Final R H E
  Cincinnati Reds (71-79) 2 7 0
  Milwaukee Brewers (78-72) 9 15 0
W: Garza (8-8)    L: Leake (11-12)
 FanGraphs Win Probability |  The Worldwide Leader’s Box Score    |   Game Photos

Greg Dafler put it aptly the other night: TOS, TBS.

As Mike Maffie wrote recently, Mike Leake is having his best year as a professional, but in his start today, Leake was pitching in and out of trouble all afternoon. In the fourth inning, he gave up an 0-2 single to Jonathan Lucroy with two outs. Leake gave up eight hits, three walks and countless line drives that were caught over his six innings. He was helped by solid defense, like this great play by Brandon Phillips (video). When Leake left the game, the Reds were trailing 3-1.

In the seventh inning, Logan Ondrusek gave up three runs before retiring a batter, putting the game out of reach. He surrendered two more hits after that and didn’t finish the inning. Ondrusek will be 30 years old next February and entering his third year of arbitration. He’s the personification of the phrase “non-tender candidate.” It’s simply inconceivable that Ondrusek would be on the Reds roster in 2015.  But then again, the same front office signed him to a two-year guaranteed contract after a season when he had a K/9 of 6.4 and BB/9 of 5.1, even though he was under team control those years. Mind-boggling.

Carlos Contreras, who hadn’t pitched for a week, threw more gas on the fire, giving up a hit and two walks before recording an out. J.J. Hoover gave up his thirteenth home run this year. Sigh.

Billy Hamilton had an infield single, a walk and stole his 56th base (video) of the year. But his errant throw in the fourth inning cost the Reds a run. Hamilton’s throw was fifteen feet up the third base line, allowing Scooter Gennett, who had singled, to get to second where he scored on Lucroy’s hit. Hamilton’s range and glove have been otherworldly this year, but the strength and accuracy of his arm have been erratic.

Matt Garza held the Reds in check over six innings with one exception. Todd Frazier, who has been struggling since his appearance in the All-Star break (.371 slugging vs. .500 before the ASG), smashed a home run to deep left field (video).

Jack Hannahan (.456 OPS) pinch hit for Leake (.513 OPS). #wegotjackforthat

Yorman Rodriguez got his first major league career hit, pinch-hitting in the ninth inning, when he slapped the first pitch he saw back up the middle for a single. He later scored on a hit by Ryan Ludwick.

Third-base coach Steve Smith got thrown out of the game in the seventh inning after arguing a call with the second base umpire. Odd thing, because it’s usually other Reds that Smith gets thrown out.

Taking a page out of Don Mattingly’s book, the Brewers challenged an umpire’s call with one out in the ninth inning of a game they were leading 9-1. Mattingly, the Dodgers’ skipper, had challenged a call last night with his team holding a 13-0 lead. Like Mattingly, the Brewers won their challenge.

30 Responses

  1. hoosierdad

    Perhaps the best line of the season: Odd thing, because it’s usually other Reds that Smith gets thrown out.

  2. Thegaffer

    No one bothering to comment I see. I will say that I think we all had forgotten how bad Logan Ondrusek is. If the front office brings him back and keeps LeCure and Parra, there is no point in watching next year.

  3. Shchi Cossack

    The errant throw to 3B by Hamilton was after he got caught by surprise with Garza taking the extra base on the single to CF. If Hamilton had played the ball hard and anticipated the runner taking an extra base, Garza is out by 45 feet and even the errant throw gets the runner.

    • lwblogger2

      People are running on Hamilton fairly regularly. He should be anticipating it by now. He’s generally a quick study but he seems behind in this area.

  4. muttonlettucetomato

    Would the Cardinals ever keep relievers as lousy as Ondrusek and Hoover on their roster? Not if they wanted to make postseason.

    • Mutaman

      Come on, man. I had a rough night and I hate the ——– Eagles, man!

  5. redmountain

    I can agree with the sentiment about Ondrusek, but do not know that I would give up on Hoover, and LeCure. As far as Parra goes, I would wait and find out if Marshall has anything left. Parra was effective last year as was Hoover and LeCure. Could this have just been a year when a lot of players had off years?

    I guess I believe that some changes need to be made, but would hate to see the baby thrown out with the bath water.

    • ohiojimw

      An important point about LeCure is that there has been a very significant physical change. In 2013, he was regularly throwing at 90+ MPH, often in the 92-93 range. I’m not sure he has even touched 90 at all this year.

      Recall that Arroyo pointed out in 2013 that no matter how good his breaking stuff was, he was in deep do if he couldn’t get his fastball consistently in the 88+ MPH (or higher) range. As I recall the Arroto statement he said that under 86 was basically road kill; and, the 86-87 range was a gray area where sometimes he could skate through and other times he would be rocked. Well, I think Lecure has spent the year in that gray area.

      Welch pointed this out clear back in May or June and questioned LeCure’s physical soundness. But like with so many others, the Reds apparently decided that if he said he was OK and would take the ball, they would continue to give it to him.

    • ohiojimw

      Also I think with Hoover, his second half in 2013 was sufficiently bad that if he is still around next year that would be two years running he survived being in the bath water

  6. jessecuster44

    Why is Hoover still pitching? The reds won’t ditch him, because he’s cheap, but it would make much more sense to give some other people a shot. Hoover has had a horrible year, and needs an early vacation.

    • Steve Mancuso

      As sad as this explanation is, the best I can figure is that Price is hoping Hoover can get a few good innings pitched before the break. Sad because the home runs just aren’t cooperating.

  7. Dale Pearl

    Leake states he has a “dead arm” I state that there is one word explanation for the Reds falling off late in the season… one word that has haunted this team from day 1 of spring training: CONDITIONING

    • ohiojimw

      Maybe nobody with a big $$$ multiyear contract in the wind wants to extend themselves when there is nothing to gain an millions to lose. Note that Cueto is in a different situation than Latos or Leake because counting his guaranteed take for 2015, he is already roughly $35M to the good for his career; and, attaining some of the seasonal marks within his reach could add substantially to his take in his next contract..

      • ohiojimw

        And let me add, I don’t really blame either of the L/L guys if that is the case. I do think however it might be to Latos advantage to continue pitching in 2014 unless he is physically impaired to the point where there is danger of significant injury or the pain is extremely bad because this will be the second straight year he ran out of gas in the stretch. Also consider that he hasn’t pitched anywhere near a full season this year due to injuries, some of which may be related to his problems at the end of 2013; and that is not a good history to be carrying around when looking for a contract probably north of $50M and quite possible in the 75M range.

      • Robby20

        Latos obviously gained weight in the off season and like many Reds looks to be unfit. (How much weight did Bruce gain in the off season?) I doubt Latos weight gain has much to do with his elbow pain but it could clearly have something to do with his loss of velocity and his inability to pitch deep into games. Leake is at an all-time high in innings, no surprised he is tired.

  8. sultanofswaff

    Ondrusek is a non-tender candidate, it’s September, Price was quoted as saying we’ve had a good long look at all of our main relievers. And yet, Ondrusek still pitches, denying potential 2015 relievers an opportunity. Just like I said with management letting the players call the shots……


    • greenmtred

      I don’t think Ondrusek is pitching because Ondrusek (or any other player)says he should. I don’t know why he’s pitching, and never have.

  9. WVRedlegs

    If the Reds were going to trade a starting pitcher this winter, who would it be??? They are all either injured (Bailey, Latos, Cingrani) or with a dead arm or running out of gas (Leake, Simon).
    Cueto is the only one left standing and he is the main one to lock up to an extension. The opening of the 2015 season will have more question marks than the 2014 season did. That is not a good thing. And the Reds will have the same Clown College graduate as GM whose mantra for 2015 is “We just need to get everybody back healthy.” Another 3rd or 4th place finish in the NLC is almost guarenteed if Jocketty returns.

  10. Tom Reed

    The Reds need a new formula and that has to start with a shakeup in the front office.

    • lwblogger2

      I agree. Just don’t be surprised with current ownership and his advisers that it either doesn’t happen or another very traditional GM and staff with “proven track record” takes his place. I tend to lean slightly towards analytics when it comes to analytics vs traditional baseball thinking, and often find myself in conflict with some on this blog who are very analytical in their evaluations. So, with that perspective in mind, when I say that the organization needs to take a step forward in their analytical evaluations, I’m not just saying it from the POV of someone who always falls on the analytical side in the ongoing “analytics vs traditional-baseball wisdom” debate.

      • Tom Reed

        I’m in favor of a GM that’s open to using analytics in making decisions for the Reds. Of course analytics have always been there, but today the statistics are compiled and worked easier with the computer. If it’s Jocketty or somebody else, I want the GM to be able to make a move to strengthen areas of concern such as the offense has been in the past few seasons. The Reds have produced a core of good pitchers which has not always been the case over the years. But pitching and defense alone is not going to get the Reds to the World Series.

      • WVRedlegs

        I am seeing in my crystal ball the Dodgers not making the World Series and the Marlins not able to sign Stanton to an extension this off-season. Now I am seeing a blockbuster trade between LA and Miami that sends California native Stanton to LA for Cuba natives Yasiel Puig and 2B/SS Alex Guerrero to go along with P Jose Dominguez. And the Marlins go after Yoenis Cespedes for LF, they trade a young SP for Cespedes. Which makes Marlins LF Christian Yelich available. Now, wouldn’t Chapman be an attractive piece for the Marlins?

      • VaRedsFan

        A lot of good commentary about a plan for the Marlins. I am one of the few on here that doesn’t want to get rid of Chapman. He is the ONLY one in the pen that can be counted on. We all want him to pitch more. How about we dump all of the guys that can’t be counted on. (hoover,Lecure, Parra, Logan, JJ). As much as we want to blame injuries and offense, the bullpen has been the MAIN reason for the fall of the Reds.

      • lwblogger2

        Pretty elaborate prediction by ye ole’ crystal ball. Would be neat if something like that happened. I think the Reds view Chapman as a cash cow and a draw rather than just as a good (not outstanding) closer. I, unfortunately think they would move a starter before they’d move Chapman. Of course it may take a good SP to land a guy like Yelich.

  11. lwblogger2

    Thanks for the update on Steve Smith. I missed most the game yesterday and in the 9th inning when I saw that Hatcher was coaching 3B, I thought maybe Smith was relieved of his duties.

    • Dale Pearl

      One could hope. I give Ludwick better odds of being back next year than Steve Smith

      • lwblogger2

        Agree. I’m sure Smith is a good guy but his coaching at 3B has been over-aggressive.