Titanic Struggle Recap

Penny saved

Final R H E
  Miami (57-59) 4 8 1
  Cincinnati (59-58) 3 7 0
 W: Penny (1-0)     L: LeCure (1-4)
 FanGraphs Win Probability |   The Worldwide Leader’s Box Score    |   Game Photos

Brad Penny hadn’t started a major league game in almost three years. His final season starting Penny posted an ERA and FIP above 5.00. But through a combination of missed opportunities, bad third-base coaching, good defense by the Marlins, and most importantly, the Terrible Reds Offense™, the Reds managed to score just one earned run in five innings off the 36-year-old. Three relievers combined to hold the lead over the last four innings.

In related news: The Marlins have announced that Kevin Brown will start against the Reds tomorrow.

The Reds are lucky the Marlins bunted in the first inning. While the home broadcast team was cheerleading for the Miami offense for PTGTRW, five of the first eight Marlins were reaching base — and only scoring one run — thanks to the rally-killing sacrificed out in the middle of it. As Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver said, if you play for one run, that’s all you’ll get.

Alfredo Simon was fortunate to allow only two runs. He gave up four hits and five walks in five innings. In Simon’s five starts after the All-Star break, he’s pitched five or fewer innings in four of them. It might have been Bryan Price’s concern for heavy demand on the bullpen tonight that caused him to leave Mike Leake in an inning too long last night. Simon also missed an easy defensive play at 3B that cost the Reds a run.

Sam was LeDisease tonight, giving up two runs in the sixth inning.

Jumbo Diaz struck out the dangerous Casey McGeehee on a pitch that only missed the batter’s head because it was too high. He also retired the Marlins in order in the seventh. Jumbo was large.

Zack Cozart and Kristopher Negron combined for a smart defensive play to force an out a third base with runners at first and second.

Good managing: Using Broxton and Chapman when the Reds were behind, but close. The Cuban MIssile, who hadn’t pitched since August 1, fired 102, 102, 102, 103 to Giancarlo Stanton. “A little Louisiana bayou.” – Jeff Brantley. (See, the pitch was already in the catcher’s mitt when the batter swung. Play on the word “bayou” as in “by you.”)

Bad managing: Having Billy Hamilton bunt with Heisey on first in the ninth, especially when the count got to 3-1, a massive hitter’s count. Hamilton is hitting .412/.630/.765 on 3-1 counts. Don’t bunt in that count.

Holy cow. The Reds are impossibly terrible on the bases.

Billy Hamilton reached base twice, with a bunt single and walk. Devin Mesoraco walked twice and doubled. Brayan Peña‘s pinch hit single extended his hit streak to 13 games.  Jay Bruce hit his second home run in five games, wearing these custom Nikes that were a tribute to Ken Griffey, Jr.

BuooM0pIMAAi9xv

Discussion questions:

  • Do the Reds have any realistic options for the rotation to replace Alfredo Simon?
  • Who will catch Johnny Cueto tomorrow with Brayan Peña nursing a hamstring strain, the Reds needing a win to avoid a sweep and an off-day on Monday?
  • Can the Reds retool their offense to find ways of scoring that don’t involve decisions by the 3B coach?
  • How many additional games would the Reds have won this year with one more solid bat in the lineup? #anotheronerunloss

103 thoughts on “Penny saved

  1. My mind is just numb from watching the same crap happen game after game. My high school team didn’t have this many gaffs. If we did, we would have been running pole-to-poles until we puked.

    • Probably the top 5 post of the year from DOUBLENOHITTER. I agree totally. When I coached some time ago in Lindenwald (Hamilton Area)…..if we lost, it was because the other team beat us, we didn’t beat ourselves, with stupid baserunning mistakes, ect…..that the Reds do.

    • Yep – I too remember those pole to poles – you wouldn’t make the same mistake twice after running until your legs fell off

  2. This isn’t just about this game, but it did happen tonight and it is one of my pet peeves: You coach your bullpen guys to come in and throw strikes, right? Why bring someone in and immediately use him to issue a IBB? Makes no sense to me at all. Let the guy who’s sitting down do it. Usually he’s not throwing strikes anyway.

  3. Oh, and when one of our ‘bad starts’ consists of 5 innings and 2 runs given up you need to be in first freakin’ place.

  4. Reds totally blew their chance in the 3rd inning to win this game. Bruce thrown out at home due to awful coach. Then Mesoraco and Ludwick walk. That should have drove in a run from walks. 3-2 Reds, 1 out, bases loaded.

    Other horrible part of that inning was. Skip Schumaker comes up to bad. Bases loaded, the pitcher has just walked the last two batters. 2-0 count. Skip SWINGS. WHY!? Back-to-back walks, followed by a 2-0 count to start the AB with the bases loaded… and you swing? That should be a firing offense.

    After that failure of an inning, it didn’t seem like they were quite in it anymore. Penny pulled himself back together, bullpen came in and did work. Bleh.

    • I agree, that was the game. Had Penny on the ropes and blew it with the usual crap. On 2-0 in that situation give Schumaker the take sign.

  5. Marty just called out Steve Smith on the post game show. It’s time to re-visit our staffing assignments.

    • Good – somebody needs to do it – I’d rather for them to just leave the coaching box vacant than to have Smith in there

    • Good…answers my question. Glad Marty did that. Now hopefully BC and WJ ask BP what the heck is the deal with the 3rd base coach this year, game after game.

    • Steve Smith’s time as Reds 3B Coach is rounding third and heading for home only to be thrown out by 25 feet. He’s done but it won’t happen until the off-season.

    • The manager has made it his mantra (time and again) that they will be an aggressive running team; and, they keep running themselves out of games.

      He also talks a lot about accountability.

      Hopefully when the season is over, he is going to be held accountable for the results of his failed running philosophy and not given a free pass because of all the injuries because in truth, despite the injuries, the TOOTBLANs are the reason this team is not right there with the Brewers in the divisional race or in a wild card position,

      • I like the more aggressive base running for the first 270ft. It’s the last 90ft that’s the killer.

        2013 Reds had 62 stolen bases.and 35 caught stealing. (64% success)
        2014 Reds have 97 stolen bases and 43 caught stealing (69% success) with 45 games to go.

        So they’re actually a better AND more successful team than last year. It’s just all the outs at home that’s killing them.. so I think it’s less the mantra and just a terrible third base coach because that’s where all the problems lie. Not the first 270ft.

        • The stat from above is 68 outs on the bases and “only” a little over a third of them at home. They are pretty much equally as proficient at getting thrown out between any two bases.

        • You didn’t post any numbers at how much they succeeded in turning a single into a double, or a double into a triple, or forced an error, and then add that onto the 97 successfully stolen bases. I am sure it’ll outweigh the 43 times they’ve been thrown out on the bases that aren’t home.

          You also have to recall they’ve run the double steal about 5 times where they’ll have someone steal second and then someone at third on a delay steal who’ll score on the throw. They’ve run that like 5 times, successfully 4, I think… every time the guy stealing second got thrown out so that’d also contribute to that number.

          Telling you, it’s only third to home that’s the problem. The other bases are better than they were last year and fine.

        • Another way of looking at it is that there are a finite number of outs per game; so every time you give one away, you’ve given away just shy of 4% of your outs for the entire game.

          Also on a team that is starved for offense, they’ve given away 68 baserunners which negatively impacts their OBP directly plus how many of the CS are picks offs like tonight (a heck of a lot of them it seems to me) versus the guy being thrown out at the next base? That makes a negative difference because it takes away the hit and run potential (which is what most of them are versus straight steals) to move a guy 1st to 3rd while many times getting another man on thanks to the fielders being out pulled out of position by runner.

        • I’ll play Devil’s Advocate here … I don’t have any problem with the aggressive baserunning to home, especially with two outs (and especially on this team). The key is knowing the difference between “aggressive” and “stupid,” and that’s where the Reds are falling short.

          With two outs and a guy rounding third, you send him if you believe a perfect defensive effort will make for a close play at the plate, because the odds of the defense making that little mistake that lets the run score are probably greater than the odds of your next batter getting a two-out hit (which is, in the very best hands, about 3-in-10). Keep in mind when I say “that little mistake,” I mean the throw is up the line a bit; the ball is bobbled slightly; the cutoff man doesn’t make a perfect relay – the play has to be close enough that something that small makes your runner safe.

          This is a philosophy I think the Reds NEED to take, because given the current state of the offense, the odds of the next guy up getting the 2-out hit/RBI are fairly terrible. So yeah – if there’s a decent chance, send the guy home and try to score while there IS a chance, because your odds are far better than average that the next guy up is going to make an out (and a decent chance he’ll look terrible doing it).

          ALL of that said … that does not excuse runners getting thrown out by 5 or 10 feet. These aren’t plays where it took a great defensive play to get the runner; these are plays where it took any competent defensive play to get the runner. That’s the problem I have with Smith’s decisions.

          So I really have no issue with Price pursuing an “aggressive” philosophy on the bases, especially when your hitters aren’t hitting. Take what you can get while you have the chance, and if the defense makes a great play, tip your cap.

          My issue is that, in attempting to execute the “aggressive” philosophy Price has put forth, Steve Smith is stretching it into “stupid” territory on a very regular basis.

        • Joe Atkinson said:

          “ALL of that said … that does not excuse runners getting thrown out by 5 or 10 feet. These aren’t plays where it took a great defensive play to get the runner; these are plays where it took any competent defensive play to get the runner. That’s the problem I have with Smith’s decisions.”

          ………..Agree 100%

      • Well…I agree about the TOOTBLANS (how could anyone do otherwise?), but think that the injuries are part of the problem, as well.

  6. Can we sign Jr to a 1 day contract for tomorrow and bring him up in the ninth inning? If anyone can walk out of the stands and hit a baseball it’s probably him.

  7. Out of curosity, does anyone know……1. How long is Price signed for? Is it beyond this year as a manager. I didn’t know if Baker was fired and then Price was hired this year for a “lets see how he does this year, then make a decision at season end for next year” or if Price was hired beyond this year? 2. Also, does anyone know if the Press asks Price after each game about doing this or doing that, so he has to answer about Steve Smith, ect…..??

    • Bryan Price was signed for 3 years, through 2016. The verdict is still out in my opinion. There’s no way I’d fire him after this season w/ two years left on his contract and considering the injuries this year. I would talk to him about giving away outs on the bases and smart, aggressive base-running versus being aggressive just for the sake of it. I’d make it clear that it needed to change if he wanted to remain a manager in 2016.

  8. • Do the Reds have any realistic options for the rotation to replace Alfredo Simon?
    Not in AAA and AA would be a real stretch. Call Philly and get Hamel’s before Simons next scheduled start for 2 pitching prospects and a relief pitcher. Move Simon back to the pen. This assumption is based on your words that the Reds are rolling in cash and prospects (my words) are just unproven talented players.
    • Who will catch Johnny Cueto tomorrow with Brayan Peña nursing a hamstring strain, the Reds needing a win to avoid a sweep and an off-day on Monday?
    The common sense approach would be Mesoraco catching because of his bat, but it is baseball and they are the Reds. Rest Pena for the two days.
    • Can the Reds retool their offense to find ways of scoring that don’t involve decisions by the 3B coach?
    I take this as your (tongue in chic) sarcasm. But for fun, all 8 position players hit 40 HR’s a year would be a start, that way all he has to do is keep waving them home.
    • How many additional games would the Reds have won this year with one more solid bat in the lineup?
    I guess that is like asking how many additional games the Reds would have won with a healthy Votto and Phillps all year. Would it be safe to say that Votto and Phillps are worth 10 games healthy? The absence of Bruce whether in the line-up or on the DL has been critical. I don’t think a solid bat with the current roster makes more than a 2 game difference. Current roster is the overriding issue. I would go through the computations of a .280 hitter with about 3.5 AB’s per game for 115 games but it is late.

    • “Call Philly and get Hamel’s”
      ***************************************
      Somebody claimed Hammels before he was available to the Reds. I believe the Phils “pulled him back” but failed to complete a deal with the claiming team within the allotted time frame. If they put him on waivers again, he cannot be pulled back. Whoever might claim him would get him (and his contract).

    • I don’t know who said the reds are awash in prospects and cash, but it’s not true. At least the prospect part isn’t true, as the farm is pretty mediocre. Stephenson is the only top 50 guy and Winker and Lorenzen are the only others that will probably make a top 100 list. I don’t have inside knowledge on the Reds finances but it sure seems like they are maxed out right now. What they do have are major league players with surplus value which is why I thought they should have traded one of their starters and/or Chapman at the deadline in the off season if they could have gotten a good package. They could have possibly rebuilt the farm, improved the future outlook while not hurting the present, and avoided the huge dilemma they have with four of their starters becoming FA eligible after next year.

      • And Stephenson might not be a top 50 guy by the end of the season. He’s been horrible for the last couple months. He’s still really young with a big time arm, But his value has definitely taken a hit

      • “who said the reds are awash in cash”
        Steve Mancuso about 6 weeks ago when he was discussing TV contracts.

    • Trade for Hamel? Now that is funny. The Reds are not going to add that kind of payroll for what is a .500 team. People need to wake up to what this team is this year and accept it and just enjoy watching some good young talent grow and mature…

      • I agree about Hamels: a good, but old and expensive band-aid is not going to get this team over the top, and isn’t worth the prospects we’d have to give up. Yes, of course, prospects are by definition unproven, but every single player in mlb was a prospect at some point. You don’t sustain excellence (or achieve it in the first place) by dumping them in an attempt to shore up your team.

  9. Making outs is playing the game the right way? I would rather my team play the game the wrong way.

  10. Sure glad the Reds didn’t sell high on Simon. That would have been scarily similar to what a good GM would have done.

      • Yeah, where did this thought come from, what GM would actually believe Simon is a top 10 starter?, especially given all the innings he pitched.
        Kris Negron is playing like a healthy Tulo, why not sell high on him?

        • I hope that’s a joke about negron. Tulo is a top ten player in the league, and that’s considering his injury problems. He’s so much better than any other shortstop that only getting 450 ab’s out of him is still insanely valuable. If he played 150 games a year he would be up there with Trout as the very best. Negron is a utility player at best. Other teams are probably skeptical of Simon , but he still had a lot more value than Negron. Nobody ever tried to say that Simon had value like a top ten starter. But it’s not crazy to think that the reds could have sold him as a solid back of the rotation guy on a playoff team who doesn’t make much money. They could have gotten something decent for that. Not an elite prospect, but maybe someone in the 75-150 range in the top 150 prospects.

  11. I thought at the time if the Reds fire Dusty Baker, they should clean house as far as the coaching staff goes, and I posted my thoughts on the matter. I just didn’t want to see any remnants of the Dusty regime left in the dugout. Even though Bryan Price was supposedly a hot commodity as a manager around the league, my major concern with Price was that Dusty wouldn’t have made Price his right hand man if Price wasn’t like minded in coaching philosophy. The same shortcomings the Reds had under Dusty remain and have even gotten worse, plate discipline, base running ineptness, bullpen management, lineup construction and a lackadaisical attitude and approach to the game. Let me put it like this, do you think we would see the continuing base running ineptness, and how completely clueless the Reds hitters look in so many of their at bats. If you told me the Reds hitters study the scouting reports of the opposing pitcher, or studied film I would feel confident enough to call you a liar. That’s how bad some of the Reds hitters look. Boy, I sure said a mouth full, hopefully half of it was coherent. I know one thing for sure, I’m glad I’m taking tomorrows game off, looking forward to it actually. Still, and as always Go Reds!

    • Dag nab it, I got distracted and left out an important point I wanted to make. When I said “let me put it like this” the point I wanted to make was that for example if Buck Showalter was the manager do you think we would be seeing the embarrassing lack of fundamentals this team has been showing for such an extended period of time.

      • I think I got the gist of what you said anyway agreed at the time and (obviously) to this date.

        I posted somewhere a couple of weeks back that the Reds should have thrown the box away and offered Price in terms of money and authority a position of essentially pitching Czar for the entire organization with full authority to hire and fire the pitching coaches and set the philosophy. And then if he still chose to walk for a manager’s job say so be it and moved on.

    • “If you told me the Reds hitters study the scouting reports of the opposing pitcher, or studied film I would feel confident enough to call you a liar”
      If you remember the Bruce interview about hitting, he as much said that he doesn’t do those things except reviewing the scouting report on the others teams hitters for defensive keys.

    • Sarge, I share your frustration, but will risk being called a liar: I’m nearly certain that the Reds’ hitters study film and scouting reports; having an idea about the best course of action is miles away from being able to implement it. To my mind, the problem is that, even with the injuries, this team looked good but not anything like a favorite to go to the Series. With the injuries, they’re having to play guys who are role-players(bench guys), not talented enough to carry an offense day in and day out. Is there a team in mlb that would not be in a similar situation if they suffered as many key injuries? Trading for missing pieces is an easy answer, but trading involves giving something up as well as getting something, and I would bet that a couple of good hitters (it would take more than one) would cost a couple of good pitchers, at least, maybe a decent position player as well. Like magic: a strength (pitching) becomes a weakness. Waiting until your old car breaks before you look around for a new(er) one is a bad idea, so I say hope for the best for the rest of this season, and hope even more for off-season changes.

  12. Do the Reds have any realistic options for the rotation to replace Alfredo Simon?
    Sadly no. Our 40 man roster is simply terrible. Axelrod or Diamond at AAA have looked good of late but I don’t believe either is on the 40 man so we would have to DFA someone and make a roster move.

    Who will catch Johnny Cueto tomorrow with Brayan Peña nursing a hamstring strain,
    My guess is that it will be Barnhart.
    Can the Reds retool their offense to find ways of scoring that don’t involve decisions by the 3B coach?
    If anyone should be fired due to poor coaching decisions it is our 3b coach. Brett Butler is out there coaching… make him an offer….
    How many additional games would the Reds have won this year with one more solid bat in the lineup? #anotheronerunloss if we use the WAR stat and we had a bonafide star out there maybe 4 or 5 more wins.
    Add 4 or 5 more with a healthy Votto and it becomes clear that we would be winning the division right about now.

      • The common sense approach would be Mesoraco catching because of his bat, but it is baseball and they are the Reds. Rest Pena for the two days.

        • Yahoo sports is reporting that Price has said he will start Pena tomorrow.

      • He did end up catching on Sunday and had a whale of a game. There was a sane reason he wouldn’t have caught however. If you watched the game Saturday night, you may have noted that he got beaten up really badly behind the plate. That’s more foul tips than I’ve seen a catcher take in a long time. Mes is a tough guy and it showed by him playing, and playing well Sunday. He took enough abuse Saturday however that it wouldn’t have been insane had he not started. I would have brought him in, closed the door and asked “Do you want to catch today or do you need a day? You took a beating last night so I have no issue if you need a day. I just want you to be honest.”

    • I think we are headed in the same direction. The current roster even with a solid bat does not make up for poor base running, poor decision making by batters, an extended slump by Bruce or a few relief pitchers folding in tough spots. Hind sight is 20-20 and if anyone could have seen this seasons problems then I will take them to Vegas.

  13. It seems to me that each AB has its own agenda. Its like the AB before didn’t happen and who cares about the AB after. Shuuu looked like he just walked into the stadium and had no clue of the 2 previous walks. there just doesn’t seem to be any situational adjustments or common attack from this lineup.

  14. Am I the only person wondering why they just didn’t bring Jumbo in to start the 6th? If you’ve (presumably already) made the decision to go with your A team out of the pen in the 8th and 9th regardless of the score, then most likely you’ve also decided Jumbo is pitching the 7th. So, why try to steal an inning from LeCure who has been highly inconsistent all season. He doesn’t seem the guy to use to start a take no prisoners march to the end of the game.

  15. Yes, Steve Smith must be replaced. FYI, this is the same Steve Smith that was on the CBS show Amazing Race in 2010. He competed with his daughter. He certainly has not helped our cause in sending our runners into amazing outs..all too often.

  16. A couple things. The aggressive dumb baserunning needs to stop. It’s getting ridiculous and unacceptable. No outs and a runner in scoring position is where we fold like an origami bird. We need to be able to capitalize on what few chances we get with this offense. Simon looked extremely shaky tonight, but who do we have to replace him? Cingrani is on the DL, the options we have in AAA are lackluster *cough* Holmberg *cough*. It’s been a frustrating year

  17. Ya know, it’s not even the ‘aggressive’ part that bothers me. Just the opposite, actually: The head in the clouds wandering off bases and getting picked off plays, the losing track of outs plays, the failure to take a pitch at the right time plays, the failure to move a runner over (NOT bunting) plays (to me, aggressive baserunning includes hitting the other way to move runners). Those are the things that bother me the most.

    Aggressive baserunning is a strategy; and all strategies are subject to failures. But it’s not the aggressive part that’s failing as much as it is a failure to execute the strategy. We are aggressively TOOTBLAN’ing.

    • I’m all for smart aggressive base running, but not dumb aggressive base running like we’ve been seeing

    • It’s a good point. The 1990 Reds were aggressive on the bases, and had very few TOOTLBANs. Erardi wrote an article about this fairly early in the season.

  18. Some 2014 TOOTLBAN research, based on the link http://tootblan.tumblr.com/2014database?fdall=true that AnnapolisHoosier posted above. The Reds 68 TOOTLBANs lead the major leagues, the Rockies are next with 59.
    Most teams have about 40.

    The Reds 18 pickoffs also lead the major leagues. The White Sox are next with 13.
    Total number of pickoffs in the major leagues is 250, slightly more than 8 per team.
    (BTW they divide pickoffs into 2 types, I suppose one being when the runner tries to advance (so caught stealing) and the other where he’s just tagged out trying to get back to the base.)

  19. Steve, I too had the thought (last night and tonight) that Price went with Leake to pitch the 7th inning Friday night because he was concerned about how many innings Simon would pitch on Saturday.

    • Effectively costing the team two games. The one he could have won (Leake’s start) and the one he lost anyway (Simon’s start). Shades of Dusty in that decision.

  20. Price signed a 3 year contract when hired. Have to put up with this two more years, unless BC makes a change.

    • Price has had a lineup filled with key injuries and yet they are around .500 and in the playoff hunt and people want him fired. What a joke. Not one person here has any insight on what is going on inside the club’s magt and yet think they do. Many here think its just a numbers game and their is no human factor involved when managing players. Yes have the Reds made some mistakes. ..sure but what teams haven’t.

      • Really agree, again. Considering everything, it is way too early to be fed up with Price. His “bad” decisions–really, decisions that are contrary to what the writer thinks should be done–are informed by his first-person knowledge of the players, and this is not information to which the rest of us are privy. Not to say that he doesn’t make bad decisions (as you say, every one does), but a lot of baseball decisions are gambles anyway, good decisions when the gamble works, bad when it doesn’t. The Reds are not as good as we all think they should be, but I’d bet that few of us, if told in April that Votto and Phillips would miss much of the year, Bruce would be injured and ineffective, and various pitchers would be injured, would have predicted that the Reds would be at .500 on Aug. 10.

        • I know I wouldn’t of. I thought they were an 86-88 win team with normal injuries. With they key injuries they’ve had this year, 80 wins would seem optimistic. Price has done a decent job keeping the team together even if he’s made a lot of mistakes.

      • You dance with the one you brung as Dandy Don Meredith always used to say.

        What was brung for the Reds was some key injuries. Yet despite these, they would be in much better position without the world leading parade of TOOTBLANs not to mention the other mental errors.

        These mental errors show a lack of discipline, focus, organization and control which permeates the entire team. That’s exactly what got the previous manager shown the door and what Price was supposed to fix.

        If the injuries had not happened maybe the team would be in such a much better position that we’d be snickering about the TOOTBLANs et al. Yes, the injuries did happen; but they should not be allowed to provide cover to the fact that without the mental errors, the team would still be in very serious contention versus hanging by their fingernails to stay in the races.

      • See my comment below. This is last year’s team all over again in the critical areas of discipline, focus, and playing under control. The current manager was hired to fix these things and if anything they are worse under his regime. Injuries or no, they are (or at least were) in a position to make a legitimate run at a playoff spot but they keep shooting themselves in the foot every time they seem to be setting up for a roll.

      • Not calling for Price to be fired , but it’s the same mistakes they have been making since the day the season started / accountability as Price has referred to , is the “joke” here

        • And a way to show accountability is not a joke might be for the front office to provide some. The buck has to stop somewhere and somebody is going to be stepped on when it does. The question is who and when.

        • Look, one of the ways that a manager can provide for accountability is by benching players. The thing is though, most of the bench is already playing and Price has no confidence in the fill-ins for the bench players who are on the field every day. So basically, his #1 weapon in forcing accountability, taking away playing time, isn’t really something he can do right now.

          Now if this stuff continues with a relatively healthy team next year, then we have a problem and if I was the owner, I would tell Price as much before next spring training.

  21. Price inherited a number of question marks coming into the season. When the number of injuries to key players and the exposure of a weak bench and a minor league system with few immediate answers are added in, it’s been a tough year.

    Price has made decisions which can be criticized, but that is true of every manager. While I would like to see the team tighten up on the TOOTBLAN’s, particularly the bad decisions coming at 3rd base and the excessive number of pickoffs, the call for his removal is way too premature.

  22. I think it is a bit premature to be looking at options to replace Simon. Bigger issues are the pathetic base running, including the mistakes made by the 3rd base coach which can be addressed and the anemic offense, where there probably isn’t much that can be done barring a miracle August pickup.

    Simon is the #5 starter and he is having a bit of a rough spot, but looking at replacing him based on his last 5 starts is about as reasonable as looking at replacing Bailey when he got off to his rough start (and Bailey is the #2 or #3 starter and has potentially #1 stuff).

    Actually for a #5 starter, even Simon’s last 5 starts don’t look that bad, you cannot blame the poor offensive support on him. He has battled and kept the Reds in 3 of the games where they could have had a chance to win, going 5 innings or more and only giving up 2 runs. Only one game, 5 runs in 5 innings could be categorized as a really bad performance. Simon’s last 5 starts:

    Innings ER Decision Date
    5 2 Loss 7/19
    4.1 3 Loss 7/25
    7 2 Loss 7/30
    5 5 Loss 8/4
    5 2 None 8/9

    Bailey’s first 5 games in April didn’t look very good:

    Innings ER Decision Date
    4.1 4 Loss 4/3
    5 4 None 4/8
    5 5 None 4/14
    6 0 Win 4/20
    6 5 Loss 4/25

    Even as late as June, Bailey had a 3 game stretch where he didn’t have very good results:

    Innings ER Decision Date
    6.1 4 None 6/13
    5.2 3 None 6/19
    5.1 4 Loss 6/24

    I know the advanced stats predict that Simon has been pitching over his head, and to a certain point that is true. But I don’t think they predict that he is not a very servicable #5 starter. Also, they show that Bailey should have been getting better results than he has, and to be honest he has been disappointing at times, but it would be foolish to give up on him based on his results this year.

    I think the problem with both is between the ears. Bailey was pressing because of his new contract and feeling the need to live up to it. Simon is pressing because he is listening to the nay sayers who say he can’t keep it up, get rid of him. Simon’s stuff still looks good, 95 MPH FB, but he is pressing causing him to make mental mistakes – pitching mistakes and also on the field mistakes like not covering first in a game and not making the play at 3rd last night that cost him a run. I don’t think that it is a coincidence that since the All-Star break Simon’s numbers have gone down, and not because that is the magic “half-way point” in the season. There was all kind of speculation during the break about whether he would hit the wall then and it may be a self-fulfilling prophecy. He would be better served to ignore all that and just focus on pitching and not trying to prove them wrong.

  23. Given the importance of this game and the situation, no way LeCure should have been the first one out of the bullpen.

    Why not use off days to skip Simon’s turn when possible to give him a little extra rest?

    • With the off day Monday you cannot skip Simon’s start, only Latos, you could juggle it anyway you want, but Simon can be skipped Friday for Cueto and then he would have to pitch Saturday. I brought it up in the game post that for whatever reason, they could have pushed Simon out after the ASB but choose to make him the #2. Cueto could have pitch the first game Friday on a normal 5 game rest instead of being held back until Sunday

  24. It’s restating the obvious but it bears pointing out again—-Heisey’s TOOTBLAN was one of the most boneheaded plays of the season IMO. With a full count, it’s almost an automatic throw over to check to see if the runner will be going to stay out of the double play. And yet, there’s Heisey going on first movement.

    It’s all I could do to not throw my laptop out the window……

    And for the love of God start Mesoraco today. Since when can’t a 25 year old play 2 baseball games inside 24 hours………gheesh. And more to the point, if we luck into the playoffs, would Mesoraco be sitting in Game 1 even if it were a favorable hitting matchup?

    • Yes, even with a slow runner at 1B, you throw over to see if the hit-and-run is on. You do the same thing with 2 outs and a 3-2 because you want to pick him off if he takes off early.

  25. …..and while I’m calling guys out, Jay Bruce had another case of alligator arms on a play at the wall last night. I dunno where this sudden reluctance came from, but this has happened on multiple occasions this year, and most are on balls with a high arc, so it’s not like he’s running full speed or anything.

    • Its not ‘Sudden” at all. Its about 2 seasons ago he stopped getting anywhere near the wall. (Remember the one on the warning track that lost us the game last season?) Just Bruce being Bruce. Don’t forget he was once in the top 10 in the MVP vote.

    • It sure is easy from your couch at home with absolutely no professional baseball experience to call people out. I think there is no other profession except sports do people think they know as much or more then those actually in it.

  26. I made the point the other day, and I’ll make it again: Steve Smith should be replaced now, not in the offseason. It’s not like this move will cost us prospects, or huge amounts of money, the way a deadline trade would. 3B coaches are a dime a dozen, and don’t cost much. He may be a lovely person, perhaps he even does other things well, but he’s horrendous at his core job.

    (That said, you’d think once in awhile the outfielder would throw the ball up the line or something. It’s amazing how often other teams execute perfectly when Smith sends the runners. I guess partly it’s because they know they don’t need to hurry the throw….)

  27. 1) I didn’t like Billy bunting. He’s not likely to get doubled up, and playing for the tie wasn’t a good idea since Jumbo, Broxton, and Chapman had already been used.

    2) I didn’t like Billy continuing to bunt 3-1. And that’s before I saw the numbers in the recap.

    3) Most of all, if you’re going to have Billy bunt on 3-1, I didn’t like that he didn’t get the bunt down. It was a 90 MPH pitch in the middle of the plate. If he did his job, Heisey’s on 2B after the 3-1 pitch, instead of getting picked off. Even if Billy was supposed to “bunt unless it looks like Ball 4,” he failed to judge it properly. If he was definitely supposed to bunt, he missed a cookie.

  28. Steve Smith needs to be fired. Skip and Hannahan need to be DFA’d.. Worst mistake making team I have ever seen, Blown 2 games in a row.

Comments are closed.