal would be well worth it. I don’t think the Reds could afford to do that, but they should strongly consider it.

  14. cincyreds14

    The Reds could very well take the next 2 games to win the series:

    Probables:

    Wed: Leake (10-5) vs. McCarthy (2-7)

    Thursday: Latos (12-4) vs. Cahill (4-10)

    Looks good for the Reds – but sure would have been sweet to beat the D-backs ace tonight. That would have definitely sent a message (we can beat your ace). But as usual, Dusty seemed to manage like a loss was ensured – somthing we all see a little too often and is referred to as ‘the D Baker hadicap’ – a handcap that is almost assuredly going to cost the Reds dearly if and when they make the playoffs.

    As for the Cards series next week in Saint Louis, Leake, Latos and Bailey are currently scheduled to go.

    Which is not a great precedent – having a soft tossing pitcher, one the Cards blasted the last time out, kicking off a key series. Would actually prefer to see Cingrani starting Monday against the Cards. So you think the Reds will learn from the last Reds-Cards series? Of course not, since Dusty remains the current Red’s manager.

  15. JerBear

    Since the All Star break- Cincinnati 18-13 Pittsburgh 18-14 St. Louis 15-16…Our Reds have played the best second half ball so far. It’s going to be interesting how this race turns out. The Pirates have the hunger, the Cards seem to have the best overall team and depth, and the Reds have the most consistent starting pitching.

  16. Big Ed

    Give Corbin credit. He is excellent.

    I’ve been wanting a platoon in center for a couple of months, because it is apparent that Choo just can’t hit lefties. He improved a bit for a while, but Dusty has now been over-patient with him. Plus, the Reds aren’t going to resign him for what Boras will want, so they don’t need to worry about his ego anymore.

    Choo is an excellent hitter against righties. He is sub-Cozartian against lefties-almost as bad as Josh Hamilton against lefties. Choo isn’t very fast, and he is adequate at best defensively, albeit with a very good if perhaps slow-loading arm. He, therefore, isn’t worth much to the Reds–maybe $6mm/year, and Boras won’t sign for that. On top of that, his hand appears to be hurt. Billy Hamilton at $400K or Choo at $11 million is not a tough decision.

    I also think Broxton must be hurt again. There have been 2-3 chances to use him lately, including last night, and they haven’t.

    Ondrusek should not be on the playoff roster. There is no scenario in which he would be used in the post-season. I therefore expect that on August 31 or thereabouts, he will be demoted and Billy Hamilton promoted. Hamilton could be useful in the post-season; Ondrusek cannot be.

    • cincyreds14

      @Big Ed: A fine assessment of Choo – but his agent, Scott Boras, will be seeking $15M not $11M. But I definitely agree with you – not a hard choice for the Reds at all. Let the youngster play – Choo will be 32 next year and B Hamilton only 23. And please Reds get BH up before Aug 31st – he could be quite useful.

      Been following BH closely as he seems he could really jump start the Reds. The only question I currently have about BH is how is his bunting? With his speed, if he’s a + bunter, that would definitely be a bonus.

  17. EastCoastVibes

    Down 1, bottom 6 you have a pinch hitter than top of the order. Who strolls to the plate???? Cesar Izturis. REALLY??? CESAR IZTURIS???? First guy off the bench. That is the definition of why Dusty Baker is a joke and this team will never win anything with him. The stupidity is out of control. How are the owners not embarrassed?? This dude would not be on any other roster in the Major Leagues. Oh yea, the Pirates won again so look forward to this idiot managing a 1 game playoff. Unbelieveable.

    • Big Ed

      @EastCoastVibes: It was either Izturis or Heisey, and Dusty wanted to save Heisey for a more high-leverage situation later in the game. Heisey’s OBP–what you are looking for as a leadoff hitter–is only .030 higher than Izturis (after last night’s stats), so Heisey had a 1-in-30 higher chance of getting on base than did Izturis. Dusty doesn’t have much to work with, when it comes to right-handed hitters.

      I think that Heisey should have started in center, with Choo welded to the bench against lefties.

      • Eric the Red

        @Big Ed: In a one run game, and given the importance of the series, I’d have pinch hit Hanigan before Izturis. Then, after he walked or flared a single, I’d have pinch hit Heisey for Choo. (But then again, if Heisey had then tripled instead of hitting a home run and the game had gone extra innings I wouldn’t have had a backup catcher in case Mes got hurt in the 17th. Dusty would then be able to laugh at my lack of strategic foresight.)

      • cincyreds14

        @Big Ed: Finally Reds fans are seeing Choo as he really is – a player that should be platooned with Heisey in CF – with Heisey clearly his superior in the field.

    • RedManifesto

      @EastCoastVibes: If you really want to make this argument about Izturis, you should be focused on Walt, not Dusty. Just saying.

  18. MikeC

    Heisey should have been getting more starts all along. His OPS for June and July was over 850 in about 20 starts and some pinch hitting. So Dusty has started him 5 times in August. If Ludwick came around and hit for an 850 OPS in August-September we would all be rejoicing.

  19. Eric the Red

    Steve, your comments above about how one manager adapted and one didn’t, and how the players lost but Dusty didn’t help the cause are spot on.

    Since our local reporters and TV announcers won’t discuss anything of interest (can’t speak to radio because I never hear those guys), I’ll posit a couple of things that might be worth discussion:

    1) Is Broxton really ready to be off the DL? There have been a couple of opportunities to use him lately where he’s been welded to the bench. Hoover is being overworked, and he doesn’t respond well to that. If he’s not hurt, Dusty’s use of him and the other pitchers is even more puzzling. (Even last night, in the 9th down by 3 I’d much rather have seen Broxton than Ondrusek, if for no other reason than to keep him sharp.)

    2) Is there any reason–other than ego–to have Ludwick batting sixth when Mesoraco is in the lineup? Bruce is getting no protection–although only Witness Protection could have helped him last night–and sixth is kind of an important spot in the lineup when we have a high OBP/low slugging % tendency as we do right now. Personally, I’d have had Heisey-Frazier-Votto-Brandon-Bruce-Mes-Ludwick-Cozart last night. In any event, as I’ve written before Dusty is in a tough spot with Ludwick. It would be nice to believe that Ludwick is enough of a team player to say “I’ll be happy wherever you put me, Skip, and maybe that’s lower in the order sometimes” so that Dusty wouldn’t have to even consider his ego. But I don’t know if that kind of ball player exists, and I don’t know Dusty would adjust even if Ludwick gave him the green light.

    3) This loss, which was highly probable no matter what Dusty did given Corbin is a very good pitcher and Cingrani isn’t quite his equal (yet) shows the importance of winning the first game in this series. Another reason to be thankful Arroyo managed to just sneak through the sixth. (Which reminds me: an injured Broxton would also be another argument for explaining the decision to gamble with Arroyo.)

  20. RC

    Choo is still getting on at a .324 clip against lefties – not sterling, perhaps, but not horrible, either.

    Me, all things being equal, I’d have given Bruce the night off, or maybe even Votto, who could use one soon, before I’d have sat Choo.

  21. WVRedlegs

    If Big Brox is still ailing, then WJ ought to be searching for a reliever in a waiver trade. The deadline is 10 days away. Even if its a rental type player. The Reds should not go into the post season with the bullpen as is, with both Marshall and Broxton ailing, and both possibly on the DL.
    In a 1 game, 5 game and 7 game post season serieses, where runs come at a premium, what is the better strategery? To have BHam on the roster, or have Izturis on the roster?
    Answer: BHam !!!!

    • cincyreds14

      @WVRedlegs: Nudge Baker and wake him up, BH needs to be with the Reds in place of Izturis – that Reds fans is a no-brainer especially since BH could actually fill in in the field and be quite productive.

    • RC

      @WVRedlegs: Hamilton’s not an infielder anymore, and wasn’t a very good one when he was.

  22. WVRedlegs

    FYI:
    Reds have 36 games left.
    21 home, 15 away.

    Pirates have 37 games left.
    17 home, 20 away.

    StL has 37 games left.
    22 home, 15 away.

  23. WVRedlegs

    FYI:

    Reds have 36 games left.
    21 home, 15 away. (6 vs. Pit and 7 vs. StL)

    Pirates have 37 games left.
    17 home, 20 away.

    Cards have 37 games left.
    22 home, 15 away.

    Much baseball still to play, but its getting down to crunch time.