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

Mets 1
Reds 0
W: D. Matsuzaka (3-3)

L: M. Latos (14-7)

–Mat Latos, after having a run of starts that were alarming for a variety of reasons, was on today. Seven strikeouts and one run in seven innings. That’ll do.


–Offense? Hello? Offense?

— This was the eighth time Mat Latos gave up 2 or fewer earned runs and did not get the win. He’s had some hard luck this year.

–Joey Votto is being very kind to Pete Rose. He’s really holding off on reaching base for the 311th time.

–Have to see what the Pirates do tonight, but it’s looking like the Reds are likely to be the second wildcard. Whatever.

–I’m going to be honest, after last night’s loss, I’m in “calm before the storm” mode. The Reds are going to be a wildcard. I’d rather them play in Cincy, but with one game, it hardly matters. I want a deep playoff run, and I’m saving my energy for that. I don’t believe in momentum; there have been plenty of teams who have scuffled before the playoffs and then gone on a run and plenty of teams who were winning everything and got their behinds kicked in the first round. The playoffs are what matter now.


Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.

Join the conversation! 256 Comments

  1. It is tied up in Chicago right now, but if the Pirates find a way to win, it looks like we will be headed to Pittsburgh next Tuesday for the wild-card game.

    It may very well end up as Latos v. Liriano, the rematch. And last Friday’s results notwithstanding, I’m ok with that. Latos has been our most consistent pitcher all season long, and I feel we have good chance (at least 50/50) at winning the game.

    The question, as it often is with this team, is the offense. Latos could give the Reds 7-8 innings of 1-run baseball, and we could still lose 1-0. I’m more worried about the bats than I am the arms at this point.

  2. It was mentioned in the game thread, but I think it’s worth mentioning again: Dusty essentially told Marty there is not such thing as a sense of urgency unless it’s a game 7. I assume he also means any potential elimination game, but it certainly doesn’t include games like yesterday or today, or the last 6 months for that matter. And boy does it show. I love going to the games as much as anybody, but why go if there’s no sense of urgency? This team is clearly a reflection of that. I think maybe Rolen didn’t allow for that attitude. Now? – they’re taking the cues from their manager.

    • @vared: I’m sure that by tomorrow there will be a number of posts finding other reasons to blame Dusty. The lack of a sense of urgency is an interesting charge, though; seems to imply that the players are unable to recognize the urgency for themselves. Dusty is clearly at fault for not using himself as a pinch-hitter for Votto, Bruce, pick your Red. He was getting flack for the past few days for not starting Hamilton. Hamilton started today, and the good guys still lost one to zip.I believe that, as Reds fans, we all think that our players are better than they actually are. I’ve been doing that since I was a kid, picking Johnny Temple over Bill Mazerowski for my imaginary all-star team, for example. Or Gus Bell over Willie Mays. What I’ve thought all year is this: The Reds are a team with good pitching and decent defense, and only a few good hitters. I know that they score runs, and I know that somebody is going to find the figures that prove that they don’t just score them in blowouts, but that certainly seems to be the case, and certainly seems to be the actual root of the hand-wringing we are all doing over this playoff team.

      • @greenmtred: Temple WAS better than Mazeroski.

      • @greenmtred: No, Dusty can’t play the game for them, but what kind of “leader” says that there is no need to play with urgency with only 4 games left and the chance to get the WC game at home? Good leaders don’t say that sort of thing. It’s a long season and there is a time to be laid back and go with the flow, but now is not that time.

        • @mayday26: What Dusty says and does not say to the players, and how his whole leadership style plays out in the clubhouse is not known to us. We speculate, we surmise, we draw conclusions, but we do not hear the half of it. Our disagreement is not over whether Dusty is a good or bad manager–I frankly don’t know: What we disagree about is the importance of the manager. I believe that the players have far more impact on w’s and l’s. And Carl Hudson: I’m not resigned to a play-in loss. Might happen, of course, but the Reds’ strengths are well-suited to the post-season. It’s baseball; we’ll have to wait and see.

      • @greenmtred: I’ll give you a good example. Brandon Phillips had to tell Dusty he was ready to step away from the clean-up spot. The players may well recognize some urgency, but they shouldn’t have to be in a position, nor, do I imagine, would their own reasonable pride often want them to have to step up and say “I’m not doing A, B, or C. This isn’t a good situation. Hamilton, get in the game for me.”

        Because managing with some urgency means making some some judgment and reacting more quickly to what’s in front of him… which may get feelings hurt. “Dusty doesn’t trust me to do this? I must suck.” He doesn’t like to do that. And yet there are ways to make a team work and change parts in and out in a culture of winning. I think the Rays do a great job of this.

      • @greenmtred: And the end of the story? Reds lose a one game play-in, right? I feel better now. Thanks for the heads-up!

      • @greenmtred: And Roy McMillen was better than Ernie Banks? Hmm.

        • @Carl Hudson: I always liked Roy–saw him bat a ball to Temple (I think) from deep in the hole with his glove hand to start a double play. And I always valued defense, too. But, no, Roy was the shortstop on that baseball card team.

  3. Yup. Our pitching will keep us in the game…
    But that offense. Will it show up? At home or away, our offense has no bias, so it doesn’t matter. But do hope cubs come through and we just need to win two of three.

    Terrible series against mets. Terrible offense. Lost opportunities…bad fundamental.

    The writers on this blog are very kind in their report/writing but it is a mere pipe dream to do something in playoff that we haven’t been able to do the entire year…

    Sure SF became hot and won it all, but those things don’t happen often…not in consec. Year….

    There is a thing called praying to the lord…i will be doing that

  4. In my mind this one game playoff isn’t really making the postseason, that is why this feels different than the 2010 campaign and last season. This new set up feels like a play-in game to make the postseason. The way this Reds offense goes from hot to ice cold so quickly who knows what will happen in one game, we sure made Dice-K look like a stud tonight though.

    • @KevMcBain: What gives with this team? 90 wins for second year in a row. Down the stretch they go 1-5-1 the last 7 series against teams with sub-.500 records. Third-highest number of runs scored in the NL (could say second if you don’t want to count the Rockies but GABP helps in its own way) and we get a day like this.

      Hot and Cold is spot-on. You know, the Paul Brown Stadium sound crew took some flack for playing Katy Perry last monday night. I actually think more than a few would understand if the GABP sound crew wanted to play her “Hot and Cold.” Not that I’d ever wish to hear that song, just saying.

    • @KevMcBain: I was thinking the same ting about the play-in game earlier today. You know, teams used to HAVE to win their division, and before league pennant, to reach the postseason. The second wild-card is a good concept for teams playing well late in the season, like the Indians, or ones who made a big turnaround the second half. The Reds, they are what they are, whatever that is.

  5. Re: the wildcard, huh?: beggars must not be finicky. At the risk of antagonizing the Nation by daring to say something unkind about the former MVP, is Votto the most sullen player who has played for the reds on recent years? I’d love to see him lighten up a bit. Maybe he should stop playing “Paint it black” as his walk up song. It’s a really depression song.

  6. Man, I shaved my legs for THIS????

    Two losses out of 3 games with the Mets in a pennant race.

    What do you root for?? An abysmal play-in game with the hopes that’ll be enough rope to fire Baker.
    Or cling to the hopes that the Reds will find their offense, put up some runs and a string of wins?
    Thats the mystery inside the riddle thats inside the puzzle, thats inside the enigma, thats inside the conundrum.

    • @WVRedlegs: I am not a fan of Baker at all. But any fan that roots for the Reds to look bad in the play in game so he will be fired has an unhealthy obsession.

      I want the Reds to win the world series and get Baker his first. No matter your views on him, that would be a special moment for him and for all.

      • @BearcatNation:


      • @BearcatNation: I want them to win the play in game. But if there is one bright side to losing that game, it may be what it takes for Dusty to get fired. I just hope the front office is listening to his comments like why he doesn’t want them to play with urgency. He drives me crazy.

        • @Just A Fan: Dusty could pinch hit Simon for Votto in the WC game with a man on 3rd in the bottom of the 9th, down a run, and not get fired. It’s not happening. So go ahead and root for the Reds to win with full conviction.

  7. Also negative: Billy Hamilton got caught stealing, fairly easily, and he looked pretty overwhelmed at the plate. Definitely a strike against him making the playoff roster. I really hope he still does.

    • @jbemis44: Ham would have been better served to see a pitch or two. He was in too big a hurry to make something happen. They would have pitched out so CHoo would have seen at least 3 pitches.

      More lackluster coaching.

    • Also negative: Billy Hamilton got caught stealing, fairly easily, and he looked pretty overwhelmed at the plate. Definitely a strike against him making the playoff roster. I really hope he still does.

      Dude, he has as many stolen bases as the entire team. Law of averages catches up with us all at some point and today was his day. And, he has more hits than our MVP Votto (0-8) in the last 2 games.

  8. Cubs just hit a 3 run home run. Our old friend Darnell McDonald. Up 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth.

    If the Cubs win this game, this loss means nothing. Try to keep that in perspective.

  9. Cubs are trying to help us out. Our old buddy Darnell McDonald just hit a 3-run homer to give Chicago a 4-1 lead.

    Liriano ended up going 5 innings, with 4 runs on 8 hits. Not good.

  10. –Offense? Hello? Offense?
    … Nobody home (in more ways than one).

  11. If this has been discussed here before forgive me.
    After watching Votto this season I decided to follow up on a notion of mine. I was prompted to do this after watching many long fly balls to center and left-center being caught well short of the wall.
    From an Associated Press article on February 15, 2013 http://espn.go.com/mlb/spring2013/story/_/id/8953100/joey-votto-cincinnati-reds-says-knee-not-perfect-feels-really-good
    The writer (un-named) interviewed Votto and the following are some quotes from that piece;
    “When he returned, the knee wasn’t back to full strength, and it showed in his swing. The NL’s 2010 MVP was reduced to hitting mostly singles.
    Votto knew he would be limited when he returned. Unable to push off his left leg as much as normal, he became more of a singles hitter. Pitches that he would drive into the gaps when healthy never made it to the wall.
    In the last 25 games of the 2012 season, Votto hit .316 with eight doubles. He hit .389 in the division series against San Francisco, but all seven of his hits were singles.
    “I knew what I could and couldn’t do,” Votto said. “I tried to make the most of it. Despite the lack of power, I was pretty proud of what I did do.”
    About the 2013 season;
    “They had very positive things to say, but ultimately the real test is on the field,” Votto said. “I am just trying to get my legs back to 100 percent. It’s not perfect, but I think that after surgery, my expectations — realistically you’re not going to be perfect five months out.”
    My thoughts;
    When you look at Votto’s results so far this year does anything look familiar?
    The quote that rings loudest to me is this one; “I knew what I could and couldn’t do,” Votto said. “I tried to make the most of it.
    Making the most of it could mean getting on base by whatever means possible.
    I would think that most of us are aware that secrecy in the club house is a way of life and discussing a player’s health openly is never going to happen. The company line is he is healthy, end of discussion.
    If Votto’s leg wasn’t 100% in March does it make sense that it would get better playing baseball every day? His recent issues at the plate and in the field have gotten more apparent as the season has worn on. In the playoffs it is unlikely that Joey will improve.
    My humble opinion is we have been watching a one-legged first baseman try “to make the most of it” all year.
    Just a random thought.

    • @George M: I think it also matters that the league is not giving in to Votto. As a result, the guys behind him seem to be trying way too hard to make the league pay and shift the matter back to where Votto can be the hitter we think he can be.

      Maybe I am over-analyzing it.

      • @Johnu1: Earlier this year the league would walk him. In June they figured out that Brandon was a double play waiting to happen and that Bruce could only see fastballs. Lately they are not afraid of Votto, Brandon, or Bruce. I agree that naybe that Brandon and Bruce, and Frazier may have tried to hard to make up the loss of votto’s RBI power but when they did they exposed thier own weakness’s and that to got around the league. The basic approach is don’tt throw any of them a strike, they will get themselves out trying too hard.

        • @George M: The guy did just walk 5 times in a game. I would say that the league is still pretty afraid of him.

          • @al: Aaron Harang was afraid of him because he remembers the Votto of 2010. The rest of the league, not so much anymore.

        • @George M: Votto did just set the all time club record for walks in a season. So I don’t think it’s fair to say the league is challenging him. He’s also hitting over .300 and is in the top ten in home runs in the NL. Votto was walking more when he was hitting in front of Brandon Phillips. But when Jay Bruce hit behind him, the incentive declined. I haven’t looked at the numbers, but that’s my impression,

          • @Steve Mancuso:
            Before the All Star game (95 games) Votto Ba .318, 71 BB, Phillps Ba .266, 25 BB, Bruce Ba .277, 28 BB

            After All Star game (63 games) Votto Ba .286, 61 BB, Phillps Ba .256, 25 BB, Bruce Ba .243, 32 BB

            Your impression is correct because Phillps was hitting 10 points higher pre All Star game.
            Votto has hit 32 points less post all star game, Bruce has hit 34 points lower post all star game.
            Votto is having a good year for a one-legged player, which my original post was about.

          • @George M: I too have wondered if votto is still feeling something in his knee, scar tissue or some minor weakness making him uncomfortable. and despite whatever is the problem, he still is generated some level of power, 24HR (10th) and 30 doubles(23rd). and maybe the Votto of 2010/2011/1st Half 2012 is gone for good. hope not, but 2013 votto is still a heck of a hitter.

  12. I don’t believe in momentum there have been plenty of teams who have scuffled before the playoffs and then gone on a run and plenty of teams who were winning everything and got their behinds kicked in the first round. The playoffs are what matter now.
    Good point, and well taken. But it’s hard to believe a team as inconsistent and fundamentally unsound as the Reds can do more than possibly win the wild-card game. Nothing for sure one way or the other, but remember they were very fortunate to win the first game in Pitt last week after the 9th-inning error.

    • @redskaph:

      Actually, I could see the Reds getting hot and winning the World Series just as easily as I could see them flame out in the wild-card game. Baseball is just too unpredictable.

      You bring up the Friday game in Pittsburgh as being won due to an error, and I agree. But the game on Saturday turned due to errors by the Reds. I can remember plenty of games this year where fortune seemed to go against us.

      • @docmike: You’re right. I’m just afraid this team will need more good fortune than it’s likely to get in a playoff series. The bats warming up – and staying warm – is always a possibility, but to me that seems highly unlikely to be the case against playoff teams’ top starters. But it’s like Yogi said, “It ain’t over til it’s over.”

  13. I know I spend a lot of time on this board and others, bellyaching, complaining, making sarcastic comments, snarky replies and overall just being a complete jerk about Reds baseball. I find it interesting that in real life, I do almost none of that (usually.)

    So it’s the baseball that does it. In all cases, it’s the baseball.

    The end of it is, after 66 years on this planet, all but a few of them have been spent watching some OTHER team in the World Series. I have endured.

    Other issues ahead of me at age 66 and still I get upset when I see a game like today’s.

    What is wrong with me? They get to play ’em again next year, right?

    And as 2014 comes around, I will still be the same.

    I only long for the moment that I felt in 1961 when the Reds won a pennant in a valiant, but futile attempt to be something they were not. I loved that feeling. This team won’t give me that, however.

    Maybe next year.

    • @Johnu1:

      John – thanks for all your input this year – really appreciate all the snarkiness of us old timers (Reds fan back to the late 60s with Alex Johnson etc).

      Seen a lot of baseball, some good, plenty bad. My teen years (1970s) were spent traveling to Cincy from Akron to see the BRM and remember sitting next to Dodger fans in the stands at Riverfront. The BRM is a high standard, quite possibly too high for this current edition.

      And I finally had a chance to see a Reds game (15 inning affair) in LA in 2007 (hats off to Dodger fans).

      Would love to see the Reds and Dodgers tangle in the playoffs for old time sake.

      God Bless and keep truckin John …

  14. Don’t write off the Reds just yet!!!

    The torture of a one game play-in notwithstanding, you still have to like the Reds chances.

    Our best 3 starters are lined up.
    Cingrani healthy
    Marshall healthy
    Hamilton’s speed

    Yeah, it’ll be hard for us to score runs, but we do hit the long ball a bit better than most. I guarantee you every team headed to the playoffs would trade pitching staffs with us in a heartbeat.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: As a great man told me, you don’t have to win them all.

      Just the last one.

      • @Johnu1:

        You HAVE to win next Tuesday or its pack your stuff up for the winter. Then you have to win 3 of 5, 4 of 7, and then 4 of 7. That’s 12 wins out of a possible 20 games, or a .600 clip. When have the Reds played at a .600 clip this year under Baker? The month of May. That has been a while ago.

        Reds under Dusty Baker will never, ever pull that off.

        There is a thin line between reality and fantasy. I want to believe that this team will pull it off, but then the reality of last night and today sets in.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: No to be disagreeable, but I seriously doubt the Braves, Cardinals, Dodgers and Tigers would. Detroit would swap bullpens, probably, but not the starters.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: All great points.

      The team that put a hurting on the great Dodgers and Cardinals during the last home stand, can play with anyone. Hate they let us down against the Mets but that is why you play the games. I’m not overly optimistic but if they win the whole enchilada, I’m not going to be shocked.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: Cingrani’s apparently healthy but not yet in form. Price talked about how the Reds aren’t sure how to get him going in time for the playoffs. It would help if the Reds win big in one of the games this weekend and Cingrani gets a chance to pitch in mop up.

      Cueto and Marshall are close to fully back, which is excellent.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: I still believe…….Starters will keep us in games,….bullpen is stocked with live arms…closer is exceptional…..we CAN hit and score….just so inconsistent with bats…lets put it all together GO REDS

  15. Does anyone want to talk about the latest round of crowdshaming in Cincinnati? Does Ryan Ludwick expect those in attendance to swing the bat for them? You signed a contract in one of the smallest metropolitan statistical areas in the country with a major league team. You play in a market where the stadium’s city isn’t the biggest city in the market. You’re playing a day game on a weekday against the Mets, a below .500 team that is going nowhere next year, even. And you know what? None of that would matter if the lineup feigned having a pulse.

    What’s strange is that the ownership has spent so much effort trying to make the ballpark a family friendly place and has reached out into the community and back into the history books to drum up support. The fans this year set an all time attendance record for Great American Ballpark and will finish second on the all time attendance for the club. The highest record? 1976.

    I can’t go to the games with any frequency (living 9 hours away and all) but why bother going when I get shamed. Did the players complain in 2010, or 2012 about attendance?

    I guess if the stadium is packed this weekend and Ludwick still looks like a deer in the headlights at the plate he’ll start blaming the TV audience for channeling enough positive vibes back through the airwaves.

    • @RichmondRed: Didn’t see this. Can you flesh it out some?

        • @RichmondRed: I really like Ryan Ludwick but this is just sad. The team should feel somewhat obligated to inspire the fans, I think anyway. Really doubt he meant this but in the depths of despair, stuff like this can be said. Heck, see it every day at Red Leg Nation!

          • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: I will say, watching the last 3 games, I have never seen such uninspired baseball for a contending team — EVER.

          • @Johnu1: I’ve seen worse than uninspired from contending teams down the stretch, I’ve seen total meltdowns. The Mets blowing a 7 game lead to the Phillies within 10 days. The Texas Rangers lat year and maybe this year. The 2006 Cardinals losing 7 in a row after the race was apparently over. The 1995 Angels, the 1964 Phillies, etc.

          • @pinson343: Arguably the worst was the ’64 Phils, I suppose. So, yeah … there are some historically important collapses, but that’s different from what I have actually SEEN, and this year’s team is a monumentally uninspired team.

          • @Johnu1:

            2 out of 3 this week-end and a win this coming Tuesday night will cure what ails the Reds.

          • @cincyreds14: 3 out of 4 against another playoff team … I would love to believe that’s likely. I believe it’s possible. I will stop at that.

        • @RichmondRed: Thanks RichmondRed, hard to defend Ludwick’s comments. Hard to expect a sellout on a workday against a cellar dweller where the heavily favored home team hasn’t generated any type of scoring offense. Most people have jobs and many fans don’t live in Cincinnati. Besides fans react positive/negative by the play, hustle (or lack there of) from the players on the field. Hard not to take offense Ludwick’s comments.

    • @RichmondRed: Yeah, that video really rubbed me the wrong way. Of course the players are frustrated after a loss like that, but I got the impression over the last two years that Ryan really liked it here, and its disappointing to hear him speak like that about fans of the team. Afternoon games during the work week aren’t gonna sell out under most circumstances, and the Reds actually set a single-season attendance record with today’s numbers added.

      Sure the pitching was great, but casual fans don’t get excited about good pitching unless there’s a bunch of strikeouts or a no-hitter. Hard to expect a bunch of crowd noise when you only get five batters into scoring position all game. Robinson was the only Red to touch third base, and that was on a wild pitch with two outs already.

      Gotta give some credit to Matsuzaka, he had his best stuff working for him today. But as I stated in the middle of the 2nd inning of the game thread, if the team can’t pick up on his pitches, the team needs to work to knock him out of the game.

      • @dc937: I was not overly offended at Ludwick’s comment. It’s hard to say how the question was prefaced. Locker room scribes can be brutal about leading questions.

    • @RichmondRed: I must have missed this, when did Ludwick slam Reds fans?

    • @RichmondRed: Look at Oakland and Tampa. They get NOBODY at their games yet they play as if their lives depended on it.

    • @RichmondRed: Someone should tell Ludwick that his manager said today there wasn’t a sense of urgency yet. Maybe the fans heard that and took it to heart.

      I was in the park for all three games. Today, it was dead. But the first two games were pretty loud, especially when the the games were close. Today, every time the fans got excited they were treated to a strikeout or double play.

      The idea that a professional baseball player would stand there after his team lost the last two games and point a finger at the FANS for responsibility is pretty weak sauce. I’d be looking around your locker room, buddy.

      • @Steve Mancuso: I don’t know what he is talking about. We had +260 comments on an early afternoon, mid-week, 1-0 loss, game thread. If that is not devotion, I don’t know what is. How many man-hours of work were avoided in order to watch this Titanic Struggle?.

      • @Steve Mancuso: You took the words right out of my mouth! Not like they just set an attendance record today or anything. And not like they get paid millions of dollars to play child’s game. You’d think that money would be enough of an energizer. Guess not. It’s all our fault, no blame can be placed on the players or the manager.

      • @Steve Mancuso: After his uninspiring performance the first two games you think he could also check a mirror before he got on camera. That sounds pretty cold, but his words were just as frosty.

    • @RichmondRed: Ryan Ludwick needs to shut his pie hole and HIT………maybe his 0fer5 the other day convinced people to save their $$$$….turning this one on the fans was a sad statement of his mindset….stand up and be accountable…sounds like a lame excuse.Does he NEED the fans to inspire him?……..that FAT check he gets should be plenty inspiration….I lost some respect for him reading that BS take on the fans

  16. On the bright side…if the Cubs can hang on for another inning then this loss today really doesn’t matter. Either way we’d have to take 2 of 3 from Pit to host the wildcard game. So today’s loss was ugly, but in reality it won’t hurt us at all

  17. When I saw the lineup for today’s game, the though occurred to me that maybe the GM, or the owner, or the Mayor of Cincinnati might call Dusty up and say:

    “You know, just having the play-in game here would bring in money to the team, the city and a lot of businesses around here. So tell me again, why is Izturis starting this game?”

    Of course, Izzy got one of the Reds’ four hits, so what do I know? I’m glad there’s no game tomorrow – I need a break from all that. Maybe Friday starts that hot streak we need right about now…

    • @RC: Then again, a long ball would have helped. Cozart is a lot more likely to hit one than Izzy, even with the Dice rolling.

  18. “Anybody that has played sports knows that urgency does not help you. If anything it hurts you.” _ Dusty in AP story.
    Right. Like in basketball, who would rush the ball up court behind by a point with a few seconds left, and what football team would use the hurry-up down a few points in the last couple minutes.
    Of course, baseball is different. Urgency is more likely to lead to pressing. It has more to do with your approach and decision-making. Playing Izturis today and pinch-hitting Soto last night were bad approaches/decisions.

    • @redskaph: Says the man who has won absolutely nothing of significance in his career. Interesting that he suddenly knows so much about what it takes to get it done.

      • @homerandbruce: Fire him before it’s too late. If he’s still around next year, it’ll just be another year down the drain. Votto getting older, Phillips getting older…age kills. Just ask the Phillies.

      • @homerandbruce: I think 5 divisional titles, 2 wild card berths and 1 NL pennant in a 20 year managerial career qualify as considerably more than “nothing”.

    • @redskaph: I don’t know why Soto is even on the roster. If he’s there, Dusty will use him.

      As for Izturis, my thought was that Dusty was stacking the lineup with LHed hitters today. But Dice K’s numbers against lefties are abut the same as against righties, so I don’t know.

      • @pinson343: Soto is just a callup. I think it probably was either him or Lutz and Lutz is a LH hitter. They probably envisioned Soto giving Votto a couple of innings off. Dusty works in strange ways.

        The story that Welch told was that Dusty “noticed” something in Cozart’s swing that suggested he might be pressing a little. If Dusty knows so much, why doesn’t HE become the hitting coach? The position has been vacant for 4 years.

        • @Johnu1: A good and open question is how much Dusty plays the role of a 2nd hitting coach. He took credit for Cozart’s recent hot streak, saying “I had a talk with him about hitting.”

          Two hitting coaches of course is one too many. I’ve often wondered if the hitters are confused (and Jacoby pissed off) by Dusty’s “help”.

          • @pinson343: As well, I seem to always get conflicting definitions on the hitting coach’s actual role. If I suggest he’s supposed to help hitters, I read that hitters are already trained in the minor leagues and that there’s no much the coach can do.

            If I suggest that the entire system is supposed to help guys, I read that there’s too much diversity of opinion and that the hitting coach is supposed to run the show.

            Earlier today, I read that the pitching coach gets all the help for helping the staff. So the pitching coach can make a difference but the hitting coach evidently can’t.

            Honestly, will somebody actually tell me what the hitting coach does? If it’s to help guys hit, I think today was a pretty classic rubber-stamp FAIL.

    • @redskaph:

      I believe the comments on this site about a sense of urgency were related to Dusty, not the players. Every player is trying to do his best. No one is asking them to press. However, Dusty could make in game managerial decisions as if it was important to win the game.

      Case in point:
      Last night a hitter gets on 1st with one out(or none, not sure) and the Reds down two runs in the bottom of the 9th. There is a great weapon on the bench in Billy Hamilton who is perfect for these situations to use as a pinch runner. Now he could get thrown out attempting to steal. Or he could succeed in stealing second and the Reds still not score. The Reds are in a tough spot and are likely to lose no matter what the manager does. But at least he could try to give the team a chance to win instead of waiting for a double play to occur.

      I don’t have any idea what Dusty is thinking in these moments, but here’s the way it feels to me:
      We put ourselves in a tough spot here and we will just have to take our medicine. I DON’T WANT TO TAKE THE #^%&*! MEDICINE. Let’s keep trying to win the game!

  19. Our old friend McDonald redeems himself after getting thrown out trying for 3rd, with no outs, on a ground ball. Close them out, Cubs, and you’re not stupid in my book.

  20. Castro makes an error to open the gates.

  21. Cubs win it !

  22. Cubs take the last game. This weekend will decide home field advantage for the wild card game as the Pirates are pretty much out of the division now as well.

  23. Pirates lose. Home field for the Wild Card coin flip comes down to the final three games at GABP. Seems kind of fitting.

  24. Reds got EXTREMELY LUCKY today. Good ole’Cubs helped us out and beat the Pirates. That means, this weekend the Reds MUST win the series and take 2 out of 3 to HOST the wildcard game at GABP. If Pitt won today, we’d have to SWEEP, so this could be huge. We win the series, we play at home! 3 games left, I hoped these last 3 games would matter and they do.

    • @Josh: I bet Pirate fans are fit to be tied. Come on in, the water is warm!

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: And smug Cardinal fans are laughing at both teams. Want to see the Cardinals go down, whoever they’re playing.

        • @pinson343: As smug as they are, and they are about the worst the National League has to offer, there’s plenty to say positive about their team and the way they play. If ever the Reds get a hitting coach who can turn somebody like Matt Carpenter into an MVP leadoff guy, may the Reds be first in line to interview him.

          • @Johnu1: I hate when my sentence structure is Third World.

          • @Johnu1: I hate it when the Reds hit like they’re swinging sticks or broomhandles.

          • @Johnu1: Look at Carpenter’s minor league numbers: the guy had a career OBP of 0.408. Jacoby must be thinking how nice it’d be to get credit for a guy like Carpenter. Instead, he’s given guys like Cozart.

          • @Johnu1: I’ve seen a lot of the Cardinals this year, and while I’m impressed (of course) by their approach to hitting and by their many strong young pitching arms, I’m not overall impressed by the way they “play”. Their defensive play (other than Molina), including fundamentals, is inferior to the Reds. They often play defense like the Keystone Cops. There are reasons they did not run away with the Central Division title this year.

          • @pinson343: I agree, they’ve come back to Earth in the last 50 or so. Their defense was always suspect.

            But that aside, I think that’s a team that’s on the cusp of kicking some serious tail once they shore up the right side. Obviously, Furcal was the man there.

            I think the thing that kept the Cards close was the over-dependence on the rookie pitchers. Matheny has managed that pretty well.

  25. Today was an example of how Liriano does not pitch that well on the road. And the biggest plus from today’s game was how well Latos pitched. Getting home field for the play in game is no guarantee of winning, obviously, but – given the pitching matchup – it’s a huge difference.

    Winning 2 of 3 this weekend is very very important.

  26. We are all throwing our eggs into winning 2 of 3 against a team that is clearly better than the Mets.

    Reds scored 5 runs in 27 innings against pitching that is far from C.Y. quality.

    I tell ya … gotta love the eternal optimism.

    • @Johnu1: Correction … 28 innings.

    • @Johnu1: Fortunately this Mets series tells us about as much what to expect in the next series, as the previous one told us about the Mets series. If you can follow that, you are either very smart or very mixed up.

    • @Johnu1: We have nowhere else to throw our eggs at this point. Same with Pirate fans. Reds beat the Pirates 2 of 3 in Pittsburgh last week. Both fan bases have reasons to be optimistic.

    • @Johnu1: The Mets came in having won 7 of 10. Their 3 starters all pitched well, especially Dice K. What makes you think the Pirates would have done any better than the Reds ? They recently lost 3 in a row at home to the Padres.

      • @pinson343:

        6 of those wins were against Miami and Philly. The Mets stink. We just lost two of three important games at home against a Triple AAA team. Has nothing to do with the “unpredictability of baseball”.

        • @Mutaman: I’m not at all happy about losing 2 of 3 at home to the depleted Mets, I know who is playing on their team. The Reds easily swept a better Mets team in NY earlier this year. The Reds laid an egg this time, etc.

          But bad teams do beat good teams in MLB on a regular basis. That is predictable.

          And this series says (hopefully) nothing about how the Reds will play vs. the Pirates.

          • @pinson343:

            Nobodys looking at just this series. We all s3ee the big picture. This series was just an example of what we’ve been seeing since June- an underacheiving team that seems to be missing some kind of spark. Maybe now they’ll get lucky, but overall a disappointing season.

        • @Mutaman: To be very fair to the Reds here, our pitchers did handle their AAA lineup quite well. Only 7 runs in those 28 innings. What the Reds did NOT do was take advantage of any sort of edge that pitching might have given them.

          You simply cannot ask your pitchers to go out inning after inning and watch their own offense make U-turns at home plate. Eventually, even Mike Leake will hang one. In GABP, only scoring 5 runs in 3 games is a recipe for failure.
          There was NO way the Mets were going to generate enough offense to win any of these games. The Astros have better hitters.

  27. Every year in baseball teams with losing records win games and series over contending teams, and every year fans are shocked and feel that the contending teams have shamed themselves. Actually, this is business as usual in baseball. The winning teams win a little more than 55% of the time (if that), most losing teams win about 45% of the time.

    A great deal depends on pitching matchups, which team is hot, etc.

    And if there is any more in the way of contending teams losing, that’s just a matter of a team that’s loose playing against a team that’s under pressure.

    • @pinson343: The unpredictability is one of baseball’s many charms.

    • @pinson343: The eternally negative posters here forget, for example, that the Marlins swept the Cardinals in a series this year.

      While everybody vents every now and then, I don’t understand the constant negativity of some. What is the point? If being interested in baseball causes such bitterness and zinger, then find another hobby, like noodling. Watch C-Span or Honey Boo-Boo. And the character attacks on people they don’t know, or don’t know anybody who does know?

      • @Big Ed:

        Likewise, if folks can’t handle a little give and take on the internet, find another hobby.

      • @Big Ed:

        So did the Texas Rangers.

        Definitely not overly concerned about any team in the NL playoffs if the Reds bring their ‘A’ game. After today, that’s a big – IF – !

      • @Big Ed: Hello? It’s called passion. The highs are high and the lows are even lower. How do you deal with the lows . . . you vent. Most people can understand that.

      • @Big Ed:

        Hey Big Ed – take a gander over at the coaches on the sidelines in football – or the manager/coaching staffs in baseball sometime.

        I like the ones where they show a little passion – just like the ones posting negative comments on this board. It shows me they are into the game and that they care.

        Well, someone should have reminded the Reds and their fearless leader D Baker that they were in a pennant race – seems somehow they forgot. It seems the only thing they are actually concerned about is punching the clock and receiving their next payroll check.

        You know about employees worried only about the time-clock and getting paid – well that’s how this team approaches playing baseball.


    • @pinson343: I think you just rationalized a very bad experience. It’s OK. I know the 1967 White Sox felt the same way. Still finished in 2nd place.

    • @pinson343: Championship teams hustle, try, never give up, dedicate themselves to winning.. Those are givens and have nothing to do with pitching match-ups etc. The Reds appear listless, even lost. There’s no way to justify that with stats.

  28. So the Bucs lost. If we go 2-1 then there’s a tie for the WC. Is there an ETRA game then to determine homefield in the WC game? That seems a bit silly. What’s the rule?

    • @eric nyc: If Reds win 2/3 against PIT, we get home field for winning the season series against them (currently tied at 8-8 if I’m not mistaken).

      • @dc937: I was hoping that was the case. I knew there would be a tiebreaker game for the division if it came down to that so I was hoping we wouldn’t have to burn another pitcher in a tiebreaker WC game. Good to know. Thanks, Stupid Cubs!

      • @dc937: The 2 of 3 wins would be necessary for the Reds and Pirates to have identical records. If that happens, the Reds would hold a 10-9 series edge and get home field in the play-in game.

        I remember thinking when they set up the schedule — why do they play 19 games? As it turns out, a stroke of genius, though I doubt it came without a lot of conversations.

      • @dc937: You are correct. And if the Reds had rented Marlon Byrd for the year after Ludwick went down on opening day, they would have won the Division.

    • @eric nyc: The post-season effectively starts Friday, but with the proviso that the whole gig is to set yourself up to win Game 4.

      Oughta be fun.

  29. Billy Hamilton possibly being left off the postseason roster was a topic on today’s PTI. They agreed he should be on, but Tony Kornheiser conceded that he could see Dusty questioning the “rookie’s performance” on the big stage of the playoffs. said he wouldn’t be surprised to see Dusty leave him off, in favor of another pitcher.

    • @wildwestLV: It would be a crime against humanity if he was left off the roster for the wild-card game. Each team sets a 25-man for each series. Ditch some starters off that roster to make room for bench guys. In a 1-game series, I want Hamilton and Robinson there for their speed if its late and close (let’s be honest, unless Hamilton has a perfect series against PIT, he’s not getting the start in game 163).

      I’d still be mad if he’s left off the (hopeful) NLDS roster, but it wouldn’t shock me if that’s what Dusty wants to do.

      • @dc937: The people who challenge Hamilton on the roster are either pitchers or left fielders. Setting pitchers aside, he can really only beat out Robinson, who is behind Heisey and Ludwick anyway.

        So the only way the Ham makes the roster is if a pitcher is jettisoned.

        That’s also the only way Robinson makes the roster, IIRC.

    • @wildwestLV: A little unsolicited advice: don’t go nuts if Hamilton doesn’t see any action in the post-season (non rostered) and Ondrusek sees plenty. Just a friendly warning in advance.

      If I’m Bob C., I look DB firmly in the eyes and tell him; “Dusty, nothing else matters but winning, nothing. I don’t care how you do it but get it done”. No do your best, blah, blah, blah stuff. Just straight and to the point. Anything short of that, than what I wrote in the first paragraph will probably come to pass.

  30. Just when I thought I had come to resolution with myself about this series and today’s game, I just read (and watched) the Ludwick post-game comments (see middle thread, above). Ugh. Maybe thus team (or at least Luddy) deserve to play 163 in Pittsburgh.

  31. Our old friend, Carlos Gomez, starting a bench-clearing brawl in ATL, tonight. So stupid. So bizarre. Can’t believe this buffoon robbed the Reds of two victories this year. This really is one of the strangest things I’ve seen this season.

    • @wildwestLV: Gomez was borderline head case a year ago with some of his antics. To be honest, he’s luckier than he is good in the outfield. I’ll take Choo any day.

  32. Just watched the Ludwick clip. I have no problem with what he said (or at least the gist of it), but how he said it. Without fans, professional baseball players don’t get to play baseball for a living. We do feel invested in our favorite teams, and we do genuinely care how they play, individually and as a team. So for a player to return that feeling, to say “The fans matter to us, OUR fans matter to us and we would love it if you came out to the ballpark, supported us, gave us energy, and we’ll play even harder for you as a result”? Well, I love that. But to mope about it the way Ludwick did, not so much.

    I’ll say what I hope he meant to say – because I care what happens this weekend, and I can’t go to those games from 8 hours away. All of you in and near Cincinnati, please go to the games. Cheer and clap and yell and participate. You’ll have more fun, the Reds will be energized, and just maybe there will be one more game at GABP. A game that REALLY matters. But please go, and have fun. I wish I could join you.

    Go Reds!

    • @Chris DeBlois: I won’t come down on Ludwick — too hard. I am sure the frustration of poor play manifests itself there as well as it does on this board.

      No, it’s not fair to blame the fans, but I’m pretty tolerant of that sort of thing. I’d guess that if I were to share a cold one with Ludwick, he’d make good sense on this.

      As well, it sort of depends on the phrasing of the scribe’s question.

      • @Johnu1: BP said something similar, last season, didn’t he? Except that was about the boos. Ludwick was, at least, spared that, after his performance this series. As much as it still irks me (his comments, regardless of context), seeing Gomez tonight, put it in perspective for me. We do have some of the most mature, no-nonsense guys on this team. You’d have to go back to Mes, last year, going ballistic on that ump (or BP, on C. Trent Rosecrans, if that counts, which it does). Dusty has had it pretty good. His team may lack passion, but they don’t make the silly headlines.

      • @Johnu1: if poor play manifests itself in lashing out at the fans then Ludwick should probably lashing out each game.

        • @Zabka84: Ba-zing

        • @Zabka84: Well, I do recall some pretty excited crowds a few weeks back when the Reds pitchers coughed up 28 runs in 2 games against St. Louis — in a series that everybody *KNEW* was one when the team should have been expected to buck it up and bring their game.

          They didn’t and that, to me, was the first clear signal that this year’s Reds weren’t ready for prime time.

          Short-term future will decide that, for sure. But for now, I think the general consensus on this board is probably consistent with the overall fan base — stop playing like you’re clueless and start playing like it matters.

          Basically, the 2.5 million attendance would suggest very strongly that it does matter.

      • @Johnu1:

        The Reds couldn’t hit a pitcher with an ERA over 4.50 coming into today’s game and Ludwick’s blaming Reds fans?

        Boy it’s a sad day when you stink and you get paid $7M jack for it.

        Go home little Luddy, and please take off the Reds jersey for the last time real soon.

        You are a disgrace!

        • @cincyreds14: I ain’t defending Luddy, just am not coming down on him quite as hard as some — mainly because I don’t know how the question was phrased. That may seem strange because the answer was pretty obvious, but I think it’s not worth getting steamed up about.

          The problems the Reds have are far more complex than a 20-second clip from the locker room.

          Luddy gets no pass from me on this, but I’m not ready to ride him out on a rail with tar and feathers.

          • @Johnu1:

            This team lacks a bonafide


            a player who steps up and takes other players to task when they screw up (bone headed plays a plenty this season – with absolutely no accountability). A player that shows PASSION (cares) for the game – a player with an edge – this team has NO ONE!! Where are the Greg Vaughns, Dave Parkers, Barry Larkins, Johnny Benchs, Pete Roses, Joe Morgans, Rich Auerilia, Ray Knights etc.

            The real problem is there is absolutely NO ACCOUNTABILITY starting with the Red’s Manager to his HITTING COACH to his STARTING 1B, to his 2B, to his …


          • @Johnu1: John, I do agree with you on this – Luddy may have spoken in the heat of the moment – something it seems a lot of us seem to be able to do – myself included. Just wish he would take that passion and crush a 3 run blast next Tuesday instead – in Cincinnati before 35,000+!

          • @cincyreds14: If there’s not 42,000+ at GABP next Tuesday, Luddy will be upset again.

        • @cincyreds14: Luddy will look good as a DH in the AL.

    • @Chris DeBlois:

      YUP – even if I had luck hitching, I still probably wouldn’t make to Cincy until Saturday’s game was over.


  33. The Dodgers were ranked #1 in attendance, Cardinals #2, Reds 16th and Pirates 19th.

    • @Sergeant2: How much will that change with three sellout games at GABP this weekend?

      • @Chris DeBlois: In a vacuum, that should vault us up to 13th. But some of the teams that we might pass still have games left at home.

      • @Chris DeBlois: I would honestly be surprised if these games are sellouts. Big crowds — in the 30s. I would also be surprised if a play-in game in Cincy would sell out. Maybe for a night game on a Friday, but not a Tuesday.

        • @Johnu1: You may be right but that would really be disappointing. I may come up from Atlanta. You couldn’t keep me away if I lived within 100 miles of Cincinnati. The Braves are in the post-season a lot and they haven’t consistently sold out playoff games since the mid-90’s. Sad.

        • @Johnu1:

          Just curious, but is it possible that REDS FANS are not necessarily (entirely) fed up with the team’s players but actually the manager and his approach to the game and his style of play?

          Sacrifice bunts galore from your #2 hitter. Who in the world bents their #2 hitter? And then bunting with no one out and a man on 1B in the first inning.

          Plus, I thought about it today, I have never seen a Reds team go about hitting as poorly as this current team. It seems they are always off-balance hacking. This team has absolutely no discipline! They have no game plan when they approach the batter’s box.

          There is something seriously wrong with this team and in time it may eventually come to light.

  34. Ryan Ludwick can kiss my behind. i don’t care if he plays another inning in a Reds uniform. I hope the Reds trade him for a bag of nuts in the off-season.

    I spent 5 hours driving up there to see them play. I spent 150 dollar on tickets, food, parking, etc. It isn’t my job to get him or the team going. I cheered all I could. I yelled at the umpire, etc.

    This is the first time I’ve been to a live game in 10 years and all ludwick can say is I didn’t do MY job?

    Call me a Ludwick hater from now on. Let Heisey or Hamilton play the rest of the season. Sit Ludwicks whiny butt on the bench.

    • @Hunt4RedsOctober: you have a legitimate beef. Sorry ou had to drive that distance to see such garbage today.

      • @Zabka84: Same here. That’s a long way to go to see a bad performance and then have a player make it out to be the fans’ fault.
        P.S. – I grew up 150 miles from Cincy, and made the trip many, many times before leaving the area in the 80s. Of course, I mostly saw some really,really good teams.

    • @Hunt4RedsOctober: You did get screwed on your choice of games. I drove 8 hours from Atlanta for the three game set with the Dodgers. Three great wins, two in walk-off fashion and the third with a come from behind Votto home run. Big Red Machine on the field on Friday (including Pete Rose) and then fireworks. Perfect weather. No Ludwick. Fantastic stuff.

      As for yelling at the umpire, we were behind first base on Saturday and the ump may have missed a call at first early in the game. He heard about it the whole game, and was VERY good natured about it, acknowledging the heckling with humor without really engaging the fans directly. I thought he handled it extremely well without being unprofessional in any way.

      Sorry you had such a crummy game. Don’t lose faith.

    • @Hunt4RedsOctober: Spent $750 of my hard earned money to go see the Reds play at Riverfront (tic) Sept 5,6,7,8 and 9th. Only disappointment was losing to a pitcher who should still be on the Reds – and who I actually watched shut the Rockies down here at Coors Field a couple years ago (JV’s 2010 MVP season).

    • @Hunt4RedsOctober:

      Pucker up, Ludwick, baby – this one’s for you – you friggin blowhard. These current day players have absolutely no respect for the working man – who does he think put the $7M in his pocket this year anyway? – as he sat out most of the year due to an injury caused by his own stupidity?

    • @Hunt4RedsOctober: Luddy is another former Cardinal who likes to whine about the Reds and their fans.

  35. I love going to Reds games, unfortunately I now live more than 8 hours away by car which makes it near impossible to get to more than a few in a year. I cherish the few games I go to and thoroughly enjoy them. Ludwick, and the rest of the team, must understand that being a fan of team is more than sitting in the stadium on game days. It’s about purchasing MLB.tv because I do not get FSO. It’s about checking sportscenter app every 5 minutes to check the score. It’s about talking with other fans via Internet, but also at local sports bars. Reds nation is behind the club in every game, even if they cannot get to the game for whatever reason. Therefore, Mr. Ludwick, I do not think it is unreasonable to ask you to be motivated by that. If you can’t get yourself motivated to play and compete in meaningful September games as a MLB player without a sold out raucous crowd, then try to remember the thousands of Reds fans nervously refreshing their phones, tablets, computers, hoping for you to hit that single so they can give a silent fist pump under their desk, above their steering wheel, or in retirement homes. If that doesn’t do it for you, please feel free to leave your Reds jersey at the door.

    • @abox03:

      Red’s fan in Denver – 40 hours away (takes a while to get picked up when thumbing on the highway).

      GR REDS!!

    • @abox03: All of this. Well said.

      Ludwick really has frickin PO’d me with that comment. I bought season tickets and went to about 25 games this year. If 26,000 fans on a workday in the fall and averaging 31,000 all year isn’t good enough for him, then we would be happy to trade him to a team where he won’t have to worry about it. He was at San Diego once, maybe he can go back there.

      • @BearcatNation:

        Yup – now the Reds have some wlbs. Wait -wasn’t he once a Cardinal? Maybe their snobbery leaked over to the Ludwick camp. Go home and hope the Reds play someone who actually wants to play and be in Cincinnati – one BH.

        Rock and roll, Reds fans – this is it.

        3 out of 4 (Friday, Saturday and Tuesday should get it done).

  36. This whole organization seems somewhat dysfunctional. I attended Monday and Tuesday’s games, and was just sickened by the so-called “fans.” Attendance was pathetic on Monday, and just barely above pathetic on Tuesday. And the crowd — as has been the case in all but one game (the Sunday night LA games) I’ve attended this year — was subdued at best. Most are barely paying attention, very few people seem to know very much about the team (not ONE person around me seemed even the slightest bit concerned about Soto pinch hitting; Baker could have sent up the ballboy to pinch hit and I’m not sure anyone would have noticed) and will only make noise for a few moments when they’re instructed to do so by the scoreboard. When I hear some sort of spontaneous crowd noise, invariably it turns out to be a t-shirt giveaway or some such thing.

    That said, this team plays with very little intensity and gives the fans little to cheer about. They don’t take every at-bat seriously, don’t hustle on every play, etc. The manager appears to be sleeping through most of these games. The GM seemed to be sleeping through the trade deadline. The in-game music, contests, etc. are repetitive and boring if you’ve actually been to more than a handful of games and aren’t 6 years old. The TV personalities are dull. The most interesting voice on the air is Marty B, and he probably turns more people against the team than toward it. I can’t stand listening to him. The so-called “reporters” who cover the team seem afraid to say anything that might get them into trouble, so they say nothing interesting.

    Honestly, I’ve started questioning my sanity for continuing to care about this organization and continuing to spend my time and money on it. The local fans don’t seem to care very much, the players don’t seem to care very much, the manager and GM don’t seem to care very much, but for some reason *I’m* stressing over every first pitch hack and agonizing over every bad managerial decision. I’ve never even lived within 100 miles of Cincinnati, but it feels like I’m one of a relatively small (and shrinking) number of people who seriously care about this organization.

    • @Baseclogger: I’ve never lived within 400 miles of Cincinnati. Been living and dying with Marty and Joe, newspaper box scores, MLB Extra Innings, ESPN Gamecast, and Redleg Nation since 1972. I care because of Johnny Bench and Barry Larkin. Because of 1975 and 1976 and 1990. Because of Eric Davis and Jose Rijo, Dave Concepcion and Joey Votto, Bronson Arroyo and Sean Casey, Jay Bruce and Mario Soto. Because I played in little league, and high school, in Babe Ruth league and in college, and because it’s baseball. Because the Reds are the oldest professional franchise, because opening day is always at home, because they have a freakin’ parade. And because of guys like you and all the fans on RLN.

    • @Baseclogger: Sadly, I think the “average” baseball fan today is like that — they go for the family fun, the fireworks and the giveaways … and spend most of the game in line waiting for a plate full of nacho chips.

      The true baseball fans number about 12,000 and a lot of them are just there to watch the game for its intrinsic beauty. That would include me. I’d look around to see if anybody near me had a clue and might strike up a conversation. It’s hard to find somebody who even knows baseball jargon these days.

      I don’t get over to Cincy … it’s on the other end of Indiana from me … but I did get to see the Reds in Wrigley (Bronson pitched a shutout) … and found the fans there to be much more focused on the game and less on the sideshow. That probably changes if the Cubs are competitive.

      But I think there are two sets of fans at MLB games anymore. And the ones who just like baseball for its value are the ones who probably just would rather not go because they don’t want to hear rap music at 28 decibels.

      • @Johnu1: I love having a knowledgeable fan sitting near me. Last summer we had a man sitting behind us who was trying to explain the game to the people with him. It was funny because he was wrong about so much.

        • @Just A Fan: I was at a Reds game a few years back and the guy behind me was trying to explain it to a boy, presumably his son. Got everything wrong but … ya know … it was still beautiful.

      • @Johnu1: I’ll tell you what. My favorite MLB game I went to was in Petco Park last year when the Reds were playing. It was July, the Reds were flirting with the health of Votto, but the team record was good. Drew had an 0-for-20+ streak going at the time, and the Padres were going nowhere so tickets were cheap. Got seats 10 rows behind the visitor’s dugout for $40. A lot of other Reds fans had the same idea.

        Those people loved themselves some Reds baseball. Everybody got together and struck up a bunch of conversations about pitching and Votto’s leg and the All-Star voting drama and splitting a series in SF they could have won…
        When Drew Stubbs finally broke his hitless streak, we all screamed for joy, and when he came back in the dugout, he had a huge smile on his face and some of the Reds guys including Votto and Stubbs and Frazier, I believe, were tossing balls to Reds fans frequently; we even went home with one. Great game. A lot of engaged fans.

      • @Johnu1: Exactly. At one of the games my wife and I attended this year, we were asked to participate in a Reds survey. Ok, this’ll be interesting, fun, or whatever. The gist of all of the questions was, “What makes you come to GABP? Fireworks or bobbleheads?” At our age (entering the senior years), fireworks and bobbleheads are pretty close to the bottom of the list for our reasons to attend a ballgame. You accurately describe the two different types of people — very obvious by listening to the neighboring people. People are there for the GABP “experience” or to watch baseball. Not knocking the promotions to attract “fans” (revenue). I think the organization does a fabulous job of doing just that, but it has nothing to do with attracting any pure baseball lover.

    • @Baseclogger: My feelings exactly. I live on the west coast and cheer for this team every night. Lately I’ve had the same feeling . . . they just don’t care. I’m feeling like a fool. I mean if they don’t care . . . why should I?

  37. Ignoring my avatar (I’m a jerk who thrives off what has irked, or impressed him most recently): I truly hope this guy’s comment on Ludwick’s video, (Brandon Curry):
    “They cheered for each one of his RBI this week.”, is actually from someone on the Nation. It’s too funny. Luddy better hit for the cycle, in 163, and earn the respect of this fan base.

  38. I live in Cincinnati. My family goes to about 8 games a year. It is expensive for a family of four to go to a game. It irritates me to hear these millionaire ballplayers complain about the attendance. We watch or listen to most every game. We have lots of tshirts and caps. We have Reds mugs, cups, mousepad, magnets, signs etc. Every year it seems there is some player complaining about the attendance. I don’t dislike those players for saying things but I don’t forget either. My feelings about Homer Bailey changed last year with his comments and now they have changed towards Ryan Ludwick.

    I am a quiet person so I don’t make a lot of noise when I’m at a game. If that makes others think that I don’t care much, all I can say is they are wrong. I think I care too much. And I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one in the crowd who feels that way.

    My family will be there this weekend cheering on our team. I believe the players are trying but I also understand those who think they aren’t because they sure don’t look like it sometimes. Ryan, Homer et al, if you want the fans to be loud to encourage you, give them something to cheer about this weekend.

    • @Just A Fan: You know, what bothers me far more than the quiet fans are the ones who make a lot of noise but almost none that’s actually related to the game. Tuesday night I was sitting in front of a woman who was talking incessantly — and quite loudly — throughout the entire game (or, I should say, until the 8th inning, when she decided she’d had enough and took off) with almost no awareness of what was happening on the field other than a few plays here and there. Unfortunately, she seems far closer to the norm than fans like me who are actually there for the game. I don’t mind the engaged-but-mostly-quiet fans, because they’ll usually at least applaud when it makes sense to applaud. But it seems to me that at least half the fans have no idea what’s going on at any given moment, and about half the rest are somewhat aware but really don’t care. Leaving maybe 1/4 who are actually paying attention and actually care. On Monday, it felt like there might have been 3000 fans scattered throughout the stadium who were really into the game. And this is coming down to the wire in a pennant race. (It was still a race at that time.)

      • @Baseclogger: Oh, and while I appreciate that these games can be expensive, good seats (VERY good seats) were available on Stubhub for under $10 on Monday. Why? Because apparently nobody wanted to go to the game.

      • @Baseclogger: Most folks need the “everybody clap your hands” guy to make a difference. Or the “charge” … all that stuff, I don’t even know why they do it, other than some sound guy in the booth is bored. “Day-O” is supposed to do what for me?

        Alas, this thread probably isn’t about that. I just think baseball is a game that creates its own interesting moments, but they are pretty condensed.

        The biggest thing to me now is that it takes 45 minutes to play a half inning, if there are men on base. Leake slowed the game to a slow drip the other night and every hitter backs out, fiddles with his gloves, rubs his bat, calls time again, waits to adjust his shirt and helmet, then fouls another one off. We do it again. Some guy had a 12-pitch at bat for the Cubs last night … the AB took 16 minutes. For one guy — who ended up grounding out to end the inning.

        Zach Duke took a week to pitch to 3 hitters.

        Part of this is the reason the fans don’t cheer … they’re bored and they’re at the concession stand because they’re bored.

        Kids get tired by the 6th inning because it’s 3 hours since the game started and we haven’t even started making the double switches yet or the 12 throws to first base.

        And here come the Reds, who go up and down on 6 pitches and … yep, right back on defense again.

        • @Johnu1: It’s true – the game can be painfully slow at times, and I’m sure it seems even slower to the kids of the Internet & Cell Phone Generation. But there’s also no doubt that a significant fraction of the crowd (I’d estimate well over 50%) are bored because they really just don’t care very much, and the speed of the game has nothing to do with it. They’d be no more interested in a two hour game than a three hour game. (They’d find the two hour game boring because there’s almost no offense.) Frankly, I get quite bored watching baseball games when I don’t know the players and/or don’t care about the outcome. And I think that’s a lot of what we’re seeing from the “fans” of this team.

  39. You know what? Poor Dusty Baker. Guy has had to deal with: 1) injuries 2) poor home-field attendance 3) poor home-field attitude 4) irresponsible, punk, beat writers, and 5) a frightened team, too scared to reveal the extent of their personal injury to an incompetent medical staff. It’s really unfair.

  40. Worst sight of the night? Brandon Philips jogging to first in the bottom of the 9th! What’s up with these guys?

    • @Carl Hudson: Not to mention that he took some lazy swings before jogging. His lack of intensity was really quite awful. He sets a tone for the club, I think, and the tone is basically “if you’re going to fail, make it look like you really don’t care.” His attitude seems to be that it’s only worth trying hard if you’re fairly sure your efforts will be rewarded. If you think you can get a double or beat out an infield hit, then throw the bat down immediately and run hard. If you think you can only make it to first, then carry the bat halfway down the line and be sure to tap yourself on the helmet en route. If you think you’ll be out at first, then just jog. It’s as if he’s afraid he’ll look bad if he appears to be giving more effort than the situation requires. And I think his tone rubs off on a lot of other guys. Not that a lot of other guys are jogging to first in that situation, but the “I don’t need to give maximum effort on every play” attitude is definitely an issue. Of course it all comes back to the manager happily tolerating it, and perhaps even encouraging it by refusing to take every at-bat, every inning, and every game seriously.

      • @Baseclogger: He also expressed some dismay over his contract recently as well. Didn’t set well with some people though it wasn’t turned into a big deal. Still, I think it is a big deal. For those millions, it’s a big deal to somebody, that’s for sure.

  41. Tonight Fox Sports Ohio ran a “Blue Jackets Classic” to get us ready for hockey just like they run the Reds Classics as the run up to baseball season.

    Of course the CBJ won in thrilling fashion or the game wouldn’t have made it onto the classics. However what seeing this game reminded me of was that for the final 6 weeks of the season completed in April, CBJ played some of the best and most inspiring hockey seen anywhere in the NHL only to end up on the outside looking in at the playoffs by losing a tie breaker for the last spot (because they were one of the league’s worst teams for 6 weeks early on).

    I wish the Reds had brought this sort of season ending intensity to the last 3 weeks. And given that they are lucky enough to have a second chance I hope they finally discover it in time to do something in the playoffs.

    • @OhioJim: Had they have done that….they probably wouldn’t have dropped the series to the Cubs, Brewers, and the Mets. Not for nothing, but even winning those three series (even though the Reds are certainly capable of sweeping these clubs) would have produced 3 more wins…which, TA DA ties them for the division. Just frustrating and maybe that keeps people home too.

    • @OhioJim: Looking into it further….going backwards against teams under 500

      Mets: 1 of 3
      Houston: 3 of 3 ( do they qualify ?? )
      Brewers: 1 of 3
      Cubs : 1 of 3
      Rockies: 1 of 3
      Brewers: 1 of 3
      Brewers: 2 of 4

      Just lackluster and honestly un-Reds like. They used to beat up on sub .500 teams….. but that is 5-6 wins in the past month or so by just winning series against not-very-good teams.

      • @abox03: You need to win 16 games a month — that gives you 96. If you win 15 games a month, you get what the Reds have — 90 wins. So really, Cincy needed to win 1 game more a month this year to be where they were a year ago. Houston gives you probably 4 of those. Another two — yeah, pick ’em.

        Any 6 losses are easy to identify, and if you subtract the ones they snatched from defeat, does it even out?

        Most games are up for grabs all the way to the end.

        • @Johnu1: To qualify on the Houston 4, that’s hard to evaluate because everybody else would be fattening up against them too. That’s kind of why I say ‘4’ there. You’d probably go 14-5 against those guys and we were 3-0.

        • @Johnu1: I agree overall…but down the stretch, the Reds kinda fell on their face….they “showed up” if you will against STL, LAD, PIT but when it came time to take care of business against the sub .500 clubs in August/September, the Reds fell on their face. STL did not. Hence the NL Central pennant will reside under the arch.

  42. Vaguely related to the conversation above: Has anyone ever seen a contestant NOT pick the correct bowl of Skyline chili?

  43. Really, Ryan Ludwick, really? … If that’s the way he feels, let’s hope that Walt tries a little harder to re-sign Choo to play left field, and can find some creative way to send Ludwick someplace where he’ll be a little more motivated.

  44. I couldn’t watch the game since I was working. Followed it right here. I just read an article by Paul Daugherty and it stated how the Mets run scored – by a dribbler that went between Votto and Phillips and neither made a play for the ball. He said they both looked paralyzed. For those of you who saw it, is he exaggerating or is that how it really happened? If so, that’s really disturbing and plays into the thinking that they’re not trying.

    • @Just A Fan: I saw the play live. My seat is right by first base so I don’t have the best angle on it. The infield was pulled in to make a play at home plate. Calling the ball a dribbler might even be an exaggeration. It was a slooooow roller. From my perspective, it looked like the ball went right between and that even if they had tried, neither would have been able to make the play. Votto, of course, has to make a quick judgement about whether to make the play or head toward first base. He did the latter. BP did not move. I don’t blame either one really.

      • @Steve Mancuso: I’d agree that the ball, a broken bat bleeder boing boing boing … was in no-man’s land. The problem was with how the runner got to 3rd in the first place, which had nothing to do with the left side of the infield.

        What startled me was that in the 3rd inning of a scoreless game against a AAA lineup, Dusty was compelled to bring in the infield to cut off a run. That struck me as already knowing his offense was inert. If ONE run in the third inning is that big a deal, we have a problem and it ain’t in Houston.

  45. All Votto does is land in the top 10 of virtually every offensive category, top ten in WAR, lead the league in runs created, lead the league in walks, and challenge the club’s all time record for reaching base. And people still complain about him. I doubt there is a fan base in baseball that is more unreasonable when it comes to the expectations of their high paid players. Cincinnatians are horrified by the notion of ball players getting paid a lot of money and not putting up triple crowns year in and year out.

    • @Jason1972: he leads the league in errors by 1b by 5!

      • @Zabka84: Seriously, my froggy friend? That’s your argument: 5 extra errors? I’ll take 5 extra errors for Votto’s offense in a heartbeat. Not to mention, I bet he’s also got 5 more outstanding plays that balance out the errors–he’s had a very strange season of mixing errors with some terrific plays.

    • @Jason1972: Really, the patronization of Votto has gone overboard. I think ALL fans want their superstars to perform. I find no flaw in that but to say it is only Reds fans, that’s not fair. When Zach Duke gets a hit, we figure the regular hitters might also be able to get one. It’s not too much to ask.

  46. Looking for a silver lining around what was a very dark cloud which was only made darker by Ryan Ludwick’s ignorant post-game comments. I was concerned with Latos after his last start, but he did a great job today easing my mind about him starting the Wild Card game.

    The whiny Rats (and didn’t Ludwick play for them as well as the Cardinals) did us a huge favor and I hope we can capitalize by winning three of the next four against them.

  47. If the organization believes any of the comments that Ludwick spewed last night, the club need look no further than the radio booth as a contributing source of this, IMHO.

    • @Greg Dafler: Greg, I love your stuff but this comment is totally off base. Marty doesn’t win or lose games. The team does. Many, many people who love the Reds consider Marty a major part of the reason. Have you ever heard him rag on the “fans”? I can’t recall hearing that. No more a comment without warrant has been expressed on this Blog, IMO.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: I didn’t mean to imply that Marty rags on the fans. (Though, now that you bring it up, he certainly has a disdain for sabremetrically inclined fans.) I meant that Marty (and Thom’s) constant ragging on players contributes to fans feelings about this year’s team. You think that Marty’s negative analysis doesn’t contribute to lower enthusiasm for this team? His comments with respect to Joey Votto have a lot of fans thinking pessimistically about the team’s best offensive player.

        • @Greg Dafler: Agree. I have friends back in Cincinnati who are die hard Reds fans who have less than glowing remarks for Joey Votto this year. They aren’t all that sabermetrically inclined, so maybe they don’t have AS great an appreciation for Votto’s greatness, but there’s no doubt in my mind they are influenced by not just Marty, but Thom and Daugherty as well. People we listen to every day who just rail against the same nonsense over and over. Who act like the Reds should look awesome in every single game and harp on every little negative outcome. Fans don’t see every play, so they rely on these voices to fill in the blanks, and their comments just reinforce this confirmation bias that believes, for example, that Votto doesn’t come through in key spots, when in fact the stats say this year he’s performed just as well in high leverage situations, and for his career he’s done even better.

          I honestly can’t listen to the Brennamans anymore.

        • @Greg Dafler: I think a lot of what fans say about Votto is that … on and on, we hear he’s in the top 10 of this or that — I hate to break it to you, but Votto leads the league in OBP … and not much else. No, he’s not Gehrig or Rose, but the results I’ve seen this summer suggest that we have a right to expect more than 5 walks in a game. It’s a record that cries out WHO CARES?

          mArty can be harsh and he rubs me lately with his grumpy approach, but the fans observe what they observe.

          I like Votto. He is a rare talent but he has been FAR from the offensive force the rankings suggest. I watch the games, don’t look up the metrics. I saw a guy hit 4 fly balls yesterday in a game that produced zero runs. It would seem that I have some reason to expect the so-called top hitter in the league to do more than that. And yes, you can pawn off the blame in the other 7 hitters. Zach Duke and Johnny Cueto both had base hits in this series — gee, how’s that work?

          And spare me the probabilities. In some cases, the standard plain old RBI is a perfectly valid statistic when an actual run is produced. Having Votto trot to first base is fine, but I can say this — the fans are yawning about it.

          • @Johnu1: I think it’s fair to say that Votto is having a substandard season, by HIS standards (which of course, are VERY high). And the ways in which he is contributing are more subtle, and appear to not have as much impact as driving a guy in. While I personally find it to be needlessly picking on the team’s best player, I understand if people feel the need to point that out. What I don’t understand is why people think Votto, or any other player, can just get a hit whenever he wants. I get people are frustrated, but do you think Votto wants to hit 4 fly balls? The point is, even when the guy isn’t having his best year, he contributes in a huge way.

            No one cares about the “record” of drawing 5 walks. It’s notable because HE WAS ON BASE 5 TIMES. It’s just slightly less valuable than 5 singles (due to possible runner advancement). Would you be satisfied if he was 5-for-5 with 5 singles?? He even “drove” in a run with one of those walks!!

            I just don’t think people stop to consider what they are complaining about. They’re just upset and want to complain.

          • @Johnu1: Harang didn’t give him anything to hit Monday night (in that at-bats I saw.) I didn’t get to see the game yesterday, but in the box score all four of his fly balls yesterday where classified as “deep centerfield”. Any of those at-bats would have resulted in RBI if there was a runner on 3rd and less than two outs. His final at-bat would have been on RBI with the runner on 3rd, but there were already two outs (thanks to a sac bunt and a strikeout.)

            It’s not like “all of a sudden” Votto is trotting down to first base. This will be the 4th year in a row for Votto to lead the league in OBP. He’s batting over .300.

            The only thing I notice on the year as a whole is that his power is down a little from previous years in the majors (but still better than the power he showed in the minors.) It’s going to make people wonder about his knee. Is the relative lack of extra base hits a normal career fluctuation or is there something else going on? Is this possible something else permanent or temporary (like Arroyo’s mono)?

            IMO, Votto is a cornerstone player having another great year. He’s not having a “career year”. Well, you only get one of those.

          • @Greg Dafler: I wrote what I thought
            was an insightful addition to this conversation, agreeing to some end, adding new points of view. Clicked “Post Comment” and got:

            Oops! Google Chrome could not connect to redlegnation.com

            Try reloading: redlegnation.­com

            So I guess that’s that.

          • @Johnu1: I would like to see your comments if you’d like to try again. The site may have been getting a lot of traffic at the time and that’s why you got the error. You may try writing it in Word or Notepad or something like, then copy/paste it to here. That way if you get the error again, you have the comment typed up and can paste it again without re-writing.

            Or, I’ve gotten in the habit with longer comments to highlight my comments and right-click/copy it before I click “Post Comment”. That’s saved me a few times also.

          • @Greg Dafler: I’ve done that too when I’ve seen the board run slowly. At that hour of the day, I didn’t anticipate the problem. It’s not like I had any real wisdom to impart.

          • @Johnu1: @Johnu1: There was an excellent article on fangraphs the other day looking at the 5-walk night. It concluded there was a total of one or two pitches that maybe Votto could have swung at that he didn’t. (He has a league-average swing rate at pitches in the zone; he simply doesn’t get as many pitches to hit as lesser players.)

            Yesterday, he made four outs on fly balls. Did it ever occur to you that that’s what happens when you swing at “pitcher’s pitches”: you make more outs? In nearly all cases, walks are better than outs.

            Votto’s walks have a lot more to do with who is hitting behind him than with him being a bad hitter.

          • @Eric the Red: I would like to empathize … I have no problem with JV getting good at-bats. I have no problem with him churning the lineup. What I **AM** trying to establish here is that the fan base is expecting the same things they expected in Mudville. Votto is the key to the offense and when he’s getting walks, it’s a downer. I have no problem with the quality at-bat. The best hitters ever only hit .340.

        • @Greg Dafler: This both demeaning and patronizing to the fans. I guess we are just a brainwashed mob waiting for Marty give the commands on what to think.

          Tell you what, if you do not already have a MLB Radio and can’t afford; I will purchase a 1-year subscription for you so you never have to hear the dulcet tones of Marty Brennaman again. How is that? I’m dead serious.

    • @Greg Dafler: Are you saying the Marty and Chad actually agree on something? LOL

    • @Greg Dafler: I listen to Marty about half the time. I don’t have the problem with him that a lot of the people here do. He can be annoying but I think he is the best play by play announcer the Reds have. That being said, my opinion of Joey Votto this year has nothing to do with what Marty says and everything to do with what I have observed.

  48. Note to Ryan Ludwick: Fans feed off of the players’ play. Then the players feed off of the fans excitement. Typical for the Dusty Baker led Reds offense, you have placed the cart before the horse.
    Don’t blame the fans. Look directly in the mirror. Your criticism rings hollow from a guy that is SUPPOSED to be a #4 hitter, but has only produced 7 XBH’s and scored only 7 runs in 35 games. Pitiful production from a guy paid $7.5 million.
    Good-Bye Ryan Ludwick. Enjoy your MLB career, whats left of it, in some other city on some other team. Ba-Bye!!!
    I hope he gets booed unmercifully this weekend.

  49. Is it too late to sign Darnell McDonald before Tuesday? He went double-double-3 run HR vs Liriano.

    I haven’t read all the comments yet, but…shouldn’t we have pinch hit for Billy in the 8th? Needing a single (to the outfield) do you leave it up to the kid with the low batting average in AAA, or bring in someone else with some experience? Seemed kind of obvious to me.

    • @Eric the Red: I agree. Ludwick was sitting there, going to waste.

      • @Johnu1: Nah, he was too busy counting the fans and measuring how many decibels they were putting out 🙂

        Speaking of which, did you see how few fans there were in the stands in Atlanta yesterday? And they won their division! (If you haven’t seen it, go look at the first inning when Carlos Gomez hit a homerun and then Atlanta decided to Pull a Pittsburg ™ and get all upset. Why McCann wasn’t thrown out–and suspended for a game–is beyond me.)

  50. I am not giving up on this season. St. Lousy limped unimpressively (is that a word? … spell check says no) into the playoffs a couple seasons ago and proceeded to win another title. (I really hate those guys) Improbable for the Reds? Feels that way. Felt that way right up until they took 3 of 4 from the St. LaRussa Whiners and swept the West Coast Yankees. Which version will we see in the ’13 playoffs?

    A minor positive note that came about over the last 6 days for the NY Muttz (and potentially the Reds). The Muttz recent run of good baseball has pushed them out of the top 10 in next year’s draft. If the rumors are true that the Muttz plan on chasing Choo hard (I’d rather have him back), and once we are forced to laugh at Boras’ 10 year $400 billion dollar contract demands which includes renaming Pete Rose Way to the Choo-Choo Expressway, then they will have to pony up one of their two 1st round picks to us to make that happen. Personally I think losing Choo would suck … took us long enough to fill half of that crater we called the 1-2 holes. If we can even get close to his asking price, I think Uncle Bob needs to snitch a few extra $$$ out of that new TV contract we got coming in the near future and extend the man.

  51. Speaking of very highly paid players. The Votto contract is likely going to look like peanuts if Cano and his agent get what they are looking for. Sources say that Cano is looking for a 10-year/$300-million deal. He’s 30, a middle-infielder, a decent defender, and a career .309 hitter who averages 28 HR and 102 RBI over the last 5 years. Still, you have to think that he won’t be an exemplary player into his late 30s. If I’m the Yankees, I pass.

    • @LWBlogger: Agreed. I think the Yanks’ learned a lot from A-Fraud’s deal.

      Votto’s deal looks better, IMO, because his ability to walk a lot won’t diminish with age. He may even have a renaissance around 35 when people expect him to have diminished and they start throwing him more pitches to hit, thinking he’s lost bat speed or something of that nature. I see a .330/.400/.610 opus in his future! 😉 (A guy can dream)

      On a related note, I’m surprised we don’t see more of the “diminished skills” clauses in contracts. The first one (and only, really) I’ve heard of was Frank Thomas and the Sox. He had a clause tied to his measured bat speed, I think, that allowed them to pay him less if his skills diminished past a certain point. I think GMs should rely more on this when assinging these decade-long deals.

      • @prjeter:

        Interesting clause idea. I think agents like Boras though would scoff at the mere thought of something like that

Comments are closed.

About Jason Linden

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.


2013 Postseason, 2013 Reds


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