Despite Homer Bailey making his 2015 debut, the Reds (5-6) lost their third game in a row and were defeated for the sixth time in seven games, dropping below .500 for the first time all season. The loss means Cincinnati still hasn’t claimed a series victory in St. Louis since September of 2011.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (5-6) 2 9 1
St. Louis Cardinals (7-3) 5 10 0
W: Martinez (1-0) L: Bailey (0-1) S: Rosenthal (4)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Arms

*Bailey’s final line: 5.2 innings pitched, nine hits, five runs (all earned), three walks and zero strikeouts. With two outs in the sixth inning, Bryan Price left Bailey one batter too long and Matt Carpenter clubbed his second hit of the day off Bailey for a two-run double, pushing the Cardinals’ advantage to 5-1. By leaving Bailey in, Price essentially gave his middle relievers a vote of no confidence. The fact that Bailey was making his first start since Aug. 7 makes Price’s call to let Bailey face Carpenter even worse. Bailey failed to fan a batter in a start for the first time since Sept. 23, 2009.

*Manny Parra relieved Bailey and got the only out he was asked to get. Kevin Gregg came in for the seventh and recorded a 1-2-3 inning, the first time in five appearances this season he did not permit at least one run to score. Jumbo Diaz pitched a scoreless eighth, dancing around a hit and an error by Brandon Phillips.

*As for the Cardinals, Carlos Martinez notched his second straight quality start against the Reds, logging six innings of one-run, three-hit ball. The right-hander struck out four and walked two. Last Sunday at Great American Ball Park, Martinez went six innings allowing two runs and punching out eight.

*Seth Maness supplanted Martinez and was knocked around a bit, ceding four hits and a run in 1.2 innings. After Randy Choate allowed a hit to the only batter he faced, Jordan Walden came in and retired Marlon Byrd with runners on first and second and two outs in the eighth.

*With runners on second and third and two outs in the ninth, Trevor Rosenthal struck out Joey Votto looking to complete his fourth save.

The Bats

*Zack Cozart’s solo home run in the top of the fifth was his first home run since Sept. 20, 2014. Cozart added singles in the seventh and eighth, and is slashing .368/.415/.526 this season.

*Phillips’ single in the eighth plated pinch runner Kristopher Negron.

*Jay Bruce’s opposite-field single in the eighth snapped an 0-for-11 skid.

*Carpenter, Matt Adams and Yadier Molina each notched two hits. Adams tallied a run-scoring hit in the first. Molina doubled in a run in the third inning.

*Jason Heyward smacked his first homer as a Cardinal in the third. It was a solo shot to right-center.

The Rest

*The Reds made some nice plays defensively. Cozart made a diving stop and throw to rob Adams of a hit in the seventh. Votto saved a run in the bottom of the fourth when he snagged a tough grounder from Martinez with runners on first and third and two outs. Phillips made a diving stop on a Peter Bourjos liner to end the third.

*Billy Hamilton left the game in the eighth inning with an apparent leg injury after beating out an infield single. Hamilton, who broke an 0-for-14 streak with the base knock, has already missed a game with a sore finger.

*After scoring a run in the first inning, Matt Holliday left the game with mid-back tightness.

*Chris Welsh made a mention of this in the eighth inning during the FS Ohio telecast, but the Reds look flat right now.

*Pete Rose is reportedly joining FOX as an analyst.

Up Next

In the series finale tomorrow, the Cardinals host the Reds on Sunday Night Baseball. Adam Wainwright, who has limited batters to 1-for-23 with runners in scoring position this season, gets the ball for St. Louis. (Hat tip to for that stat nugget.) Mike Leake, who has yielded seven earned runs and 12 hits in 12.2 innings this season, starts for Cincinnati.

123 Responses

  1. CP

    B-Ham without his legs essentially makes him worthless. That’s the problem with a one-trick pony.

    • ProspectCincy

      Johnny Cueto without his right arm makes him worthless … that’s the problem with a one-trick pony. Ann Wilson without her voice makes her worthless … that’s the problem with a one-trick pony.

      Seriously guy?

      • charlottencredsfan

        There are some Red supporters that really only support certain Reds. I don’t get it, as long as Marquis, Gregg, Schumaker, Boesch, Hamilton, BP, Bailey, Bruce, Cozart ,etc. are wearing Cincinnati Reds unis, I root for them. Me blasting one or the other at every opportunity probably isn’t going to affect BC, WJ, & BP’s thinking. Same guys like to complain about MB blasting their “favorites”. Too much Tiger Beat magazine.

      • Kurt Frost

        I think it’s more about MB saying stupid stuff than him blasting “favorites”.

      • charlottencredsfan

        I only hear about MB when he criticizes Votto, Bruce or Bailey. I know I miss a game or two during the season, so who knows. Willing to learn.

      • CP

        Although I’m optimistic about some and pessimistic about others, I root for all Reds equally and I think most Reds fans do too. Occasionally, there are some players that I have to hold my nose to root for due to personal reasons (for example, Simon was one), but this team is pretty likable. MB occasionally whips up the 700wlw crowd into a frenzy over certain players, but its usually just results-oriented nonsense and is harmless.

      • Vicferrari

        Crazy on You, Barracuda, Dog and Butterfly, Magic Man, Kep my Love Alive… maybe you never grew up in the 70’s but she was almost as beautiful as her sister, put on a lot of weight over the years

      • CP

        Yeah, but one trick ponies don’t usually play the field. B-Ham’s game is 100% speed-based. He doesn’t get on base very well, he doesn’t hit for average, and he doesn’t have any power. Worst of all, if speed is no longer an asset, his fielding is significantly less valuable.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Did he break a leg? Wouldn’t mind him getting down time anyway. Reds have a lot riding on this kid, they better figure out a way to help him.

  2. Jake

    The difference in the Reds and the Cards?
    Red – 9 hits, 2 runs
    Cards – 10 hits, 5 runs

    • Reds are Joke

      Lot more DIFFERENCE between the Reds and Cards.

      • Jake

        I know but in general, that sums it up. They’re able to get hits other than the long ball, and get RBIs

      • Vicferrari

        Can bring guys up and insert them in their starting rotation and they are as good as Mike Leake right away, then they can trade them for Heywood and insert the next guy, and somehow they have a solid bullpen and a revolving door for closer who always has the same stats as Chapman

  3. Dayton Ducks

    The ’75 Reds after 11 games: 5-6.

    I know, I know…just trying to find something to cheer myself up.

    • redsfan06

      I’ll go with that and the Reds should have let Bailey pitch at least one more minor league game.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Same here. BHam and Mes both get hurt when they are totally in the dumps. I’m dreaming that both these guys take this opportunity to figure what is going wrong.

      I normally don’t talk Joey up that much, because here at RLN, he certainly doesn’t need it. But here goes: JV is an amazing hitter, he studies his craft as much as anyone. Like the Carews, Gwynns, Roses, etc. If I’m Billy Hamilton, I ask Joey if I can just follow him around and soak in the knowledge and effort Votto puts forth. Sultan made a comment, that when at a Cub/Reds game, he noticed Billy and Joey were taking warm up swings before the start of the game, Votto was intensely observing the Cub’s pitcher warming up, and timing his stroke. Billy? he is off to the side staring into space swinging away. What is wrong with this picture. Votto didn’t just wake himself out of bed to be this great, he works at it. Hard. You want to be something special in this game? Go follow the one guy on the team that is – of the hitters. Sit your butt down next to the great one and start studying.

      • redsfan06

        I was both shocked and encouraged by Bham’s statement that he was talking over base stealing with Billy Hatcher this year instead of ignoring him. Shocked that he ignored him his whole first full year in the bigs while leading the league in times caught stealing. Encouraged that he was working on improving a skill in which he could be one of the best.

        It also made me question Reds management. What were they thinking? You just have to let Billy be Billy?

      • charlottencredsfan

        The Reds will never get +$200M, out of Joey, as a ball player only. Nothing against Joey, it just isn’t going to happen but they can get a great deal more out of him as an influence to the younger guys. This team is going to get very young real soon or after the season. I’d make JV captain of the team whether he liked it or not.

        A story I remember: Bruce was commenting a couple of years ago that he was concerned that JV wasn’t having enough fun in his “life” and probably should do things outside of the game more. It really bothers me that Jay would say that. I like that JV might be obsessed with hitting a baseball and that is the guy that I believe would make a good captain. Derek Jeter was a very good captain, by all accounts, and he wasn’t a rah-rah guy either – led by example.

      • Carl Sayre

        I agree on both counts. The pick off moves of a pitcher is something that can be taught to a base stealer and Hatcher has probably seen a million pick off attempts. Ok maybe not a million but a bunch.

      • Robby20

        Jay Bruce has been around Votto much longer than Hamilton and has learned nothing. He has actually regressed. Point being there are more than a few Reds who seemingly don’t work hard enough to improve their craft.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Difference being that Billy talks all the time about improving and from what we hear, the first one at the ballpark everyday. For Jay, it has been primarily, I was born with these God given gifts and I’m going with them.

        During the radio or tv broadcast, yesterday, it was pointed out that Billy has been working very hard with Don Long and I see it in his square batting stance but not with his footwork. JV has the best balanced stance on the team and maybe all of baseball.. Notice there are times, he never leaves the batter’s box during an AB, keeps his feet right where there are at.

        Jeff Bagwell used to hit with his feet as wide apart as he could to balance his body. If you’ll notice, JV is similar to Bagwell but not as extreme. Billy doesn’t have to adopt this type of stance to be successful but he has to find a way to limit his front foot movement. Otherwise, he will live in a world of off-balance dribblers, weak line drives and pop-ups. I have little doubt he will find a way, it’s when………

      • Steve Mancuso

        On what are you basing your conclusion that Jay Bruce doesn’t work at his hitting approach? We may not always like the results, but everything I’ve ever read about Bruce has been that he works tirelessly at trying to improve his hitting. He’s given several really thoughtful and lengthy interviews about it. Compare that to the clichéd garbage or nonsense we get from other players like Brandon Phillips and I don’t think we should be picking on Bruce. Your points on Hamilton are great, as always.

      • Steve Mancuso

        If you’re not picking on Bruce, I’m not sure how to interpret this sentence: “Difference being that Billy talks all the time about improving and from what we hear, the first one at the ballpark everyday. For Jay, it has been primarily, I was born with these God given gifts and I’m going with them.”

      • charlottencredsfan

        I’m not picking on Bruce at all. See the other side of the coin: I’m extolling the rare virtues of Joey Votto. Do you ever watch the two take batting practice? If so, I would be curious to know of any differences in approach. Not just versus JB but all the the others as well. Never had that pleasure. I would pay money to watch Votto take extended batting practice, sincerely.

        JV is in that very rare class: Carew, Gwynn, Rose, etc. Hitting is/was a science with these guys. Just because JB is not in there does not make him layabout. Always thought Jay worked hard and always hustled.

        Thanks for the compliment.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Steve, this should back up my claim regarding Jay. Again, I was not saying it’s good or bad, but it is different than what I’m used to hearing from Billy and most certainly Joey Votto. Thing I worry about with JB is, will he make the adjustments to remain an effective hitter in the coming years? Is it already effecting him?

        Remember I picked Jay to be the Red hitter to have a breakthrough (surprise) season.

      • Steve Mancuso

        You implied that Bruce was different from Hamilton in that Hamilton went to work every day and tried hard to improve. But that Jay was just resting on his God-given talents. When asked to defend that, you cite an article that talks about his philosophy about dealing with a shift. That has *nothing* to do with his work effort or whether he is resting on his God-given talents. He’s clearly thought about it and come to the conclusion (as have many other analysts, hitting instructors and players) that it’s counter-productive to try to hit ground balls against the shift. Even from that article you can tell he’s given it careful thought.

        Look, if your point is that Bruce should bunt and hit ground balls to beat the shift and he isn’t doing that, then fine. But don’t call his work effort or resting on his God-given talent into question. We have no idea whether Bruce works more or less at hitting than Billy Hamilton or any other player. Just because Jay Bruce hasn’t become the hitter that *you* want him to be doesn’t mean that he doesn’t try to adjust. I for one would loathe to see Bruce bunt or change his approach just to beat the shift. He needs to keep hitting line drives from alley to alley. That’s what he works on and I’m all for it. We just disagree.

        When I read articles like the ones below, I get the impression he works hard at it and is extremely thoughtful. I have never heard any Reds player other than Joey Votto put two or three coherent, thoughtful sentences together about their hitting.

      • charlottencredsfan

        I’ll stand with what I said. Never said I wanted him to bunt. He can do what I’d like to see him do:
        Stats hitting the ball to LF:
        2013: ,396/.396/.694, wRC+=48
        2014: .254/.246/.313, wRC+=204

        I submit, you can not hit that poorly to any one field and have an effective season. When he no longer can pull good FB’s to right field because of diminishing bat speed diminishing he is in trouble, you have to adjust. Time will tell. I think he will make adjustments and be all right.

        We just disagree and you might as well be right.

    • redmountain

      The point is that just because the Reds are scuffling means very little. 5 and 6 is 11 or 1/15 of the season. Patience.

      • Robby20

        The Reds aren’t very good. Are they going to continue to lose 5 out of every 6? No. Are they going to be okay and contend? Absolutely not!

  4. Tom Reed

    The Reds, and the front office, have until July 27th. to get their act together before they have another series with the Cardinals.

    • Robby20

      Too many holes to fill. And the front office is a joke.

  5. ohiojimw

    This Reds team is on the verge of being in free fall mode; and, we’ve seen no sign that either the GM or field manager have a clue about stopping the bleeding before the season is bled away. It would be nice to see some desperation from the Reds bosses similar to what we saw from Matheny last weekend when it seemed the Cards were slipping off to a bad start.

    • RedAlert

      They don’t know the meaning of desperation – wish they did

      • ohiojimw

        Just some reality would be a good first step.

        It is pretty clear that whatever exactly is going on with Meso isn’t going to get cleared up overnight or even 3 or 4 nights. He’s already about halfway through the minimum 15 day stay on the DL. We are told there is no question that he can’t catch for now. Just go on and put him on the DL.

        Parra had off season (foot) surgery. Given that he isn’t throwing well, the surgery should be enough of an excuse to DL him and get Iglesias or Lorenzen into the pen.

      • lwblogger2

        Yeah, their reluctance to use the DL annoys the ever loving crap outta me.

  6. Jeremy Forbes

    Out of the 203 qualified batters in MLB right now, Byrd’s .310 OPS isn’t actually the worst. It’s only the second worst. He is currently being “beaten” by Houston’s Chris Carter, who is sporting a .227 OPS.

    • Robby20

      Yep. Glad the Reds addressed the need for a left fielder.

    • jdx19

      If you like wOBA, they are veeeeery close.

      Byrd: .135
      Carter: .134

      Thea real difference looks to be the fact that Carter has walked a few times, and Byrd has an extra base hit.

      Talk about the dregs… geez.

  7. ohiojimw

    Somebody commented that the limits of Meso’s availability made it like the Reds were playing with 24 men. Actually it is more like 23 because Meso can’t catch at all; so, they aren’t likely to use the 2nd healthy catcher under less than extended or dire circumstances.

    How do you suppose this impacts the attitude of the rest of the team (whether they will admit it on the record)?

  8. C Weezy

    11 games in and I think the best of this 2015 Red season is behind us…

  9. jessecuster44

    How can you be flat after 10 games? Seriously. 22 players on the 25 man roster need to get their heads out of their rear ends and start behaving like professionals.

    • Vicferrari

      Seriously questioning the judgement of talent when you consider over 1/3 of last season opening day roster did not even make an open day roster this year, granted there were some injuries last year makes you wonder if this season’s roster is even full of “professional” MLBers

  10. Vanessa Galagnara

    What is it 12 games into the season and most of the commentors here are already to give up? So much hate on bham that it isnt even funny. Todays line tells me he outperformed Joey Votto today. Bham getting on base accounted for one run. Vottos walks as exciting as they are to observe counted for 0 runs. Bham left zero on base. Votto left 3 on base. Games are won and lost by runs so if you want to be honest billy earned his paycheck today and Votto did not. Why cant the people here at redlegnation get behind this kid? He was second in rookie of the year and he is exciting to watch! Watching Votto walk…… Not so exciting especially if nobody can manage to drive him in.

    Bailey looks like he still has a long way to go to return to preinjury form…. But the good news is that he still outperformed Latos. That deal is turning out a great dividend so far this year.

    If the Reds continue to struggle in another month Imwill be on my horn yelling for the fire sale to begin but until that time we can still show the league we have some talent and we came to play!

    • jessecuster44

      It’s a team game. You can’t have just one person playing well.

      • Vicferrari

        Disagree, Joey gets paid to be better than everybody else and that last AB was pathetic. I disagree with MB’s attitude but Votto is the tying run and he has got to foul those borderline pitches off

      • George Mirones

        Mentioning money, which has nothing to do with current or future performance, is not the best way to evaluate performance.

      • jdx19

        Yep. It’s a sunk cost at this point. How much Votto makes is irrelevant.

      • docmike

        He doesn’t get paid to get a hit every time up. Even the best hitters only get a hit 1 of every 3 times.

    • jdx19

      Big difference between “exciting” and “good,” Vanessa.

      Some folks can’t get behind him because some folks won’t get behind a guy until he proves he can be a decent hitter.

      Of course, due to his speed/defense, he’s a fine everyday-regular on an MLB team. Just, if he doesn’t hit, he can’t be leading off.

  11. UglyStrike

    While I am not happy about a lot of things so far this season. (Those blown leads early on would look really good now in the win column.)

    I personally believed that if we could get through 2 series vs the Cards, 1 each with the Cubs and Pitt to start the season and get through it @.500 with our early pitching and offense questions I would be happy and things would work out good for the year.

    We are almost through them and could end up .500. We are having injury issues and it seems that management refuses to address obvious bad decisions (bullpen). So unless moves are made soon, we are all passengers on the Titanic looking for a iceberg.

    • George Mirones

      Back in the dark days of October I said that if the Reds could end the first 22 games at 11-11 or 12-10 there would be hope. Now it really looks as if 10-12 will be possible. All of us want the Reds to win 110 games and clinch on September 1st, but that isn’t going to happen. The division is pretty strong and will beat each other up, the wild card may very well come from a division that is not as balanced as the Central.

  12. BigRedMike

    Most like Hamilton, the issue is that he has a career OBP under .300 and bats leadoff. Plays great defense and will hopefully improve.

    Votto has around a .500 OBP and slugging over .800, pretty sure he an “exciting” player.

    • Vanessa Galagnara

      Baseball is a game of wins and losses. To win you must score runs. All other stats are trivial. Wins, Losses, runs. And runs batted in are the only stats that matter. Votto is the heart and soul of the Reds. Clearly indicated by 2014. If his walks do not generate into runs then they are of zero value to the success of the team.

      • BigRedMike

        Scoring runs is important to winning games, getting on base helps score runs. Votto has done more than other Reds player this year to help the Reds win games.

      • tct

        Outs are the currency of baseball. They set the pace of the game, and when you run out of outs, the game is over. You can score a bunch of runs and still lose. But if you never make outs, nobody can beat you.

        Votto has been the best player in baseball at not making outs since he came into the league. That makes him insanely valuable. He has achieved this through a disciplined, patient approach. It didn’t work in the ninth today, but it works better than anyone else’s approach does over time. This team has a lot of problems. Votto is not one of them.

      • ohiojimw

        In the same sense that walks which do not help generate runs are worthless so are hits in innings which come up blank.

        RBIs are a counting stat. How about measuring the individual’s contribution by the percent of available runners they drove in or advanced? Votto’s going to be at the top of such a list for the Reds and near the top for league; but so I suspect are some players not so popular with some folks around this site.

        As for today, JV just had a poor at bat there at the end of the game. He was fooled by the second pitch he saw and appeared angry at himself over that and maybe also steamed that he didn’t get a favorable check swing ruling on it. And then for once in his life it looked like he let himself get into a funk over things, taking two borderline pitches and not getting the call on either.

        In his heart of hearts he probably feels like he was struck out without seeing a single strike in that AB. However I agree Casey at the Bat plays out better when Casey takes at least one legitimate swing.

      • CP

        I’m curious who the players you’re referring to as would “not so popular with some folks around this site”? Even the most data driven folks recognize there are more ways than one to skin a cat. I don’t like Adam Jones’ approach to hitting for example, but he’s good enough to use it.

      • ohiojimw

        Several weeks back I was discussing this sort of stat with somebody on this site. Apparently a person had done a fair amount of developmental work and posted it then lost interest or moved on to something else.

        For the period he had posted stats for Votto was league leader or maybe 2nd, no surprise. Brandon Phillips was in the top 20 in the league. That’s the one I think would be a surprise to a number of folks on this site.

      • jdx19

        Jim. I got ahold of the guy who developed the metric you are referring to. He got a job in the Cubs’ analytics department or something like that, so he said he doesn’t do public research anymore.

        But yeah, basically you are right. Any time Votto has been healthy in his career, he’s been either the best hitter alive, second, or third.

        Anyone who argues anything opposite simply doesn’t do enough research. 🙂

      • jdx19


        Votto is currently tied for 2nd in MLB in wRC. Weighted Runs Created, with 13.

      • docmike

        Let me get this straight, Vanessa. Say player A comes up to bat 4 times, all with the bases empty. He gets a hit all four times but gets left on base all four times. Player B, on the other hand, bats 4 times in the same game, all with runners on base. He gets no hits, but does get an RBI for a run-scoring forceout during one at-bat. He also later scores that inning. The team wins 3-2.

        Player A goes 4-4, with no RBI or runs scored.
        Player B goes 0-4, with an RBI and a run scored.

        Tell me again which player had the better game.

      • lwblogger2

        His 4 HR are tied for 2nd in the NL and his 10 RBI are tied for 5th in the NL. Look, those are ‘run’ counting stats and not my favorites to lean on. That said, if that’s what you want out of Votto, he is doing what you want. Not sure what more you want to see.

  13. Vicferrari

    I am worried they are going to do something foolish and put Cozart at leadoff, going 6 for 8 with every body else struggling can make you paniic. Might need to move him up but no higher than 6th and hope Byrd can turn it around with out changing Cozart’s hot streak, Just curious opinions if they logically come to their sense when everybody’s healthy and bat Bham 9th who is the consensus lead off hitter?

    • CP

      I don’t have a problem with riding a hot hand. The foolish part is getting married to it when Cozart comes back to Earth.

      There isn’t a prototypical leadoff hitter on the roster, but maybe it needs to be Frazier or Bruce.

    • vegastypo

      I remember the Reds gave Wainwright a bad time in a few starts during the year in which Wainwright was just back from Tommy John or whatever procedure he had done. At the time, I thought those were lovely flukes.

      • kmartin

        Wainwright had Tommy John in 2011. Wainwright was pretty good in 2013, he finished second in the Cy Young to Kershaw. Given the lineup for tonight, if we score a lot of runs, we will give a whole new meaning to the word fluke.

  14. Art Wayne Austin

    I don’t like Bruce’s comment about Votto taking the game too seriously. Bruce is a minor league batter who batted like a major leaguer in the minors. Get rid of the Griffey persona Bruce, man up, learn your trade.

    • Pooter

      What’s the source on that? I am interested to read his comments. If that’s true, that bugs me and confirms a suspicion I’ve had about him based on his walk-up music and inconsistency.

      • Robby20

        Bruce is soft and seemingly has done nothing to stay fit. Reds held on to him one year too long.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Here is an interesting article about Joey finding a better balanced life outside of baseball after his father’s death. The article is from July 2012 and Jay’s comments are at the end.

        I remember a much more extensive article with Jay’ thoughts on the matter. I believe JB meant only well but obviously from his own POV. Most people that are great at something tend to be obsessive about it. WJ’s comments are interesting in there own right.

      • CP

        Yeah, quotes like those get posted and then look funky because they are out of context without the full article, and most likely, in response to a very leading question. “Hey Jay, we’re doing a puff piece on Joey finding a life outside of baseball…can you give me a quote about how Joey’s found a personal life over the past year?”

      • charlottencredsfan

        Point to consider: Jay is one of Joey’s best friends. A best friend will say something like that, as a fan, I want all 25 guys as obsessed with baseball as Votto. Being a fan, obviously I don’t appreciate it. If I get a chance, I will try to find the extensive comments by Jay.

        I loved Pete Rose sacrificed his body like he did. Maybe those that loved him. didn’t as much? Just because few others played as hard, if any, like Rose; doesn’t make them bad people or players.

  15. Mister D69

    It’s not that people are panicking a mere 11 games into the season. It’s that people are seeing a continuation of the last three months of last season. So it’s not 11 games of woe, it’s more like 80.
    Yes, there is good reason to worry, and worry greatly.

    • jessecuster44

      It’s not that they are losing. It’s HOW they are losing. Right now, this team stinks.

    • Robby20

      Absolutely and this is with a healthy and very productive Votto.

  16. vared

    Sadly, the window of opportunity with this core group of players is closed. Looks, feels and functions like a last place team. Price isn’t nearly the manager I thought he would be, but it probably doesn’t matter because the pieces aren’t there.

    I agree with the prediction someone posted here right before the season began now – the Reds will try to keep it interesting until the All-Star break then trade anything and everything that’s not bolted down. I just wish someone else was doing the trading.

    • jessecuster44

      Given Walt’s track record, he won’t trade much at all during the season.

      • George Mirones

        I often take Walt to task as much as anyone yet ownership is where the arrow should be pointed. If Walt was hired to run the baseball operation then the owner should just be the check signer. Right now we are looking at the MLB version of the Dallas Cowboys where the owner is too involved just as Bob C..
        Bob C. is a major part of creating this mess (contracts, loyalty, legacy) and no matter what makes sense to anyone else he is at the top of the pyramid and should be the target of all criticism. When the Linder Family sold its small share to a venture Capital company is when budget became an often used word and guide post. Bob C. has done well for the shareholders, as the recent Forbes article indicated, but when the lease is up on the current location (GABP) what happens then.
        Just some thoughts.

  17. Scot Lykins

    This is our team. I have come to accept this result from this group of players. We are, at best, a 500 or below team. This team has too many holes, in both the pitching and hitting areas. And i am beginning to believe one in the coaching area.

  18. old-school

    You really can’t judge a team fully until Memorial Day.
    That said, there were storylines and trends and concerns coming in to the season.
    The good news is Joey Votto looks completely back and Desclafani, Hoover and Cingrani look fine in their roles.
    Mesoraco is concerning but every year every team has injuries.
    Marquis and Gregg aren’t MLB pitchers.
    The outfield is the worst in baseball……again. Byrd has been awful, Hamilton can’t get on base and Bruce can’t ever seem to be the guy who leads the team through tough spells… now for instance.
    Hamilton is most concerning. If he can’t get on base, he can’t play in the big leagues as a regular player. His apparent injury prolongs this unanswered question.

  19. Carl Sayre

    I haven’t heard the official report on Hamilton but it looked a lot like a groin pull. Those tend to be a nagging long lasting injury and that is scary. I am a Hamilton fan IMO his struggles are about 70 percent that he came to the Majors a full year before he should have. The other part of his struggle is an unwillingness to alter his approach, with his speed if he was serious about bunting the 3rd baseman could be in the box with him and would still beat it out. I am impatient and opinionated so yes this start is killing me but if you think it has been bad think about Schumaker in center and Byrd in left.

    • George Mirones

      Another thought is just what would be the record with Pena at 1b, and Barnhart catching along with Bosch in RF and Schumaker in center and Byrd in left. Along with Holmberg and Axelrod, and Marquis starting. Many sleepless nights.

  20. Silence Dogood

    It certainly is depressing watching this team play baseball. The Nationals have gotten off to a slow start – and you chalk it up to “it’s 11 games. Relax.” The Reds first 11 — are a continuation of the 162 from last year. And the year before.

    Someone in an earlier post said the short window is closing. True – if there is a window. You’d have to be really optimistic to say this team still has an opportunity to win. It just boggles my mind that the Reds have stood pat (“sometimes the best moves are no moves at all”) and somehow thought the outcomes would be different. “If we stay healthy…if Bruce hits….if Joey finds himself…if Phillips can…” On and on and on. The fact that when Marlon Byrd signed, Walt crowed about a “middle of the order bat” is about all you need to know. If Marlon Byrd is hitting in the middle of your order, make plans for Independence Day that don’t involve baseball. Your team ain’t in it.

    To some degree, our Plan A is not that bad. Everybody is healthy and performing up to their expected level. It’s our Plan B that sucks. How many broken down, past their prime (and not real good IN their prime) guys have run through here under Jocketty’s watch? When is the last time we had a legitimate left fielder? Early Adam Dunn? The Reds have done one thing really well. They have drafted well and developed players who are everyday big leaguers. That’s not easy. But the management of the MLB team is atrocious and without a plan, it seems.

    The easiest thing two things for a GM to do is 1)Build a bullpen and 2)Build a bench. Baseball folks say that how a GM does those two things can tell you a lot about them. I won’t even comment on how poorly Walt Jocketty has performed in this area.

    Can it really only be April? I usually don’t get this salty until the dog day’s of summer.

    • sezwhom

      Excellent post. I feel the same. I usually reserve any judgements until May but I already see signs which don’t give me much confidence. Price can go and I wouldn’t care. Hey, it’s only April, right?

  21. George Mirones

    Harsh thoughts about the Reds;

    The window that everybody mentions is shut. My thought is this The Reds haven’t won with these guys (play-offs) so let’s get some other guys and save some money in the meantime. Granted the Reds will take a hit in attendance but the offset of salary loss versus loss in attendance will be favorable (TV contract).
    Trade Votto to the Red Sox, with that left field wall JV should hit .425. Napoli the current 1B is a free agent at the end of the year and is 4-5 years older than JV. Plus with the DH, JV might play till he is 40’ish $$$ can be worked out plus he would be closer to home. Get lots of players back.
    Put Bruce and his God given talents on the bus to Minnesota with a one way ticket.
    Trade Chapman to the Yankees, great fit, and a big stage for somersaults. Won’t get much in return but the Reds will not be able to afford him after arb this year.
    The Dodgers need Cueto but they just don’t know it yet.
    The Phillies will need a 3rd baseman from “Toms River” NJ soon.

    That Reds Fans is a fire sale.

    • charlottencredsfan

      George – think you would be pleasantly surprised what Chapman would return in a trade. He does one thing as well as anyone who plays the game: put fanny’s in the seats. Imagine if he was Japanese?

      As good a start Joey has had, he can’t be dealt with that contract. Not yet. If that time comes, he should be. Same as Cueto and I love them both. Dodgers are probably well aware that JC would make that rotation the best (greatest) in recent memory. Kershaw-Cueto-Greinke?? If that doesn’t scare you, nothing will.

      • jdx19

        Agree with Charlotte.

        Votto is virtually untradeable and Chapman should bring a very good return.

      • CP

        Well, I’m going to disagree and say that the return on Chapman will very likely be underwhelming.

        If the Reds continue playing like they are, it’ll be interesting to watch how the market values Cueto v. Chapman.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Well, we are likely to find out and can revisit it then. Obviously, I share the view on how overrated “closers” are but I might make an exception in the Tigers case. It has probably cost them NL Championships and WS Championships. They have some interesting players over there.

      • CP

        Yes, it’d be great if some team is desperate and goes crazy for Chapman. Would love to see the Reds get a young, close to MLB-ready position player in the system. I just haven’t seen a closer get traded for tremendous value.

      • charlottencredsfan

        CP, another good closer trade was the Kimbrell trade that allowed the Braves to get out from under the BJ Upton contract and pick up Maybin and Quentin from the Padres. If Chapman would allow the Reds to unload Homer or BP’s contract and pick up a prospect or two, that would be a success in my mind. Certainly worth making.

      • Steve Mancuso

        There’s no comparison between Bailey’s contract and B.J. Upton. Using standard aging curves and WAR present value estimates, Homer is well within range to be worth the $91 million remaining on his contract. On the other hand, B.J. Upton has been worth negative WAR value the past two seasons, making him highly unlikely to be worth the $46 million he’s still owed the next two years. Phillips’ contract falls in between – he won’t be worth the $39 million the Reds will pay him over the last three years of his contract, but he’ll have positive value that covers about two-thirds of it. (Longer post on this coming this week.)

      • CP

        Yeah, I think the Street deal is the most apples-to-apples given contract length, and is a realistic type of trade. The Padres got 1 fringe top 100 prospect, and a bunch of other middling propsects. I think most fans would be disappointed in that type of haul. I’d be pretty ecstatic with a top 50 prospect myself, but I wonder how that would be received by the fan base. It is kind of sad that the Reds because the Reds could have got a real haul if they were more aggressive on the trade market.

        I think the KImbrel one is an odd trade and probably not a great comp-Kimbrel is younger, under contract until potentially 2019, and a big factor in the deal was SD providing the Braves with salary relief, and there were several MLB outfields in the mix.

      • CP

        I missed the part about including BP or Bailey in the deal. I agree with Steve. and Upton’s inclusion probably muddles the water even more b/c it lowered the return on Kimbrel, and is a special situation w/keeping the Upton’s together.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Steve & CP, nice points. Obviously I’m in the very small camp that wants to level the building. and rebuild from the ashes. If I could unload all three big contracts (BP, Votto and Bailey), I’d do it. I admit I’m off the beaten path but……..well, you know. Great insight, the both of you.

        The best thing that could happen is get a progressive GM and let him work his/her magic without interference from Bob C. My preference is to use the As and Rays models but with an owner that would spend the big bucks at the right time. One part is there, the owner who is willing to shell out.

      • George Mirones

        Trading him (JV) to Boston does two things it covers first base when Napoli becomes a FA next year, Napoli’s contract is at 16mil per year and BIG POPI is due to retire. Between the two, JV’s contract is covered. The Red Sox get a Ted Williams fan and lover, a true opposite field hitter and they are covered for another few years at 1B. Like I said with the DH JV could hit till he is forty.

  22. Tom Reed

    Since the opening series sweep the Reds have slid into a funk resulting in three series loses plus facing Wainwright tonight. The Reds, obviously, are not a well constructed team with holes at the 5th. starter, the bullpen, the bench, and, especially, left field which has been an offensive problem for years. If Byrd does not step up offensively, the Reds will not contend and the All Star game will be the highlight of the season and the fire sale should start in late July.

    • vegastypo

      I suspect the Reds’ front office expected to be sellers at the All-Star break all along, not that they could or would admit it publicly. (Although the idea of Walt actually making moves during the season will seem like a foreign concept.)… It’ll be interesting to see if we can make it to the break with an air of respectability, or whether this swoon is only a preview of what’s to come..

      We’re 5-6, could have been 7-4 or even 8-3, but now Mes is a big question mark on top of everything else. By the way, has Byrd even hit a ball hard yet this season? Maybe the line drive that was erred to end one of the Pittsburgh games …

      • ohiojimw

        I said above, get real and DL Meso but the sad fact is that on a leg and a half, he is probably more of a pinch hit threat than anybody else they have in the org right now. Of course a false twist with his bum leg planted might turn into a career limiting or ending injury. Wonder if the team took out insurance on his 4 year $28m deal?

      • lwblogger2

        Probably no insurance on that deal. It’s fairly low money by MLB standards and not the type of deal they are likely to insure, especially on a young player.

    • Scot Lykins

      And right field and third base !!

  23. Eric the Red

    1) I’m a Price defender. But I can’t defend leaving Homer in to face Carpenter, other than to note that having a bullpen with one reasonably reliable arm in it will start to corrode every decision point that the manager faces.

    Carpenter is hitting .600 against Homer. Not in 5 or 6 ABs, but in over 25 ABs. With Homer just off the DL, having thrown a lot of pitches in the 5th and 6th, two outs, and only a two run deficit (and an offense for whom two runs is a lot), that was not the time to try and get another out from your starter.

    2) I recently called for Cozart to be moved up to 6th or 7th temporarily. I hope it happens tonight.

    3) Tampa Bay just cut Grant Balfour, in the second year of a $12 million contract. If they can do that, I don’t see why we couldn’t eat Gregg’s salary.

    • jdx19

      I agree in theory with your points, but 5-6 ABs and 25 ABs are the same thing in regards to batting average, which takes 910 ABs to begin stabilizing.

      • Eric the Red

        A batter is unlikely to get 910 ABs against a given pitcher, though 🙂 I understand statistics. I know you have to beware SSS. But when a guy like Carpenter demonstrates that kind of mastery over a non-negligible number of ABs, it’s time to accept that the results may be telling you something–especially given all the other good reasons for pulling Homer at that particular moment.

      • jdx19

        Certainly Home should have been pulled, but IMO not because of Carpenter’s performance against Homer in the past. I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. I think 25 ABs is a negligible number. Even with 910 being “the number,” I’d start to put some credence in the numbers around 100 ABs. That is 1 month of regular play, basically. I mean, 25 ABs is a week. A hitter can have a hot/cold week.

      • Eric the Red

        I’m not arguing with you. Honest, because I understand statistics. But let me ask you: if a guy had 50 ABs against someone and was batting .600, and 50 ABs against a different pitcher and was batting .075, and your season was hanging in the balance, would you really leave the .600 pitcher in to face that batter? If it’s something like .350 vs one pitcher and .250 vs the other after 50 ABs I suppose I accept the idea that the past is statically “meaningless”, but I can’t make myself accept it after 20+ ABs and an extremely positive (or negative) result.

      • jdx19

        See now you’re at 50ABs. Rather than 25. Fifty is better than 25, of course. And I”m not trying to imply you don’t understand statistics. Twice you’ve felt the need to state you understand them. I get it.

        I think your hypothetical situations depends on the players involved.

        If you have two guys are are, say, 120 wRC+ sort of players, then yes, I’d go with the extra data of one being great against this specific pitcher.

        However, if Cozart is .600 against a pitcher and Votto is .080 in 50 ABs, I’m going with Votto.

        And there are even exceptions to that. If the pitcher is a submarining left-hander, I go with Cozart, probably.

        Basically, I think we can both agree that there is much, much more going into each decision (or there should be) than what a player’s BA is against a pitcher in 25 ABs.

      • charlottencredsfan

        “Basically, I think we can both agree that there is much, much more going into each decision (or there should be) than what a player’s BA is against a pitcher in 25 ABs.”

        I like comments like this, shows an awareness that is commendable.

        25 AB’s may or may not be enough, too many other factors involved to make an open and shut case. If all I knew, and I didn’t, was that Carpenter has a pretty impressive history versus Homer, I’d have taken him out. But there is a lot more to it than that, as you wisely point out.

      • lwblogger2

        Honestly, I think he needed to go get Bailey there and bring in Parra to face the LH hitting Carpenter. If Parra’s main job is to get LH batters out, then you have to run him out there a few more times to find out if he can do it or not.

    • ohiojimw

      what about letting Cueto face Molina on Friday? He was at 90+ pitches an inning later in the game and they were tied. Its too easy to say but it was Cueto on the mound and let it go at that. Then the next rationalization would be but it happened so quickly we had nobody ready. But Matheny always seems to have somebody ready

      • Eric the Red

        With our bullpen, I’d vote for Cueto to face Molina in that situation. With Kansas City’s 2014 bullpen, I’d vote for Cueto to face Molina in that situation. I don’t think it’s at all comparable to the set of circumstances yesterday. (Per my argument above, I’d change my mind if Molina had 30 ABs vs Cueto and was hitting .625)

        Like I said, I’m a Price defender. Yesterday’s move with Homer, and having the infield in in the loss to the Cubs are the two decisions I struggle to justify. The situation with Cueto on Friday I’m fine with.

      • ohiojimw

        How about Cingrani to face Jay or whoever Matheny sent off the bench for Jay? Just pointing out that there were options other than Cueto having to pitch to two of the prime Reds killers at 90+ pitches into his 3rd start of the season.

        I think Price is very much a set piece manager, just like Dusty was. When things take a turn that don’t particularly fit his pieces, he and the team suffer.

      • jdx19

        I think letting Cueto go was fine. After all, he’s the “ace,” right?

        I think the problem was walking Jay to get to Molina. That is still a head-scratcher.

      • charlottencredsfan

        JDX – Strasburg is throwing a gem against the Phillies:
        1 Hit
        1 BB
        5 K

        Not too bad.

      • jdx19

        I’m a big Strasburg fan! I completed the Buffalo WIld WIngs Blazin’ Challenge during his debut against PIT a few years back!

      • charlottencredsfan

        I knew that and wanted to bring you some cheer. When the guy is on, look out!

  24. renbutler

    Speaking of water being wet, there’s a pretty good chance tonight’s game will be postponed (mercifully). Lots of rain in the St. Louis area this evening.

  25. Steve Barkley

    Reds should have held on to Travis Wood.