Time for a recap of tonight’s titanic struggle….

Atlanta 4
Cincinnati 3
WP: Vazquez (2-1)
LP: Volquez (2-2)
S: Gonzalez (2)

–Joey Votto continues to hit, with a couple more knocks tonight. He’ll cool off at some point, but he’s looking awfully good right now.

–Ramon Hernandez went 2-3 with a double. He’s looked better at the plate in the last game or two.

–Two ribbies for Gonzo.

–Edinson Volquez’s control. Sheesh, he was pitching fairly well, and then he couldn’t find the strike zone. Seven walks, seven strikeouts (he even walked Jeff Francoeur. No one walks Jeff Francouer). Gave up one stupid hit, but couldn’t get out of the fifth inning without giving up three runs.

–Edinson walked the opposing pitcher with the bases loaded (and then promptly walked the next hitter too). It doesn’t get any worse than that.

–Ten walks for the pitching staff. That’s just terrible.

–Brandon Phillips continues to be a disaster in the middle of the lineup. If there is a less productive cleanup hitter anywhere, I’d like to know his name.

–Yunel Escobar is a moron. He was hit by a Volquez pitch that everyone in the world knew wasn’t intentional, then walked toward the mound like he was some tough guy. Benches emptied, but the whole episode only served to prove that Escobar is insane.

–Volquez lost this game by not being able to throw a strike. This is one the Reds should have won.

Go 76ers!

15 Responses

  1. Mark in CC

    Sounds like the Cowboy would send Edinson a message at Louisville. Might not be a bad idea. Maybe Homer can seize the moment.

  2. Cary

    Volquez seems to be afraid to stay in the zone after getting hit around his first couple of starts. He already had bouts of wildness, now he is just out of control. He needs to trust his stuff, change speeds with the FB and change, and start going after some hitters. Mario, where are you?

  3. Chris Garber

    For goodness sakes, you don’t demote a guy based on bad control one night. There’s a good reason no millionaire has trusted Jeff Brantley with running his ballclub.

    This is what coaches are paid for.

  4. Chad Dotson

    Sounds like Cowboy is taking his cues from Marty, who has evidently already given up on Cueto.

  5. Glenn

    It just seemed that the home plate ump tonight was not calling anything low in the strike zone, which is where Volquez makes his living. There were a couple of low pitches that Vazquez didn’t get calls on that were clearly strikes too.

  6. GregD

    Escobar is a d-bag. If you’re too afraid to charge the mound, just take your base.

  7. Cary

    Hopefully someone in the Braves dugout informed Escobar that Volquez doesn’t have good enough control to throw at someone. If he was trying, he would have missed him by a foot, about the same distance he was missing the catcher’s mitt.

    However, Brantley keeps his reputation as a yahoo by suggesting sending someone to the minors because of an early season bout with wildness. Volquez does need to realize that there is no reason for anyone to swing the bat right now against him, because they are unlikely to hit it if he does get it in the zone and he will seldom be able to throw three strikes in an at-bat.

  8. pinson343

    Giving a game away is the worst kind of loss.

    I don’t believe Volquez was afraid to throw a pitch in the srike zone, the hitters couldn’t do anything with his strikes. It was lack of command, pure and simple.

    On the other hand, it wasn’t as a radical a lack of command as 5 walks in a row would imply.
    As observed by Glenn and according to Gameday, several key pitches in that stretch were low strikes that were not called.

    PS Our bench does not deliver. I miss Javy Valentin, who could get a late inning PH.

  9. mike

    maybe the single biggest reason the Reds offense is bad is, not our SS, not our catcher and not the fact that we have only 1 legitimate starter in the OF….it’s that we have one of the worst #4 hitters in baseball.

    the question was asked, if there was a worse cleanup hitter anywhere, you’d like to see them so I decided to look.

    First, just how bad is the Reds #4 spot?
    Worst #4 hitter OPS
    .430 Seattle
    .458 REDS
    .559 KC
    .637 Colorado
    .648 Oakland
    .812 NL Average
    .846 AL Average
    1.272 Boston (tops in baseball)

    that is as bad as it gets
    But who are these players?
    217 Youkilis (Bos)
    198 Cabrera (Det)
    193 Swisher (NYY)
    178 DUNN (Was) – wasn’t this guy a Red?
    178 Gonzalez (SD)
    175 Ludwisk (Stl) – a smart manager bats hit better hitters higher in the order, that’s why Pujols bats 3rd
    171 Ethier (LA) – see Stl comment
    160 Hafner (Cle)
    151 Cantu (Fla) – see Dunn comment
    150 Kubel (Min)
    129 Huff (Bal)
    128 Pena (TB)
    117 Howard (Phi)
    115 Delgado (NYM)
    112 Thome (CHW)
    106 Lee (Hou)
    100 Wells (Tor)
    100 Molina (SF)
    93 McCann (Atl)
    91 Doumit (Pit)
    89 Holliday (Oak)
    82 Blalock (Tex)
    78 Fielder (Mil)
    70 Vlad (Ana)
    66 Butler (KC)
    55 Atkins (Col)
    49 PHILLIPS (Reds)
    33 Jackson (AZ)
    15 Bradley (Chc)
    14 Beltre (Sea)

    the sad news is Jackson, Bradley, and Beltre will all end the season producing more than Phillips. Phillips has a small chance to produce more than Atkins, Butler, and Molina but a very small chance.

    So right now there are a couple of cleanup hitters worse, but not many

  10. mike

    Re: –Joey Votto continues to hit, with a couple more knocks tonight. He’ll cool off at some point, but he’s looking awfully good right now.

    Votto has a 1.075 OPS. I don’t think that’s out of reach for him.
    Sure I expected him to be around .900 but there is a chance he keeps hitting and doesn’t cool off 🙂

    only 5 1B have produce more than him and 2 of them our on their way to the HOF

    Votto’s 90% PECOTA? 1.012

  11. mike

    Re: –Ramon Hernandez went 2-3 with a double. He’s looked better at the plate in the last game or two.

    We knew this would happen right? I have been so tired of hearing people say get Hernandez out of the lineup for….oh…what’s his name? Some nobody who won’t hit at the major league level. Hernandez has played 11 seasons with nearly 5000 plate appearances and a 95 OPS+. Hanigan will never pull that off. Best case scenario for Hanigan is about a .750 OPS and that’s the absolute best case which is right around 95 OPS+.

    Hernandez is not young, so give him more than the usual # of days off but lets not lynch Hernandez because of a bad 10 games.

  12. Fighting Fascism

    Hernandez did a really poor job handling Volquez this game. There is a reason why the O’s traded him for Ryan Freel. When Volquez control was shaky did you watch Hernandez setting up the target? The dude was setting up low and outside on a 3-1 count to the opposing pitcher! How about a target right down the heart of the plate? Volquez has so much natural movement just give him a target to throw at. He wasn’t outrageously wild, he would miss just off the target, but Hernandez gave him zero margin of error by setting up on the extreme corners.

    Seriously I am disappointed no one else noticed this.
    I am not giving Volquez a free pass, but he looked really good this spring pitching to Hanigan. I think you let Hanigan catch him next game. Also, I see no use for Dick Pole as our pitching coach. Soto would be much better, as the key guys are clearly Volquez and Cueto, his two proteges.

    This was a disappointing game, but Volquez has outstanding stuff so I am not worried. He just needs to simplify things and throw down the heart of the plate. he is wild enough where it will move to the corners on its own.

  13. pinson343

    Fighting Facism, I was about to make a similar comment.
    Volquez is definitely a pitcher who should throw his fastballs down the middle and let the movement take care of the rest, especially against the opposing picher.

    With the bases loaded and two out, they pitched to Vasquez, who hadn’t driven in a run for years, as if he were a major threat. All EV had to was throw fastballs right down the middle ! EV had just thrown ball 4 to Kotchman and to Schafer on changeups. Then after getting ahead of Ross with a fastball, he gets behind on 2 changeups. So with a 1-1 count on Vazquez, what does he throw ? A changeup for ball 2 !

    He also got behind to Johnson on a 1-1 changeup. Neither Vazquez nor Johnson even lifted the bat off their shoulders. I understand the importance of EV’s changeup, but let’s have a little situational pitching please.
    With the bases laoded, it was time to challenge the hitters and Hernandez should have had him do that. The pitch calling and setup is on Hernandez.

  14. Bill Lack

    I said this in the game thread…the Reds (catchers and DICK Pole) allow their young pitchers to struggle out there, with no help from either the catcher or the pitching coach. When a guy is struggling, go out and talk to him, if for nothing else than to break the bad rhythm. But the Reds catcher doesn’t go out, it seems to me, nearly enough when the young guys are struggling and Dick Pole looks like he’s got something better to do when he has to get off his rear and walk out there.

    As for Marty giving up on Cueto, he gave up on him last year one game when he was saying that he had to grow up. The kid was 22 with a handful of starts in AAA and Marty acts like the kid should have the maturity of Greg Maddux.

    Brantley would fit right in on WLW, ’nuff said.

  15. Matt Steele

    Yeah Seattle’s right now is worse. I should know, I have Beltre on my fantasy team and he’s killing me.

    As for Volquez, it’s a little too early to really worry and send him to the minors. Brantley’s played baseball before, so this notion of sending one of the better NL pitchers last year to the minors based on 4 so-so starts this year is pretty ridiculous.

    I really don’t like any of the Reds announcers anymore, radio or tv