2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Tonight’s Titanic Struggle Recap has been deposited into the right field bleachers.

Cincinnati 6
St. Louis 8

W: C. Martinez (1-1)
L: M. Parra (1-3)
S: E. Mujica (35)

–Here’s your mini-recap: Cincinnati jumps out to a 4-0 lead, leads most of the game, then completely blows it against the Cardinals. Again. This disaster culminated with JJ Hoover surrendering a grand slam to Allen Craig in the seventh.

I give up.

–It’s really strange how this Reds team seems ten times more frustrating than those crappy early-2000s teams. Expectations, huh?

Write your own recap, gang. I just don’t have it in me.

245 thoughts on “Tonight’s Titanic Struggle Recap has been deposited into the right field bleachers.

  1. They are who they are at this point. A good team with some persistent flaws that would be left just outside the playoffs if this weren’t the wild card era. But we’ll get in because of the expanded playoffs and most likely get schooled by one of the several better NL teams (LA, STL, or ATL).

  2. The Reds are equipped to play post-season baseball but they are not equipped to win anything. I think my expectations are consistent with those realities.
    Doesn’t mean I don’t care about it. I don’t like football.

  3. You know what I hate? The way the Reds handled Leake/Chapman in spring made some small part of me dislike Mike Leake a little bit… not his fault at all, but now that he’s putting on a clinic in why FIP works, I get extra annoyed for no reason other than wanting to say “told you so” to the organization for putting on the dog and pony show in the first place. A team scores 6 runs, they need to win.

    • @Matt WI: The Chapman decision has been gnawing at me lately. As I hear the analysts discuss the starting pitching rotations for the post-season, they hone in on how many elite starters each team has. The Dodgers, Tigers, Rays, have several. I know there is disagreement about Chapman’s potential as a starter, but I’ll side with Bryan Price on this one, believing that with appropriate development, Chapman could be an elite starter. Look how far along Cingrani (another hard-throwing lefty with little more than a fastball) has come this year, and Chapman is WAY ahead of him in terms of development and experience. You need elite starters in the post-season to shut down the big offenses. As much as I like Mike Leake, he’s not that guy.

      A friend of mine wondered out loud yesterday if it was still too late to get Chapman ready for the post-season rotation.

      It looks like Chapman’s underdevelopment will go down as one of the biggest failings of this organization’s history. Four years now and we still don’t know if the guy could develop his slider and change-up with the right work.

      • @Steve Mancuso: After strongly advocating that Chapman start for years, Price was oddly quiet about it this spring. Of course there’s a good chance management told him to shut up. But ever since Chapman said he wanted to close, Price has said nothing about his starting. We don’t know everything, Price could feel, given Chapman’s reputed “mental complexity”, to back off from his starting for now (still hope for 2014 ?).

        Chapman could still be valuable out of the pen, if only he were brought in when the game was on the line. He would have matched up excellently against Beltran, Carpenter, Jay last nite. And if the Cards don’t score in the 7th, I believe the Reds win.

      • @Steve Mancuso: 2011 will always be a painful year for the Reds in my memory because of this. It makes me wish that the Reds had missed the post-season in 2010. Maybe Dusty would have been fired, but at the very least, they would have stuck with the program on Chapman.

        Instead, Dusty got obsessed with having Chapman in the bullpen during the stretch run of 2010, and wanted to have him relieve again the next year. In 2012 we had 5 healthy starters and 3 injured relievers, so you can almost understand why they wanted him in the pen that year. But that misses the point, the year to do it was 2011.

        In 2010, Chapman had started a half a season in AAA, and then pitched a good amount of innings in relief. So he was ready to be stretched out further. Then injuries (some in spring training) led the Reds to give 20 starts to the combination of Dontrelle, Lecure, Maloney, and Reineke. And of course the Reds had a losing record for the season.

        Those 20 starts should have gone to Chapman. It would have cost the Reds nothing and they would have answered the questions once and for all.

  4. I realize that people have said it before but I give Heisey a shot in center against left handers. Only way Choo gets on against a lefty is with a walk.

    Parra has done a great job… more than we expected but why is zach duke not up here. you can find a way to get him on the 40.

    This team has made more mental mistakes that any reds team in a long time. choo not sliding on sunday… votto not getting lead runner last night. leake not taking his time on double play ball with molina slowly heading to first. This is the fault of coaching and not holding guys accountable.

    i make sure i have bryan price signed long term and i look hard for a new direction at the end of the year.

  5. At least I was spared seeing the game, try as I might, by MLB’s mind numbing blackout rules. Check out Iowa, all lit up like San Francisco:


    I’m blacked out any time the Reds play:
    White Sox

    I get WGN, which doesn’t play many games anymore. I don’t get local channels for any of the rest. I paid a lot of money for MLB.tv. Blacked out. Last night’s game was on ESPN. Blacked out. I tried my last ditch effort of a stream from somewhere in Europe, but it wasn’t working.

    Good riddance, I suppose.

  6. Thoughts–

    –The Reds vehement denials about the Cardinals being in their heads rings a little hollow this morning, doesn’t it?
    –Walks will haunt (two in the 7th)
    –Hoover is a bit too much like Kerry Wood for my taste. Wild in the strike zone and not able to paint the corners. Not a recipe for success against quality hitters. Yes, LeCure was the better option there.
    –The team has played 18 games in a row and they’ve been playing baseball every day for 6 months. To expect them to have a come-to-Jesus soul searching moment after the last two days is simply unrealistic.
    –They either have the talent to do it or they don’t, so let’s cut the crap about the manager instilling a ‘sense of urgency’. yeah, his moves lack urgency, but leave the rah-rah cheerleader stuff to the coaches of sports like football and basketball where getting jacked-up can increase performance. That’s not baseball.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: I made a similar comment about Hoover/LeCure above. Hoover is OK for starting an inning but I don’t like him coming in with the go ahead runs in scoring position and very tough hitters coming up.
      LeCure is better under pressure, is not at all bothered by bases loaded situations, and can strike out the best hitter when he’s on.

      Hoover said that he was afraid to come inside to Craig with the bases loaded, fearing he’d hit him. You can’t think like that.

  7. As Chad commented in the game thread last night, we’ve noticed that the server/site gets overwhelmed when the number of comments for the game approaches about 400. Tonight, we’re going to try starting a new Game Thread after the number of comments reaches about 250 and see if that keeps things up and running at full speed all the way through the exciting finish of the Reds’ win.

  8. I don’t want to see it happen this way, but the Reds could be one of those teams (like the Cardinals last year) that backs into the playoffs as a second wild card team and then is dangerous. Why ? Imagine last nite’s game but with Cingrani, Cueto and Marshall (or any two of those) in the pen. It’s a whole different game, I don’t see the Cardinals coming back late to win.

    • @pinson343: I’ll be ecstatic if just one of Cueto or Marshall is able to play this season. Sadly, I think Marshall will be going under the knife for his shoulder.

  9. Choo’s OBP against lefties: .326
    Heisey’s OBP against lefties: .317

    C’mon, guys. Choo hasn’t been fantastic against LHP, but he’s still the best option on the roster.

    I will refrain from commenting on the general armchair psychology being practiced in so much in this thread, which I am *never* comfortable with – but Votto’s little misadventure last night, though harmless, was troubling. What the heck, JV?

    Still, like I said before the game yesterday, this is essentially a playoff series. And last time I checked, playoff series aren’t won in one game. (Well, except for that new wild card play-in game, but we’ll fall off that bridge when we come to it.) Last night said something about this team. Tonight may well say even more. Go Reds!

    • @RC: Um… no. Not even close. Choo’s OPS against lefties is .541. Heisey’s is .858. Those numbers actually do mean something. On top of that, Choo was 1 for his last 11. Heisey was 3 for his last 11 with a HR and a double. Heisey has hit lefties significantly better all season and has been hitting better in the last week. His defense is just as good as Choo’s, if not better. Heisey starting over Choo is an easy call, and if you’re going to use Choo instead, you need to have a REASON for it. Dusty’s reason is something like “Choo is my guy.” That’s just lazy thinking, plain and simple. That’s a guy who finds it too stressful to consider the possibility that he might be wrong about something.

      • @Baseclogger: Choo is the leadoff hitter. The leadoff hitter’s job is to get on base. Period. Paragraph. I don’t care if he hits .000.

        There’s my reason.

        • @RC: I’ll ignore the absurdity of suggesting a guy who gets on base 5 more times every 1000 plate appearances is somehow worth sacrificing power, and I’ll ignore the fact that Heisey has been reaching base at a much higher rate over the last several games. But if OBP is all that matters, then Mesoraco makes much more sense (.397 OBP against lefties), Frazier makes more sense, Votto makes more sense, and BP makes more sense. So why didn’t one of those guys lead off if the job is to get on base? Now you’re forced to tell me another story, in which there’s more to leading off than JUST getting on base. And eventually you come back to the same place you started: “Choo leads off because Dusty thinks it’s a good idea.” And why does he think so? “He just does.” You’re defending a lazy decision, I’m afraid. The fact that you’re forced to invent reasons that have nothing to do with statistical facts should be telling you something.

          • @Baseclogger: Sorry, I pulled a Dusty there. Of course Choo reaches base NINE more times every 1000 plate appearances. Don’t mean to shortchange him those 4 walks.

          • “The fact that you’re forced to invent reasons that have nothing to do with statistical facts should be telling you something.”

            I did that? No, you attempted to do that for me. I gave only one reason, and it was a statistical one. You helpfully extended my reasoning far beyond what I intended, much less what I actually said. Good luck with that debate style, sir. I’ll waste my time elsewhere.

            “I’m forced to tell you another story” indeed.

    • @RC:
      That’s quite Dustyish logic you are displaying. Heisey can replace Choo as a starter but does not have to assume his spot in the line-up. 858 OPS will help the team a lot more than 541.

  10. “I was telling Joe Morgan you would prefer that guy to be a left-handed batter to make use of that hole over there when the leadoff hitter gets on and a guy that takes pitches for your leadoff guy to steal.”

    That is a word-for-word quote from Dusty as reported by Mark Sheldon. This is how dense the guy is. He has the solution right at his fingertips, in his own brain and he doesn’t even recognize it. Votto is the perfect 2 hole hitter for this team. Just perfect.


    Now that’s a productive line-up.

  11. I’m surprised more isn’t being made of Brandon Phillips almost run-in (again) with Javier (public enemy #1) Molina. Molina almost tripped Brandon while going after a foul tip. Brandon then patted Molina on the chest protector several times. Was anyone else holding their breath waiting for Molina to go after Brandon for touching him and then for Cueto to run out on the field cletes first, spiking someone other than former Red Jason LaRue this time?

  12. For those who take issue with my analysis that Baker is basically just phoning it in, can anyone tell me ONE thing he does to make this team better? He obviously doesn’t spend much time thinking about lineups, or making sure his players are as focused as they need to be, or working on fundamentals like base-running or situational hitting, or thinking of new and innovative ways of managing. (If I’m wrong and he IS spending time on those things, then he’s absolutely incompetent.) We all know it’s Price who’s working with the pitchers. So what does he DO all day to improve this team? If he’s really working as hard as some people like to imagine, how does he conclude after looking at all the stats and recent performances that Choo is the best guy to lead off last night’s game? How can that possibly be explained other than to say it’s just easier for him to keep going with the same guy at the top of the order to avoid having to think about it every day? It’s mathematically impossible to explain that decision, so you’re left with concluding something about Dusty having a “philosophy” or a “hunch.” As far as I’m concerned, that’s just another way of saying “I’m too lazy to think about these things more than once in a while.” I mean, with all the stats and video replays now available, anyone who sits back and says “I know what’s best, because I learned it 30 years ago” is practically the definition of lazy. He’s like the tenured professor who hasn’t bothered updating his course in 20 years and lets his TAs do all the work. You can call that a “philosophy” of teaching, but I call it laziness.

    • @Baseclogger: I’ve already given several answers to this. Others have pointed out Choo has a higher OBP than Heisey against LHP. Maybe Baker values that more than he does OPS in a leadoff hitter. Unless one of us in the locker room or team area, we would have no idea what Baker (or any other manager) does during the day. Meetings with players/coaches, batting practice, looking at film, etc. are all things Baker could be doing. He claims that he spends a lot of time thinking about his lineups. Just because you (or I) don’t agree with him doesn’t mean that he doesn’t agonize over his choices every day.

      Look, I don’t think it’s particularly controversial to say that Baker is an old-school manager who is set in his old-fashioned ways and doesn’t seem to have much curiosity or interest in changing the way he’s managed for 20+ years. And I think that statement basically makes your essential point.

      I don’t understand why you feel the need to push it (repeatedly) to such an intensely personal level and attack his work ethic and intelligence – when you don’t have the slightest bit of first-hand information about it at all. And I think that’s being really unfair to a person who I think passionately cares about his team, his job and winning.

      • @Steve Mancuso: Well said. And that comes from a guy who would almost be willing to miss the playoffs this year if it meant getting a new manager.

      • @Steve Mancuso: And as to why I feel the need to make this case? Because nobody else is making it, that’s why. When Baker first got this job I was among the few (at least on the blog I was paying attention to at that time) who was highly critical of him — I said he made some of the dumbest moves I’d ever seen and he had no business managing any team — and I got a ton of flack for it. People RUSHED to defend him. I mean, they came out of the woodwork to explain how brilliant he is, and how his record clearly demonstrated his brilliance. People wondered why I was getting so bothered by it. NOW they understand. Now a lot of them are actually more upset about him than I am. Baker is phoning it in, and somebody needs to call him (no pun intended) on it.

        • @Baseclogger: You might want to cool your jets a little on the argument that no one here has been critical of Baker’s managing style other than you. Since you post here anonymously, it’s hard to know when you started reading. I started saying Baker wasn’t the right person to manage the Reds in 2009. I’m not sure what other blogs you frequented where people “rushed to defend” Dusty Baker, but it wasn’t here.

          Just because you aren’t finding many buyers for your claim that Baker is lazy, stupid and indifferent doesn’t mean people here don’t question Baker’s managing. Because obviously we do. In fact, if anything, your wild accusations have caused people like me to feel the need to come to Baker’s defense.

          • @Steve Mancuso: I’m not sure what you’re trying to accomplish here, Steve. I thought the purpose of this blog was to discuss the Reds. To hear different viewpoints. I’m staying well within the bounds of the rules, and I don’t think I’m overwhelming the site with too many posts. So why are you so determined to get me to stop? I think that’s an even better question than the one you’re posing.

          • @Baseclogger: Nobody is forced to respond to me, you know. And most of my posts here have been responses to responses. I’ve only posted a few comments that weren’t responses to other people. Admittedly they were long posts filled with serious accusations, but why is that a bad thing? Why would you try to discourage that? If people don’t want to discuss it, they can just skip over it and eventually I’ll stop saying anything.

          • @Baseclogger: I’m not trying to get you to stop commenting. You’re generally one of the most thoughtful commenters at the site. I’m just responding to you. The only place where I said you should slow down is when you started attacking others here for not having your view of Dusty Baker.

            “No one else is making the argument” is not about the Reds, it’s about the people who write here. “People RUSHED to defend him” again is not about the Reds, it’s about the fans.

            I only said you should be careful when you characterize the opinions of other fans and people who post here. As far as your opinions about the Reds – in this case Dusty Baker – if you’re going to continue to repost the same comment, don’t you expect people to continue to answer them?

          • @Steve Mancuso: You said you didn’t understand why I was posting these comments, so I gave you the reason, and the reason was that nobody else has made these observations, and I felt they should be made. That’s not an attack on anyone any more than it’s an “attack” to post any opinion about anything. You (and others) started making it personal. I was talking about Dusty, and then some of you (you in particular) started questioning my motives, as if that’s somehow relevant.

  13. Heisey’s OPS is 300 points higher than Choo’s against lefties, and he’s been hitting better than Choo lately. Mesoraco’s OBP is 70 points higher than Choo’s. There’s no explanation for Choo leading off other than “I didn’t feel like messing with it, because this is how I do things.” You can call that “old school” if you prefer, but I see no difference between “I stick with whatever I learned 30 years ago and refuse to learn anything new or pay attention to anything anyone is trying to tell me” and mental laziness. As I said above, it’s a lot like the tenured professor who hasn’t updated his syllabus in 20 years and lets his TAs do most of the heavy lifting. They’ll call themselves “old school,” but in fact most of them are just not that interested in teaching. They’re not necessarily lazy in other aspects of their lives, but they’re lazy teachers. They’ve lost interest in improving themselves. Dusty is human, just as they are. He’s made a ton of money and had a great career, and now he’s coasting. I’m not calling him a bad person, I’m saying he’s just not that interested anymore.

    • @Baseclogger: You’re making awfully strong allegations for someone who doesn’t carefully address what other people are saying.

      It could have been as simple as Heisey is a fastball hitter and Lyons is a curve-ball specialist. End of case.

      Baker has, on countless occasions, talked about how specific pitch portfolios affect his lineup (and pinch hitting) choices.

      To say there is “no explanation” other than the straw arguments you create and Baker is lazy is just wrong.

      • @Steve Mancuso: As to your claim that I’m not carefully addressing what others are saying, I think I do a better job of that than most. As I’ve repeatedly said, I’m aware Baker will offer some justification of what he does. But if it’s a bad justification, it suggest a lack of thought. He’s been offering justifications all year, and all year he’s continued running Choo out there against lefties (almost always leading off), and almost all year it’s failed. So at some point if he keeps offering the same kinds of explanations, I’m going to say he’s just phoning it in. It simply can’t be that EVERY game against a lefty Choo just happens to be the better choice than Heiesey, but almost every game that’s what Baker settles on. How you can think he’s really giving this matter any serious thought is beyond me.

        • @Baseclogger: Yes, you are more careful than most about addressing other people’s arguments directly. Absolutely. But at least today, you’re also pushing some pretty personal and ugly conclusions about Dusty Baker.

          As I said way above, guys who manage like Dusty Baker have an approach that they view as successful where they focus on managing people through establishing roles and getting out of the way. It means they do value lineup continuity – but as a means to a broader end. Maybe it does get some fewer hitting points out of the leadoff spot some nights. But I’m sure Baker would say that platooning is disruptive to continuity. That means you give Choo bats vs. LHP to help him perform better against RHP. So it’s not as simple as just who is the best in this individual spot. At least that’s the way Baker and people like him (Jim Leyland is another) manage.

          Managers like Joe Maddon take a different view. They manipulate their lineups every night. Maddon moves his players around the field and up and down the lineup, wherever he thinks it gives the Rays a small edge. He thinks the benefits of established roles are outweighed by these accumulated edges he can squeeze out by tinkering.

          I agree with Maddon, strongly. I don’t agree with Baker’s approach. But that doesn’t mean I don’t respect his view. He’s been a highly successful player and manager over several decades and his approach has been used by many other managers with success.

          It’s where you cross the line and make the — unfounded — attacks personal that you lose me.

          • @Steve Mancuso: On a daily basis this blog is loaded with attacks on Dusty Baker’s intelligence and commitment. On a daily basis there are calls for him to be fired. The editors themselves have been known to attack his sensibilities from time to time. I am offering a new way of looking at it. I’m not questioning his IQ or his character. I’m saying he’s reached a point in his career where he just doesn’t want to work very hard anymore. That’s a pretty common thing in life. Surely you’ve known people who allow inertia to take over their work lives? Surely you’ve known people who start daydreaming about retirement and their productivity drops? Surely you’ve known seniors in high school who stop doing all their homework because they’ve already been accepted into the college of their choice? I’m basically accusing Dusty Baker of being a normal human being and doing what many normal human beings do at this stage of their career. Why THIS would be so upsetting, as opposed to the daily attacks on his IQ or common sense (many of which have come from me, ironically) is rather odd. My hunch is that I’ve touched a nerve because what I’m saying is actually at least plausible, whereas it’s not really plausible that Baker is literally a moron. Perhaps it’s the plausibility of my attack that makes it so uncomfortable. I assume you’ll disagree, but then I wonder why you’ve never told me to cool my jets when I call Baker a moron?

          • @Baseclogger: Fair enough. I went back and reread all your comments on this thread. I’m still not comfortable with characterizing Baker as someone who “doesn’t want to work very hard anymore.” But I recognize you aren’t pushing the extreme line.

            Honestly, the comments here about Baker being stupid or a moron really sicken me. In my ideal for a blog, all those comments would be deleted. Along with the personal attacks on players. I have deleted a few of them in the past, especially the ones that seem particularly personal.

            Every one of us, me included, too easily slip across the line from (A) that was a stupid decision, to (B) that person is stupid. I try to rationalize that when most people make comments like “Baker is a moron” that they really think his managing decisions were wrong, not that they really are saying the person is a moron, which he clearly, obviously isn’t.

            I suppose the reason I engaged your comments so thoroughly this morning is that I attributed a lot of thoughtfulness to you from your previous posts, and I thought you had veered slightly across the line into (B) that person is stupid.

            You might be right that Baker is phoning it in. But you certainly don’t have any real evidence for it. Not arguing with umpires, lineup decisions, etc. that’s all circumstantial and could be explained by other theories that are at least equally plausible.

          • @Steve Mancuso: This is not meant to further the argument, I’m just asking if certain comments I’ve made have been out of line for this blog. If so, I will cease to make them.

            I made this statement: “I don’t think it’s unfair to have the opinion that he does not understand the mathematics underlying modern lineup construction theory. That doesn’t make him “lazy” or “stupid,” since the word “stupid” seems to imply willful negligence in the cases we discuss. Of course Dusty wants to win, I just don’t think he understands the numbers.”

            As a moderator, is this a fair post? I’m not necessarily calling him stupid, but I do think (my humble opinion) he lacks the mathematical prowess to really understand the sabermetric arguments presented to him.

            Thanks for you opinions.

          • @prjeter: (I’m only speaking for myself here.) I don’t find that line of reasoning offensive. But I’m not exactly sure what you mean. You don’t have to be a math whiz to get this stuff. In most cases it’s more conceptual. Managers don’t have to be able to sit down and figure out FIP. They just need to understand conceptually why it’s better than ERA. They don’t need to know how to calculate OBP, they only have to understand why it’s a better way to evaluate a hitter than looking at RBI.

            Baker doesn’t reject modern baseball ideas because he can’t do math. He rejects them because in his view the old ideas have served him well. He views himself as a successful manager who has always looked for “RBI guys” to bat sixth.

            From times I’ve heard him talk, I actually think Baker is a pretty smart, perceptive guy. I don’t think he has the slightest bit of difficulty understanding the argument that OBP is more important than speed for a lead off hitter. But understanding it is one thing, buying it is another.

          • @Baseclogger: No one has come out and said it explicitly, so I will. I think the main issue is that black people in this country have historically been classified as lazy and stupid as a means of discriminating against them. This has certainly carried over into the sports world, and so I think that that specific characterization is a little bit sensitive.

            Now, I’m not saying that you had any bias whatsoever in your statement, and I think your analogy to a tenured professor is pretty decent actually (I mean, the guy did have a stroke last year, maybe he just isn’t fully into it).

            But I think there’s due cause to be mindful of our history, and at least err on the side of caution when it comes to using characterizations that have been pretty harmful in the past.

            Just my two cents.

          • @Steve Mancuso: You’ll be happy to know that I’ve got other things to do, so I’ll leave it that for now. But I reserve the right to continue making the argument that Baker isn’t willing to do the hard work of giving serious thought (not just cursory thought) to each and every game.

  14. Clearly, the best the Redlegs can hope for now is to go into post-season with something of a head of steam. Winning the division is going to take some doing now and that may not be the end-all, be-all objective.

    Despite all that, losing games like last night is hard for the fans. I don’t think it is fair to criticize board contributors who vent frustration on an internet forum. Aside from reading it, what harm has it caused?

    A lot of what we write here is so redundant as to be pointless. But it’s OK to want to express those opinions. I am glad there’s a place to do that.

    • @Johnu1: Just to be redundant, yes, we need a place to vent. Last nite I badly needed RLN. The venting should never involve personal attacks on any of the players, bloggers, Reds management, etc. but – compared to other blogs – there’s very little of that here.

    • @Johnu1: Just as beans are good for your health, well so is venting. Venting, venting good for your heart, the more you vent the more you… Go Reds!!!! Tonight’s game will be the revenge of the Redlegs. Go Reds!

    • @Johnu1: Agreed. I was just discussing with a coworker of mine that I’m happy to have a place where I can vent my frustration. It keeps me from accidentally snapping at my wife or feeling the need to punch a granite countertop. 🙂

  15. As an aside, the Reds KNEW about Choo’s numbers against lefties. They traded for him anyhow. It isn’t like he suddenly stopped hitting lefties.

    All I know is, last year with Stubbs in CF, the Reds won 97 games. This year, maybe 87.

    • @Johnu1: Is that really all you know about the Reds? That may be the single most misleading statistical analysis I’ve ever seen.

  16. Marlon Byrd has been claimed off waivers by either the Reds, Pirates, or Orioles. I would think the Pirates, but maybe the Reds would block them ? He’s having a freakishly good year.

    I’ve been clamoring for a bat off the bench but I don’t see where he would fit in. He can’t replace Hannahan.

    The Mets are unloading a bunch of players. Anyone who can help the Reds ?

    • @pinson343: It’s a NL team, I would think the Pirates. But with only a few days to go before rosters expand, maybe WJ is trying to do something tricky.

      • @pinson343: Yeah, makes more sense for the Pirates. Don’t see how the Reds could carry him. He’d probably be an upgrade over Ludwick and Heisey, but hard to see the Reds cutting one of those two players. I guess we could cut XP but he’s out best LH bench bat.

          • @Steve Mancuso: The Reds didn’t block. Byrd is with the Pirates. At mlbtraderumors:

            “He’s owed just $130K for the remainder of the season before he will be a free agent, so he’s an affordable upgrade for the Pirates, financially speaking.

            Given that salary, it’s a surprise to see that the Reds didn’t place a claim to block the Pirates from acquiring him.”

    • The Mets are unloading a bunch of players. Anyone who can help the Reds ?

      David Wright.

  17. And pardon me for making this observation. The thinking here is that the Reds need to establish a sense of urgency against a team that is only .5 games ahead of the Parrots.

    The Cardinals aren’t sitting around, unaware that the Reds are jacking up for the game. They’re also in a state of needing to win.

    It comes down to execution and, so far, I have seen the Cardinals better prepared, regularly, than the Reds ever are.

    Preparation is more than clubhouse chemistry. It started in spring training with the coaching philosophy.

    • @Johnu1: Yes, the Cardinals seem to have benefitted from their new hitting approach. To a man, they talk about the importance of hitting the other way or up the middle. They have intentionally given up on some power (yesterday’s game notwithstanding) to hit line drives to the opposite field. Not just occasionally, but all the time. It’s their consistent, winning approach. Allen Craig talked about it again last night. I haven’t seen Beltran hit anything other than opposite field line drives the past month.

  18. Wish these guys would show up for these nationally televised games. Feels like about 0-10 but I’m sure it’s not that bad. I do know there have been 2 embarrassing incidents on nationally televised games – the non-slide tag out at 3rd a while back and not knowing how many outs there were last night. At least put you best foot forward when everyone’s watching.

  19. To me, it looks like the Reds are playing scared. Instead of taking the fight to the Cards, they appear to be waiting around for something to happen.

    The relievers especially looked scared. Both Parra and Hoover tried to nibble and that got them in trouble. It was like they were scared to throw a strike. JJ has a nice curveball. I don’t think he threw it once.
    The only guy that really attacked the hitters was Ondrusek. He pitched like he didn’t have anything to lose. I’m not an Ondrusek fan but I loved his approach last night.

    Jocketty needs to find some bullpen help. The Reds are in trouble if he doesn’t. The Reds only have 2 relievers with ERAs under 3. One of those is Christiani, the other is Chapman. It seems like everyone the Reds are playing has 3 or 4 guys with ERAs in the 1s.

    • @Hunt4RedsOctober: Both Parra and Hoover reminded me of poor, mortified Calvin Schiraldi on the mound in the 1986 World Series in a delirious Shea Stadium.

      The bullpen is tired, except for probably Chapman. But everybody else has a tired bullpen, too, so they have to nut up and power through it.

      • @Big Ed: I heard the radio call on XM. The Cardinal broadcasters were having a great time, could see that Parra and Hoover were choking. They kept calling Parra “sub Parra”. His control is sub Parra, as a starter he was sub Parra, etc.

        With the game on the line, I prefer LeCure (redundant statement).

    • @Hunt4RedsOctober: Ondrusek pitched like there was nothing to lose because at that point there was nothing to lose, the game had already been lost.

    • @Hunt4RedsOctober: Jocketty taking the same approach toward the bullpen as he did the LF situation: wait for players to return. Players who might not even return. Broxton at this point is obviously not returning. Marshall not returning any time soon, if at all. I’ve been a supporter of WJ, but very disappointed with his in-season paralysis.

  20. The Pirates have made their move. Granted, none of these players are earth-shattering but they definately send a message.

    Pirates acquired OF Marlon Byrd, C John Buck and cash considerations from the Mets for INF Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later.
    Anthony DiComo of MLB.com was first to report the full details of the trade. Byrd is a solid fit for Pittsburgh, as he’ll provide some thump out of right field. The 35-year-old has enjoyed a resurgent campaign in 2013, batting .285/.330/.518 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 117 games. He’ll be a free agent after the season. The trade is bad news for Jose Tabata, though he figures to play left field until Starling Marte (finger) makes it back from the disabled list.

  21. I’m surprised no one mentioned another reason Dusty might have stuck with Choo last night: Lyons actually has reverse splits. You could talk small sample sizes, but it’s the kind of thing a manager could definitely consider, especially if he’s considering all of the available evidence in a non-lazy, non-checked out manner.

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