Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….rntitanic-copy

Chicago (NL) 9
Cincinnati 1

W: E. Jackson (8-15)
L: T. Cingrani (7-4)

— Zack Cozart’s seventh inning double extended his hitting streak to 15 games.

— Tony Cingrani pitched for almost two innings through back spasms and was removed from the game.

— A series of Reds relief pitchers, none of whom will be on the postseason roster, followed. Greg Reynolds and Curtis Partch were ineffective.

— The Reds scattered ten hits and one walk off the stupid Cubs pitching.

— The Reds will never score another run, will never win another game, will never have another decent pitching performance. In fact, they haven’t won any games at all on this home stand, this month or even this season.

— We’ll get ’em tomorrow afternoon.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 55 Comments

  1. If this is the way we expect a contending team to be managed, I think we have a very good reason to criticize how it is being managed. This is the sort of game that insults fans, as if the dugout staff has no clue what baseball fans are worth.

  2. As I commented in the game thread, why in the world would you use Mesoraco to pinch hit in the bottom of the 9th with Reds losing 9-1 when he didn’t start because you want to be cautious about his tender hammy. What if he would have tweeked his hammy while running out a ground ball in a 9-1 ballgame. Now THAT is just plain irresponsible.

    • @Sergeant2: The reason he didn’t play wasn’t his injury. He’s healthy. Baker didn’t play him because he’s playing tomorrow in the afternoon and Baker didn’t want him catching both tonight and tomorrow afternoon. That’s pretty standard operating procedure. Given that, it was smart for Baker to have Mesoraco pinch hit so he’ll be one AB less rusty tomorrow.

  3. Well, I really hope we are not swept by the Chicago Cubs, tomorrow. (how many of you could even think that after the last week?)

  4. Someone stated in the game thread that the Reds would be in a dogfight with Washington the last week of the year due to their “cake” schedule the rest of the way. I would like to point out that the Nationals’ last two weeks they play the Braves, Marlins, Cards, and D-backs. I don’t know anyone that would consider that schedule “cake”. Honestly, if you compare our remaining games with the Nats’, we actually have the easier schedule.

    We have 16 games left. The Nats have 18. Our playoffs magic number right now (Reds wins + Nats losses) is 12. Not saying it couldn’t happen, but it would take a monumental collapse by the Reds to do it.

  5. I’ve gone to the games the last two nights. Is it wrong to say I want my money back?

  6. Pirates :won. Cardinals: won.

  7. Why do u keep calling cubs stupid . That ain’t right…

    What r we losing to stupid then?

  8. It seems the Reds are playing like and being managed like getting the wild card game is their main focus. You would think they would want to avoid a one game play-off at all cost. Who would want a whole seasons worth of blood, sweat and tears to come down to a one game play-in. They should be laser focused on winning the division. No game should be a throwaway at this point.

    • @Sergeant2: Well, if you lose a ONE GAME/PLAY-IN, it doesn’t really reflect your impact, as a manager. If you lose a BEST-OF-FIVE, then questions start to pop up. And IF you make it, to a BEST-OF-SEVEN, and WIN, or, LOSE, then the whole country knows what effect you’ve had over your team.

  9. Hope this turns things around: “REDS going to REDS”, tomorrow, & win? Hope so.

    • @wildwestLV: After all, that is the way they roll it seems. We’ll all be rooting for them to win that’s for sure. Don’t forget its a day game tomorrow. 12:30 est start time.

  10. Well this is a disgusting turn of events no doubt.

    However when last seen before tonight, Reynolds did a pretty good job of shutting down the Rockies (quality start in a game the Rdds won 8-2) who rolled over about every other pitcher the Reds out on the mound The turn before that Reynolds recorded a quality start (2 runs allowed) versus the Brewers in a game the Reds lost 3-1. So, I other than lashing out over a disappointing result tonight, I don’t really see the basis for criticizing his selection to replace the injured Cingrani tonight.

    With the short (>16 hour) turnaround, if they had used any of the “A” team relievers tonight for more that a batter or two, they might have been reduced to having Partch or Ondrusek pitching in a leverage situation on Wednesday.

    • @OhioJim: I think the call for Reynolds was sound, other than Reynolds needed to buck it up and pitch better. After that, the decisions were obviously based on a can’t-win basis.

    • @OhioJim: Was Reynolds the best relief pitcher available to Baker tonight? No. Hoover, LeCure, Simon, Parra, Chapman — these guys are all proven relievers, and I think you could have squeezed 7 innings out of them. Throw a little Ondru and Duke in there if you need to. Reynolds isn’t a proven major leaguer, and certainly not a proven major league relief pitcher. You can’t just give up a game because you’re worried about what might happen tomorrow. Tomorrow Leake might go 8 innings and you only need one from Chapman. Tomorrow the Reds might score 14 runs and then you can use Reynolds to pitch the last three innings without a care in the world. You can’t minimize your chances in today’s game because of hypothetical concerns about tomorrow’s game. Today you do everything you can to win today’s game, and tomorrow you do everything you can to win tomorrow’s game. But today you don’t do everything you can to win tomorrow.

      I actually heard Baker say in the post-game interview that the “good news” was that he didn’t use up the front end of his bullpen. So, for Baker, the “good news” about today’s loss is that he has a slightly better chance to win tomorrow. That’s the problem with this guy. Today’s loss is sort of good in a way, because it MIGHT help win tomorrow. He as no business managing a little league team.

      • @Baseclogger: He *has* no business managing a little league team. Has.

      • @Baseclogger:
        It would have been dumb to bring anyone of the players you mentioned into a 3rd inning. You hope the long relievers do their job and see where you are after 5.

        The Reds would have lost 2-1 in your scenario with an overworked bullpen.

  11. Correct, Reynolds pitched well in both of his recent starts, and he was the natural choice as the long man. I don’t know what was said on the game thread.

    My problem is with how Reynolds was brought in. Former pitchers who are broadcasters say they hated the “in front of the crowd” warmup – that they were uncomfortable and always rushed it. Reynolds is not used to relieving, he needed a prolonged warmup to be effective.

    Dusty could have done what Mattingly did when Capuano had to leave a game after one and two/thirds against the Reds last week. He used a mopup guy to get one out and gave his long man (Fife) plenty of time to warm up in the bullpen.

    • @pinson343: This “long man” thing has no meaning in the stretch drive of a pennant race. “Long man” is a euphemism for “guy who isn’t very good, but sometimes it’s better to sacrifice a game so that your real pitchers are still able to pitch when you’re in the stretch drive of a pennant race.” This isn’t the time to be worrying about long men. This is the time to try to maximize your chances of winning TODAY. Every day. Every inning of every day.

      • @Baseclogger: I don’t really disagree with you, given that it is the stretch drive. Reynolds is not really a “long man” – he has no relief experience. He has pitched well enough (yes in only two starts) for me to believe he might have pitched well today, if he were given time to warm up properly, which is my main point above.

        • @pinson343: I mean, if this is August, Reynolds isn’t even on the roster. So what would Dusty do if this had happened in August? Forfeit? No. He’d have asked his major league relief pitchers to pitch in relief. And they’d all have survived.

          • @Baseclogger: Don’t get it. Reynolds was on the roster and in the starting rotation in August, as Cingrani’s replacement. Cingrani has gone down again.

          • @pinson343: He was Cingrani’s replacement as a starter. If this is August, Cingrani starts this game and Reynolds is in AAA. When Cingrani goes down in the second inning, they can’t call up Reynolds to finish the game. And yet they manage to not forfeit.

          • @Baseclogger: I remember that but who do you want starting next Tuesday ? That’s the big question right now.

      • @Baseclogger: With Cingrani down, Reynolds is the Reds number 5 starter. The number 5 is due to pitch next Tuesday against the Astros. Assume Cueto is still not available. Are you saying that you would rather see the Reds use their bullpen for 9 innings than start Reynolds ? I don’t agree with that.

        • @pinson343: No, I’m saying Reynolds is a starting pitcher who has shown some ability to start at the major league level. So if he’s the best starter they’ve got, they should use him. But that’s not the same as bringing a guy in to pitch in the second inning of a game he didn’t even expect to pitch in. He hasn’t been pitching regularly, this isn’t his normal way of preparing, etc. And this isn’t even a guy with a long track record of being a successful major league pitcher. It’s bad enough when you take a proven major league starter and suddenly stick him in a game as a relief pitcher, but this was even worse. This is a guy we have doubts about even under IDEAL circumstances, and these were far from ideal circumstances.

          • @Baseclogger: I get your whole argument now, fine. You’re right that starting pitchers love their routine. Some really can’t just go in there on a moment’s notice. And Reynolds has such little major league experience to begin with.

            I still think Reynolds might have done better if given more time to warm up by Dusty. Oh well let’s hope he pitches well next Tuesday. The loss of Cingrani really hurts, last nite was a horrible one for the Reds. Have a good one.

    • @pinson343: This was SUCH a winnable game if you could just hold the Cubs to 3 or 4 runs. A combination of Hoover, Simon, Parra, LeCure, Duke, Ondru, and Chapman could have pulled that off. That’s how you maximize your chances of winning this game. Today something unexpected happened, and you have to ask more of your relievers. That’s how it goes. You don’t immediately turn to a minor league starter and hope he’s magically become an effective major league reliever because that’s what you happen to want him to be today.

    • @pinson343: I thought Mattingly was pretty sharp with that decision. I recall commenting that I wondered if our manager would do the same thing. I guess not.

      • @Johnu1: Yes you would think Dusty might have learned something from watching that. And it was even more needed in this case, as Reynolds is not a relief pitcher.

  12. Steve, As good a recap as possible under the circumstances. Given that Marshall and Cingrani are both iffy right now, Zach Duke might be on the playoff roster.

  13. I don’t want to ever hear again how “The Reds can only beat the Cubs”. When the Reds beat the Cubs or anyone else, it should be appreciated. These are all major league teams. BTW the Cubs have a winning record this season against the Cardinals.

  14. we have 16 games to go..Cards 18.. we are behind 4 games on the loss side.

    i guess if we go 12-4… and if Cards go 10-8 – we would be tied..
    we go 13-3.. Cards go 10-8, then we win the pennant (since with 13-3, we would be putting Pirates below us in the standings)

    if Cards (with soft schedule) go 12-6… then we would have to go 14-2 just to tie… 15-1 just to win outright..

    anyone here think we can to 14-2 or 15-1 next 16 games?

    Realistically the Pennant is out of the picture… hate to say it,but last 2 losses really make this almost impossible.

    will still watch and cheer, but it will be the 1 game playoff we will be playing for (unless Cards just collapse down the stretch… anything is possible, but they have done nothing this year to show that will happen).

    I say go w/ Baily for one game.. he’s a gamer.. or Latos.. but Baily for me.

    Then, onto Braves … best record in NL.. but to me, they are beatable in a series w/ reds

    • @tae: I think it’s always prudent to think 8-8 and be happy with the gravy. St. Louis is not going to be worse than that.

  15. Baseball is a strange game. These Redlegs are a very strange team. Hope Kid Furious is okay for the playoffs. Hope the team from last week shows up for the playoffs. That is all.

  16. I know it means a one an done game, but I still like our chances better as the WC team and probably getting the Braves in the NLDS.

  17. Fun fact: The USA soccer team scored more in one match than the Reds have scored in two games. Against the Cubs.

    The Cubs.

  18. I think all the bashing on Reynolds is partly justified but I am also reminded that the Reds didn’t score a single solitary RUN until the very end of the game.

    I want to keep reading how we’re 2nd or 3rd in the league in this or that category and that we’ve “averaged” almost “this many” runs over the last two weeks. It took amazing work by our pitchers over the last week to be afloat in this.

    Having Reynolds have a shaky outing is too bad but he’s not the correct windmill. The problem is that the so-called OBP leaders on this team are grounding into double plays at an astonishing rate, striking out with the bat on their shoulder or popping up just to the left of the first-base dugout.

    Cingrani wasn’t ready to pitch and he should have said so.

    The game was poorly managed, poorly played … and if somebody doesn’t address this pitiful hitting, any reason to expect post-season success is nothing but a pointless folly.

  19. –To a man, every Reds pitcher except Ondrusek was leaving pitches up in the zone. Doesn’t matter if it’s the Cubs, they’re gonna hit it hard.
    –Now we get our worst pitcher vs. the Cubs best pitcher. The potential for a sweep is pretty high.
    –Thrilly Hamilton looked pretty weak in his 2 at-bats. The kid is gonna have to get stronger in the offseason, but I really like his instincts and feel for the game.
    –Phillips looks positively awful right now. From now until the end of his contract, I don’t wanna see him hit higher than 6th.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: Hamilton has always worried me as a younger version of Willy Taveras — if he can’t hit, he can’t steal second. The numbers he’s put up at the minor league level are very shaky. With the propensity for this team to go into terrible hitting funks, having Hamilton steal 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs is … potentially frustrating.

      It also pays to remember that the Cubs have only 4th place to shoot for … and that’s a goal because … a goal is a goal.

      • @Johnu1: Hard to disagree. I’d like to think Hamilton’s ceiling is higher than Juan Pierre, but the strikeouts are a problem. In contrast, Pierre always had more walks than strikeouts (33bb/26k as a 22 year old in AAA), although not many of either. That said, Billy has collected 52, 86, and 38 walks the last 3 seasons, something Pierre couldn’t touch. The real test will be if he can strikeout less and walk more. I think he’ll repeat AAA until Memorial Day at least.

        • @Sultan of Swaff: I was just thinking that the other day, Sultan. If he was to explode in ST, or we have injuries come up, I could “understand” calling him up. But, I see Hamilton starting next season at AAA again for some more seasoning, still, and possibly, if not probably, a mid-season callup.

    • @Sultan of Swaff:

      Phillips looks positively awful right now. From now until the end of his contract, I don’t wanna see him hit higher than 6th.

      On 5/31 & 6/1, BP was drilled in consecutive games by the Bucos and missed 5 days. For the 1st 2 months prior to being drilled, BP slashed .291/.340/.479. For the next 8 series, 26 games, after returning from his time off, BP slashed .200/.254/.286.

      After getting healthy from the drilling by the Bucos, BP slashed .272/.314/.427 until suffering a deep thigh bruise while turning a DP on 9/5. Since suffering the deep thigh bruise, BP has slashed .143/.200/.143.

      When BP is healthy, he makes good contributions in the field and at the plate. When BP plays injured, he hurts the team, a lot. BP is now 32 years old and injuries will become more frequent and more debilitating. BP is a gamer and will play every game possible when playing through an injury unless someone makes him sit.

      • @Sultan of Swaff:

        .BP is a gamer and will play every game possible when playing through an injury unless someone makes him sit.

        And, this is when everyone’s favorite manager has to step up and tell BP that he needs to sit, then sit his a$$ down. I doubt Dusty has that much pull with his players, though.

  20. Cueto is gonna pitch again today. I would guess he would then pitch again on Saturday.

    In theory, he could start Tuesday vs. the Astros and go 3 innings, with Reynolds as his backup.

    Think he’s ready?

    • @Sultan of Swaff:

      The Reds are off Thursday of this week and next, so bullpen rest should not be an issue. Plus you would have Latos going against the Astros the next day on Wednesday, which seems to scream at least 7 innings, if not more.

      I let Cueto go 3, then go to Simon for 2, then LeCure/Parra/Hoover/Chapman to close it out.

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.


2013 Reds, Titanic Struggle Recap