Final R H E
St. Louis Cardinals  (1-0)
 1  5  3
Cincinnati Reds  (0-1)
 0  3  0
W: A. Wainwright (1-0)   L: J. Cueto (0-1)   S: T. Rosenthal (1)
Box Score   |   Play-by-Play    |    Stats    |    Depth Chart

The Good

No sooner had the 2014 season had begun, and Johnny Cueto takes a ball off the left arm because, well, of course he would, sending the trainer to the mound and half of the patrons at Great American Ballpark to the new Brewery District to begin drinking heavily. Thankfully, it was nothing serious and Cueto hung around to pitch a beautiful game, giving up three hits, striking out eight, walking one and stifling the Cardinals. Only a backup breaking ball that found Yadier Molina’s bat marred Johnny’s day. Todd Frazier brought his bat to the ballpark today. Two singles, a walk and a stolen base. Somebody is going to have to hit from the right side this year. Maybe the Toms River, N.J. kid is going to be that guy. Zack Cozart made a beautiful play in the 8th inning. Remember: the RBIs are in Zack Cozart’s glove. Logan Ondrusek came in and promptly dispatched Matt Holliday. You weren’t worried, were you??  True to his word, Price eschewed the matchup game with his relievers and left Logan in to pitch the 9th and was rewarded. Brandon Phillips got on base three times.

The Bad

The Billy Hamilton Show has gotten off to a slow start to say the least. Four at bats, four strikeouts–which is not the Billy Hamilton we were looking for. Of course, it WAS Adam Wainwright and those breaking balls can make anyone look silly, especially when it’s your first Opening Day and you’re trying to make something happen in front of 43,000 amped up fans waiting for any excuse to go nuts. No reason to overreact, just a reminder that if Billy is going to matter this year, he’s going to have to get on base. Nothing new there. Joey Votto went 0’fer. I don’t worry about Votto in the least, but on a day when the Reds couldn’t  scratch out even one run, it would have been nice if ….

The Cardinals made 3 errors and the good guys played error free ball. You’re supposed to win games when that happens.

The Ugly

Just Yadier Molina.

Not so random thoughts …

Pitchers are always ahead of hitters this time of year and these two pitchers have established themselves as two of the best in the business. Still, the Reds are going to have to find a way to beat the St. Louis Cardinals–and the sooner they start sending the message to the other dugout that they won’t back down from the adversity the Cardinals always seem to bring–the better. We can’t still be talking about this in August.

This last time the Reds were shut out on Opening Day, the year was 1953. And the fact that I have to report that today truly sucks, sports fans.




107 Responses

  1. corfy

    One bit of good news that you left out…. Votto didn’t walk. We’ve been hearing for months that “Votto doesn’t get paid to walk,” and he didn’t, so that’s a very good thing.


  2. Eric NYC

    I said it in the game thread but it bears repeating: If I’m Bryan Price, no one gets the day off tomorrow. You show up bright and early and be ready to run. Show you meant it when you said you’d bring accountability to the clubhouse.

      • Eric nyc

        I hope that workout involves suicide runs.

      • Bill

        Seriously? Did you expect them to go 162-0? They should run every time they lose? This isn’t high school.

    • AnnapollisHoosier

      He said in the pregame show that they were working out tomorrow.

  3. w_c_hughes

    Will the new site support interactive fangraphs? This one doesn’t seem to work.

    • Richard Fitch

      I couldn’t get the interactive graph to embed. WordPress insisted on stripping out the iFrame. We could always simply link to the page, if necessary.

  4. sezwhom

    Wainwright schooled Hamilton. Wasn’t even close. Is Brook Jacoby still our hitting coach? *Sarcastic comment*

  5. Steve Mancuso

    Maybe someone who knows more baseball strategy than I do can explain why you have BP run on contact with no outs in the eighth inning. I understand doing that with one out, but not no outs. My view is you just can’t give up that runner at third base.

    • Eric nyc

      I’d be willing to bet that was all on BP. He’s never been a good base runner. That was a horrible play on his part.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Actually, Bryan was asked about that play and he did not blame Phillips for going on contact. I did not hear the exact answer, but I got the impression that Bryan indicated Phillips ran correctly and Adams made a good play in preventing an extended rundown. I actually thought interference could have been called when Phillips ran into Adams after Adams had released the ball and was trying to move out of the way when Phillips reverse direction and tried to move away from 3rd base.

      • Eric nyc

        He didn’t go on contact. He shouldn’t have and he didn’t, but then he went a split second later and cost us the inning.

    • enigma

      I thought Bryan Price was the answer to all the Reds’ issues

    • ToddAlmighty

      I was hoping BP would turn around and dash towards home as soon as the ball was thrown to third. He would have smashed right into whomever was chasing him down the basepath. Interference. Safe.

    • BigRedMike

      Going on contact did not seem like the right decision there. At the same time, I thought it was going to score the run when it left the bat. Maybe a good play by Adams

    • sultanofswaff

      Price said BP did exactly as instructed, which is dumb strategy. Look around baseball, all teams run on contact in those situations. It’s like they NEVER want the runners to use their brains so there’s never any second guessing. Typical major league groupthink. But here’s the thing, if Phillips waits and reads the play, Adams has to make a choice—-hold the ball and stare at BP, try the double play, or turn his back on Phillips and run to first to get the out. In any case, if BP doesn’t give himself up, we either score or we have bases loaded.


      • Pete Rose

        The Reds now have a manager that was a pitcher – not a hitter or baserunner. Strike one against Brian Price. Should have stayed a pitching coach. So sad.

      • Jack C.

        not to mention, if BP had at least tried straight for the plate, he would have given Votto enough time to get to third. But, tonight is a new game, Cross our fingers and hope for some luck, We are going to need it as usual. Only difference in tonight’s game is that St Louis will more than likely score more than 1 run,

    • AnnapolisHoosier

      Completely agree. With no outs that is bad strategy.

      • theybege

        I look at it this way, by the runner going, it negated a double play. So instead of a runner on 3rd with 2 outs, there are runners on 1st and 2nd with one out, and if that runner can get into a rundown, there would’ve been runners at 2nd and 3rd with one out.

    • Pete Rose

      Steve, for hopefully the first of many times this year, I wholeheartedly and 100% agree with you. Having coached baseball for years and being a strong advocate of strong baseball fundamentals (BP’s baseball IQ continues to be in the teens – if not in the single digits – Peter Edward Rose’s was clearly above 90%). Btw, how many significant TOOTBLANS has BP committed in the past couple years (he single handedly lost the Reds the 2012 playoffs against SF Giants – with your man throwing bulls-eyes)? The correct play would have been – you jockey off the bag and if the ball is hit in the hole at 2B or SS – you peel off. A play right in front of you with the 1B charging in – you retreat hard (or you are out by 30 yards like BP was). No way do the Cards get a DP on that play and if BP stays at 3B, maybe the next hitter strokes a SF – or Adams throws the ball into CF. You make the other team make mistakes. The saddest part of the whole play – Price backed BP up. Sad makings down at the old ball yard if Price can’t break through to BP or have the huevos to get get into players grill who make stupid, stupid plays. Instead of being a leader – you instead smell the hotdog in BP a mile away.

      • att84511

        Wonderful post. BP was too far ashore. Make the inexperienced 1st baseman choose how to proceed instead of standing in no man’s land. BP made Adams’ move reflexive by being where he was, when he was.

        I don’t fault Price for backing BP. 1st game of the season – there is no reason to throw a vet under the bus publicly. Deal with it in the locker room.

      • Matt WI

        I don’t think we can assume that backing his player in public is the same thing as agreeing with his behavior. Publically shaming a player is not always in the best interest of the team, and probably should be done only in certain circumstances when you feel you know how a personality would respond.

        It might be brilliant managing by Price to show “In the media, I won’t hang you out to dry if I can help it” but behind closed doors we don’t see, talk about how to handle that play differently. Price is known for accountability with the pitching staff. Just because we don’t see it/hear it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

  6. Shchi Cossack

    Wow, that was a tough opener, but it was one game against arguably one of the best 5 pitchers in the NL. The hitters didn’t hit, but except for one pitch, neither did the Bird’s hitters. Cueto and Wainwright were simply dominant today. The umpire gave both pitchers the complete strike zone and both pitchers used all of it. Everything was inside black, outside black and knees. When Wainwright gets the low strike calls along with the inside strike and outside stike calls, and his hook is working (and it was certainly working today), no one is going to hit him. Everyone suits up on Wednesday and shakes this one off.

    I thought Bryan’s coice to bring Parra in for the 8th inning was insightful, even if it didn’t work out. The two key hitters in the 8th inning were Carpenter (hitting 3rd) and Wong (hitting 4th), both LH hitters. If the either of the 1st 2 hitters got on base, Parra is the pitcher needed to face Carpenter and Wong. True to Bryan’s previous statements, he is not going to burn through his relief pitchers with matchups. Of course, Parra mowed through the 2 RH hitter he faced and gave up a hit and walk to the 2 LH hitters he faced. I thought Bryan’s choice of Ondrusek to relieve Parra in a high leverage situation was a head scratcher, but whoever he brought in was going to pitch the 9th inning also and Ondrusek delivered.

    The Reds inability to plate a run in the 8th inning absolutely stunk. If such inept offense continues, I anticipate significant changes for 2015, but that’s a long way off right now and I do not expect such inept offensive performance like what the team exhibited in the 8th inning to be commonplace this season. The Birds played a horrendously sloppy game (3 errors and Frazier’s uncontested, or more appropriately unnoticed, steal). Good teams take advantage of such sloppy play by their opponents.

    • enigma

      The offense isn’t well-constructed. Total runs scored and consistent offensive production are two different things. Home run or bust is how the Reds have been since 2001.

    • Robby20

      It’s only one game of 162 but realistically don’t expect the offense to be anymore productive than it was last year. In fact, it should dip in production with the loss of Choo. Management has ignored the lack of punch from the right side of the plate for at least three years why expect any changes in 2015.

      Same team different year Pena should have stayed at second on the bunt and Phillips had no business heading home on the grounder to first. Cardinals make 3 glaring errors and no one steps up and makes them pay.

      • ohiojimw

        Per the manager Phillips was running the called play, BTW, that ball was soundly struck. It almost certainly would have been a DP had Phillips been running on contact from 3rd. Two outs and a man on 3rd versus 1 out and a man on second is between a rock and a hard place. Price made his choice which he preferred when he put on run on contact.

      • VaRedsFan

        Finally, a comment that shows some sanity about the play. Run on contact means you run. There is no maybe I run if it is hit sharply to a corner infielder. There is no in between. He ran like he was supposed to. Amazingly…no comments on why Jay Bruce can’t get the man in from 3rd with no outs.

      • Bill

        I don’t know if I agree about the offense dipping just b/c of Choo. I do think we’ll see a reduction of production in CF, but how can LF & C not be better? The pro-Brandon folks say his numbers last year were due to injury, so he could/should be better, at least according to them and I have hopes that Frazier’s numbers will be better. I have have a small bit of hope that Cozart’s numbers will climb a bit. Bruce will be Bruce and Votto will be Votto.

      • Pete Rose

        Reds fans, please give BH a chance – if you do, you could very well be pleasantly surprised. I could actually see another Vince Coleman in the making (and he was a difference maker). As it was, Wainright, as well as Johnny Cueto, were simply dominant yesterday.

    • greenmtred

      Good perspective on the Cossack’s part, as we would all expect. It’s one game against a superlative pitcher who was having a good day (not any better than Cueto’s, though). I didn’t notice more patience on the batters’ part (except for BP), but the way Wainwright was pitching, a patient batter is a batter with 2 strikes on him waiting for the third. The baserunning was disturbing, too–Votto’s failure to run on that swinging bunt as well as BP’s running on contact–but these are early days. Not counting on the Cards’ defense being their Achilles’ heal (early days), but it really does not seem–even discounting the errors–that they are as strong there as are the Reds.

      • greenmtred

        “…Aren’t as strong….”

      • greenmtred

        No, actually correct the first time. Where is my darn proofreader.

      • Shchi Cossack

        I was going to provide a grammar lesson, but I had confidence you would pull it out.

  7. enigma

    Bernadina to save the day in the 9th? Wow

    • Shchi Cossack

      In other news, Emilio Bonafacio went 4/5 as the leadoff hitter with 1-2B, 1-SB, a defensive assist while playing CF and a defensive douple play while playing 2B. The stupid Cubs still lost.

    • John Walsh

      Okay? And so did the Red Sox. Doesn’t mean that in a couple months we’re not going to be crying over spilled milk. I think that we can all agree that Sizemore is looking like the real (or at least realer) deal.

      • Matt WI

        The wise Cossack wasn’t disagreeing with you… he was agreeing that both Grady and Bonafacio were guys that were “ones that got away” if I had to guess. Context gets lost of course in typing, but I don’t think you were being disagreed with at all.

      • greenmtred

        Yes, but as others have pointed out, Sizemore was not going to come to Cincy–that one isn’t WJ’s fault.

  8. sergeant2

    Good job on the recap Mr. Fitch. I thought another “Good” was the way the Reds hustled down the 1st base line. Losing to the Cards is bad enough, losing to the Cards thanks to Molina’s HR is a torturous loss. We’ll get em Wednesday for sure. Go Reds!

    • Bill

      Other than Votto on the DP when he never left the box, I don’t think.

  9. jdx19

    I wasn’t around for the game thread and haven’t seen anything here yet about it, but I hope the obviously horrible sac bunt decision when Pena was on 2nd isn’t a harbinger of what Price is going to be doing. From what it looks like, Pena might be the slowest player on the team. You simply can’t sac bunt with runners like Pena on base. Even a perfect sac bunt likely doesn’t more Pena along.

    So, what can we say the loss was chalked up to? Terrible baserunning, in my humble opinion. The worst part of the 2013 team may still be the worst part of the 2014 team.

    Oh, and did anyone else think Votto’s GIDP was in foul territory when Molina picked it up? It was definitely in the batter’s box. Does the ump have to make a judgment call since there is no line there? Or is the entire box considered fair?

    Very frustrating.

    • Shchi Cossack

      The foul line confluence, including all of home plate is fair territory. I did not see a replay, but the ball looked to my old eyes to be in fair territory when Molina picked it up. I didn’t see if it hit Votto or Molina in foul territory before it bounced in front of the plate.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Regarding the bunt by Cueto, if the bunt is not hit directly back to the ;itcher but is bunted toward 3B as intended, making the 3B field the ball, it is a successful sacrifice, even if the Old Cossack is ‘running’. It was just a bad bunt, directly back to the pitcher. Cueto had virtually no chance of getting a hit off Wainwright, so the sacrifice attempt was actually the best option in that situation. Cueto is a good bunter, just not in that attempt.

      • jdx19

        They can have the SS cover 3rd on plays like that. I’ve seen it several times in the past. I stick by my opinion that Brayan Pena should never be sacrificed from 2nd to 3rd. 🙂

        Thanks for the comment on the foul/fair thing. From what I saw, the ball was clearly in the batter’s box by where a right-handed hitter’s left foot would be. Perhaps I saw it wrong.

      • VaRedsFan

        Of course you bunt the pitcher with a man on 2nd and no outs. He just didn’t execute the bunt. 100% the correct call.
        The dribbler hit by Votto was on the line, Molina actually waited an extra second for it to roll there. Votto didn’t run. Is that something he’s not paid to do either?

      • Bill

        Plus the fact that Pena does not HAVE TO RUN!!!

    • cgarber8

      You’d rather have Johnny Cueto swing away? Cueto led the NL in sac bunts in 2012. He just didn’t execute today.

    • sultanofswaff

      Cueto has to bunt the ball at the third baseman. It’s that simple. That’s high school stuff.

    • Pete Rose

      It looks like the Reds didn’t fix what was broken (TOOTBLANS galore – Reds should have bagged a W yesterday). And the verdict is still out on Price – he was a superlative pitching coach – and probably should have stayed one. Reds needed a gutsy, aggressive manager – what’s Peter Edward Rose up to now a days – oh, that’s right – gambling at home in Las Vegas.

      • greenmtred

        Of course the verdict is still out on Price, as it would be if the Reds had won 9 to 0. Neither team “should” have won, but one of them did.

  10. Reed Tom

    Man on third, no outs. Not able to get the tying run in. Nothing new there.

  11. Silence Dogood

    Opening Day gets magnified but it sure was a disappointing game. The Cardinals sort of stole one. Not often can you give a team five outs in an inning and get bitten. But somehow, the Cardinals are in the heads of our Redlegs. On the good side, Cueto’s start is more than encouraging. Best I’ve seen him in a good while. Hang with ’em.

  12. BigRedMike

    Yep, the outing by Cueto was a good sign. Looking forward to see how Cingrani performs on Wednesday

    • ToddAlmighty

      7 IP, 1 ER (a solo HR), 3 BB, 12 K is my prediction….. in other words, like a boss.

      • Kurt Frost

        But he got the loss so he didn’t pitch well.

        That was sarcasm. Wins and losses for pitchers are stupid.

      • redhills

        Who should you give them to then, the catchers?

      • greenmtred

        No, actually correct the first time. Where is my damn proofreader.

      • greenmtred

        Wins and losses should go away? I guess that they could stop bothering to keep score and just play for the sheer art of it. Or, use advanced metrics to figure out which team is the champion and not bother with games at all. Saves lots of time. Wins and losses for pitchers are not a complete or comprehensive evaluation tool, but, since outside factors influence every stat (you don’t get strikeouts without a batter’s compliance), you can consider wins and losses in context without, I trust, being mistaken for the anti-Christ.

      • Eric NYC

        Has Cingrani ever gone 7 innings in the majors? First start of the season, I’d be willing to bet its closer to 5, but still with double digit K’s.

      • ToddAlmighty

        Cingrani went 7.0 innings in 4 of his 18 starts last year.

      • eric nyc

        Didn’t know that. I seem to remember him constantly battling high pitch counts because he relied on K’s for so many of his outs. I guess 4 would be about a quarter of his starts last year? That makes sense. Still, wouldn’t expect him to go that deep tomorrow in his first start of the season against maybe the best offensive lineup in the NL.

  13. redmountain

    The Reds were not going to win 162 anyway. The Brewers and Pirates won too so the Reds are 1 game out of first! Too early for anyone to take anything from this. The best offensive team in the NL last year got one run on a HR, They left all their baserunners on base including Adams who got a lead off double and never moved. As has been said earlier, Wainwright is one of the best pitchers in baseball. Votto cant hit him ever, so why worry about a rookie starting his first game,? Lets see how. both are doing after 50 games.

    Bernadina and Heisey were the two best hitters in the Spring, so who should Price have sent up? Leake?

  14. CP (@nomoresalads)

    Confused why RN is so down. There are going to be a lot of these games this year. It’s not like the sabers weren’t warning you that this offense was going to be below average. The Reds will win their fair share of these tight games.

    • jdx19

      I”m down because the game was lost on the base paths. Big difference between losing 1-0 with hard hit balls that the defense made good plays on and tipping your hat to the opposing pitcher, and losing 1-0 where the opposition gave you 2 errors in an inning and you couldn’t capitalize.

  15. ohiojimw

    According to Price, run on contact was the call on the play in the 8th inning. We can presume the bench also called the Cueto SAC attempt. That’s two TOOTBLAN looking plays resulting from bench calls if anybody is counting them this year.

    • redhills

      I think Price is covering for BP by saying they had him “running on contact.” That is not good baseball. Of course the Cueto SAC attempt came from the bench. That was a no brainer. What are you going to have him do, swing away? He has to do something other than bunt the ball hard right back to the pitcher. Hamilton would have been out by 10 feet with that bunt.

      • greenmtred

        No way at all of knowing whether Price is covering for BP. If you want scapegoats, everybody but Cueto and Frazier qualifies.

  16. sultanofswaff

    We also got a first late-game test of batting Votto and Bruce back to back when the Cardinals brought in Siegrist to face them.

    • ohiojimw

      At least they both put the ball into play.

      Bruce ran the count better than he often did in the past. However, I think the bottom line in that situation is at 3-2, you need to be able to shorten up and trade an out for a run (i.e. SAC fly) to tie the game when you are home team.

  17. ohiojimw

    Yes it was against Wainright but nonetheless it was unsettling to see Hamilton look over matched again and again and again.

    • redhills

      You could see last year and in Spring Training that Hamilton is going to be overmatched by most Big League Pitchers for a while, I’d guess half a season. And we don’t have half a season to give him, so I bet he’s back in the minors within a month. Sure, Wainwright was on it and had great stuff, but Hamilton barely touched the ball and looked awful. He has a long way to go before he’s ready to face the pitching he is going to see on a daily basis.

  18. ohiojimw

    Cueto’s performance was outstanding but perhaps just as importantly for the Reds, the Cards showed they haven’t lost their propensity to give away extra outs on defense. There will be teams who cash in on the extra outs. As Reds fans, we can only hope they will have good enough pitching to make the free runs game winners.

    • redhills

      I’m not sure you can count on Adams dropping another ball like that one this year. Or Borjous either, for that matter, at waist high. Wong, who knows? He looks pretty sure handed to me. But, if you are needing Cardinal errors to beat them it is going to be a loooong year!

  19. Jeff Morris

    Just watched the Reds on ESPN get shutout, wasting a great effort from their pitching staff. I will never understand why players try to advance to the next base on either bunts or ground outs, where they are dead outs by a mile! This happened to the Reds twice today! Early in the season, but today showed the Reds had the same problems as last year:

    Can’t hit with runners in scoring position

    Bruce doesn’t provide, when we really need it, or on a consistent basis. Wonder if he will be Mr Inconsistent this year, again!

    Cozart swinging at the first pitch after the pictcher just walked the last batter. Why not take a pitch or two, to make the pitcher throw strikes.
    Also, Cozart hitting in double plays or potential double play, thanks to the Cardinals errors today.

    Hamilton looked really bad today, he has some adjustments to make at the plate.

    Not sure the Reds payroll or budget situation, but unless they are willing to make moves in the offseason to acquire proven players, like the Cardinals do, they will really never compete and go deep in the playoffs.

  20. Dave T

    On the other hand… Billy Hamilton had the exact same number of hits today as did Shin Soo Choo.
    At least for now, it’s a wash.

    • Paul (@jockopablo)

      Even if Hamilton had managed to get on base four times it wouldn’t have mattered, considering the next four batters went 1-for-13 combined.

  21. enigma

    When it counted, Jay Bruce crumbled again. That man can’t even advance a runner when the team needs him to!

  22. JRS1972

    The Reds are average or worse at 6 of 8 offensive positions so I am not really sure what we expected from an early season game against a dominant pitcher.

  23. Paul (@jockopablo)

    I know it’s fashionable to criticize Phillips, but it’s good to see at least a couple folks here pointing out the fact that Jay Bruce couldn’t get a ball out of the infield during their best scoring chance. He shares a lot of the blame for that fail of an inning.

    One game does not make a season, but aside from a major injury I don’t think the Reds could have scripted a worse start to the season to give hope to doubtful fans. It had “deja vu” written all over it.

  24. preacherj

    After a walk and three straight ground balls that all could have/should have been double plays were muffed, you have to score SOMETHING, Statistically, it’s almost impossible not to.

    And what the heck is Cozart doing swinging on the first pitch after a walk? It’s a new season, young man: try new things.

    The call to bunt Cueto was absoutletly correct. Johnny is a great bunter (usually) and a terrible hitter (always). With Pena’s ‘speed’ he wouldn’t have been able to move to third on anything Johnny did at the plate anyway short of the sacrifice.

    I’m hoping that Billy’s day will turn out positive and make him work harder now that the games count. He was severely overmatched. Granted, it was Wainwright, but even mediocre pitchers can throw a breaking ball, and that’s the pattern that was established yesterday. He’s going to have to re-write the book quickly if he wants success at this level.

    • greenmtred

      Yeah, even mediocre pitchers throw breaking balls, but not like Wainwright’s.

  25. zaglamir

    I for one don’t understand all the downess. Sample size, folks. Sample size on a day where 40k onlookers are expecting perfection.

    Billy Hamilton, by all rights, should have struggled today. Very few are the folks who wander in to their first “real” big league start and kill it. Even fewer those who wander in with the expectations Hamilton faces.

    Yes, the Reds likely ‘should’ have won. Yes, there were some baserunning errors. That happens to all teams early in the season. If this is still the common cold the Reds are facing at the end of April, I will be right there with you. Until then… lighten your hearts and believe in Price. Amen.

    • lost11found

      People are down because they lost… typical internet.

      I’m gently encouraged as Cueto pitched an excellent game, the bats just couldn’t put anything together against wainright (no shame there), The Defense was sound too.

      Baserunning decisions didn’t help matters, but I am not sure if phillips/Price’s call was right or wrong. I’ve always been 50-50 on the contact play and it always stinks when it doesn’t work.

      • Paul (@jockopablo)

        That’s the problem. “Great starting pitching and defense combined with zero offensive production” could be the byline for most of their big games over the last few years. That’s why this loss stings so much. It’s awfully reminiscent of those playoff games in which scoring a single freaking run would have made the difference.

        That doesn’t mean nothing has changed, obviously, since it’s only one game we’re talking about, but it’s disheartening nonetheless.

      • preacherj

        I think you sum up my feelings very well. I’m not trying to over-react to a single game, but it seems like what I’ve become accustomed to over the last couple of seasons.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Sound advice Zagramir. Even critical analysis or criticism of selective plays and results in a single game, while appropriate for blog discussion, do not reflect any longer-term results or expectations. Just like the offensive drubbing that Texas and Philadelphia laid on each other is also not reflective expectations for their entire seasons. Big, deep breaths everyone. There will be plenty of time for doom and gloom if the Reds don’t show anything positive over the next couple of months.

  26. redhills

    YOu have no choice but to have Cueto bunt with Pena on second. It was a horrible bunt, and Pena was out by about 30 feet. Cueto has to do a better job to help himself with the bat. Phillips running was a different story. If he was running on contact as some have said, you don’t do that unless you can fill third base behind him if he makes an out. That was bad baserunning, My guess is Price was covering BP’s butt when he said he was told to “run on contact.” At least I hope that is the case.

    • vegastypo

      Cueto bunting was a no-doubter to me. But the runner has to use some discretion and see where the bunt is going before breaking for third, especially a plodder like Pena. If they throw Cueto out at first, Pena would still be in scoring position.

      And I suspect you are correct about covering for Phillips. I’m no fan of a runner taking off “on contact,” regardless of where the ball is hit. I thought the rule was that the runner on third should break for home if it looks like a surefire DP, because getting the guy at home still leaves two runners on base with only one out. But I’m having a hard time thinking the Cards would have turned two on that, whether they got Votto at second OR Bruce at first, they still would have had one out and two on, with one of those runners at third. (And the muffed double-play grounder might have scored a run!

  27. Shchi Cossack

    Regarding the individual plays in question, Bryan stepped up and shoulder full responsibility for the run-on-contact decision and result in the 8th inning. Bryan also didn’t criticize Votto for not immediately running out the swinging bunt. From previous reports and interviews with the pitchers, we know Bryan will address any issues appropriately and clearly, without publicly chastising the players involved.

    Maybe the players erred in thier judgement or execution. Maybe the coaching/manager erred in decision making. I would be very surprised if a point isn’t made with Votto (let the umpire worry about the fair/foul call, you run) and Cueto (execution of the sacrifice bunt) in Bryan’s very pointed yet non-confrontational manner. I would also be very surprised if Bryan doesn’t meet with his coaching brain trust regarding in-game decisions that may or may not have been appropriate. I believe Bryan’s expectations for his own performance are significantly higher than his expectations for anyone else’s performance. We also need to recognize that he is still learning as a 1st time manager and he will make mistakes, just like everyone else. The issue will be if he can and will learn from his mistakes. We will never know who did or didn’t make some of the less obvious mistakes in this single game and what was done to address those mistakes. That is how it should be. Those involved will be judged by the end results after (or at least much later in) the season.

  28. eric nyc

    I’m glad Cueto pitched as well as he did, but it’s hard to be too encouraged by it because he simply HAS to be that good all season for us to even think about being in the postseason conversation. Same goes for Latos, who’d better get healthy fast. The fact is our offense is just going to be middling all year and our only hope is that our starting pitching is going to HAVE to be dominant and the front of our rotation is going to have to be CY-caliber dominant. All year. Or the wheels will completely fall off. So it’s great that Cueto looked to be up to that challenge for at least one game, but if that’s just the bear minimum to fight for a .500+ season then it doesn’t do much to make me feel better about what happened in the batter’s box and on the paths all aftrenoon.

  29. Ethan

    In the 8th when we were “rallying”, I couldn’t get over how tame the crowd was. During Frazier’s AB no one was standing, and the park was very quiet. It was like a funeral. What’s up with that? For years the lack of enthusiasm at the park has gnawed at me. They only cheer when the big board says to and as soon as the graphic disappears(ie right before the pitch, which is the time you should be cheering the loudest) all cheering stops. We need some classes in fan etiquette and proper cheering protocol. Yesterday only confirmed the docile nature of Cincinnati fans. Had that scenario been in St. Louis, the fans would have all been standing and cheering loudly. There needs to paradigm shift for the fans. We need the electric feeling of a stadium full of exuberant fans with a passion for their team and a passion to win, not a bunch of indifferent and complacent gathering of people. .

    • preacherj

      Certainly the crowds can be more anitmated, but the bottom line is that if you win consistently, the cheering will take care of itself.

      • ohiojimw

        90 or more wins three of the last four years isn’t “winning consistently”?

    • zaglamir

      That’s just not Cincinnati though. It’s regional, I think. I’ve been to a number of different ballparks now, for many major league teams. Depending on the region, the folks are either loud or not. Cincinnati fans are going to be loud for the first pitch and when prompted. For as long as I’ve been going to games, that’s the way it’s been. Heck, for as long as my Grandfather remembers going to games, that’s the way it’s been. When we went to Atlanta, he complained the whole time about how roudy and rude their fans were, as he was just trying to watch a baseball game. Maybe, I’m wrong, I’ve only been around for the last two decades of Reds ball… but 20 years is certainly a precedent.

      Baltimore’s fans are quiet. Literally an hour’s drive away in DC, the fans are loud. It all has to do with the type of people. Now I agree, it could be disheartening to the players, etc… but I wouldn’t expect much change.

  30. jessecuster44

    No one has mentioned this yet, but Bruce’s fail in the 8th inning was partly a result of poor pitch selection. He fouled off ball four twice. If he was a bit more selective, the bases would be loaded with no one out.

    Also, Zack Cozart swung at the first pitch during every at bat. (or at least three of them) During his last at bat, he swung at every pitch except the called strike three that wasn’t the least bit borderline.

    Todd Frazier also took a called strike three, right down broadway, in his last at bat. He took his share of cuts at pitched two feet outside the strike zone, though.

    I know it’s one game, but these are things you hope a new hitting coach addresses, or perhaps would have addressed during spring training.

    • ohiojimw

      “No one has mentioned this yet, but Bruce’s fail in the 8th inning was partly a result of poor pitch selection. He fouled off ball four twice. If he was a bit more selective, the bases would be loaded with no one out”
      Very true, I thought the ball up and away was close enough it at least made sense he spoiled it. However the pitch inside at lower shin level was one of those that Creeper likes to never really had a chance to be a (called) strike and that a batter has to recognize that and layoff.

      • ohiojimw

        You may be getting old when you say your verbs in your mind but don’t type them……

        “However the pitch inside at lower shin level was one of those that Creeper likes to SAY never really had a chance…….”

  31. Jack C.

    The ugly? How about a runner on third with nobody out, down by one run and can’t score. That’s about as ugly as it gets. I love my Reds but I do not want to watch another season full of amazing pitching with no offense support whatsoever. We have the exact same unproductive offense as last year except this time… no Choo. Realistically, I do not expect much this year.