|Cincinnati Reds (2-5)
|St. Louis Cardinals (4-3)||5||9||0|
|W: Wacha (1-0) L: Cingrani (0-1)|
|Box Score | Play-by-Play | Photos | Depth Chart | FanGraphs Win Probability|
Brayan Peña had three hits.
Ryan Ludwick had two hits.
Nick Christiani pitched two shutout innings of relief.
The Reds scored their first run off Michael Wacha in 21+ innings. Who-hoo.
The managing in the fifth inning. Bryan Price lifted Tony Cingrani after four innings to bring in a pinch hitter. Pinch hitter Roger Bernadina doubled in the Reds’ only run. Dusty Baker absolutely would have left Cingrani in to try to get “Grani” a win.
The managing in the first inning. Having Brandon Phillips bunt in the first inning with Billy Hamilton on second base demonstrably worsened the Reds chances of winning. There is simply no defense of that strategy. It gives up the out of one of the hottest Reds hitters. It ignores the possibility of Billy Hamilton simply stealing third base. And there are a zillion scenarios where playing for more than one run is necessary. Like the one that actually happened.
If Brandon Phillips made that decision on his own, that’s still partially the manager’s fault for not telling BP he shouldn’t do that any more. [Update: Based on Price’s statement after the game (John Fay), it sounds like it was Phillips’ decision to bunt. Bryan Price should instruct BP to quit doing that in the first inning. Got to break the bad Baker habits.]
The managing in the seventh inning. The Reds were two runs behind with three innings to go. The entire bullpen, save Manny Parra and Nick Christiani was available. Bryan Price brought in Trevor Bell, almost certainly the bottom pitcher in the bullpen. You can’t do that against the Cardinals, who hit mediocre pitching like batting practice. You have to use the top end of the bullpen there in case the Reds can somehow score two runs. Which, uh, they did.
In game three, Price brought Bell in with the Reds behind 4-3. The Reds lost 7-6. Today, Price brought Bell in with the Reds down 3-1, and they lost 5-3. In both cases, the runs Bell gave up provided the margin of victory for St. Louis.
You can’t manage against the Cardinals the way you do against other teams.
The offense is awful. The Reds have scored 18 runs in seven games. Their two wins have been 1-0 and 2-1. They had two walks today. They don’t appear to have improved in their plate discipline. They give away too many at bats.
Tony Cingrani struggled getting his fastball over the entire game. He battled through four innings, giving up only three runs. He’s allowed to not be amazing every game. If the Reds had scored four or five runs early in the game, Cingrani might have hung on for a win.
Not so random thoughts …
It’s unfair to judge Bryan Price on a few games. It’s unfair to judge Bryan Price on a few games. It’s unfair to judge Bryan Price on a few games. It’s unfair to judge Bryan Price on a few games. It’s unfair to judge Bryan Price on a few games. It’s unfair to judge Bryan Price on a few games. It’s unfair to judge Bryan Price on a few games. It’s unfair to judge Bryan Price on a few games. It’s unfair to judge Bryan Price on a few games. It’s unfair to judge Bryan Price on a few games. It’s unfair to judge Bryan Price on a few games. It’s unfair to judge Bryan Price on a few games. It’s unfair to judge Bryan Price on a few games.
Devin Mesoraco will catch Homer Bailey tomorrow. I’m kind of surprised he didn’t pinch hit in the ninth inning instead of Neftali Soto (Major League hitter > Minor League hitter). Jonathan Broxton should be available tomorrow.
Billy Hamilton is 1 for 17 (.117 OBP). Billy Hamilton should not be leading off until he proves he can consistently hit big league pitching.
I’d shake up the lineup. More Joe Maddon. Less Dusty Baker.
Top Game Thread comments …
Al: I really really hoped that there would be a noticeable difference with this team under Price. So far, I just don’t see it.
BearcatNation: Let’s not get carried away. I agree this is a terrible, terrible game from Price. But he’s a first time manager who isn’t just going to roll in and have everything figured out. I have seen some positives.
Ed Lambert: Cards have tried hard to give the Reds wins and they refuse to take them.
Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.