Hi Reds Fans!

Lately, I’ve had trouble pleasing everyone with my recap, so today, you get the recap you want. It’s CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE TIME.

The Reds were scheduled to play Cleveland tonight, the result was…

A bad loss that you don’t want to talk about – Proceed to Option 1

A rainout – There was no game here – Proceed to Option 2

A bad loss and you want to wallow – Proceed to Option 3

A bad loss and you want reason to hope – Proceed to Option 4

Option 1

Milton was unhappy with Cincinnati's performance tonight.

Milton was unhappy with Cincinnati’s performance tonight.

Option 2

I don’t know why I keep drawing games that don’t come to fruition, but such is life. It does give one the opportunity to contemplate the meaning of existence. For instance, tonight, I had a Fig Newton and it occurred to me that it might be the perfect cookie because it is always enjoyable, but one cannot eat too many. This is what we want from cookies. A brief escape. A treat. Not a the wallowing decadence that comes with Oreos, for instance. The Fig Newton is the way my friends. The Fig Newton is the way.

As always, you are reminded, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes it rains. Tonight it rained. Such is life.

Option 3

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (18-23) 3 6 0
Cleveland Indians (18-23) 7 11 1
W: Carrasco (5-4) L: Leake (2-3)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier. That is all.

The Bad

–Paging Mike Leake. Where are you? Because the Mike Leake we’ve seen the last two starts is not what we are used to seeing. Leake walked five a struck out nobody (not even Odysseus) in 4 very bad innings. This team has been snake bitten enough the last few years, that I found myself wondering if he was hurt. Probably not, but you know.

–The bullpen is an utter conflagration. Badenhop and Diaz both should be better than this. Relief pitchers. Who the monkey stink knows?

–Baserunning. Yuckers.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Six losses in a row. Man. It is not a real good time right now. I’ll admit to largely avoiding games this week because baseball just hasn’t been much fun.

–Votto is still not hitting like he should, and it’s really weird. Neither I nor anyone I’ve talked to thinks he seems hurt, but there is no power at all right now. If he is healthy, it’s the worst slump of his career. I hope that’s all it is, but given recent history, you have to wonder.

–Chad linked his piece about the potential problem that is the rotation last night, and I’m just going to leave that bad boy up for a night here.

–This seemed like a mediocre team at the beginning of year, but one with some upside. So much for that. At least, that’s how it feels right now.

*This offense stinks.

Option 4

Cincinnati Reds (18-23) 3 6 0
Cleveland Indians (18-23) 7 11 1
W: Carrasco (5-4) L: Leake (2-3)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

Okay, okay. Let’s dispense with the normal recap. Tonight sucked. It’s sucked a lot lately. But here are five reasons I can think of to still watch the Reds:

1. Jay Bruce is heating up. 2 for 2 with a double and two walks tonight. He has a five-game hitting streak and has raised his OPS more than 100 points in that span.

2. Johnny Cueto still pitches every five days.

3. Joey Votto still plays for the Reds, and since nothing about him looks hurt, we should expect him to start whacking baseballs hard again, well, now.

4. Zack Cozart is having the season of his life right now. It’s fun when players do that. I hope he keeps it up. I’ll admit that I gave up on him last year, and I want to see him prove me wrong.

5. We’re getting to see the young pitchers more and it sounds like Marquis might be out of the rotation. If a team is going nowhere, I’d always rather watch young guys play badly and get better than old guys play badly and then retire. It’s not the playoffs, but there is something to be said for watching players come into their own.

56 Responses

  1. Kyle

    Awesome recap. I have tried avoiding this team the past week other than quick phone checks but this was enjoyable. More enjoyable than anything on the field.

    • RedAlert

      Dvr works pretty good too – can cut thru all the crap ( or non crap ) the Reds do in probably under an hour

  2. Kurt Frost

    I’m doing other things with my life. Didn’t catch any of this one.

    • greenmtred

      I recommend the Brother Cadfael Mysteries on dvd. They take place in 12th century Britain, so’s there is no risk of being reminded of the Reds.

  3. Kurt Frost

    Leake will still get $20 million a year.

      • RedAlert

        Ain’t no way they pay a batting practice pitcher that much – maybe you know now why they haven’t talked about an extension – his stuff is underwhelming – I like Leake and he is solid – not $20 million solid

      • Kurt Frost

        Rick Porcello says Leake gets $20 million.

  4. Jeff

    But how did they hit with RISP?

    Nice Recap, much better than the game.

  5. jessecuster44

    When more effort is put into the recap than trying to win… hoo boy. I haven’t bought the MLB At Bat app yet, and maybe I won’t. Who wants to watch “highlights” of such an awful team?

    I love the Reds, but I don’t like this team very much at all.

  6. Robby20

    I think the Indians announcers said this was the first time all year the Indians have won the first game of a series at home. The Reds always seem to be good for what ails another team.

    On another topic for those that do all the complaining about the Reds announcers be thankful you don’t have to listen to some of the other crews out there, like the Indians.

    And for all those that logged in on the earlier thread about the Reds having a shot at a playoff spot I applaud your optimism but this team is dreadful.

    I raised the possibility of Votto being injured in the earlier in the day. He is looking pretty pedestrian at this point. Hopefully it is just a slump.

    • jessecuster44

      Trainers: Joey, are you OK?
      Joey: I’m fine
      Trainers: Good enough for us!

      • jdx19

        You are probably more right than you know, unfortunately.

    • wyoRedsfan

      Could it be a mental thing with Votto? Not physical, not a ‘slump’, but a thing in the head again? i hope not, but he has some history there.

      • ohiojimw

        Perhaps it is a stamina issue and could be both mental and physical in that regard.

        Athletes talk a lot about the difference between being in good condition and being in game condition. Votto was away from playing for essentially 2/3 of a season. After the initial burst of being back, maybe a major part of his struggles is finding his game conditioning.

      • ohiojimw

        I would also say from the games I’ve watched, I think Votto is getting a tougher (but for the most part more honest) strike zone called against him than he did before he missed all the playing time. There was a period of several years where if he took a pitch at 2 strikes and didn’t flinch, buckle or act fooled he got every close call.

        It will be interesting to see if he wins the umps over or has to make adjustments to what he considers to be his strike zone.

    • ohiojimw

      According to the play by play I checked, Votto saw 30 pitches in 4 AB which resulted in a single and 3K’s (two looking). He wasn’t able to extend ABs like this last year when he was hurt.

      • Michael E

        If ALL our hitters could work pitchers for 25 or 30 pitches in 4 ABs, we’d be 10 games over .500 right now. Even if the results are outs, you weaken the opponent quickly. this is how the title winning teams have won. Good pitching and “you’re going to have to work to get me out” hitting.

        Trade these little league hitters post-haste.

      • User1022

        If ALL our hitters could work pitchers for 25 or 30 pitches in 4 ABs, we’d be 10 games over .500 right now.

        It would help, but sooner or later said hitters would have to produce some offense. Making the pitcher throw a ton of pitches just so you can strike out in the end accomplishes the same thing if you went up there and hacked at 3 pitches in the dirt.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Bad hitters can’t do this. We have flawed hitters about everywhere you look. In particular, guys that came up through the Reds system. They need to be reprogrammed.

      • greenmtred

        Mentioned before, but evidently last year the teams that took the most pitches per game were largely absent from the post season. Maybe just an oddity? Or is taking lots of pitches another example (sac bunts) of a hoary truth not standing up to close scrutiny?

      • charlottencredsfan

        I think the best strategy is to get pitch you can smack the daylights out of until you get a strike, after that get a pitch you can comfortably handle until strike 2, after that protect the plate. The thing I hate the most, is a guy swinging at a pitch a half-foot off the plate for strike one.

        KC really puts on a clinic. The don’t walk much but they swing at pitches they can hit, whether it’s the 1st, 2nd. 3rd, etc. pitch that they see in an AB. I do believe RLN, in general, puts to much emphasis on taking pitches. Especially now when bullpens are filled with stud pitchers; keep the starter in, for the most part.

  7. ohiojimw

    Who is managing this Reds team Monday afternoon if they don’t win at least one of the remaining two versus the Indians?

    The current losing streak stands at 6 with 9 losses in the last 12 games. Earlier in the year there was a run of 7 losses in 8 games, 3L-1W-4L

    Yes, there are lots of things that are Jocketty’s fault but the team should not be as bad as it is playing now. Every area of the team is in disarray. Things are looking a lot like during the slide to oblivion from last season except there is 3/4 of a season to go. Something has to give.

    • RedInInd

      “. . . the slide to oblivion . . .” That’s what I was thinking, too. Sure feels that way.

      • ohiojimw

        Price is actually being somewhat open right now with the media. He said in the pregame that they are doing the work but not getting the results; and, that it is his job to find a way to get results. Per the quotes I’ve seen he said about the same in the post game plus took it a step further by saying he wasn’t doing a very good job right now. At times it is almost like he is indicting himself.

        Something that I heard him say the other day in KC and again tonight in the pre game was that they just needed to find the will or determination or dedication to get the job done. Is this the old clubhouse leadership bugaboo raising its head again?

    • Michael E

      Nah, this is the “slide to a necessary rebuild”. I am actually liking this (sadistic and cruel of me, I know) as it will paint Walt and Co in a corner and they’ll HAVE to go rebuild or look REALLY cowardly and gutless.

      • Aaron Bradley

        BINGO and that is my choose your adventure option in all of this. Let this team flame out and they can no longer pretend all is ok in Redsland as they have been trying to do for quite awhile. Bob has become a real gutless owner these past few years with his unfounded faith in Jocketty. Bringing in Towers was the last straw for me.

      • charlottencredsfan

        I don’t see gutless but more like flawed philosophy. Agree with your other point. The only chance we probably have at a “real” change in direction is a complete, and thorough, meltdown. If that is your opinion, the good news is it happening before our eyes. The only thing that was keeping it from happening earlier was good starting pitching and now that is gone.

        The whole organization needs a complete flushing out. It sounds like the farm system is a mess too. The hitting instruction is a joke across the board. Hardcore fans, like the ones found here, need some hope of a brighter future. We can’t be fooled, this is garbage,

  8. Jake

    The thing that makes me skeptical about Votto being hurt is, last year when he played he would wince a lot and his back leg would give out when he’s swing. So far, I haven’t seen anything to indicate that he’s hurt. Hopefully it’s just a slump, cause if he is hurt, there’s very little to look forward to this season

  9. RedAlert

    Team has totally quit on Bryan Price – time for the Jumbo Diaz experience to end – clean house in the bullpen (except for Chapman ,Hoover). – inset Lorenzen/Iglesias in the rotation and move on – Walt Jocketty is an utter failure – and maybe Castellini can sell the team to someone who really cares

    • rhayex

      Are you serious about Castellini? Look at the payroll. He cares about winning. His flaw is, much like the Bengals, he’s loyal to a fault.

      • jessecuster44

        If you think he cares about winning, you might not be paying attention. Throwing money at something does not imply “caring” about it, especially if you have deep pockets. If Bob cared about winning, he wouldn’t have extended Walt and allowed Walt to bring in old boy Kevin Towers into the mix.

      • rhayex

        To say he doesn’t care about winning is crazy. This isn’t Loria we’re talking about. I think Castellini bought into jocketty’s vision for the team and trusted his talent evaluators to make proper decisions. He’s not the one who is in charge of baseball decisions.

        He’s in charge of hiring/firing, sure. But after the success overall of 2010 and 2012, Castellini put his trust in Jocketty. It hasn’t panned out, sure. But its ridiculous to make statements saying he doesn’t care about winning.

        I’m sorry, but sometimes it seems like Cincinnati fans are some of the most short sighted fans in baseball. I’ve been calling for a rebuild for two years now, with people bashing my views every time. Now that its time for a rebuild people are getting pissed at the owner because he hasn’t acted quickly enough in their opinion. We are worse than Pittsburgh fans sometimes, and that’s something I never thought I’d say.

      • jessecuster44

        I suppose if he cares about winning, he wants to win on his own terms. Because no one who cared about winning would let the past 24 months play out the way they have.

        He should have gotten rid of BP after Dat Dude bashed him in the press, he never should have resigned Dusty, and if he really cared about winning, he NEVER should have re-upped Walt.

        The Reds didn’t need to rebuild in 2013 or before the trading deadline of last year. But they never pushed all their chips into the middle, and they blew it.

        I care about winning. I see the problems with much less inside info than Bob C. I think he’s aloof. Where did the man go who was furious during the wildcard game in Pittsburgh?

      • rhayex

        This is an example of fans reaching a quick conclusion about someones character based on a small time frame. It is not Castellini’s job to know baseball. That is why he hire a GM and manager. He then puts his trust in the people he hires and their plan. These plans can take years to come to fruition; look at the Astros and Cubs. Again, the owner is not the person in charge of baseball operations! The reason Castellini is hesitating is because he has put his trust in his baseball people’s plan. If it fails, we will see change (possibly at the end of this season). To demand for a GM to be fired just before the draft and trade deadline is crazy. Manager is another story entirely, and I’m sure Castellini doesn’t want to fire a manager just for the sake of firing them. Looking at this roster, I can’t see any way the Reds can compete at this point. That’s not to say it was the wrong move to go for it at the beginning of the season (although I thought it was); you can go for it and sell if you are out. Now, the Reds are out and need to focus on rebuilding. I will be a patient fan for the year or years it takes to come back into contention.

      • jessecuster44

        Goodness gracious – If Bob can’t see that Walt’s last 2.5 years have been an utter failure…

        I am sick of being patient. Been waiting since 2009 for this group to go deep in the playoffs.

  10. Mister D69

    FWIW (which ain’t much), the Cards got shut out by the Royals (tonight), too. There’s a thread of consolation to be had.

    • Aaron Bradley

      And they will probably have the fortitude to bounce back and win 7 of 9 in the upcoming stretch. Something unimaginable with our Redlegs.

  11. Vanessa Galagnara

    Good news! Mike Leake just became about 2 million dollars cheaper for us to sign. Just trying to shine out some positive vibes!

    When do we get to see Jon Moscot? This week or next week?

  12. ebrand81

    All options were great! Much more entertaining than watching the Reds lately. Especially liked option 3. We live in FL and subscribe to MLB just to watch the Reds(some Rockies), and have found ourselves checking the score before tuning in on Roku; found ourselves opting for a board game.

  13. sultanofswaff

    Votto likely saved 3 runs with his defense. That’s really good.

    Now for the bad—–Brian Price couldn’t be bothered to COMPETE………..in the sense that on both sides of the ball he wasn’t willing to stand up for his players. Leake was getting pinched on the low strike……..crickets. And yet when the Reds were hitting that same pitch was getting called………………again, crickets from the bench. 6 different times we had hitters get into it with the umpire, which almost never happens. Not once did Price stand up for his guys, and it cost the team in-game and almost beyond in the form of one of them (Votto) nearly getting tossed and flipping out and maybe getting suspended. The manager’s job is to protect the players, and Price left ’em hanging. Again, he literally has nothing else to do in those moments, and yet.

    So when we talk about effort and heart, I’m seeing it from the players but not from the manager.

    • Steve Mancuso

      I agree. I thought it was really odd that Price didn’t go out there to defend his players — especially to make sure that they didn’t get thrown out of the game. I know it’s not fair to judge by the quick glimpses from the TV broadcast, but I was getting a poor vibe from the shots of Price.

      • ohiojimw

        Price is telling the world it is his job to stop the slide and that he isn’t doing a very good job. In essence he is making the case for why he should be relieved of his duties. He sounds like he is either looking for a life line or a ticket out of town on the next plane and maybe has reached the point he really doesn’t care that much which it is.

      • Robby20

        Price is a problem but with this roster it wouldn’t make much difference who the manager was. The biggest issue is higher up than the manager.

      • jessecuster44

        I’m fairly tired of the milquetoast attitude that recent Reds skippers have with the men in blue. Bring back Lou.

    • Robby20

      Indians broadcast team said they’ve never seen a team complain more about balls and strikes then the Reds do. I was watching on TV but it really appeared the Reds were getting the short end of the stick from the plate umpire.

  14. whereruklu

    Maybe there’s a good LaVerne and Shirley rerun on this afternoon???? Lenny and Squiggy join the starting rotation. The Big Ragu hits cleanup…..

  15. ohiojimw

    I like Jason’s suggestion that there is an excitement and sense of direction gained by having the young arms brought and taking over in the rotation (and perhaps pen too).

    However I don’t think it should stop with the arms. As position guys look to be ready or very close, go on and get them up too. The only guy right now that seems to fit that description is Suarez. Bring him up; but, not to sit. If it means some sort of “rotation” where Cozart or Phillips sit a couple of days a week, so be it. With Cozart regressing to his mean and the team going into the dumper, they could do worse than trying to sell high on him anyway. Any market for Phillips is likely going to be an emergency spot market where a contender needs a 2b and Phillips can be persuaded to waive his 10 and 5 rights.

  16. ohiojimw

    Meanwhile Twitter has lit up with news that Cueto has been scratched on Sunday due to “general stiffness” Since his last start. Iglesias will make the start

  17. chrislosolivos

    Option 5

    A bad loss that should be reasonably discussed by reasonable people. It’s not rocket science.