Final R H E
 Cincinnati Reds (71-84)  4  8  1
 St. Louis (87-68)  8  10  1
W: Motte (1-0)  L: Leake (11-13)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Photos | Game Thread

The Good

Brandon Phillips created a beautiful double play in the second inning by bare handing a ground ball up the middle. He also had a good night at the plate, turning in a 2 for 4 performance with an RBI.

Zach Cozart blasted a home run in the top of the seventh, his fourth of the year. Cozart got some love by the broadcast duo when they noted his glove was a big part of the Reds league-best defense.

Devin Mesoraco continues to hit for power, hitting a double in the the sixth.

The Bad

In the third inning, Tony Cruz hit his first home run of the season. It was a three run blast on a 3-2 count that made the game 3-0. With the Reds offense, this game felt out of reach. It only took Michael Wacha 8 pitches to retire the Reds in the top of the third, and then Kolten Wong took Leake deep on an 0-2 count to extend the Cardinals’ lead, 5-0.

Mike Leake, although he has generally had a good season for the Reds, had a poor outing. Five innings pitched, six runs, two walks. It was an uninspiring effort.

In the fifth, Jay Bruce made a bad fielding error on a Matt Holliday single. The ball skipped off the bottom of his glove. You have to wonder how Bruce would have fielded that ball if the Reds were still in the race. Colton Wong scored on the play.

After Randal Grunchek hit a home run in the bottom 6, Bryan Price started to feel the urgency and promptly lifted our best hitter, Devin Mesoraco from the game.

The Ugly

The Reds lost tonight to their rival, but it never felt close. Some people are playing for contracts, others are playing to make the team next year. But after the game was over, it didn’t really feel like anything; just another game in the countdown to the end of the year.

In the song “The Promise”, Springsteen writes:

When the truth is spoken, and it don’t make no difference, something in your heart turns cold.

44 Responses

  1. charlottencredsfan

    Well it looks like we could skip the next 8 games and no one would know. I’ve seen more action at an old folks home.

    • ohiojimw

      I’m trying to count it up on fingers while typing one handed and holding a dog in the opposite hand/ arm. However, with Monday being an off day, I think the 8th official Reds game from now is opening day 2015

      • charlottencredsfan

        This is Game 154 so there must be a rain-out that they won’t make-up and wil finish with 161 games. Thank God for the blessings he gives us.

      • George Mirones

        The beginning of this game was 154, this game was 155 which leaves 7 more games i9n 2014

      • Redfanjake

        Not to quibble, but this was game 155 as 71-84 adds up

      • charlottencredsfan

        That’s what I saw on Reds Reporter. I like those guys but I suspect most of them are stoned college kids. Thanks for straightening me out.

    • George Mirones

      The attendants are hotter than the Reds bats and they are in their 60″s.

  2. ohiojimw

    I think Monday (the off day) needs to be a day of decision or announcement of decision for the Reds (and yes I am assuming they will find a way to lose Sunday, not that it really matters).

    They should either go on and cut the cord on Price or state unequivocally that he will be the manager for 2015. There is simply nothing positive to come from another week of festering.

    • charlottencredsfan

      If they let Price go, how many managers will be on the payroll in 2015?

    • George Mirones

      My thoughts are that Walt has not been signed up yet. If the Reds were going to do it I would have thought it would have been done by now. What reason would Bob C. have to wait. If he goes with a new GM then Price might go. Baseball has a habit of the new GM has the right to have “his guy” in the dugout.

      • ohiojimw

        An alternate viewpoint is that WJ gets two years to set him and Price up to be at the end of their contracts at the same time.

        Personally, I think too much is being made of the fact that Price’s contract has 2 years to run after 2014 (and thus the Reds are going to keep him versus eating the contract). They were willing to eat a year of Dusty at an estimated cost of $3.5M (Cot’s). It wouldn’t surprise me if all three years of Price’s contract were less total money than that $3.5M, let alone 2 years of it (there are no public figures or estimate on Price’s deal that I’ve seen). Secondly, Price is young enough I think he would want to work versus sitting around collecting a payout for 2 years; and, somebody would sign him up as pitching coach saving the Reds the fair market value of a pitching coach’s salary off the their payout to him (or alternately he would negotiate a buyout for his “freedom”),

  3. vegastypo

    I haven’t been around here much lately, so apologies if this has already been stated, but they ought to change Fan Appreciation Day to Fan Apology Day. Every paying customer should be greeted at the turnstiles by a Reds player for a few seconds of apologizing about the team’s poor performance. Injuries are bad enough, but to play like this night after night is somewhere below embarrassing.

    • RedinInd

      On another Reds site, a poster addressed the upcoming Fan Appreciation Day (paraphrasing): “The fans would appreciate a rainout. Next year, the Reds will appreciate all the fans they can find.”

  4. ToddAlmighty

    Bullpens:

    When Chapman has to pitch in 8-4 games so he doesn’t get rusty and can actually reach 50 innings pitched for the year, you know you’re doing it right.

  5. tct

    These last couple weeks could be a blessing in disguise and could be the reality check that upper management needs. The fact that they have had all their position players besides Votto in the lineup for the last 5-6 weeks and have been one of the worst offenses in baseball over that time should tell Bob and Walt something about the talent level of this team. The fact that Negron has been the only position player who has been called up who has produced should tell them something about the quality of talent in the farm, at least on the position player side. In the long run, the worst thing that could have happened over the past few weeks may have been if the reds had played just well enough to convince Bob or Walt that they would be fine next year with the guys they had. Plus, more losses equals higher draft picks and more draft money.

    Just looking for a silver lining here.

    • ohiojimw

      You may be right but Bryan Price appears to disagree with you in some curious remarks he made to John Fay for an article posted this evening on the Enquirer site. I say curious because in sum, the last several paragraphs of the article which are paraphrased and direct quotes from Price sound a lot like what a GM or owner might say to justify the firing of a manager. There is too much to quote in totality. Here is the link followed by excerpts.

      http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/mlb/reds/2014/09/20/cincinnati-reds/15975167/
      Fay quoting Price:
      “I think there’s an overriding feeling [among the players] that we have a better team than is represented by our win-loss record that we’ve left winnable games out on the field and walked away with losses…….”

      “…. I don’t think you can find in the coaches’ room or the manager’s office anyone who would agree that we didn’t have enough talent to competitive in the division in the second half.”

    • George Mirones

      Actually Holmberg and Coricino have also not done badly overall but you are discussing position players and I tend to agree with you as it also demonstrates that those folks screaming for a “bat” to be added can now see why Walt may not of made a move, He knew what the few of us thought that a bat would been a waste of money and a player to acquire. The injury thing with Votto is on Management as they should have announced his shut down September 1st and relieved Votto of the medias (P.D. and Fay) second guessing on the injury. Whatever happens the Reds will play 162 games next year.

      My only reaction to the quotes in the next post about Prices statements is what the hell would you expect him to say: ” Bruce sucks, Walt didn’t give me the players” Anyone who has those expectations should drag their knuckles back to their cave.

      The reality he is reading from the losing managers playbook and almost quoting it word for word.

      • ohiojimw

        IMO Price is throwing himself under the bus with those remarks. No, I wouldn’t expect him to throw the players under the bus; but, neither would I expect him to say what he did. If they had the talent to compete and didn’t who is responsible? Why did they leave those “winable” games on the table? He is pointing the finger right back at himself and the coaching staff as I see it.

      • redsfan06

        The last manager deflected responsibility by saying the players have to perform. Look what happened to him.

  6. Mister D69

    I can’t see why anyone would think that 2015 would be any better than this garbage. I, for one, have no hope. If they can have even an winning record by the end of April I’ll muster a meager cheer. Otherwise, it’s on to 2016…
    This is the worst Reds team that I can remember.
    Thank you Jay. Thank you Zack. Thank you Brandon, Thank you Bryan. Thank y;ou Walt. You all an embarrassment to your uniform.

    • Vicferrari

      If you posted this a month ago, I would have argued with you…but the perpetual losing has jaded me, a winning team does not accept losing night after night and gets sick of losing 2/3 of their games over any period. Losing teams become complacent and allows itself to lose 2/3 over a half of a season, finds excuses and becomes the waysalmost impossible to get rid of. Changes need to be made, not picking up a couple of vets’ options won’t change that…
      but I do not know what will

      • greenmtred

        I’m discouraged enough to have stopped watching the games, but do think that we may be over-reacting (not to this season–hard to over-react). At the beginning of the year, most of us thought that the Reds had a real shot at going deep in the post-season, and so did a number of “experts.” Extraordinary injuries ensued, and the results, with the exception of the hot streak before the All Star break, were predictable. It’s true that all of the position players save for Votto (not a negligible missing piece) are back now, but several off them are playing hurt and/or in the doldrums. It’s very premature, for example, to write off Jay Bruce: he’s having an awful year, but has been good up until now, and is young enough to return to his expected level. And 2 of the 5 projected starting pitchers aren’t pitching and the bull pen has largely been unreliable, so it can’t be said that what we are seeing now is what we will see next year. I’m still pissed, but consider Red Sox fans, or the Oakland fans calling for the sainted Beane’s head on a platter. Winter is coming and that’s a good time to lick wounds.

  7. redsfan06

    In light of searching for a silver lining:
    Yadier Molina since returning from injury – 293 SLG/598 OPS (career 402/741)
    Brandon Phillips since returning from injury – 281 SLG/576 OPS (career 424/743)

    These are small sample sizes of twenty something games, but if Molina is having trouble coming back from the same injury, there is hope BP will be back to a reasonable level next year.

  8. sezwhom

    Funny how everyone was screaming for Brook Jacoby’s head last couple of years. He looks like Babe Ruth compared to Don Long. You know Steve Smith is gone and I’m betting Long isn’t “long” for next year’s roster either. This entire team will be shaken up.

    • Tom Reed

      The ok for the shakeup, if that’s to be, must come from the owner and then start with the GM and work down.

  9. sultanofswaff

    One of the very few positives from this season is that Negron has solidified the #1 utility IF spot on next year’s team. Hopefully that will preclude Walt from handing out another stupid 2 year deal to a replacement level free agent.

    As for the 4th OF for next year, I’d non-tender Heisey as he becomes more expensive than he’s worth in arbitration.

    • Tom Diesman

      Negron has done ok for himself, he’s definitely put himself in the mix for next year. We should be rid of Hannahan (4M club option), and they then have to determine if they will spend the~ $1.5 -$2M to resign Santiago who is a FA or if Negron or Elwood can field SS well enough to not pursue him. I might pay Heisey, he is real solid defensively and in the PH role. The bad news is that Schumaker is already in for $2.5M next season. Then what is still missing from the bench equation that bit us in the rear this year is a LH bat off the bench that can play 1B. Ludwick will be gone as well, $9M mutual option, leaving a gaping hole for a starting LF. Hopefully it will be someone besides Walt making these decisions, since he’s proven that he is incapable of building a solid bench.

  10. Grand Salami

    I do think this series against the Cards is a reminder of what can happen when a GM expresses urgency about making a playoff push. The Cards picked up a catcher and traded for two decent pitchers but how much it all would help there team was somewhat debatable. However, their team was rejuvenated by the moves and guys like Holiday and Wong picked it up. Meanwhile Leake was publicly asking for help and these team began a ponderous descent to mediocrity.

    • charlottencredsfan

      With the following happening in the 2nd half, how much would trade(s) have helped:
      * dismal second halves for BHam & Frazier
      * rotten seasons for Bruce & Cozart
      * shortened seasons for JV and BP
      * Latos & Bailey injured

      IMO, it would ave been a hill to steep to climb regardless of trades. Especially if those trades would have demand the Reds parting with young talent, which is scarce to begin with.

      • ohiojimw

        There is a huge difference between steep hill to climb and what has transpired. The team is on line to lose 2/3 of their games from the ASB to the end of the season. That is historically bad and virtually unheard of save for expansion teams

      • Tom Diesman

        I disagree here, there is a lot of hindsight 20/20 going on here.You’re in the thick of it, on a roll at midseason, despite your best hitter being out. You have one of the best rotations in the league, and then your star 2B goes down for a month. To me this screams fortify for a playoff run, not sit on your rear and toss in the towel. What they did right after Phillips went down was deflating to both the team and the fan base. It’s bad enough that our bench and AAA roster were already neglected such that it was so ill equipped to help out. But to not even try to improve anything at that point just screams indifference from the front office.

  11. RedsfanPa

    I wouldn’t think Bob C. would want a repeat of this embarrassment next year with the All Star Festivities coming to town, so hopefully lots of changes coming. I truly believe he wants to win, this season had to make him sick. I know I would be quite unhappy as an owner with the strong possibility of finishing dead last in the division.
    I know many here still support Walt and feel there are no better current options. I personally feel the game has passed him by (or maybe he is still secretly on the Cardinal payroll…lol.) and am not as thrilled about his probable return for the next several years. The nonstop parade of Cardinal castoffs past their prime has to stop, along with signings like Hannahan…ugh. How about signing some guys that can actually hit Walt.
    As a diehard Reds fan of 40 years it is sad to see players making millions just going through the motions as the season winds down. Playing this game is a privilege, act like it! It seems this team has no leader, someone in that club house needs to step up and let his teammates know this kind of play is unacceptable. The loyal fans are paying and they deserve better. Rolen was a club house leader who lead by example. We need more of that.
    As far as Price goes, I suspect he’ll be back. I know he had injuries to deal with, but I like to see a manager be a manager, to hold players accountable. Managers like Showalter or Pinella, who aren’t afraid to sit a player for lack of effort or to get their attention. Managers like that have command of the dugout. Hopefully he has learned from his mistakes. Hopefully he has realized that hiring the best qualified and proven coaching canidates to fill your coaching staff is more important than hiring past “friends” on your staff. I cringe thinking of how many games Smith cost this team. Possibly Pico is the only one worth retaining.
    I love Cueto, and hope he re-signs, but if I’m in his shoes, approaching 30, do I possibly want to sign where I may have a more legitimate chance at a WS title. He pitched great and should’ve had more wins to show for it. I have never been a Latos fan and am far more concerned with his injury history, would love to see him dealt before next year.
    Sigh…been a tough year, and without cutting dead wood , admitting mistakes and making changes I could see see a repeat of this in 2015. Votto coming back, or Bruce rebounding might help, but this teams issues go much deeper.

  12. vegastypo

    Something else that still ticks me off. Anybody remember Henry Rodriguez, who the Reds wouldn’t keep as a bench player because he couldn’t field well enough? Gee, he might have come in handy in games when the Reds were allowed to use a DH, especially when Mes had to stay on the bench, or the Reds needed a pinch hitter. But, no, we went with the ‘proven pieces’ like Hannahan and Schumaker and on and on. ….. To be clear, ‘H-Rod’ might not have helped much more than Hanna-Schu, but he’d have been cheaper. …

    • charlottencredsfan

      This is a very important point: if you aren’t going to get production from particular players, you should should get it as cheaply as possible. Same thing with Ondrusek – guys that ineffective should be a dime a dozen.

      • ohiojimw

        They could always hold pregame open tryouts and sign the “winners” to one game contracts for the last position player spot and bullpen spot 🙂

  13. redmountain

    The team needs a major tuneup if not a minor overhaul. Maybe Bruce could get a batting coach, psychiatrist, or hypnotist. It worked for Foster. Time to go a bartering for players. I agree buy low and unload salary and get some guys that will do the little things to win and not worry about how many homers they hit.