Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

Pittsburgh 4
Cincinnati 2

W: B. Cumpton (2-1)
L: G. Reynolds (1-3)
S: K. Farnsworth (2)

–One Red had two hits, and of course that was Cesar Izturis, who went 2-3 with a double and a run scored. Corky Miller knocked in both Cincinnati run with a double.

–Let’s just skip this part, shall we? It doesn’t matter.

–Cincinnati came into this series with something on the line: an opportunity to host a postseason game. Well, the Pirates came into Great American Ballpark and swept the Reds. I can scarcely imagine a more lifeless performance by our guys.

This team lost their first game, lost their last one, and won 90 in between. Unfortunately, the Reds stumbled badly to the finish line, losing their last five games (which matches their season high). Entering the final week of the season, Cincinnati still had a shot at winning the NL Central division, but instead finished seven games behind St. Louis.

None of that is of any consequence now. Cincinnati’s record is 0-0. A whole new season is starting, and the Reds have a chance to hit the reset button and start over. With that comes a chance to write an entirely different narrative for this season that has been successful, yet disappointing in so many respects.

How we remember this season largely comes down to what happens in that game on Tuesday night. If the Reds can pull off a victory, they will go on to play the Cardinals in the National League Division Series. That will be an opportunity to exorcise some demons, and no one will be able to convince me that the Reds don’t have a chance in such a series.

Please feel free to have a little hope. Just don’t bet the ranch on these guys.

This team can do it. Will they? Tune in on Tuesday to find out. It all comes down to that.

Source: FanGraphs

88 Responses

  1. GolfGuy75

    Couple of questions–
    1. Any word on BP’s leg?
    2. When does the roster for Tuesday’s game have to be set? Gotta believe Hamilton, Robinson, and probably even Corky are on the roster because there isn’t a need for a full arsenal of pitchers.

    Forecast for Tuesday in Pittsburgh looks perfect for October baseball. Hopefully the Reds can step up and take advantage of their opportunity.

    • stevechai

      @GolfGuy75: There is ZERO chances of Corky being on the playoff roster and I’m not sure Billy will be.

      • GolfGuy75


        I was only talking about Tuesday’s game. I agree, past Tuesday no way Corky should be considered for a spot. But they don’t need to carry Latos, Bailey, and Arroyo Tuesday night, so right there opens three spots. I’m pretty certain they can reset their roster after Tuesday for the NLDS.

      • dc937

        @GolfGuy75: You’re right, they can set different rosters for the wild-card game and for each and every following round. So take your usual 25-man, and you get to replace Arroyo, Latos, and Bailey with three bonus guys. It’s not totally unreasonable that Corky could be one of them. Billy is a lock for the wild-card game but not so sure about anything further than that, though the kid absolutely deserves his spot. I bet one of the three extra spots goes to the bullpen, perhaps Zach Duke?

  2. Johnu1

    The parts that make me optimistic are the parts that would make anybody optimistic. The best pitcher on the team healthy, well-rested and facing a team he hasn’t faced all year. Going into any game, if you have to ask for an edge, it’s in your starting pitcher.

    So that’s what the Pirates have to face.

    The things that grate at all of us are the obvious ones — and that has nothing to do with managerial strategy at this point.

    Can this team score any runs? Until they show me some trends otherwise, I guess we need to hope for a shutout.

    Cueto hasn’t pitched that many innings this year. This will come down to the bullpen.

    And our flame-thrower has been sitting around gathering rust.

    • TennesseeRed

      @Johnu1: Your last sentence is perhaps the one that worries me the most and is the one thing that makes me angry about yesterday’s game. Given that he hasn’t pitched since 9/25, why wouldn’t they try to get Chapman at least an inning of work against live hitters? For what it’s worth, on 0, 1, or 2 days rest this season, Chapman has a 0.89 WHIP. For anything over 2 – it’s 1.74. His WPA on 0-2 days rest is a cumulative 1.3, while on 3+, it’s -0.08.

      Admittedly, it’s a smaller sample size (49 1/3 innings pitched on 0-2 days rest, 14 1/3 on 3+) and only one stat, but it’s still fairly big difference.

      • Johnu1

        @TennesseeRed: I am concerned with adrenaline … the guy is going to be pumped up and that tends to make him overthrow … all that plays into the idea that Dusty squandered leadership over the last week, pretending there was no urgency. I think urgency is not something that you just conjure up … and had Chapman been part of an urgency agenda all week long, he’d be able to come into a game more in line with … well, I guess I am trying to say that Dusty is expecting a guy like Chapman to dial it up all at once.

      • Redsfanx

        @Johnu1: Baker is going to have to keep Chapman in for more than one inning if the Reds are going to win this game.

  3. RedZeppelin

    Over/Under on runs the Reds will score Tuesday: 2.

    Place your bets.

      • prjeter

        @LWBlogger: His. Vegas uses half-steps to avoid pushes. So, O/U would have to be 1.5 or 2.5 in this case.

  4. ColgateCrew

    If Johnny has his game on Tuesday, I like the Reds’ chances. For all the national commentary about how good Lirano is at PNC Park, they forget that the Reds handed him his single home loss on 6/2. Yes he is tough on lefties, yes the Reds have a .193 BA against him, but the fact is he is 0-3 in 4 starts against the Reds in 2013. With the exception of the no-decision (won by Mesoraco’s miracle in the 9th and Votto’s HR in the 10th), the games have been low-scoring on both sides.

    So if Johnny can leave with a 2-1, 3-0, 3-2 game, I’m going to feel pretty good about it. Add that to the lights-out performance of the bullpen in recent weeks and a one-run lead doesn’t seem so tenuous. Nothing ever plays out by the script, that’s what we all like about the game. Except when it doesn’t go our way. And it might not. But I like our chances.

  5. BearcatNation

    Someone say something to make me believe there is hope. Please?

  6. gosport474

    If they do lose on Tuesday, then this will be one of, if not thee, most disappointing finishes to a Redlegs season ever. Probably having the best record in ’81 and Bowie Kuhn screwing the Reds (and Cards for that matter) out of postseason was the worst though.

    • Johnu1

      @gosport474: I thought 1995 was more disappointing, but it wasn’t as ugly as this finish has been. As someone pointed out, if they hadn’t gotten a 2nd wild card, wonder when the urgency would have occurred.

  7. steveschoen

    The “new start” talk, for me, is trying to come up with a reason why there would be hope. The thing is, at various times during the season, the players can always say, “It’s a new start for me, for us.” They can do it at the beginning of every month, at All-Star break time, with any bid series, etc.

    The thing is, still, these Reds could win some games. They could win Tuesday. But, I don’t see them going much further. If they haven’t been able to “turn it on” at any point during the season, who’s to say they will be able to “turn it on” now, that they would be use to “turning it on”, etc., not to mention, if they could turn it on at anytime, why not turn it on during the last week?

    I will watch Tuesday. I will cheer for them. I hope they prove me wrong. I want to go to a WS parade downtown. But, I just don’t see it.

  8. Jason Linden

    Okay, a few of you want hope. Here goes:

    It is a fact that this team has been frustrating to watch.

    However, the playoffs really are a crap shoot. Lesser teams win series all the time. I’ve never seen anything that shows a relationship between how a team finishes the season and how they do in the playoffs.

    In the wild card era, a team with 90 or fewer wins has reached the World Series 7 times. 3 of those teams have won.

    We can talk a lot about how this team doesn’t have it, but it wasn’t that long ago that they won 6 of 7 from the Cards and Dodgers. Sometimes they have it and sometimes they don’t.

    It has been shown that pitching matters more than hitting in the playoffs. That certainly favors the Reds.

    There are 10 teams in the playoffs (or there will be after tomorrow), so those of you who declare the Reds to be hopeless will very likely be proven right. But that’s true for 9 out of 10 teams every year.

    Right now, the Reds have about a 6% chance of winning the WS. If they win Tuesday, that becomes about 12%. They win the NLDS and it’s 25%. They win the NLCS and it’s 50%.

    They did make the playoffs. They are a frustrating team, but they are not a bad team. It’s easy to forget that after what we’ve seen this last week. But it’s true. Bad teams don’t win 90 games. Great teams don’t either. But you don’t have to be great to win it all. You just have to be good when it matters.

    • BearcatNation

      @Jason Linden: Thank you Jason. My friends have been telling me all year that I’m the hopelessly optimistic Reds fan of the group. But even I have my dark days. I’ll be down at the Banks just like I was for Game 1 of the NLDS last year nervous and praying for a Reds victory!

      • steveschoen

        @BearcatNation: The thing is, this is the 2nd WC team, not the first. While it still could happen, that is different than it will happen. This team wouldn’t even be in the playoffs if it wasn’t for the league having a 2nd team WC.

      • OhioJim

        @steveschoen: And that matters not one iota if they win on Tuesday. And (obviously) it matters not an iota that the #1 WC was the #1 if they lose.

      • pinson343

        @steveschoen: The Cardinals were the NL’s #2 WC team last year (a distant 6 games behind the Braves), and nobody cared about that once they beat the Braves in the play in (Infield Fly) game.

  9. santa barbara reds fan

    Is anyone else fed up with Dusty Baker AND Marvyn Lewis? Sure, both put together several winning seasons after both franchises had suffered from years of futility. But neither have led their teams past the first round of the playoffs. (Reds this Tuesday… Hmmm…. We’ll see.) More immediately, how on earth could the Reds have gone 5-10 in a heated race for a division title to end the season? And how can a very talented Bengals team be 2-2? As a devout Reds and Bengals fan, I’m frustrated! Ugh!

    • jessecuster44

      @santa barbara reds fan: I feel your pain, and I wonder if Marvin and Dusty have ever been photographed together.

      Both have taken bad teams, made them competitive, but have not taken the next step. Both have game management skills that are flawed. Both are dismissive to reporters. Both haven’t won a playoff game at home in Cincinnati.

      Also both seem to be made of teflon – other franchises have fired such coaches because they can’t go to the next level.

      It’s one thing to be frustrated if the Reds and Bengals were bad – they may play badly at times, but neither team is bad. It’s absolutely agonizing to see that both these teams could be excellent if the right buttons were being pushed.

      • santa barbara reds fan

        @jessecuster44: Nicely put. Well, hope springs eternal, right? Let’s hope for a win at PNC Tuesday and see what happens from there for our Reds. And, there’s still a lot of football to be played by our Bengals. Go Reds! Go Bengals!

  10. FrustratedRedsFan


    All negativity aside (and I’ve had more than just about anyone this season), the Reds have a chance to beat Pittsburgh, then get STL for 5. A big advantage to the dog in that series / the Reds would get the 1st 2 at home.

    The line on the game in Pittsburgh Tuesday gives the edge to Pittsburgh, only slightly (-122 v +112). You have to imagine the only way for the Reds to win this game is to get the lead early, and hold on the rest of the way. Falling behind and letting the crowd get into this game is death for Cincinnati, because they’ve been the worst come from behind team the MLB has ever seen in 2013 (only team to not come back from a 4 run deficit in 20+ years).

    Reds will likely carry Cueto, Leake, Bailey and 7 relief pitchers (Arroyo, Latos un-available). Those relief pitchers are Parra / Marshall / Chapman / Simon / Ondrusek / Hoover / Lecure.

    The 15 hitters we’ll see are the usual starting 8 w/ Hamilton / Hannrahan / Robinson / Mesoraco / Izturis / Heisey / Paul. Some people think 11 pitchers and 14 hitters, but I can’t see the value in adding Zach Duke, and removing one of the bench 7 above (Duke should NOT be pitching in this game, period).

    We are now forced as a group of fans to trust in these players, trust in Dusty Baker to manage them well. We can count on some crazy moves during the game … almost certainly leaving Cueto in too long and praying that Billy Hamilton comes into the game for an insurance run, not for the tying one. It’s simply in God’s hands now / can the Reds be patient enough to let Liriano walk them, because he will … or will Ludwick be a first pitch swinging, double play machine?

    For the sake of every Reds fan on this Earth, I prey that Wednesday morning, I don’t wake up thinking “What has Dusty Baker done”.

    Enjoy the game all.

    • wildwestLV

      @FrustratedRedsFan: Agree with everything you said, except, you could still wake up on Wednesday morning, thinking, “What has Dusty Baker done?”, and the Reds would have won. I defy anyone who can define the 2013 Reds. I have no clue what will happen.

    • Johnu1

      @FrustratedRedsFan: That is one lame bench, if I have to evaluate it. Came in with that in April, and it never got better.

      • FrustratedRedsFan


        I agree with that minus Hamilton of course. He adds an element to the game that gives the Reds a big advantage in extra innings, tie game situations etc.

        A 4-0 Reds victory and the bench isn’t needed. Frazier Grand Slam in the first inning!

      • Johnu1

        @FrustratedRedsFan: Hamilton gives the Reds a weapon after somebody reaches base. The problem has been specifically … getting 3 or 4 hits is not exactly getting people on base. So while the Rocket is a nice addition, he’s not what ails this team. And I am not sure he can hit yet.

      • prjeter

        @Johnu1: I think the word is out on him as a hitter after a few games. He was getting fastballs in his first 2 starts and he was slapping them to left field. In his AB yesterday, he got an 0-2 breaking pitch and looked horrible swining and missing for the K. I bet, from now forward, he’ll get a steady diet of off-speed stuff until he proves he can hit it.

    • Jeff in TN

      @FrustratedRedsFan: “A big advantage to the dog in that series / the Reds would get the 1st 2 at home.”
      Not this year. Last year the NLDS was a 2-3 series because MLB hadn’t put in an extra travel day. This year it will be 2-2-1 like it should be for any 5 game series. NLDS starts in St. Louis vs. CIN/PIT winner. GO REDS!

  11. msanmoore

    I’m on radio silence (self imposed) until Tuesday. It is a whole new slate with plenty at stake for both teams. We’ve done well at PNC many times. Our guys have all day tomorrow to “think about what they’ve done” and focus on Tuesday. Thank goodness it’s a short trip.

    If we have to go home after 163, I personally am happy to see the Pirates advance and will pull for them to go the distance. Hurdle is a class act and seeing that level of baseball excitement in Pittsburgh is something special for any true baseball fan.

    • Jason Linden

      @msanmoore: Agree with this. Logically, it makes sense to pull for the team that beats you. I’d rather lose to the champ than another also ran.

      • Johnu1

        @Jason Linden: Not so many also-rans left in this. I think a couple of them are equal to the Parrots.

      • Johnu1

        @Jason Linden: Of course I know! I don’t think the Parrots can beat the Birds, though. Just … don’t. All the same, LA is the team the Reds have to beat to win the pennant. Either them or Atlanta. See how that works?

      • Redsfanx

        @Johnu1: Before LA or Atlanta, the Reds have to beat the Pirates.

      • Johnu1

        @Jason Linden: I also cannot tell you how ready for the ledge I will be if the Cardinals advance to the W.S. again. There are issues that are legitimate provocation points.

      • Kurt Frost

        @Jason Linden: I also cannot tell you how ready for the ledge I will be if the Cardinals advance to the W.S. again. There are issues that are legitimate provocation points.

        Now this we can agree on.

    • wildwestLV

      @msanmoore: There’s a lot about this Pirates team that reminds me of the 2010 Reds. The passion, fire, and FUN they have. If they move on, it will be interesting to see what they can accomplish. Especially against the St. Louis Cardinals.

    • jessecuster44

      @msanmoore: Agree. Nice for the ‘Burgh to be back in the postseason, and that team plays tough.

      But I still hope the Reds kick their butt Tuesday.

    • Eric the Red

      @msanmoore: The Pirates have been throwing at YOUR TEAM all year. They purposely hit YOUR 2nd baseman and cost him a month of productivity. They went out and acquired a known cheater, who is having a suspiciously productive year. Normally I’d root for the scrappy underdog, but there’s no way I could root for this Pirates team.

  12. wildwestLV

    Not too worried about Tuesday. Oh I have no idea of the outcome, but, this team is experienced enough to know what to expect. No clue if they’ll come through, but they should know what’s coming. I’ll still wager Citizens Bank Park in October = more hell than PNC, and both < AT&T.

    • BearcatNation

      @wildwestLV: A good playoff veteran baseball team doesn’t get rattled going on the road in the playoffs. The 2012 NLDS was a prime example of that. I think the Reds will be ready. Its just a matter of how they play.

      If I’m being honest, I think the Reds pull it out on Tuesday, and then promptly lose 3-1 to the Cardinals. But they certainly have the talent to win it all this year, and at this time of year, thats all that matters. Let’s go Reds!

  13. jessecuster44

    I really like how the players said all the right things about a new season starting in Tuesday. I think the bats will wake up just enough to give Cueto a chance to win.

    Billy Hamilton must play. Chapman must pitch. There is no tomorrow, so you need to use all your bullets.

    Go Reds!

    • Hunt4RedsOctober

      @jessecuster44: There in lies the problem. Baker either doesn’t know how to use the gun or will put the bullets in the wrong way.

      • jessecuster44

        @Hunt4RedsOctober: If The Reds lose on a walk off, and Chapman hasn’t pitched, I will break something.

        This is where I am. Based on his quotes and in-game decisions, I know I am smarter than the 2013 Dusty Baker, the 2011 Dusty Baker, and maybe the October 2012 Baker. I know, very, very irrational – what with me never having managed a major league game

        I should manage the darn game on Tuesday. If the Reds lost, it would be due to the Pirates being better, not because I left a pitcher in too long, called for a bunt 7 times, or mismanaged the bullpen. If the Reds won, that would be the start of a nice little 12 game winning streak…

  14. I-71_Exile

    I don’t agree with Dusty on much—but I’m with him on the passion and fire deal. I don’t think it helps in baseball. Football? Yes. Basketball? Yes. In baseball, you see passion after players succeed on the field, not before. The Reds just haven’t had much success lately, so they look dead and lifeless. Success fuels passion.

    Here’s some negative examples of on-field baseball passion: he’s jumping at the ball, he’s anxious, he’s over-throwing, he’s trying to do too much, he’s not relaxed, he’s got to let the game come to him, he needs to stay within himself.

    I believe these Reds players want to win and that they have passion and fire.

    • jessecuster44

      @I-71_Exile: I think if you have passion and fire, you definitely can goof it on the baseball diamond – rex hudler comes to mind.

      However, if you truly have passion and fire, you prepare, and you think. Many times this season these players have been caught unprepared and made mental errors.

      The will to prepare to win is a lot more important than the will to win.

      • Johnu1

        @jessecuster44: Passion, smashin’ … or all that … what I cannot understand is how this so-called veteran lineup of supposedly good hitters has been CONSISTENTLY overmatched by pitching that is not by any stretch — all that good. Today, the kid who pitched for Pitts. gave up TWO hits. This isn’t uncommon.

        So whatever emotion is involved, it would seem that somebody has deceived me just a little on the amount of talent this team purports to have.

        And spare me the advanced metrics. Zero is still zero.

      • pinson343

        @Johnu1: Not that it matters, but that kid had some luck on his side today – 4 line drives from Joey and Ludwick, 4 outs. All part of the game of course.

        I’m not expecting anything on Tuesday. But there’s always hope. Cueto might be dominant, Liriano might lay an egg. Or the other way around, who knows.

    • Redsfanx

      @I-71_Exile: The 2013 Reds, so far, have not been notable for passion and fire. That usually starts with the manager, and how often has Baker ever shown any passion and fire? Teams reflect the manager.

  15. StealYourBase

    Its torch and pitchfork time if Billy isn’t on the postseason roster.

  16. Carl Hudson

    This all sounds like a prayer meeting . . . everyone seems to be asking for a miracle, to be granted one more chance to resurrect the season from ruin, to recognize our sins (we don’t hit) and to beg for mercy for our inequities. It pains me to say this, but it ain’t going to happen. This team we all cheer for and hope for and emotionally invest in has no heart, no fight, and no future. The 2013 Reds are ready to disappear into the night and end this sad season with a whimper and not a bang (apologies to T.S. Elliot). I wish it weren’t so.

    • seadog

      Sounds like you are the deacon killing the minister… Shame on you.. 10 teams left out of 30. This team has heart, fight and a very bright future. How dare you even say that.. One of three young right/bats will come up big.

      Go root for the Cards/Rats where you will fit in

      • Johnu1

        @seadog: Bright future (check) … 10 left out of 30 (check) … heart, fire (rather subjective) … just because somebody doesn’t see the rainbow is no reason for …

        “Go root for the Cards/Rats where you will fit in”

        Life in baseball isn’t an issue of US vs. THEM.

      • Carl Hudson

        @seadog: Profound frustration sometimes takes refuge in hyperbole. Sorry if I offended you, but this year’s Reds have offended me. Anyway, I hope they prove me wrong and win Tuesday. If not, let’s hope the future IS bright.

  17. WedgieSanders

    At least my Browns won today. (probably the wrong place to write that) haha but that’s what happens when you live in Columbus. There’s still hope for an all Ohio World Series… How sweet would that be?

  18. pinson343

    Cueto is a question mark because he has only pitched twice over the last few months.
    To my mind, Liriano is a bigger question mark. I’ve seen his great stats at home for 2013. But how composed will he be for a play in game ? His little postseason experience, against the Yankees, was negative. Until this year, he hadn’t pitched really well since his rookie season.

    Above all, he walks people. Will the Reds be smart and wait him out ? Only The Shadow knows.

  19. pinson343

    A moment of pause for the last game of the regular season. There’s something nostalgic about it for me, even if there is at least one post season game.

    Today’s game was for the most part both meaningless and depressing. A display of how superior the Pirates bench is. The Reds don’t have a Garrett Jones to come off the bench and launch a HR. I’ve railed on all season about how weak the bench is, and was in a state of angry disbelief when WJ did nothing to improve it.

    Having said all that, I enjoyed it when the bench guys made a late run at winning today’s game. They showed more fire than I’ve seen from the regulars this week. In the 8th Robinson lines one to right, Izturis almost leaves the park with the ground rule double, Corky comes in and rips a double past 3rd base to score 2. Hamilton tries to bunt for a hit and is out by an eyelash. I was having some fun. Then of course Soto quickly ends that rally.

    In the 9th they still didn’t give up. Heisey lines a single, Hannahan has one of the best ABs I’ve seen of him this year, and on a full count hits a shot, but right at Harrison (2nd base) for a one hop DP. Rodriguez is overmatched and strikes out on 3 pitches, it’s over.

    Then I return to reality. A 5 game losing streak to end the regular season. The game didn’t matter. The Reds bench is a major weakness. But so what, for a few minutes some Reds were feisty and added something to my Sunday, the last day of the regular season.

    If a bunch of feisty, focused Reds show up on Tuesday nite, now that will be a lasting treat.

  20. Eric the Red

    I figure if I predict this in writing, it won’t happen:

    Choo walks on a 3-2 pitch. Liriano looks rattled.
    Ludwick–a RH bat–bunts straight back to Liriano. He fires a bit wild to second, but they get the out.
    Votto walks on a 3-1 pitch. Liriano looks rattled.
    BP hacks at the first pitch, grounding to short. Barmes bobbles the ball, so the Pirates can’t quite turn the DP. Liriano glares at Barmes. He appears rattled.
    Bruce walks on a 3-2 pitch. Liriano angrily takes the ball from Martin. He looks very rattled.
    Frazier swings at the first pitch, a slider three feet off the plate and in the dirt. It gets past Martin, and Ludwick just beats the throw home to put the Reds on the board.. Votto moves to 3rd, Bruce to second. Liriano looks rattled.
    Frazier swings wildly at an 0-2 pitch in the dirt, striking out to end the inning.
    Cueto shuts down the Pirates in the first. Cozart leads off the 2nd with a double that would have cleared the bases (too bad we gave up that out with the bunt!), but then Liriano settles down.

    The game stays 1-0 until the 9th, with the only Reds offense being two BB by Votto, a Choo HBP, and a two out double by Cozart.

    Aroldis Chapman comes on to pitch the 9th. Rusty, he throws two balls to the backstop, puts a 99MPH pitch just under the batter’s chin (which sends the crowd into a frenzy), and doesn’t get the call on a 102 MPH pitch which GameDay shows was a clear strike.

    With a runner on 1st, Marlon Byrd hits the first pitch he sees–a 100MPH fastball in the middle of the plate–over the centerfield wall. Pirates win 2-1. After the Pirates lose Game 7 of the NLCS to the Atlanta Braves–with surprise roster addition Sid Bream, Jr sliding in just under the tag–Byrd tests positive for steroids for the second time, receiving a 100 game ban. Rather than serve his ban he signs a contract with the Fukashima Carp, and breaks the one year old homerun record in Japanese Baseball.

    • Eric the Red

      @Eric the Red: Sorry, that’s the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, not Fukashima Carp. First thing in the morning it’s always tough to keep my irradiated Japanese cities straight.

    • Johnu1

      @Eric the Red: So, you are going to discuss whether Cueto ought to come out for a hitter, leading off the 7th inning after having thrown 109 pitches, 79 of which were strikes.

      • Eric the Red

        @Johnu1: Heisey pinch hit and grounded out. Parra and Hoover got through the 7th with one BB. LeCure pitched a perfect 8th. Pirates pulled Liriano for the 9th and let Grilli pitch it even though they were trailing by a run.

  21. Lost and Found

    Chads right about the clean slate. Nothing matters now but tomorrow.

  22. Matt WI

    Bring it… Cueto is going to be awesome on Tuesday. Sorry Pittsburgh.
    Aside… how impressive have the Indians been? Kudos to them. And major recognition to their front office. They went and got a lot of different parts, Francona helped make it work, and now they’re in. They even fixed Ubaldo. Good for them. I also think it’s such an interesting contrast: They drop Reynolds when it was clear he was used up. Meanwhile, lame shoulder and all, the Reds cling to Ryan Ludwick like Dusty owes him one for saving him in battle or something. But, at this point, the die is cast. Let’s win.

  23. WVRedlegs

    Hope: That thing you cling to until reality smacks you up side your head.

    Both road teams that played in the NL and AL wild card play-in games last year won. (Hope)
    But will a listless, uninspired, unproductive group of Reds show up in Pittsburgh tomorrow night. (Reality)?

  24. John

    “Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” – Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption.

    Red, who had no hope, who called hope a dangerous thing, learned that it is not.

    Coincidence? Probably. But I’m going with it.

    • WVRedlegs


      Let’s go with that. It’s as good as anything else the Reds have.

      And, Andy did finally get out of prison.

  25. LWBlogger

    Let’s hope the Reds, unlike the fans aren’t saying “Well, the season is over. There is no way we can win tomorrow. I mean we’re gonna try but, you know, it’s hopeless.”

    • Johnu1

      @LWBlogger: I gotta say, it’s hard for me to conjure up any false hope. I’d rather be pleasantly surprised. The long fall doesn’t hurt nearly as bad as the sudden stop.

  26. Johnu1

    For what it’s worth, the Cubs gave Sveum the boot today … leaving open all sorts of possibilities now. Theo called Sveum “a committed leader for this team the last two seasons.”

    • John

      @Johnu1: I wonder how long of a leash Epstein really has up there. He rode a wave of mammoth payrolls and immense veteran talent in Boston to what has amounted to a very latter-day Bowden career in Chicago.

      • Matt WI

        @John: I think they’re just getting started. Chicago was in such a hole to start, and they did get a bit better already. The NL Central is going to be a tough place for awhile.

      • Johnu1

        @Matt WI: The question is to how you go from 65 wins to 85 wins in one season — or less than 2 wins a month. Not a lot on that Cubs big-league roster this year.

        The problem in the NL-C is that I believe the Brewers are a whole LOT BETTER than they showed and I assume the other 3 teams (can’t recall them specifically) should all be marginally competitive. That means all 5 teams could be bad to the bone … but I think the Cubs are still not ready to win 85 games, no matter who manages them.

      • Steve Mancuso

        @Johnu1: Unless you’re thinking of a baseball league that plays 12 months a year, improving 20 wins a season is more than 3 wins/month and a rare accomplishment.

      • WVRedlegs


        Theo Epstein is amassing a stockpile of young talented players. They are inexperienced and green MLB-wise, but talanted. Make no mistake there.