Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
St. Louis 0
Cincinnati 1

W: H. Bailey (10-10)
L: S. Maness (5-2)
S: A. Chapman (34)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–A dominant start by Homer Bailey: seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits, and striking out eight Cardinals. Homer wasn’t quite as good as he was in his no-hitter earlier this year, but he was pretty darn good.

–Even better was Aroldis Chapman. The Cuban Missile, pitching for the first time in about six months (it seems; actually since August 24th) was completely and undeniably unhittable. At one point, Chapman delivered five straight fastballs at speeds of 103 mph, 103, 103, 102, and 103. Add in the 90-91 mph sliders and, well, major league hitters look like little leaguers against that type of stuff. Incredible.

–Homer was great, but until Chapman’s ninth inning heroics, the crowd got the biggest kick out of Billy Hamilton’s first major league stolen base in the seventh inning. Hamilton replaced Ryan Ludwick as a pinch-runner, and stole second easily off St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina. Ultimately, Hamilton came around to score the only run of the game, when Todd Frazier doubled him in.

NEGATIVES
–None.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–That really may have been the first time all year the Reds have been fun to watch. It was a genuinely entertaining game. From Homer’s great start, to the excitement surrounding Hamilton’s first stolen base, to the unbelievable show Chapman put on in the ninth…just great stuff.

This has been a largely frustrating Reds team, but they’re still in the thick of the race. I guess that’s all we can ask.

–We haven’t been shy about this: we’d prefer Aroldis be a starter. But if he has to be a closer, tonight is the exact situation where we want to see him. A one-run game, with the heart of the St. Louis order coming to the plate. (Of course, we’d have preferred to see Aroldis in the eighth too, but let’s not get greedy, okay?)

–There were some scattered complaints about Dusty removing Homer Bailey after seven innings, but it seemed like the correct decision to me. Homer clearly disagreed, of course.

–Let it not be lost in the excitement over Hamilton and Chapman: Homer was great tonight. Just great.

–Before tonight, the Reds had lost seven straight series to the Cards. At the very least, the Reds won’t be losing this one.

As Rany noted, Billy Hamilton is the first player to steal a base and score the only run in a 1-0 game in his major league debut. Not bad.

–Manny Parra walked a hitter, but pitched a scoreless eighth. Reds pitching coach Bryan Price should get some type of award — maybe a Nobel? — for his work in turning around Parra this season.

–Don’t look now, but the Reds have won three in a row against the Cardinals. Tomorrow, Bronson Arroyo will attempt to ensure a series victory for the good guys.

Source: FanGraphs

158 Responses

  1. rfay00

    Was at the game, great atmosphere. In regards to the 20,000 attendance being called “small”, let’s keep in mind that A LOT of Reds fans come from West Virginia, Columbus, Dayton, etc. and a 7:10 game is not ideal for that.

    Billy Hamilton had a fan section with a sign that said “Run Billy Run”, it took about 20 of them to create it.

    Wacha was VERY LUCKY tonight. On a normal GABP night, half of those balls would have been gone. Choo, Frazier, and Ludwick all had HR hits that were warning track. The same can be said about John Jay though.

    I think this is a huge win, especially after that bullpen blowup last week.

    • littleleo1

      @rfay00: great game big win attendance of just over 20000 awful ,! The Pirates and Brewers in Milwaukee drew 25000 tonight. I was at the game and what fans that were there were great but just not enough of them. It’s really a shame. Cincy should do better than that

      • Redsfanx

        @littleleo1: The Reds have drawn well this year. Let’s keep in mind that kids are in school and people have to go to work the next day. And Reds fans come from a big geographical area.

  2. sezwhom1

    Homer wasn’t quite as good as he was in his no-hitter earlier this year, but he was pretty darn good.

    One could actually argue that point. Homer was blazing fastballs by the Giants once he reached the 7th inning. Tonight, he had four quality pitches going. Even Chris Welsh brought it up. Anyway you slice it, a very nice outing by Homer. All good.

  3. Latos_intollerant

    First, Latos with the emotion, now Bailey fired up about coming out of the game. Maybe he fired those guys up to score him that run, who knows? I will say that the Reds have to score more than one run off of Wacha. Other than that, great win and great to see Billy in his first game!

    • rfay00

      @Latos_intollerant: Wacha was lucky it was a cold night. Choo, Frazier, and Ludwick would have took him deep on a regular night.

      • VaRedsFan

        @rfay00:
        Kind of an Oxymoron…saying that flyballs in GABP would normally be gone.

  4. abox03

    A lot of people taking issue with Baileys blow up in the dugout. We are only assuming (unless it has been confirmed) that he was being told he was done. If that was the case, as it likely was, I don’t have a problem with it. It’s about time someone from the Reds showed some fire and passion. I don’t think his position was “oh, don’t give my game to the bullpen, etc,” I think it was frustration and desire to want to crush the Cards. He blew up, quickly calmed down, and then stayed on the bench, supporting the team.

    We have all been looking for fire from this team, and we found an inkling of it in Bailey. I want more of that desire, not less.

    • Johnu1

      @abox03: Homer didn’t need to go out again. It’s about time Dusty stopped trying to give a guy an extra 1/3 inning.

    • ChrisInVenice

      @abox03:

      from Fay:

      Homer Bailey showed a bit of temper when pitching coach Bryan Price told him he was done after the seventh.

      After the 1-0 win was complete, Bailey was fine with the decision.

      “It was the right move,” Bailey said. “I’m not going to sit here and question any move they make. I threw a water bottle. I could have handled it a little better.”

      Bailey had thrown 106 pitches.

      “We didn’t want to take Homer out in that situations,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “He didn’t want to come out. He had a lot of pitches.”

    • cincyreds14

      A lot of people taking issue with Baileys blow up in the dugout. We are only assuming (unless it has been confirmed) that he was being told he was done. If that was the case, as it likely was, I don’t have a problem with it. It’s about time someone from the Reds showed some fire and passion. I don’t think his position was “oh, don’t give my game to the bullpen, etc,” I think it was frustration and desire to want to crush the Cards. He blew up, quickly calmed down, and then stayed on the bench, supporting the team.

      We have all been looking for fire from this team, and we found an inkling of it in Bailey. I want more of that desire, not less.

      Yup!!

  5. RedTitan19

    Cards announcers were calling out the radar gun all night as being juiced. Maybe the tweet about Chapman “needs to pitch” had something to do with that? File it in wiki leaks

    • Johnu1

      @RedTitan19: So what if the gun is juiced? A pitch at 102 or 99 is still a pitch. Juiced radar guns are for the fans’ benefit. Hitters aren’t intimidated.

    • al

      @RedTitan19: Wacha and Parra were hitting the same as they were last week on the road. Dare I say, WLBs?

      • RedTitan19

        @Matt WI: he didn’t even get the call. I thought since he was activated today he would close. I like the guy

      • Matt WI

        @RedTitan19: Oh… I like him to (fantasy team stud). But from a Reds perspective, Grilli in the game probably means the Pirates are winning, so I was confused.

  6. SFredsfan

    My sense is that the Reds like the Bengals are leaning on their strengths- pitching and defense! let’s have a renaissance of ?Cincy sports. First and foremost love my Reds

  7. Sergeant2

    Fingers crossed that Dusty doesn’t mess with this line-up for the foreseeable future. I realize they didn’t score runs like they did last night, but they won the game. Plus you gotta give credit to Wacha. This line-up seems to click or at least has the right stuff. It ain’t broke, leave well enough alone. Go Reds!

    • RedTitan19

      @Sergeant2: Shelby Miller has looked lost lately. If we stay patient (highly unlikely) we can crush him. But we have Arroyo going tomorrow and that has to make the Cards pretty happy. Walt Jocketty already said on mlb network radio that Cingrani is good to go for Thursday and we have a shot at that one. I think tomorrow is practically hopeless, though

      • RedTitan19

        @rfay00: Excellent summary of what I said. Because that is what I was shooting for…

      • Sergeant2

        @RedTitan19: I’m not so sure about Arroyo getting crushed. On more than one occasion Arroyo has stepped up his game in important games. With all the breaking stuff Arroyo throws a lot of how well he does is going to depend on the HP umpires strike zone. Some umps are terrible at judging whether or not a breaking ball finished in the strike zone. Same goes for Leake, a lot depends on the HP ump.

      • RedTitan19

        @Sergeant2: It does depend a lot on the ump but it also depends on patience of a team. A patient team can sit back on the soft tossers and knock em around. But Leake did have partial success last time vs the Cards so maybe it is a slump and we caught em right. My guess is Arroyo gets lit up tomorrow.

      • Sergeant2

        @RedTitan19: One thing I know we both can agree on is that we both hope you are wrong. But it is a legitimate concern. We’ll both be rooting for Arroyo is what counts. I love talking baseball, can I buy you beer. Excuse me Bartender get this man a beer on me. Go Reds!

      • cincyreds14

        @RedTitan19: One thing I know we both can agree on is that we both hope you are wrong. But it is a legitimate concern. We’ll both be rooting for Arroyo is what counts. I love talking baseball, can I buy you beer. Excuse me Bartender get this man a beer on me. Go Reds!

        What is the best sports bar in downtown Cincy? San Fran has a slew of them as does Denver.

      • redskaph

        @RedTitan19: A lot also depends on Bronson’s breaking balls. If they have their bite, he might shut ’em down.

      • pinson343

        @Sergeant2: You can never be sure that Bronson will get crushed. The Cards will have a lineup full of lefties, and – as RedTitan points out – patient hitters. That’s going to make it tough on Bronson.
        But he’s capable of shutting down a strong offense when he’s at his best, and he’s often at his best in a big game.

      • Carlw2006

        @Sergeant2: The hard part is determining whether it went through the strike zone, not if it finished in the zone or not. Remember where the ball ends doesn’t matter, just where it crosses the plate.

      • Johnu1

        @RedTitan19: I have no more worries about Bronson than any other pitcher on the staff. If he has his stuff, he will give the Reds 6 or 7 strong.

  8. Matt WI

    Khris Davis up with a runner on 2nd and two outs in the 9th. If this were the Reds, he’d hit it out of county. Against the Pirates… we’ll see.

  9. RedTitan19

    Well we are helping the Pirates. If we can get 3 of 4 from the Cards, that last series against Pitt may be substantial after all

    • cincyreds14

      @RedTitan19: The Reds need to focus on the here and now, and win them one game at a time. If the Reds continue to win, the rest will take care of itself.

  10. down with dusty

    With Reynolds still around and a bunch of extra relievers up with September call ups, I hope that Dusty won’t hesitate to remove Arroyo if it looks like he’s losing it. It would be huge to win tomorrow night. I wish they were playing game three right now.

    • Steve Mancuso

      @down with dusty: That’s a good thought, although it would be only three days rest instead of the usual four for Reynolds. But the rest of the bullpen could pitch. Maybe Parra is the only one you hold out, but even he would just be on his second day in a row. I hope Baker has that kind of urgency tomorrow, but I bet he doesn’t. Reynolds can back up Cingrani on Thursday.

      • pinson343

        @down with dusty: @Steve Mancuso: Dusty has already said he’ll use Reynolds to back up Cingrani on Thursday. I’m OK with that. As Steve said, if Bronson has a bad day, the rest of the bullpen could pitch. Hopefully Dusty is proactive.

    • cincyreds14

      @down with dusty: Just hope that Dusty doesn’t leave Arroyo in to get battered.
      And the Reds have quality pitching depth – next game’s important Dusty – just like the one after that.

  11. steveschoen

    I would say the offense was a negative. Enough offense to win this one, yes. But, 1 run isn’t going to be enough in a vast majority of them. We could still pitch a good game and lose that game.

    Most everything else I liked. We were swinging early at a lot of pitches. After taking Wainwright like we did, we made Wacha look like an “Adam Wainwright”. Go figure.

    • Johnu1

      @steveschoen: Lots of warning track power off Wacha. Not sure what that means but a couple of balls might have made the seats on other nights.

  12. Josh

    Brewers no help tonight. Still 3 1/2 back behind the Pirates and now we are 1 1/2 back of the Cards. This team needs to take off NOW. I can’t believe Walt didn’t at least block the M Bryd trade, he allowed the Rats to get better. We need some luck down the stretch and we need to the Pirates to get ice cold.

    • Johnu1

      @Josh: Byrd could have been scraped off the scrap pile last spring. Nobody even mentioned his name. Now suddenly he’s the reason the Parrots are going to win.

    • pinson343

      @Josh: And Byrd’s RBI double to give the Pirates the lead in the 8th followed a perfect hit and run single by Morneau. Morneau had a perfect nite, 3 hits and a walk, and Byrd had 2 hits, 2 RBIs, and a walk.

      • Steve Mancuso

        @pinson343: It looks like the Pirates substantially improved their team at the trade deadline. And it really didn’t cost them much of anything in terms of prospects or payroll.

      • pinson343

        @Steve Mancuso: Yep. And Travis Snyder, who lost his job to Byrd, hit the game winning PH HR. The Pirates now have a lot more depth.

  13. jessecuster44

    Was Latos first out of the dugout to congratulate Chapman? Could we be seeing some leadership displayed? Agree that this game was FUN.

    • TraviXDM

      @jessecuster44: I noticed that in the postgame highlights, and one can only hope.

      People like Latos, in my opinion, is a perfect candidate to take that position, and perhaps even Homer Bailey with that fire he showed after not going back out there. That is one of the things this team has been lacking, and I can only hope that it’s finally coming too, just in time for the playoff run.

      I know a lot of people don’t place faith in such things as leadership and firing the guys up, but some do – and I personally believe it’s beginning to show some.

    • cincyreds14

      Was Latos first out of the dugout to congratulate Chapman?Could we be seeing some leadership displayed? Agree that this game was FUN.

      Latos is a stud – and quickly becoming a proven winner – and the fact that he carries himself that way says a lot about his confidence level – something that could carry over to the team.

      Real good to see – keep it up Mat.

  14. Steve Mancuso

    Homer Bailey – Big Game Hunter.

    In the past week, Homer Bailey has taken the ball twice against the St. Louis Cardinals, the best hitting team in the National League. In 14.1 innings, he’s recorded 15 strikeouts, given up 3 walks and only 7 hits. And, of course, zero runs. Shutting out a good team is difficult once, but to do it in back-to-back games is really hard. He’s come through in two extremely important and difficult situations. In 8 of his 28 starts this season, he’s given up no earned runs.

    I’m glad to hear Homer was upset about coming out of the game. It means that he wanted to continue to compete. Haven’t fans been calling for the Reds to show some passion? Well, there you have it. It takes a strange and pathetic kind of player-hater to complain about Homer’s reaction in the overall context of the past week. But I guess such misplaced criticism is to be expected when a guy who has pitched two no-hitters and a near no-hitter in Game Three of the NLDS last year can still get accused of not being mentally tough. And don’t forget he hunted a lion with a bow and arrow in Africa last winter. 🙂

    Homer’s next start: Sunday against the mighty bats of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team with far and away the best offense in the NL since the All-Star Game.

    • RedTitan19

      @Steve Mancuso: Steve, I am very much with you on this one. I fully believe if we had started Latos on 4 days rest in game four of the NLDS, we probably win the series. Then if we started Bailey in game five, without a doubt we win in it. I think Homer is our most reliable starter. Latos puts me on edge every time something doesnt go his way. If there ever was a mental toughness issue….

      • pinson343

        @RedTitan19: Latos has done noticably better under adversity this year. An example is in Game 1 of this series, the ump calls a check swing strike 3 a ball, and Mat just goes about his business.
        He was mentally tough enough to have one of his best outings of the season recently while vomiting between innings.

        In his previous start against the Cards, Latos did get upset in the first inning, and Dusty went out to the mound to calm his down. It worked, sometimes that sort of thing is still needed.

        Bottom line: Latos and Bailey have both matured, and the Reds have a formidable 1-2 punch.

    • Johnu1

      @Steve Mancuso: I think what a lot of fans have been asking is for Dusty to not keep sending guys out in the 8th inning to record 1 out, then lift them. Tonight, he gave Parra a clean inning. Bailey didn’t need a complete game. The Reds needed a win.

      • Steve Mancuso

        @Johnu1: I was OK with the decision to take him out after seven. Even though the results were excellent, he was having a strangely difficult time coming to terms with Hanigan — especially the last two innings — on pitch selection. It was definitely noticeable.

        Although when did Manny Parra become our eighth-inning set-up guy in infinitely important games? He pitched to four batters, only one of which turned out to hit lefty. It worked out OK, just odd. Maybe the goal was to keep Matt Adams on the bench during the run of pinch hitters.

      • pinson343

        @Steve Mancuso: He’s not the 8th inning setup guy, he and Hoover are used for 8th inning lefty/righty matchups. Lefties were due up, Dusty preferred facing the RHed pinch hitters.

        I would prefer LeCure as the 8th inning guy.

      • pinson343

        @pinson343: Actually of course Parra and Hoover are used for the 7th & 8th innings (based on match ups), when the Reds have the lead.

        They’ve done a good job, but the Reds need better against tough lineups – the Cardinals, an American League lineup in the WS (!), etc.
        It’s great news that Price said he expects to have Marshall and Cueto in the bullpen before the season ends.

      • vicferrari

        @Steve Mancuso:
        Bringing in Parra really messed up the line-up. He caused 6 line-up moves, none of which were Adams. Adams would definitely have faced Lecure or Hoover in the 8th, I take my chances with Shane Robinson and Brock Petersen

    • pinson343

      @Steve Mancuso: All that I’ve heard (from Brantley) and read about Homer’s reaction has been positive. And Homer was positive about the decision after the game.

      Anyone who has questioned Homer’s mental toughness this year is … umm, unreasonable. But I haven’t seen that on this blog. I’ve seen frustration, but it’s had to do with things like pitch selection, not mental toughness. (Notice how the Pirates struck out Khris Davis for the last out tonite – slider in the dirt.)

      Homer’s now doing what you knew he could do, and others felt he could do. I love it that with Cueto out of the picture for now, there’s a debate about which of two other guys is the real ace of the staff. It shows how well they’re both doing.

      To give the Reds luck, I’ll say it for the third nite in a row – best starting rotation in the NL Central, by far the best top 3 (with Cingrani as the number 3).

      • cincyreds14

        @pinson343: Pinson – what quadrant of the US are you holding post for Reds Nation?

      • pinson343

        @cincyreds14: I’m based in New York but spend a lot of time in Houston and sometimes in San Francisco or Shanghai.
        Yes I’m a nite owl, but sometimes post after waking up early.

    • cincyreds14

      @Steve Mancuso: Steve, yes it was great to see Homer step up in yet another big game – now if he would only continue to work on becoming more consistent. He has the stuff to be a top notch starter (could provide a list of games where he has struggled mightily and until he eliminates those types of games his ERA will stay around 3.50 – good but not the stuff of top shelf front line starters like the following 12:

      Kershaw,Harvey, Fernandez, Greinke, Strasburg, Bumgarner, Corbin, Latos, Teheran, Ryu, Lee and Burnett.

    • cincyreds14

      @Steve Mancuso: Definitely agree, Homer does come up large in big games. Kudos to Homer! However, his consistency remains a bug-a-boo. Here is the quality starts ratio for a few SP since July 1st:

      Homer 8-4

      Latos 9-3 (but 9 of his last 10)

      Arroyo 8-2 w/ 1 NQ

      as most Red’s fans know, when BA is bad, he’s really bad – as the following indicates:

      Date Team ER Innings
      8/30 Rockies 6 3 1/3
      8/2 Cards 7 3 2/3

      If BA makes it through the first 3-4 innings in good shape then you can expect a good start – otherwise, head for cover (or preferably the BP).

      BA needs to get safely through the first 4 to ensure a quality start.

  15. Steve Mancuso

    I loved the Billy Hamilton Moment as much as anyone.

    But it’s important to remember that if Ryan Ludwick doesn’t single to start the inning, Billy Hamilton never gets on base. And if Super Todd Frazier doesn’t get a two-strike hit, the run may never score (barring Hamilton stealing third and home, of course).

    It sure was great to see Hamilton successfully steal off of Yadi Molina when everyone in the ballpark knew that it was coming.

    I was talking with my usher during the ninth inning and he said the stolen base was exciting, but it would have been more exciting to watch him score from first base on Frazier’s double.

    • WVRedlegs

      @Steve Mancuso:

      That should say, “If Todd Frazier doesn’t get a bunt down his first two tries.” LOL. Think of Hamilton on third with Cozart up and Dusty pulls the safety squeeze. Cozart bunts it up in the air and the first baseman catches it and then catches Hamilton off of third. Could have been an entirely different outcome.

    • pinson343

      @Steve Mancuso: I don’t know why Ludwick doesn’t get more love from RLN. I was eager for his return, which – now that he’s gotten some ABs – has made the offense significantly better. And I say that while liking what Heisey has been doing lately.

      • cincyreds14

        @Steve Mancuso: I don’t know why Ludwick doesn’t get more love from RLN. I was eager for his return, which – now that he’s gotten some ABs – has made the offense significantly better. And I say that while liking what Heisey has been doing lately.

        Ludwick’s return may just be the glue that solidifies this team.

  16. Steve Mancuso

    I don’t know if they showed this on TV, but the National Anthem was sung by a husband and wife couple that was celebrating their 50th (that’s five-zero) anniversary of singing it for Reds games. They still sounded pretty darn good, too.

  17. Sergeant2

    I have to admit I’m a little worried that Dusty will give Bronson more rope than need be since the Reds won the first two games. Maybe not, we’ll see. After all even Dusty knows this isn’t May or June it September.

  18. WVRedlegs

    The Reds didn’t make a move at the July 31 trade deadline. They didn’t make one at the Aug. 31 deadline.
    The move that just might be the move that makes the Reds the NLC champs is when they re-adjusted the starting rotation a few weeks ago so that Latos and Bailey pitch back to back. Great move. It was hardly noticed when it happened. The second best move, and its a close second, would be moving BP back to hitting second and moving Bruce up to fourth. Both good moves.

    • Sergeant2

      @WVRedlegs: Didn’t the Reds pick up that Chapman guy at the Aug. 31 deadline?

    • Johnu1

      @WVRedlegs: The Reds DID make a move … they brought Ludwick off the DL. That upgraded the RH offense. Why do we tend to forget that?

      • pinson343

        @Johnu1: I don’t know, but I give Ludwick plenty of love. It’s a different lineup with him in it.

  19. preach

    Super game, but I have to be in the camp that considers one run, especially since it had to be manufactured at that, a negative. Of course, a manufactured run instead of a TOOTBLAN is a positive; still, a troubled day for the offense.

    • RedTitan19

      @preach: The ballpark played like PETCO tonight and it would have been great to see an adjustment in approach but instead we were treated to failed bunts. TOS.

    • Johnu1

      @preach: It’s officially small ball. You won’t see that happen twice in GABP. Savor it.

  20. crypticphrasing

    Here’s an suggestion: RLN poll on the left side of this site should be re: how many steals readers predict Hamilton will get this month in the limited duty that is expected. I’d guess 8 or so.

  21. Larry1980

    They were saying on MLB Network that one of the minor league managers said Hamilition is as fast as Deion Sanders was. Anybody who is old enough remembers how fast Deion was. He learns how to hit he will be special.

    • pinson343

      @Larry1980: Harold Reynolds said (I think) that Hamilton is faster then Deion was. But he’s not a real reliable source.

    • cincyreds14

      They were saying on MLB Network that one of the minor league managers said Hamilition is as fast as Deion Sanders was. Anybody who is old enough remembers how fast Deion was. He learns how to hit he will be special.

      Yes, Deion was fun to watch.

  22. Larry1980

    So its fair to say the Cardnials down own the Reds. They own the weak end of the Reds rotation. The problem Arroyo pitches tommorow.

  23. pinson343

    After he hadn’t pitched for 10 days, the last thing I wanted to see was Chapman come in with a 1 run lead against the middle of the Cardinals order. This time the rest did him some good, you never know in baseball.

    With him throwing strikes with a 103 mph fastball and getting strikes 2 and 3 on both Beltran and Craig with that slider, it doesn’t matter who’s hitting.

    I still dream of his starting next year. Randy Johnson dominated for many years with a fastball and a slider.

  24. pinson343

    How would this starting rotation be for 2014 (order not significant):

    Latos
    Bailey
    Cingrani
    Cueto
    Chapman

    • Johnu1

      @pinson343: Too many guys whose last named starts with “C” … otherwise it’s good. I think Corcino belongs in there, however. All kidding aside, I think Leake is still going to make the Reds rotation.

  25. pinson343

    I heard the WJ interview on mlbnetwork yesterday. He’s optimistic about Marshall’s return. He’s also hopeful about Cueto coming back to pitch in relief.

    He said that Cueto’s injury was not due to his twisting rotation, but that the twisting aggravates it, so Cueto is going to modify it a bit. Price talks about this in an mlb.com article. He said that Cueto hurts himself batting ! If that’s true, Cueto should be ordered to never swing – imitate a statue, lay down an occasional bunt.

  26. tpteach

    Positive managerial decision of the night:

    Dusty bringing in Hamilton to pinch run. Obviously it worked out, but that’s not why it was a good decision. It was good even if Hamilton had been CS. He was disruptive to a good relief pitcher AND he swiped the bag. Awesome.

    Negative managerial decision of the night:

    Dusty having Todd AND Cozart both try and bunt with NO outs and Hamilton on second. Even IF successful (and neither were) we would be sacrificing the out when it wasn’t needed. We had three outs to get him in or, at least, move him up. Stupid time to bunt and give the Cards a free out (or two).

    • down with dusty

      @tpteach: For real. No need to bunt over the fastest player in baseball.

  27. pinson343

    WJ also talked about his not making a trade before the July/August deadlines. Said that the Reds were interested in a couple of players, but non-contending teams were reluctant to part with good players (bad PR). The Twins and Mets seemed willing enough. I don’t mean to dump on WJ here, don’t know what his options were.

    Also said there was a lot of “blocking going on” for the August deadline. He seemed annoyed about it – wonder if it happened to the Reds. (Didn’t happen to the Pirates, obviously.)

  28. Josh

    I want the 2014 lineup consisting of :

    Choo
    Hamilton
    Votto
    Bruce
    Mesoraco
    Phillips
    Frazier
    Cozart

    Hanigan
    Heisey
    HRodriguez
    Hannahan
    Ludwick

    • Johnu1

      @Josh: Ludwick would be traded rather than put in a reserve role. That’s just how it works. Hen-Rod should have been up this year though his infield defense is kind of iffy. I think he’s a hitter. Choo is almost a guarantee to leave the team.

  29. Latos_intollerant

    It’s late and I’m sure most people are asleep but if this was the wild card game or any playoff game do you think Dusty would have still pulled Homer and brought in Parra? In a playoff game I probably would have liked to see Bailey go back out there, what do you all think?

  30. MikeC

    Have to admit I was nervous about Parra pitching the whole inning. He has been tremendous against LH hitters this year. When did he become a 1 inning pitcher in a crucial 1 run game? It worked and we are all happy with the win, but I don’t know that I really want to see it in the playoffs.

  31. Eric the Red

    This is from an article by Hal McCoy over at foxsportsohio.com. Could you imagine what would happen if you took a shot like this at your boss in public? These comments deserve way more attention than BP’s about a sportswriter:

    “I like being in contention because you don’t hear the pressure from upstairs to play certain guys,” Baker added. “A couple of years ago we had that experiment late in the season with (first baseman) Yonder Alonso in the outfield, even though I knew better. We’re here to win. We just want them prepared to not make mistakes. No young player wants to make a mistake that might cost you that one important win late in the season.”

    • Matt WI

      even though I knew better.

      NICE, Dusty. I’m going to remember that one.

      • Big Ed

        @Matt WI: Alonso was the single worst defensive left fielder in Reds history. Eleanor Roosevelt would have been better.

      • Matt WI

        @Big Ed: Maybe so… but it cost the Reds and Dusty NOTHING to try something out. Why should he ever be afraid of something like that?

      • Big Ed

        @Matt WI: It did cost the Reds something. It proved to everybody else in baseball that Alonso couldn’t play leftfield, and that the Reds (with Votto as permanent first basemen) would have to move him. If the Padres had not known that, then they may have asked for a bit less in the Latos trade.

      • Eric the Red

        @Big Ed: Votto hadn’t signed the extension at that point. Finding out whether Alonso could play LF was very important for the organization. That was undoubtedly explained to Dusty, who nevertheless sabotaged the experiment–remember Alonso in left field in Wrigley?–because apparently he disagreed and wanted to show up his boss. Now, two years later in a pennant race, he goes out of his way to bring this up and say “I knew better” all along. Again, try that at your workplace and tell me how it goes.

      • CP

        @Big Ed: Right…

        The Pads have eyes + access to all types of scouting reports. They also got to look at his bat versus MLB pitching. I have a feeling they were weighting his offense a lil’ heavier than his defense in LF. Everyone knew Alonso’s bat was being showcased, not his glove. Give these guys some credit.

        Anyway, I think the trades post-Latos trade made it clear that the Pads didn’t even get that great of the deal. That’s without even factoring in Grandal’s PED issues.

      • Eric the Red

        @Big Ed: Big Ed, the point is Dusty completely dumped on his bosses in public. It doesn’t even matter if he’s right. Try that at your workplace sometime and see if ” but I was right!” works as a defense.

    • al

      @Eric the Red: 2011 was a lost season because of the starting pitching. While scrubs made 20 starts for the Reds due to injury, Dusty got to have Chapman as his closer all season.

      If Dusty wants to go back to that season and talk about people who “knew better,” he should watch himself. That season may not have been lost at all if he had let the people who knew better about Chapman put him in the rotation.

  32. Shchi Cossack

    @pinson343:

    I don’t know why Ludwick doesn’t get more love from RLN. I was eager for his return, which – now that he’s gotten some ABs – has made the offense significantly better.

    The Reds brought Ludwick back from his rehab assignment too soon; his shoulder was physically recovered but he simply was not ready to hit. I think his 1st 4 games back (0-11) demonstrated that Ludwick did not have his hitting stoke back yet. Since then Ludwick has slashed .333/.346/.510. I think everyone in the Nation is ecstatic with that performance. I don’t know why the Reds felt they needed to rush Ludwick back from his rehab assignment before he was ready to hit. That had a lot to do with the initial angst from the Nation.

    • pinson343

      @Shchi Cossack: I get that part, Cossack, but Ludwick was getting near his rehab time limit anyway. And a number of people on the blog have asserted that they didn’t expect Ludwick to do nearly as well this year, even without the injury.

  33. Shchi Cossack

    @Sergeant2:

    I have to admit I’m a little worried that Dusty will give Bronson more rope than need be since the Reds won the first two games.

    Dusty being proactive with the bullpen is certainly not a strength. The bullpen is rested and overstocked with additional arms now. There is absolutely no reason to avoid getting someone up at the first sign of trouble rather than than shutting the barn door after the cows are out.

  34. Kyle Farmer

    Is anybody else worried that if Cueto does a good job as an 8th inning guy that Dusty will never allow him to start again? 🙂

    I thought bringing in Hamilton to run was a great move by Dusty and something that I didn’t expect him to do. So, kudos to Dusty. Of course then he goes and darn near ruins it with the bunting, but I guess it worked out in the end.

    I was one of those who was on twitter upset with removing Bailey. I was wrong. Parra has been great and Bryan Price deserves a ton of credit, but I want to keep reminding folks that there was an article earlier in the year that said that Sean Marshall was doing a great deal of work with Parra while he’s been on the DL. That is fantastic leadership.

    And, while it didn’t bite us and Chappy looked amazing, going 10 days between outings is a ridculous thing and the blame for that lies solely on Dusty.

  35. Shchi Cossack

    @pinson343:

    After he hadn’t pitched for 10 days, the last thing I wanted to see was Chapman come in with a 1 run lead against the middle of the Cardinals order.

    I’m with you there. Dusty realized that Chapman had gone too long without pitching in a game situation too, but he apparently realized that after the fact, kinda like when he pulls a pitcher. I’m glad it worked out and Chapman was a monster on the mound yesterday, but letting Chapman get stale with no game action for so long was still stupid.

  36. Shchi Cossack

    @tpteach:

    Negative managerial decision of the night: Dusty having Todd AND Cozart both try and bunt with NO outs and Hamilton on second.

    Absolutely terrible decisions on both counts. Both Frazier and especially Coart have been hitting lately, so Dusty decides to take the bat out of their hands? Those decision almost cost the Reds the only run they scored and probably cost the Reds the opportunity to score more than just their one lone run. Simply terrible decisions.

  37. Shchi Cossack

    @Steve Mancuso:

    I was talking with my usher during the ninth inning and he said the stolen base was exciting, but it would have been more exciting to watch him score from first base on Frazier’s double.

    I was thinking the same thought as I watched BHam motoring around 3B, I would have liked to have seen BHam lighting off his afterburners from 1B on that double. The stolen base was also fun, especially Molina’s reaction after the safe call.

  38. Johnu1

    What I have observed is that when Chapman pitches a lot, his FB tends to level off at 96 mph. Hittable if he doesn’t have his slider. When he’s rested, he launches. But he needs to get a call early in the first count from the ump –meaning, he needs to throw a strike where he wants to throw it. If that happens, he’s unhittable.

    Unless he tries to be stupid. But he sometimes tries to groove a 99 to a guy who is looking for a 99 groover … that’s not Dusty. That’s the battery.

    If I am Price and Dusty, I do not use Chappy today outside of an emergency. Chappy is less a closer than he is ammunition.

    • Matt WI

      @Johnu1: So, like, maybe if he pitched every 5 days, that would be an ideal schedule for Chapman?

      • Johnu1

        @Matt WI: What-EVER are you talking about? (silly person) We already have 5 guys in the pitching rotation.

        80

  39. Eric the Red

    1) Cards now 1-49 when trailing after 8. /Maybe they lack heart/

    2) Cards announcers in the 8th with Parra on the mound and one out:
    Q: Do you have a good feeling about this inning, Al?
    A: Honestly? No.

    3) Speaking of which, Dusty leaving Parra in to face the righties was genius because it worked, but seemed pretty risky to me. Price deserves praise for his work with Parra. And someone deserves a medal for somehow keeping Chapman sharp between outings.

    4) I loved Molina’s rueful smile after Hamilton got the steal. Terrible throw from the guy who should be leading the NL MVP race.

    5) I’m going to post this again and again until I get a reaction. Here is Dusty dumping on his boss in an interview: “I like being in contention because you don’t hear the pressure from upstairs to play certain guys,” Baker added. “A couple of years ago we had that experiment late in the season with (first baseman) Yonder Alonso in the outfield, even though I knew better.”

      • Matt WI

        @Matt WI: Ooops. Meant to quote the line about “they don’t have heart”

    • Big Ed

      @Eric the Red: The comment means that when the Reds are in contention, he doesn’t have to put up with guys “upstairs”–which could mean scouting directors, assistant GMs, Marty, ownership, etc., and not necessarily just Walt–experiment with things like Yonder Alonso in left. Instead, they can focus entirely on winning games. For example, he got to put Derrick Robinson in left field for defense the other night, and he made an excellent running catch. In other words, managing a meaningful game is more fulfilling than managing an un-meaningful game.

      You guys sometime treat Dusty like he is Dean Acheson or John Kerry, and his every utterance needs to be parsed in diplomatic terms. They’ve beaten the sainted Cardinals three times in a row, and a large portion of the posters still want to beat up Dusty over and over, based on their interpretation of some comment that Dusty made with a microphone in his face. And Matheny The Magnificent made a highly questionable decision last night to pull his starter, and the reliever took the loss.

      I agree with you on the “lack heart” comments. If the Reds lose, people post that they need to play with more “urgency”; if they win, then they “show fire.” It’s hard to hit major league pitching, which is why we all aren’t playing it. When you whiff or hit a weak grounder, it means the pitcher got the better of you, not that you “lack heart.” Cussing and throwing bats in baseball, like golf, doesn’t mean that you have “heart” or “urgency,” it means that you have lost control of your emotions, which won’t help you hit line drives.

      • Eric the Red

        @Big Ed: It was a one on one interview. After complaining about pressure from upstairs, he referenced a specific instance from 2 years ago where he did something “even though I knew better.”. Only Jocketty and Castellini could have forced him to do something “even though I knew better.”. Don’t try to spin that away with some reference to lots of Dusty bashing–there’s rightly been very little of that for this particular game–or questioning Matheny’s moves. You have to go pretty far to reinterpret his comment as “managing a meaningful game is more fulfilling than managing an un-meaningful game.”

        Spitting in your bosses’ eye in public is kind of a big deal. Also, it fits a pattern from Dusty. It’s worth bringing up, and certainly more important than something with much wider play like BP’s rant. Since it was in a little-noticed place (people know Hal McCoy, but I don’t think many people here get their Reds info from foxsportsohio.com) I wanted to make sure people noticed it.

      • Eric the Red

        @Big Ed: What? Who said anything about whether Joey Votto likes playing for Dusty Baker, or whether I knew him?

      • FWIW567

        @Eric the Red: Making comparisons between sports and regular jobs is, uh, problematic. And didn’t Homer do the same thing last night, showing up Dusty a bit after he got pulled? I don’t think anyone in the organization is too spun up about Dusty’s comments or Homer’s actions, nor should they be.

      • Eric the Red

        @FWIW567: Bailey was heat of battle, will to compete, etc. Dusty was a calm and calculated shot, and bringing up a 2 year old “I told you so” to boot. So I don’t think they’re the same. It’s pretty bush league of Dusty, and worth noting; it’s not something I’d fire him for.

      • CP

        @Big Ed: Agree with this. Making a comment that it’s nice being successful, because that keeps your boss off your back is a true and, depending on tone, comical statement. No reason to make a big deal out of it.

        The “I knew better” portion though, sounds like a pretty dumb thing to say. If I’m WJ, perhaps I remind Dusty of all his mistakes come contract time…

        And yeah, Latos & Bailey’s passion would be considered petty/immature if the Reds are 20 back. Fans & baseball media like their little narratives. Pete Rose would have been run out of town if he played for a losing ball club.

      • Eric the Red

        @CP: I was “making a big deal” about the whole comment. Dusty’s “even though I knew better” makes the whole comment a direct shot at his boss. If somebody who worked for you (and with Dusty’s history) publicly put the equivalent statement out there, would you view it as a comical statement?

  40. Matt WI

    The quote machine on Hamilton stealing a bag: “Everybody in the world knows what he has done in the minors,” Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said. “I didn’t send him out there to paint. It’s no secret.”

  41. Matt WI

    Shutting out the Cards at GABP. Let’s savor this.

  42. Big Ed

    Billy Hamilton is one scrawny guy. The Reds this off-season need to get him on a training/nutrition regimen to put on some strength and weight on him. He can put the bat on the ball, but I’d hate now to see on the mega-slow-mo cam how much a fastball knocks the bat out of his hands.

    • Eric the Red

      @Big Ed: Getting him to bulk up may have some negative impact on his most important tool, speed. I’d tread lightly in this area if I were the Reds.

      • CP

        @Eric the Red: That certainly sounds like conventional (flawed) baseball wisdom.

        Of course, the sprinters competing in the Olympics are some of the most muscled, cut guys competing. They don’t seem to share those same concerns…

        I find it hard to believe that Hamilton wouldn’t benefit from getting stronger and putting on a little weight.

      • Matt WI

        @CP: You mean he’s not being converted to Tight End?

      • prjeter

        @Big Ed: I think for his body type, BJ Upton is his upside as far as physical make-up goes; very skinny, but well muscled. Which ain’t bad. Let’s just hope if he got to that point he’d do a bit better than BJ has this year.

        Agree with the comments about speed and muscle. Check out exhibit A) Mike Trout.

      • Johnu1

        @Eric the Red: Eventually, speed will just be a discussion item, like it is for Drew Stubbs. What we want Hamilton to do is get to first base, then to second, eventually … you know … like, score. If he gets doubles, it’s not as much fun as a single and a steal, but it’s the same effect. The speed will make him a good-er outfielder and will let him score from 2nd on singles.

        Stealing 2nd base isn’t as much about speed as brains.

        So bulking up probably won’t hurt his steals rate but it may improve his doubles rate.

  43. Shchi Cossack

    With all the other observations from the victories over the Birds in the 1st 2 games of the series, let’s not overlook the wildcard race, which is becoming less and less of a race. The Reds are now up on the Nats by 7.5 games and the Snakes by 8.0 games. We are getting very close to putting a fork in the five NL playoff teams and just fighting over positioning for the playoffs.

    • Eric the Red

      @Shchi Cossack: I’ll feel a whole lot better about this after we take at least 2 of the next 5. 3 of the next 5 and we can start putting a fork in them. The Nats have a cake schedule the rest of the way, and they’ve got good enough pitching it’s not impossible for them to go on a run.

      • Johnu1

        @Eric the Red: I think the math at this point is: Every game you lose costs you 2 days in the standings. For teams that are chasing you, that’s pretty heavy stuff to overcome.

  44. Eric the Red

    LHP on the mound for the Cards today. I’m guessing Dusty sticks with Choo, since he gets on base even if he struggles to hit Lefties. (And overall he’s hot right now.).

    BTW, another move to praise Dusty for from yesterday–even though it didn’t work–was using Heisey to pinch hit instead of XP or Robinson. It was a bit odd with a RHP on the mound and only needing a single instead of a homerun, but kudos to Dusty for playing the hot hand for once.

    • Shchi Cossack

      @Eric the Red: It wasn’t just playing the ‘hot hand’ that made Heisey a good option. Maness has a very neutral split, so opting for a LH pinch hitter is not necessarily justified and that, combined with the ‘hot hand’, made that a very good decision.

    • Eric the Red

      @Eric the Red: Oops. Miller is not Tyler Lyons, and is indeed a RHP. So starting Choo is a pretty easy choice. On the other hand, if they’re still treading carefully with Ludwick then I’ll be happy to see Heisey in left.

  45. ToddAlmighty

    Am I the only one who’s a little concerned with Bailey’s workload this season? He gets into high pitch counts pretty often nowadays.

    Before this year, Homer Bailey had only thrown more than 132 innings once since he crossed the 100 IP mark in 2009. Now all of a sudden he’s averaging 103.5 pitches per start. That number is actually a little misleading when you think that in his first 6 starts of the season, he left the game while his pitch count was still in the 80s four times.

    Over the last 22 starts, Bailey has averaged 106.7 pitches per start. Just something I think about occasionally.

    • Matt WI

      @ToddAlmighty: Another way to interpret that is he is achieving growth in his ability to pitch further into games. Used to be he could throw that many pitches by the 5th inning. He didn’t look too tired last night, but all the same, monitoring that a little bit doesn’t hurt… so in that sense, kudos to Dusty for pulling him and hopefully keeping him more effective over the long haul.

    • prjeter

      @ToddAlmighty: Any way to look up the average pitch count of Nolan Ryan? He may have had a freak arm, but anecdotally I think I’ve heard he averaged something liek 120-130 pitches a game due to so many walks and strikeouts, and he pitched until he was 46.

      People’s arms can definitely handle more than they are made to nowadays, but I think it’s just management being extra safe with their assets. Also, there needs to be a steady ramp-up, rather than just starting high. I think that’s why Wacha was pulled last night. He’d been pitching out of the pen, so throwing him 100 pitches would have been possibly problematic.

      • ToddAlmighty

        @prjeter: I don’t think you can really compare Homer Bailey and Nolan Ryan. When Nolan Ryan was Homer Bailey’s age he threw over 330 innings in one year.

        That’s a totally different era and you’re pointing out one of the best pitchers ever. Look more towards Bailey’s skill level, and more recent times. Tim Lincecum when he was good had a comparable workload to what Bailey’s having, and a couple years of that wrecked him as a pitcher. Just think it’s something to keep an eye on in the future.

    • Ethan D

      @ToddAlmighty: Don’t forget to count his Minor League innings as well. If you do count them you will see he pitched 162 total in 2011, 132 in 2010, and 202 in 2009. He is well acclimated to pitching a lot of innings

      • Johnu1

        @Ethan D: Is the pitch count as important as the familiarity the hitters get over a game? Most pitchers see their per-inning ERA go up as they to through the order a couple of times.

        A mistake a pitcher makes in the 2nd inning may well cost him 3 runs in the 6th inning.

        Not all pitch counts are the same. Windup vs. stretch — there is a difference.

  46. Matt WI

    I’d think matters in the area of fatigue… mechanics break down, the curve snaps a little less, less push from the legs on fastballs. The fatigue and the times through the order aren’t necessarily exclusive of one another. Or else why wouldn’t teams hit guys they see a lot very well regardless if it’s the first time in a a game or the third. Why does it “getting through the order” start over every game? Presumably the pitcher’s “stuff” is at it’s best early rather than late. But certainly being smart about pitch location and type as the game goes on is critical.

  47. Redsfanx

    This was the best game of the year so far. Looking forward to seeing Billy Hamilton on base and stealing.