Final R H E
  Cincinnati Reds (61-64) 5 8 0
  St. Louis Cardinals (67-57) 6 13 1
 W: Greenwood (1-2)     L: Ondrusek (3-3)
 FanGraphs Win Probability |   The Worldwide Leader’s Box Score    |   Game Photos

A day after the Reds’ bullpen suffered a historic, catastrophic doubleheader breakdown, Jumbo Diaz grooved a fastball that A.J. Pierzynski lined into center field that broke a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the eighth.

Logan Ondrusek, fresh off the disabled list, didn’t waste any time fitting in with his bullpen colleagues. After getting two strikes on Matt Holiday, he overthrew two pitches way out of the strike zone then gave Holiday a fat pitch that the left fielder lined for a single. Matt Adams and Jhonny Peralta followed with hits and the game was over. Ondrusek didn’t retire a single hitter. Welcome back, Logan.

The offense showed up again tonight. Jay Bruce slammed his fourteenth home run in the fifth inning scoring Mike Leake and Zack Cozart. It put the Reds ahead 4-3. The blast was Bruce’s fourth home run in August. Jeff Brantley had just mentioned that Justin Masterson’s fastball velocity was down right before Bruce drilled a 87-mph heater into the right field bleachers.

The Reds rallied in the ninth inning for a run off the Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal. After Chris Heisey struck out, Billy Hamilton drew a *walk* and stole second. A.J. Pierzynski showed that he isn’t Yadier Molina, throwing the ball into center field allowing Hamilton to reach third. On a 1-2 pitch, Jay Bruce lined a double down the right field line, tying the game. Bruce has nine RBI in the past four games.

Before Bruce’s homer, Zack Cozart had followed Brayan Peña double with a double of his own, driving in the Reds first baseman. The four-run inning was made possible in part because the Reds didn’t sacrifice an out by having Leake bunt. Bryan Price was rewarded for playing for a big inning.

Todd Frazier, nursing a sore back, had two singles and just missed a go-ahead extra-base hit in the top of the ninth when John Jay made a running catch on Frazier’s line drive in right center.

Billy Hamilton made another superb defensive play in the bottom of the seventh, robbing Kolten Wong of an extra-base hit and the go-ahead RBI. Hamilton sped directly back toward the centerfield fence to catch Wong’s line drive on a dead sprint.

82 Responses

  1. CBD

    I am reminded of a current team I work with. Everyone gets on the coach because of the poor performance results of the team. However, as is true in both my case and the 2014 Reds, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. The reds front office did not give Price adequate tools to compete in the NL Central this season. Glaring weaknesses were ignored in the off-season and at the trade deadline.

    Blame Price all you want, but this disaster of 2014 starts and ends with Walt.

    • ohiojimw

      To a large extent I agree with you, However, sometimes a situation becomes so sour or toxic that there is no way out for a manager cast in the middle of it, regardless of that person’s skills or potential in a better situation [elsewhere] (and this applies not just in sports). The point is at hand or nearly at hand where it would probably be in Price’s best interest career wise if he were “relieved” of his current duties.

      • greenmtred

        I take no issue with what you say, generally, but don’t believe it accurately reflects the Reds’ current situation. The team at full strength was not a shoo-in, but was certainly a contender. The injuries were unrelenting and catastrophic–far beyond anything the front office could have fixed. Price has done well to keep them at or near .500 under the circumstances, and there is little reason to believe that next year won’t be much better. Consider Hamilton, Frazier, Mes, a (possibly) healthy Votto and Bruce of yore as opposed to most of this year. The pitching should still be top-shelf. If I were Price, I’d want to stay here: Plenty of talent, and he’s already going through the baptism by fire. I’m optimistic.

    • kywhi

      While there is plenty of blame to go around, Price certainly deserves his share of it. I do admire him for the fact that he is willing to step up and admit to being part of the problem like he did after yesterday’s fiasco. I’m going to assume he will learn from this miserable season and do better going forward.

      • ohiojimw

        He probably like to have back the opportunity to have gone out Sunday with the trainer with or instead of Pico and sized up what was going on with Chapman first hand and presumably gotten him out of there sooner.

    • Cincykidatheart

      Maybe, but the starting line-up has only played 12 games together. Not to mention the injuries to pitchers. Excuses? Maybe. But the Reds had the tools to compete for this division. Unfortunately, a lot of them have spent too much time in the shed.

      • jcredlegs

        EVERY team deals with injuries. Well-managed ones overcome them. This is not a well-managed team.

      • preacherj

        Injuries are never an excuse for bad baseball.

      • greenmtred

        Every team does not deal with injuries of this scope. The ones that do generally fall out of contention. A manager can only do so much when key parts of his lineup are filled by bench players for long periods of time, and the most skeptical Reds’ fan should be impressed by how well they did up to the AS break, under the circumstances. Jockety could not have made enough trades to fill the holes in the lineup created by injuries, and Price can’t make a BP out of Schumaker or a Votto out of Pena (valuable as he has been).

    • shannon bubnick

      owner ship and front office did nothing to help this team improve they should be in first place with a couple of trades in needed positions but when you do nothing youre team usally falls apart some bodys job should be on the line my guess walt should be fired for doing nothing

  2. wildwestlv

    Logan Ondrusek. What else can you say? It (he) is what (he) is.

    • RSI

      I thought you weren’t tuning into the St. Louis series?

  3. I h8walt

    This team makes me miss Scott Scudder, Ron Robinson, Paul Householder … somebody please just shoot me … NOW!

    • preacherj

      Tommy Hume coming in the game for the 19th time in a row.

  4. SrRedFan

    Can’t use a guy just back off a five-week DL for a high leverage situation like that. I think this is truly a team loss. Masterson was let off the hook early, our batters didn’t make him work.

    • ohiojimw

      I’m not hearing Creeper but if he is standing up for the pen, isn’t that an implicit knock on how they are being used?

  5. preacherj

    Had to work really late tonight, so when I finally turned on my car radio and heard we were going to extras, I was thankful and thought about how much God loved me to bless me with some baseball tonight….once Ondrusek was finished, I slowly came to the realization that it must not have been out of love, but penance that I was permitted to listen. I’m sorry for whatever I’ve done to deserve this…..

    • SrRedFan

      Preach now being fitted for a hair coat. Be thankful it’s not boils!

    • pinson343

      Similar situation for me. I tuned in after work to see the game was in the bottom of the 10th, and thought about how good a win would feel tonight. Didn’t have that feeling for long.

    • greenmtred

      Don’t take it so personally, Preach: It may simply have been the turning of the wheels of the indifferent universe.

  6. I-71_Exile

    Bryan Price has done just fine. He’ll have plenty of time to evaluate what worked and what didn’t in the off-season. I have confidence that he will change for the better.

  7. pinson343

    Not that the Cardinals traded for Pierzynski at the trade deadline. With Yadi down, they trade for a guy to help them. How weird is that ?

      • lwblogger2

        I’m not quite so jaded on Price yet. He’s done pretty much what I’ve expected him to do. My expectations of a rookie manager weren’t particularly high though. I don’t see him managing much differently than most managers aside from a few more mistakes. Where I think the problem lies is with the Reds on an organizational level. They are behind the times in a lot of areas and aren’t going to be trend-setters or the team that leads the way in baseball innovation.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Assuming the caveat ‘with WJ running baseball operations’.

        A young, ambitious, creative GM would certainly make things interesting.

    • Grand Salami

      As CP noted. Pierzynski was cut from the BoSox. It was a pretty drastic move for a team that was going to pay him 8 million to even nominally contribute.

      Card plucked up the 37-38 year old for peanuts b/c no one else was interested. If he isn’t a big time contributor in the batters box he isn’t worth having around . . .

    • lwblogger2

      Can’t stand Pierzynski but when StL picked him up, for nothing basically, I thought it was a pretty smart move on their part. He’s certainly helped them with Molina out.

  8. pinson343

    “Not that” should be “Note that”.

    • ohiojimw

      I was thinking that saying “not that” implied a bit of very deserved sarcasm towards the Reds org. 🙂

      • pinson343

        Yeh I should have stick with “not that”.

      • pinson343

        Jim, Above you mention that yesterday Price could have gone out sooner with the trainer and sized up what was going on with Chapman first hand. I haven’t been able to find any report of a physical problem with Chapman, other than Mes saying he didn’t seem right and Price implying he wasn’t 100% but “was trying to do his job.” Any word on his having had a physical problem ?

      • lwblogger2

        Yes, I read in the game recap that Chapman wasn’t available last night due to a sore shoulder that started in Coors Field the day before.

  9. Joe Atkinson

    Sorry, folks, but I can’t take anyone crying for Price’s head seriously. The other day, he ran out a lineup that had Chris Heisey, Kristopher Negron, Brayan Pena, and Ramon Santiago in it … And we all pretty much agreed that IT WAS THE BEST LINEUP HE HAD AVAILABLE!! The Reds have had injuries far above and beyond “everyone gets injuries.” At this point, it’s like a film studio handing the script for Dumb and Dumberer to a director and saying, “Go make a movie!” That director could be Me, or it could be Steven Spielberg … Either way, it’s still gonna be a bad movie. Let’s give Price the chance to work with a good script before we decide if he’s any good.

    • Jake

      I agree. Price just uses the cards he’s dealt with. Unfortunately we have Ondrusek as the joker that we can’t get rid of. Price has done a bang up job with the AAA lineup we have out there. Has this been a heartbreaking frustrating season? Absolutely. I don’t expect much out of this team but I’ll still hope for a W every now and then. Unlike Cubs fans

    • lwblogger2

      I pretty much agree with this. He manages like most managers, with the exception of making more mistakes as a rookie manager will do sometimes. Honestly, I don’t think it’s fair for his job to be on the line considering what he’s had to work with most of the season. Let’s see what 2015 brings. We can hope he’ll be dealt a better hand on the injury front, perhaps another bat, a better performing bullpen, and a year of experience under his belt. If he still is making mistakes or if the team is under-performing, then maybe you fire the guy.

      Does anyone here really think that Price’s team is under-performing considering who he’s running out there? His bullpen management and over-aggressive base-running are my two main complaints with him. These are both areas where I think he needs to improve and should improve.

    • Vicferrari

      You have crossed the line when you start bad mouthing Dumb and Dumberer

  10. sergeant2

    It might be a bad movie, but a good director would at least get the actors to remember their lines.

  11. Dale Pearl

    I think everyone is disappointed in this season. It is a big bum rush. I tell you what though. Imagine if we didn’t have the rash of injuries that have plagued this team? I could see us in first place. Cingrani was never that healthy either. If you added up the WAR lost from the players injured or playing through injuries and added it to our win column then were would we be?
    With that said Our biggest issue this year comes down to the inability to get outs in critical situations from Hoover and Ondrusek that has been an all year kind of a thing. Maybe if Simon would have been our middle relief guy we would have more stability from the Middle Relief corps. Do we see Simon going back to that role next year?

    Let us say the Reds don’t trade anyone in the offseason. Highly probable move. What would our roster look like opening day?
    Here is my guess on our 2015 Reds if no trades go down
    Starting 5
    Cueto
    Latos
    Bailey
    Leake
    Cingrani

    Bullpen

    Simon
    Conteras
    Diaz
    Marshall
    Broxton
    Chapman

    The infield is obvious
    c Mesoraco
    1b Votto
    2b Phillips
    ss Cozart ( I would love to see Negron get the chance but it isn’t happening)
    3b Frazier

    LF Ludwick (sad to say but I see him there again)
    CF Hamilton
    RF Bruce

    Bench

    Negron
    Schumaker
    Pena
    Lutz

    Some of the guys like Heisey is going to go into arbitration and they simply won’t be worth the price offered to them by arbitrators. Heisey, Hoover, Ondrusek, Lecure will not be worth the price.

    What do you guys think? Can we win a WS with that? I think no. Not unless Winker, Moscot, and someone else at AA can make the turn join up with the big league team and contribute. All of a sudden we are missing a #5 pitcher that we can depend on like we used to with Arroyo. We need someone who can spell Votto, Phillips on a regular basis and who can also make a good ph. I think that leaves Negon and also possibly Jake Elmore down at AAA. Outfield is going to need some quality backups next year and the only guy in close proximity is Winker.

    • Daniel

      $ problems will start this offseason. Latos, Chapman, Leake, Frazier, Mesoraco, and Cozart are all arbitration eligible this winter. Those 6 combined had cost less than 25 mil per year. That isnt going to be the case next season and with Votto, Phillips, Bailey, Bruce, and Cueto combining for nearly 60 mil I wouldnt expect to see us retain all of those players. Look for Walt to get active trading this winter. I’d expect to move some pitching since we have Iglesias, Cingrani, and Stephenson ready in the wings and obtain some prospects for a guy like Latos

      • Dale Pearl

        Just maybe we can bundle cozart with say Moscot and get back a war +2 or 3 in LF and maybe let Elmore or Negron man SS?

    • Kevin J. Brown

      IF that team was healthy, I could see it winning the WS. The pitching and defense are top notch and while there are a few below average bats, the offense would be much improved over the debacle this year. It would be nice to get a big bat for LF though.

      • Dale Pearl

        I definitely think that Cozart is going to become to expensive for a .230 hitter after arbitration. Ownership should expect more offense so the weakest link is SS

      • Kevin J. Brown

        I doubt Cozart will make more than a $1 million in 2015. I think he’s a fair bet to bounce his production back up and be only slightly below SS average offensively like he was for his first two years. If so, he’s a bargain.

  12. Mister D69

    Closer to last than first. Much closer.
    Season ended in May (as the wiser commentators on this board noted). June and early July were nearly annomolies and phantom success.

    • Daniel

      Really? We were 1.5 games out of 1st July 13th

  13. sezwhom

    No mention of maybe PH for Cozart with the bases juiced in the 8th? I would have. Guy is awful this year. He is to clutch situations what Hoover is to the bases full of runners.

    • Daniel

      I won’t argue that ZC is terrible with the stick but he’s the top defensive SS in baseball. ESPN writer Spratt even named him the best defensive SS for the 1st half and said his overall runs saved total was at 17 on the year. Say what you want but he provides that for the Reds

    • Kevin J. Brown

      Cozart was 4 for 11 or .364 with the bases loaded this year. In case you missed it, he also doubled in the first run last night.

      • MesosBat

        Hey Mr. Stat Guy… What is the % of fans that felt Cozart would fail… 99.9 is my guess…

  14. Grand Salami

    I love this team’s fight during a losing stretch.

    This year will be remembered as the almost year. Almost winning another 25 games or so. Johnny almost winning a Cy Young. Almost making a Wild Card, etc.

    • lwblogger2

      This is another reason I’d give Price another year. This team could be phoning it in and I’m not seeing that. It doesn’t seem like Price has lost this team.

  15. bohdi87

    Price has been following the DustyBall handbook all year. He may have made some slight immaterial modifications but not what we expected from him. Suboptimal lineups, antiquated bullpen roles, excessive bunting, mental errors, you name it.

    • greenmtred

      Of course, the handbook you believe Price to have followed was authored by a successful manager. I thought that was worth mentioning.

      • lwblogger2

        And is followed by the vast majority of MLB managers. If fans were expecting Price to be a huge innovator a la Maddon in Tampa, then their expectations were out of line. Based on what appears to be the Reds’ organizational philosophy, why would someone expect Price to go too far out of that box?

      • bohdi87

        The Reds haven’t won a playoff series since 1995. Excuse me for wishing the Reds would discard the antiquated baseball ideologies that have brought them zero playoff sucess in the last ~ 20 years.

  16. Drew

    I have supported both Price nad Walt here more then most. But I give, I am baffled as to why either Hoover and Logan are allowed to be on the ML roster. I mean at this point I can’t believe that either on the Lousiville roster or even AA roster there isn’t better options.

    • Dale Pearl

      That stumps me as well. They have had almost an entire year to figure it out and they both are still clueless. Relief pitcher is the easiest position to replace and they are a dime a dozen.

      • Kevin J. Brown

        That is an astounding statement to make considering what has happened to the Reds’ bullpen.

    • lwblogger2

      I think in the case of Hoover, the stuff is there and they really, really want him to get it together. He can be a valuable member of the staff. The organization’s love for Logan Ondrusek however has baffled me for some time. The organization sees something in Ondrusek that my eyes and the statistics just haven’t seen.

  17. WVRedlegs

    I kept hearing Tom Petty singing when I read the article. And then the fat lady joined in.

  18. Eric the Red

    It’s not an excuse, but that watermain break in Colorado was unbelievably destructive. If we’d played Saturday as planned instead of playing the DH Sunday, the bullpen usage would have been completely different. We’re going to have to pitch Holmberg against a team we’re competing with for the playoffs on Thursday.

    Seriously: go back to the last 3 games and imagine how they’d have played out if not for the sequence set up by the DH (in Denver, with the Cardinals looming against Leake and Simon). It’s incredibly depressing, as you can repeatedly see how practically every move driven by the situation ended up blowing up in the team’s face…with more misery to come with Holmberg and then who knows who filling in for Axelrod. One freak occurrence, and it has finished off what was already a challenging season.

    “What if” is not the same as “would have happened”. But it’s not a stretch to say the chances are pretty good the Reds would be 3-0 and riding some positive momentum instead of 0-3 and circling the drain if not for a cracked pipe.

    • Kevin J. Brown

      In essence, Holmberg is taking Axelrod’s spot because the Reds didn’t want Dylan or Latos to pitch on short rest. The rotation after Thursday will be Latos, Leake, Simon, Cueto and then Axelrod could be recalled to take the 5th spot.

      • Eric the Red

        Kevin, I don’t know exactly how these things work, but I think we have to wait 15 days to bring Axelrod back up. And with just one off day I don’t think we can skip the 5th starter often enough for Axelrod to make the start the next time around. But both my math and my understanding could be off.

        You make a good point, though: replacing Axelrod with Holmberg removes the short rest problem so we won’t need yet another starter. At this bleak moment in Reds Land I appreciate you setting me straight and giving me at least one thing to be happy about 🙂

      • Shchi Cossack

        The limit is 10 days before a player can be recalled.

      • Kevin J. Brown

        We won’t need another 5th starter until August 30th in Pittsburgh. Price seems intent on keeping Simon in the rotation the rest of the way.

      • ohiojimw

        The limit is 10 days before a player can be recalled.
        ****************************************************************

        Unless of course they can cook up an injury to somebody before the 10 days is past. IN that case a person can be brought back immediately or anywhere in between immediately and 10 days.

  19. George Mirones

    Sounds like the funeral has been held, the body is in the ground and everyone is at the reception sharing stories about the deceased and what could have been.

    There will be baseball tonight and even though the “fat lady” has been seen walking up to the Microphone and the band is tuning up. I still enjoy the game because it is unpredictable. The “ifs and but’s” and “woulda, coulda, shoulda,” folks are having a field day yet those 25 players still go to work and play the game, management still pays them, and fans still show up.
    Baseball is indeed a reflection of life.

    • lwblogger2

      I watch a lot of baseball games in which I have no rooting interest, just because I love baseball. Not having a big stake in the outcome allows me to enjoy the game for the beauty of the game itself. I’ve been trying to watch the Reds games with that perspective but it hasn’t been working too well. I always ‘root, root, root for the home team’.

  20. Kevin J. Brown

    This season is a fluke occurrence of an incredible amount of misfortune and bad breaks. Last year, the Reds played about the same in 1 run games as they did in the rest: a .551 WPct V. .548. This year, In 2014, the Reds record in non-one run games is similar; a .558 Pct but incredibly they are playing only ..375 ball in 1 run games. They be tied with Milwaukee if they had the same winning percentage in each like they did last year.

    Such things tend to reverse. For example last year, the Orioles won at a .586 rate in non-one run games but were an awful .392 in 1 run games; this cost them a playoff berth. This year has been more normal; they are about the same in non-one run games .580 but they are playing at a .571 clip in one run games and that is sufficient to give them a comfortable margin in their division.

    So what I am saying is that the Reds will likely contend next year even if no moves are made. However, I’d certainly like to see some improvements made.

    • George Mirones

      This years winter meetings will be interesting.
      The emergence of Frazier, Mesoraco, along with a maturing Hamilton bodes well. The play of Pena and Negron has been surprising and represents the high of unexpected consequences due to the injury bug and needs to be tempered with some reality (historical data).
      The starting 5 are still formidable and with some fine tuning and flexibility, the bullpen should stabilize. The LF spot is still an opportunity for the most improvement. There maybe some goings and comings but with a healthy starting 8 and improved bench, yes the Reds contend in 2015.
      Oh one last thought, “Mr. Stat guy”, is that something new? (tic) 🙂

  21. SPRO

    I hate the injury excuses that everyone points out. Every team deals with injuries, and the good teams have some good role players that can fill in. Besides the poor bench, it’s been the Reds bullpen that’s been at fault for most of the 1-run loss games. That being said, Jonah Keri wrote an interesting article in his weekly “30” about the Reds and their injuries to their “top 5” players compared to other teams. Worth a read: http://grantland.com/features/mlb-the-30-mariners-athletics-reds-diamondbacks-chris-young/

  22. Tom Reed

    Bryan Price is not the reason the Reds will end this season around .500. Few managers, except a few of those of the Yankees, have had success in the first year. If there is fault, it lies with the front office which did nothing to upgrade the Reds offense from opening day 2013 when Ludwick went on the DL to the present time. Castellini must shakeup the front office in the off-season with many big decisions on the line in order for the Reds to challenge for the WS in 2015.

  23. WVRedlegs

    Shin Soo Choo has been put on waivers by Texas. Looks like he made it through. Could that open 40 man roster spot be for Choo to play in LF? I don’t think so, but the possiblity is a bit interesting. Choo has had a very tough year in Texas. Texas also put Adrian Beltre and Yu Darvish on the waiver wire. Beltre is the one I’d be interested in. If Frazier is a better defensive 3B, I wonder if Beltre could play LF. He’s only played 3B.

    • WVRedlegs

      Beltre is due $18M in 2015 and a vesting $16M option for 2016.

    • Kevin J. Brown

      Choo is due $116 million through 2020. If the Reds weren’t willing to pay that after he had a great season in 2013, I can’t imagine they’d be willing to pay it now after his subpar 2014.

      • ohiojimw

        But the worm apparently has turned and the Rangers might be willing to eat a portion on Choo’s deal, The question then becomes how many prospects might the Reds have give to get Texas to eat enough humble pie to send Choo back to Cincy.