Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

Cincinnati 4
Milwaukee 6

W: R. Wooten (2-0)
L: A. Simon (5-4)
S: J. Henderson (20)

–Brandon Phillips was 2-4 with a solo homer, two runs scored, and an RBI. Ryan Ludwick had two hits, a walk, and a run scored. Zack Cozart had a two-run double, and a single.

–With the game tied in the eighth, Alfredo Simon allowed the Brewers to blow the game wide open by allowing three runs on three hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning.

–Joey Votto went 0-5, and struck out with Todd Frazier on second with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. I’m sure certain writers and broadcasters enjoyed it.

–Khris Davis hit two homers, including the eighth inning shot off Simon that ended the game, for all intents and purposes. This guy is the new Bill Hall, methinks.

–Two idiot “Reds fans” interfered with balls in play. The first would have been caught by Ludwick to record an out. The second looked like it wouldn’t have gotten over the right field fence for a homer, were it not for the loser who reached and pulled it over the fence.

Who are these people? Stop doing that.

–I wish the Brewers would move back to the American League. I’m sick of them.

–Homer Bailey was credited with a quality start, I suppose, but he wasn’t great: three runs allowed on six hits in six innings.

–Nick Christiani made his major league debut on the mound for the Redlegs tonight. He allowed a walk, but pitched an inning and a third of shutout baseball. Welcome to Cincinnati, Christiani.

–Help us tomorrow, Bronson Arroyo. You’re our only hope.

Source: FanGraphs

88 Responses

  1. RedTitan19

    The idea that Reds fans “enjoy” Votto’s failures is absurd. We just expect him to deliver and he rarely does. Unless you expand your definition of delivering to include passing the buck to less talented hitters. After every slump by JV it comes down to this. What we have learned is: everybody agrees he is the Reds best player and everybody wants him up in decisive situations. What we have also learned is: some people are willing to accept he is 100% CHOKING this year and others find a way of hiding that CHOKE behind walls of meaningless math.

    • Chad Dotson

      @RedTitan19: With runners in scoring position, Joey Votto is hitting better than anyone on the team. It’s an absolute fact. That’s meaningless math to you, I guess, but just because it’s easier to remember the times he doesn’t come through doesn’t mean that he isn’t hitting very well with RISP.

      • RedTitan19

        @Chad Dotson: I’m sure that’s true as I know you would never throw out false stats. That includes “garbage time”, games we are getting destroyed or are destroying other teams. It also assumes I said someone else on the team was more clutch or that I would prefer another hitter in a clutch situation. Not true. I’m simply saying the team, and Redleg Nation needs him to be better than he has been. The most honest felon is still a felon.

      • steveschoen

        @RedTitan19: Boy, Red, picking one time to say he never does? I seem to remember a time last year, I believe, when he hit a game winning HR in the 9th, walkoff style, I believe. Not to mention, what, the guy is suppose to bat 1.000 in the 9th inning when the game is on the line? Even the best still bat less then .500, even less than 400, in those occasions.

        Did he come through today? No, of course not. Has he come through in the past, before this single game? Sure has.

      • RedTitan19

        @steveschoen: Yeah, but I didn’t say “never”. I was pretty upset last night and maybe influenced by a few adult carbonated beverages. The point I have always “tried” to make about JV is that I, personally (opinion), believe (no stats, proof, or anything but the always reliable eye test)that he is putting too much pressure on himself in traditional “clutch” situations. I DO think there are times when he lets very hittable pitches go by in certain spots because he expects to walk. I DO think he, and some others, over value the walk. And some of us, ME, would rather see 35-40 HRs. But I DO believe there is a place for his style of hitting (sorry, I mean batting) at the top of the order. It is just hard to believe that so many can’t tell a difference between 2010 Votto and this version. This version is not bad by any stretch of the imagination. But it is different.

      • 666wolverine

        @Chad Dotson: I agree 100%!!! Also Votto has Frazier and countless other players in the revolving door in the 2 hole! BP had the rbi’s he has because Votto extends innings by getting on base and scoring runs! Last I checked Votto was 2nd in the nl in runs scored!!!

      • Johnu1

        @Chad Dotson: Honestly, what we needed Votto to do was deliver in TONIGHT’s game, not that he has a seasonally adjusted OK average with the phony RISP.

      • vicferrari

        There is no doubt that he is a great hitter and does obvious positive things like get on base & score runs.
        he is the best at extending at bats, wearing down the pitcher physically, let alone mentally, but it just seems he has failed often in big situations this year. He just strikes out too much for how skilled he is, but I do not know if that takes away from his stature.

    • AnnapolisHoosier

      The idea that Reds fans “enjoy” Votto’s failures is absurd.We just expect him to deliver and he rarely does.Unless you expand your definition of delivering to include passing the buck to less talented hitters.After every slump by JV it comes down to this.What we have learned is:everybody agrees he is the Reds best player and everybody wants him up in decisive situations.What we have also learned is:some people are willing to accept he is 100% CHOKING this year and others find a way of hiding that CHOKE behind walls of meaningless math.

      LOL. Theater of the absurd right here.

  2. wildwestLV

    Bet Dusty wishes the Crew would “go back to the AL”. He sure can’t figure them out to save his…well, he doesn’t really have to worry about anything. Does he? Though, in his defense: starting pitching was (& is) clueless against the Brewers. As well as the lineup.

    • joelie1274

      @wildwestLV: the Reds are 8-6 vs the Brewers this year. A .572 win %. .572 over a whole season is 92 wins, which is pretty good and usually means playoffs. 8-6 is a far cry better than how they’ve handled the Cards (4-8??!?) and the Dodgers (1-3, ugh) and even the Padres who are just mediocre (3-3).

  3. 666wolverine

    Alot of ppl sure do enjoy Votto’s failures I can tell you that. Baseball is a funny game in that you cannot have an mvp year every single year well unless your Cabrera but that guy is just amazing.

    u know what!! Clean house and get rid of everyone and we can go back to being the bottom feeders again year after year not ever sniffing the playoffs!!!

  4. Sergeant2

    Before I read the rest of the recap I just want you to know that in my opinion for you to proclaim that certain writers and broadcasters enjoyed the fact that Joey Votto went 0 for 5 is a baseless, unprofessional and just plain idiotic thing to say. Please try and get a grip on your dislike of certain writers and broadcasters. Don’t let it bleed into your analysis of game. I love RN and appreciate the time and effort you put into making RN the best baseball blog bar none.

      • steveschoen

        @Chad Dotson: I have to agree, Chad. Even if that broadcaster is MB, if you ask me, he is just getting up there in age where he should probably be stepping down, out of the booth. I remember seeing it with Nuxie; a couple of years later, he finally stepped down. It’s not necessarily bad; it happens to all of us, to the best of us. It is probably just time for him to step down.

      • Sergeant2

        @steveschoen: I do worry that Marty is going to end a great HOF career in an ugly and sad fashion. What happened with Nuxie is beginning to happen with Marty, like you said it happens to the best of us. Time for the Famer to hand the mic off to the next man up.

    • antisocial21

      @Sergeant2: Yeah, except I bet certain broadcasters, including one who is celebrating his 40th year on the radio today, and writers, including a certain Pirates fan that somehow covers Cincinnati sports for the Enquirer, would love to see this awful performance by Votto. For one, it gives them an opportunity to criticize Votto and further advances their argument that he “isn’t doing enough”, and frankly, going 0-5 and committing yet another error is not cutting it. I have a hard time defending a guy who doesn’t hustle down the line and looks like care less. That being said, Votto’s performance tongiht is the exception, not the norm, and we will hopefully see better results tomorrow.

  5. steveschoen

    Can someone get a scouting report on Davis? He killed us just last series. He’s the first one I would have looked for video on.

    • pinson343

      @steveschoen: There is a scouting report on Davis. He did not hit for average at AAA. He strikes out a lot, taking huge swings even with 2 strikes. Throw him a breaking pitch and unless you hang it badly, he’ll miss it.
      He chases a lot.

      Homer had struck him out once with swings and misses on a change up and slider, then struck him out a second time swinging at a curve ball (but the 1st base ump turned that K into a walk). So he has Davis 1-2, all set for a K on a slider in the dirt, a change up, whatever, something off speed. We do he/Hanigan decide on ? Keep throwing fastballs, which the kid has timed.

      Bailey after: “I probably should have done a better job of mixing my pitches in that at-bat. I’ll know better next time.”

      Quite an understatement. And after all these years, please don’t talk about next time.

      Homer added:
      “We figured we’d stay with the plan. We walked him [in the fourth] on a checked swing that was a very, very questionable call, to say the least.”
      Right about that, the 1st base ump made a real bad call after you struck him out with a curve ball. How was pumping nothing but fastballs staying with the plan ?

      • Big Ed

        @pinson343: I was at the game, screaming for breaking pitches on Davis. He has a long swing, and his minor league stats suggest that he is a dead fastball hitter. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

        Bill Hall redux. Last year it was Ricky Weeks. I think the Reds’ advance scout for Milwaukee is a Sleeper Cell for the WLBs.

  6. Larry1980

    Do the Brewers remind anybody of the Reds teams of the last decade. The way they hit, and the way they cant pitch.

    • pinson343

      @Larry1980: Yes for one thing they have a terrible bullpen. And tonite the Reds lost a battle of the bullpens to them, at home.

      • AnnapolisHoosier

        @Larry1980: Yes for one thing they have a terrible bullpen. And tonite the Reds lost a battle of the bullpens to them, at home.

        They do not have a terrible bullpen. In fact, their bullpen ERA is 2.93 which is third best in the NL. These things are really easy to find.

      • vicferrari

        what are basing that on?, being able to bring in pitchers with 0.64, 3.03, and 1.78 ERA’s makes choices pretty easy.
        It seems like everybody has a great bullpen, NL hitters are just awful

  7. Johnu1

    There’s not much chance St. Lousy and the Parrots are going to lose 2 out of 3 to anybody now. I am not sure the Reds can win 1 of 3 against either of them. So if the W.C. is all it gets to be, then just wake me when it’s over. Anybody who lets Aoki slap 4 balls to left field completely befuddles me. Scooter Gennett is a Triple-A player, hitting 8th, and gets 3 hits, PULLS the ball to deep right field TWICE … and I won’t even mention Khris Davis. Well, I just did. Does nobody in the dugout ever point this stuff out?

    • pinson343

      Anybody who lets Aoki slap 4 balls to left field completely befuddles me.

      Johnu1: I had pretty much the same thought. All he’s trying to do is slap the ball the other way and the pitches are set up for him on a tee on the outside corner.
      Shouldn’t the approach there be to pitch him inside ?

    • Big Ed

      @Johnu1: I’m afraid you’re going to be proven wrong on Scooter Gennett. He looks very good to me, only 23, with a good minor league record. He was also excellent in the field last night. He’s going to be a thorn in our side for several years.

      He will be overall better than Brandon Phillips within a year or so, at about a $12 million/year savings.

  8. jessecuster44

    Step away for the ledge, people. When Ondrusek and Simon are the main relievers, runs might be given up. I’m bummed that The Reds lost a game they might have won, but maybe this gives the team a chance to win the next two.

    Ownership needs to crack down on the fans who interfere with balls in play, not fans who yell “whiny birds” Just an observation.

    • Johnu1

      @jessecuster44: Sadly, the next step down from Simon and Ondrusek is somebody in Louisville. I think the ledge is wide enough for the time being.

      You build a ballpark that’s fan friendly, expect fans to participate. Maybe some barbed wire like they have at Wrigley.

  9. ManhattanProject

    Tonight is the night I gave up on the Reds winning the central. They don’t have what it takes to keep pace. Let’s face it, they’re going to do the same old thing and go 1-2 @ St. Louis, maybe .500 against the Pirates the rest of the year. A wild card is all they have in them. And I don’t see them escaping NLDS. I can’t see them beating either L.A. or Atlanta in a series. The Baker era has been all about being just behind the curve of the teams that know how to win.

  10. pinson343

    The Reds are a good bet to win tomorrow but Cingrani is doubtful for pitching on Sunday. That’s bad news and this home series vs. a losing team is in jeopardy.

  11. Carlw2006

    I’m sick of Reds fans who want people who catch opposing home run balls to throw them back in. We’re not Chicago, nor should we do anything to imitate them or their fans. Also, it’s such a rare chance to actually get a ball like that, why get rid of it.

  12. 666wolverine

    I just want some fire out of this team from anybody!!!!!!!! Something needs to happen to give them some urgency!!! The Brew Crew play like they are in the race still not cincy!!! It’s a joke!!!

    • Big Ed

      @666wolverine: What exactly does “playing with urgency” mean? Should they grimace more?

      This team is not only slow, but painstakingly slow. Slower than a softball team. Devin Mesoraco may well be the fastest starter. The reason they look like they are playing in mud is because they are.

      • vicferrari

        @Big Ed:
        I want Sean Casey crying in the dug out after a loss, Lou Pinella throwing bases on crap calls, Norm Charlton bowling over catchers, Ryan Freel diving after anything, and Chapman doing flips after a save

        Not going to happen with this manager

  13. MikeC

    While the Brewers are playing the Reds tough this year, the most irritating thing about them is they can’t beat the Cards. Cards are 10 – 3 vs. the Brew crew. Despite this, I cannot support your desire to move them back to the AL. Then I would have to drive to Chicago to see the Reds play in decrepit Wrigley Field.

  14. sezwhom1

    Is it time yet to move BP into the 2-slot with Ludwick at Cleanup? Roll out the Opening Day lineup. (switch Mes with Hanigan) I say yes but Dusty will be tardy to make, what I think, is an obvious move. It’s time.

    • Redsfanx

      @sezwhom1: Yes it is time to put Ludwick at cleanup and BP in the two slot and Frazier in the 6th. position. It might give this offense a boost down the stretch.

  15. dn4192

    I think the problem with Votto is two things. First is the money, weather people want to admit it or not, when a player signs the type of contract that Votto signed there comes a level of expectations, and this season Votto isn’t meeting them. Second thing is the 2010 MVP season. People want that overall performance level by Votto every season.

    Votto is a very good player, but I am not sure he is a 200 million dollar great player ….

  16. George Culver

    I have watched almost every game this year. Probably 85-90 pct. Gotta work days and can’t watch weekday day games.

    With that being said, I cannot remember one time, with the game one the line ( tied or behind by 1-2 runs and 1 big hit would have been the difference ) in the 8th or 9th inning like last night, that Joey Votto has come through with the hit in that situation this year.

    I can remember some balls hit hard like the ball in CF in Milwaukee that was caught by Gomes at the fence. Bad luck. But in every other situation this year that I can recall, it has been either a strike out or a grounder into a double play. I cannot remember one time that Votto was the hero we want and so desperately need him to be.

    I could be wrong. Could someone who knows where to look for these stats, please look this up and settle this argument?

    I don’t want to stomp on Votto. He is the best hitter we got. But, as a fan base we want Joey to be the hero in the clutch and at every opportunity this year he has seemingly let us down when his team so desperately needs him to come through.

    • joelie1274

      @George Culver: August 12, 2013 he hit a sac fly to win the game. It wasn’t in the 8th or 9th; it was in the 13th, but I’d say that counts. Game time was 1:10, so you probably missed it. Also, his opening day hit wasn’t pretty, but it drove in the winning run.

      Votto is good, and he comes through. Just not always when we want (which, let’s face it, is every day). Ah…baseball…

    • Shchi Cossack

      @George Culver:

      I cannot remember one time, with the game one the line ( tied or behind by 1-2 runs and 1 big hit would have been the difference ) in the 8th or 9th inning like last night, that Joey Votto has come through with the hit in that situation this year.

      Well, let’s start with the 1st game of the season.

      Votto is intentionally walked in the 8th after Dusty opts to sac bunt in front of him, leaving 1B open. Votto reaches on a fielding error while leading off the 11th inning. Votto walks in a pitch around in the 13th inning with 1 out and the Reds trailing 3-1.

      Then let’s move to the 2nd game of the season.

      With the score tied, 4-4, Choo on 2B and 1 out, Scioscia inexplicably opts to pitch to Votto with 1B open. Votto hits a weak, seeing-eye ground ball that is deflected into short right field. The Reds win in the bottom of the 9th. That seems to qualify as a pretty big, game-winning hit and RBI.

      I’ll stop there because I think those 2 examples provide a pretty clear pitcure of what’s happening this season. If Votto comes up in an RBI-producing situation, especially late in the game, he gets walked or pitched around. That happenes when the opposing pitcher does not fear pitching to the batter coming to the plate after Votto and/or the manager routionly leaves 1B open after a sac bunt in those situations.

  17. Shchi Cossack

    The Old Cossack lost consciousness last night and went horizontal in the 2nd inning. I woke up utterly disappointed this morning and things got worse after reviewing the boxscore. Against an average RHP the Reds had Choo go 0-5, Votto go 0-5 and Bruce go 0-4. That was bad game all around, but I don’t understand the Votto angst. Simon imploded, but he’s been worked a lot lately as has the rest of the bullpen with Broxton unavailable. Bailey didn’t have a particularly good game, but it was marginally OK. I didn’t see that Dusty made any bonehead decisions before or during the game. I didn’t see any bonehead baserunning or defensive plays mentioned anywhere. The Reds just had a bad game, a really bad game against a mediocre opponent. Ugh.

    • Johnu1

      @Shchi Cossack: All in all, a rather ordinary game, save for some especially poor pitching decisions to Aoki, Davis and Gennett.
      Well, poor pitching decisions to three of a team’s hitters is probably 2 too many. I cannot understand how anybody can allow Aoki to get all those slap hits, over and over and over again. The groovers to Davis were inexcusable. And why throw meatballs to the guy who’s hitting eighth in the lineup — three times!

  18. down with dusty

    I know it will get me scolded here, but Votto is performing terribly in these situations this year. I realize he contributes in tons of ways. But it is getting a little old that any time someone points out that he has been crappy in clutch situations he gets shouted down and berated.

    Here is is the Clutch stat from fangraphs:
    Phillips +.96
    Choo +.47
    Paul +.26
    Bruce +.09
    Frazier -.69
    Mesoraco -1.07
    VOTTO -1.15
    Cozart -1.92

    The stat is basically WPA/leverage compared to league average. In case those numbers don’t mean anything to you, they give a little chart of explanation:

    Rating Clutch
    Excellent 2.0
    Great 1.0
    Above Average 0.5
    Average 0.0
    Below Average -0.5
    Poor -1.0
    Awful -2.0

    I guess what I’m saying is that the numbers say that he’s been between “poor” and “awful” in this facet of the game and I think it’s unfair for people who point this out to be treated like holocaust deniers here. I am one of Votto’s biggest fans, but I kind of got the feeling that I’d rather have someone else up there in that situation last night.

    • Johnu1

      @down with dusty: I would expect the No. 3 hitter to drive in runners. That’s not happening and I don’t have data to support it — other than what I’ve seen lately. He’s approaching his ABs like a leadoff guy, (Choo) who BTW, doesn’t get on base much against the lefties — who seem to be very common against our Reds lately. (hmmm … wonder why.)

      Votto is going to hit .320 and have an OBP of around .410. Yeah, I will take that … but the team is hitting around .245, which is pathetic, given the so-called “hitters park” they play in.

      Now that we have 4 and a half starters, 3 relievers, a closer who’s showing signs of wear, and a LF who spent the season rehabbing, I think we need some RBIs from the top of the order.

      A lot of them.

      This team can’t hit.

    • George Culver

      @down with dusty: Thanks for this.

      I agree with you. Any more, I don’t have confidence in Votto in the big moment. I have hope. But, it was just deflating to see him just get blown away like he did.

    • joelie1274

      @down with dusty:I understand you were using hyperbole to make your point, and I know I’ll sound like a geek here, but your criticism of Votto’s performance in the clutch is not worth scolding. On the other hand, your comparison of Votto criticizers to Holocaust deniers is not cool, not a reasonable comparison and is worth castigation. Can we keep it PG?

    • Steve Mancuso

      @down with dusty: The people who are answering you are using statistics and attacking the importance of the statistics you present. If you consider that “scolding” or being “shouted down” or “berated” then you need to look those words up before you use them.

      And if you think you’re being treated like a Holocaust denier (agree, that’s an offensive analogy), try denying the Holocaust here and see how long your comment lasts.

      I’m glad you are coming to the argument with statistics, which is more than some others are doing, but don’t try to pre-empt legitimate responses with name-calling.

      • dn4192

        @down with dusty: The people who are answering you are using statistics and attacking the importance of the statistics you present. If you consider that “scolding” or being “shouted down” or “berated” then you need to look those words up before you use them.

        And if you think you’re being treated like a Holocaust denier (agree, that’s an offensive analogy), try denying the Holocaust here and see how long your comment lasts.

        I’m glad you are coming to the argument with statistics, which is more than some others are doing, but don’t try to pre-empt legitimate responses with name-calling.

        I don’t need stats to see Votto is not being the force at the plate that is on the level for which he is being paid.

  19. StealYourBase

    Votto is batting .200 vs the Brewers this year. Before last night.

  20. Steve Mancuso

    You have to take the “clutch” statistics with a grain of salt. They are based on small numbers of AB, which distort their meaning. The “high leverage” numbers at FanGraphs have Brian Dozier, Marlon Byrd and Dayan Viciedo in the top ten “clutch.”

  21. Steve Mancuso

    While you’re at FanGraphs looking for “clutch” statistics, you might do well to read what they say about them.

    “Clutch does a good job of describing the past, but it does very little towards predicting the future. Simply because one player was clutch at one point does not mean they will continue to perform well in high-leverage situations (and vice versa). Very few players have the ability to be consistently clutch over the course of their careers, and choking in one season does not beget the same in the future.”

  22. Shchi Cossack

    With the discussion of Votto’s lack of team-carrying performance this season, I noticed how much Cutch has climbed among the NL leaders in offensive performance lately. Cutch has simply taken the Bucos on his back and invited them for a ride, a big ride. Since the all star break, Cutch has a slash line of .381/.467/.627 and even more recently, for the month of August, Cutch has a slash line of .451/.556/.620. That is simply other-worldly and that covers more than a month during a dogfight for the NLCD championship.

    With Cutch and the Bucos in overdrive and the Birds hitting 2-out doubles like a tennis ball machine, the Reds certainly have their work cut out if they want to compete for the playoffs this season. The Snakes lost last night too, so that’s 1 more game closer to the wildcard, but the Nats are starting to reenter the picture too with time slowly running out.

    • tpteach

      @Shchi Cossack: So how come other teams aren’t pitching Clutch in the same way they pitch Votto? The big defense of Votto’s lack of run production is that they pitch around him, and yet, Clutch seems to get it done (with maybe a worse line-up). Cabrera does. Posey even does. If the Reds had just ONE other consistent RBI type guy we’d be in business. No, I don’t mean BP. I mean someone with an average above .280 who can drive the ball for doubles and HR’s when needed. Or at least feared he could do that. Because we really don’t it falls on Votto. And yet, for whatever reason, he cannot, unlike some other boppers out there.

      • Shchi Cossack


        So how come other teams aren’t pitching Clutch in the same way they pitch Votto?

        That might have something to do with Pedro Alvarez hitting behind Cutch (not Clutch, but appropo) with 31 HR & a .485 SLG. Maybe if Bruce hit behind Votto…nah, that would violate cosmic laws.

      • Shchi Cossack

        @tpteach: That might also have something to do with Neil Walker hitting in front of Cutch with an .352 OBP and only 5 sac bunts.

  23. Steve Mancuso

    One final point about those “clutch” statistics — they do not compare the hitters to other hitters in the league, the compare the hitters in high leverage situations to their own performances in other times during the game.

    The reason that discounts the importance of them, is that some players try hard all the time. Joey Votto’s negative number only reflects that in the few times he has come up in “high leverage” spots, he hasn’t hit as well as HE has hit at other times.

    Not much of a shock to learn that Brandon Phillips has a positive number in that category, since he basically has said he has a completely different approach in the two situations for some reason.

  24. Steve Mancuso

    When you look at “high leverage” situations (FanGraphs), Votto has the second highest OPS and second highest wRC+ on the team. First is Shin-Soo Choo. Jay Bruce is third and Brandon Phillips is fourth.

  25. Shchi Cossack

    In describing Cingrani’s bullpen session that was cut short, Sheldon noted…

    It was just so-so, unfortunately,” said Lessard. “Everything on flat ground was good. He threw off the mound, and it was just average. That means a lot of heads have to get together and figure out what we’re going to do for Sunday, whether he’s going to pitch or not.”

    Lessard stopped the bullpen session after Cingrani threw 12 pitches.

    “He said it was still uncomfortable,” Lessard said. “Why keep going if it’s uncomfortable? I said, ‘OK, we’re done.'”

    That leads to Sheldon’s description of Cueto’s rehab update this past week…

    Cueto, who has not thrown since straining his right lat muscle for the third time this season during a June 28 start at Texas, was first expected to get an MRI test on Friday before being cleared to pick up a baseball. But after some second thoughts and a meeting between the medical staff and front office, the green light was given.

    By Wednesday afternoon, Cueto played catch on the field and made 40 throws from distances of 60-75 feet.

    “I feel good,” Cueto said. “I didn’t feel bad [before]. I didn’t feel nothing. I wanted to throw. They said OK.”

    Cueto could not contain his smile after returning from the throwing session. “I’m happy now,” Cueto said.

    Cueto had been asking to throw for a little while, but because he had repeatedly suffered the same injury, the rehab and strengthening process has been even more deliberate. Head trainer Paul Lessard, medical director Tim Kremchek and general manager Walt Jocketty met on Tuesday night and Wednesday and reassessed.

    “Because he has gotten good strength, why not try and start throwing?” Lessard said. “We can use the throwing program as a strengthening tool as well.

    The Old Cossack is not feeling real peachy right now about the Reds’ pitching staff heading into crunch time.

    • Steve Mancuso

      @Shchi Cossack: The Cueto situation is worrying. My sense is the Reds front office (and medical staff) are letting Cueto throw now only because they know they are out of time for rehab and that if he doesn’t start now, he couldn’t possibly make it back in time. He hasn’t been cleared as healthy. I expect he’ll soon have a “set-back” and this flirtation with a comeback will be over.

      • Shchi Cossack

        @Steve Mancuso: Yep, I had the same take on the situation. ‘If we don’t do it now, we won’t be able to do it at all, so to heck with the medical precautions and evaluations, put the ball in his hand and let him throw.’ That’s the same mentality that resulted in Broxton going to the mound twice and pitching when everyone knew he was already injured.

        If Cueto reinjures or aggravates the same tissue again, he is that much farther along to a career threatening situation.

      • Steve Mancuso

        @Shchi Cossack: That’s the kicker. If there is any risk that he could do career-threatening damage through re-injury, he shouldn’t be throwing. What happened to one week ago when there was still a 25% tear in his muscle?

  26. nvilleredsfan

    The kicker in all of this is that the Cards and Pirates both won, so it was a particular bad time to lose to a team you should have beaten. That’s baseball, I guess…

  27. dn4192

    At this point I believe it might be time to look at moving Cueto at the earliest point possible. I think with his body type and motion his career is going to be riddled with injury. I would resign Bronson to two years and hope the kid in Bakersfield progresses.

  28. Hunt4RedsOctober

    Joey Votto in Leverage situations according to FanGraphs:

    Low Leverage 16.4 % 19.8 % 0.83 .337 .451 .535 .985 .198 .408 58.7 26.4 .428 175
    2013 Medium Leverage 16.8 % 19.2 % 0.88 .289 .407 .445 .852 .156 .344 33.1 9.5 .370 134
    2013 High Leverage 22.9 % 17.1 % 1.33 .283 .443 .491 .933 .208 .325 11.2 3.5 .378 139

  29. Johnu1

    I will leave the graphs and stats to people who are trying to measure overall performance.

    What I HAVE noticed is that when Yadi Molina comes to the plate, he hits a double. When Allan Craig comes to the plate, he drives in a run.

    When Clint Barmes needed a HR, he got one.

    When Aoki gets 4 fastballs off the plate, he hits all 4 to left field.

    When Joey Votto comes to the plate, he takes a strike down the middle, hopes to get to a 3-ball count, fouls off a couple and … after that, something probably will leave it up to Phillips to drive in the run.

    The runs are BEING driven in by the Cardinals hitters. They get on base, they take the base when the ball is in the dirt and they get lots and lots of DOUBLES.

    Reds hitters typically go 3 innings without an extra-base hit.

    So whatever metric you want to use, the Reds are being the bad teams and, lately, it’s be a stretch to expect that.

    Cueto ain’t gonna pitch this year, Cingrani is hurt and Leake and Bronson get hammered by the Cardinals.

    We’re short two arms in the bullpen and what’s left pitched last night.

    Let’s hope Arizona doesn’t find another pitcher.

    • Johnu1

      @Johnu1: Being = beating. Sorry, no edit function spoils the broth.

      • standage

        @Johnu1: That’s the only grammar error that you notice in your post? 🙂

      • Shchi Cossack

        @standage: Please, please don’t start picking on grammar. The Old Cossack will get crusified and masticated if we start picking on grammar.

      • Johnu1

        @Johnu1: That’s the only grammar error that you notice in your post?

        Actually, it wasn’t a grammar error. It was a spelling error. And, yes, that was the only grammar mistake.

    • doctor

      @Johnu1: do you notice that the Cards lead the NL in GiDP as well with 125? That’s almost one per game, league team average is 99 for year. just saying, they got warts also for a pretty good/deep hitting lineup. Reds make up some of that by being a better defensive team. Run prevention vs Run Creation.

      • Johnu1

        @doctor: I’d venture that the errors the Cardinals make will not offset the run differential over the length of the season. The GIDP is again another one of those bizarre statistics that says you can’t hit into one if nobody is on base.

      • doctor

        @Johnu1: LOL, it also eliminates/minimizes that pesky LOB stat as well when you do hit into one.

    • CP

      @Johnu1: What?

      Did you really just cite Clint Barmes as being clutch? Jesus, listen to yourself.

      • Johnu1

        @CP: He was observed as hitting a home run in a tight spot last night so, comparing what anybody in a similar situation did for the Reds, I’d say Clint was pretty clutch. As far as him doing it every night, I don’t think I endeavored to evaluate that, did I?

  30. 666wolverine

    You ppl need to worry about the NATS they have a cake schedule left and are playing better.

    • OhioJim

      @666wolverine: I agree I’ve had them on my radar for at least a week.

      Every season, it seems like the NL has at least one team that makes a truly other worldly run in the last 6 weeks or so. Given that at least before the 4 game head to head series with the Reds, the DBacks did not really need an other wordly run, the Nats were my prime suspects for this year.

    • Johnu1

      @666wolverine: Everybody plays better off and on, even Miami. The Reds just came off a “playing better” trip … so what goes around, comes around.

    • doctor

      @666wolverine: Nats: 6-4 last 10, 12-8 last 20, 17-13,last 30. which is pretty much same as the Reds record. so Nats may be playing better but not making any ground. so far. just for grins, last 30 Cards are 14-16, though 8-2 in last 10.