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

Atlanta 2
Cincinnati 8
WP: Owings (1-2)
LP: Kawakami (1-3)

–I think it’s safe to say that Jay Bruce is back (.286 BA, OPS over 960). Two homers today, 3-3, a walk, 4 RBI. Very nice.

–Micah Owings didn’t give up a run until surrendering a homer to former Red David Ross in the 7th. Good outing for the big guy, and he even collected a double in a 2-3 day at the plate. You absolutely cannot ask for anything more out of your fifth starter.

–Joey Votto: two doubles, 3 RBI. He just keeps hitting.

–Two more hits for Ramon Hernandez. He’s certainly looked better at the plate lately.

–Edwin Encarnacion. He’s a disaster.

–Brandon Phillips. See below.

–Good showing today, after a rough couple of games on Friday and Saturday. Roy Oswalt and the Astros are back tomorrow, to face Johnny Cueto.

–So much more enjoyable to watch when the offense is hitting the ball.

–I’m really tired of Brandon Phillips’ antics. In the fifth inning, The Face of the Franchise hit one off the wall and (in Thom Brennaman’s words) barely jogged down to first like he was admiring his homer. Well, it didn’t go out, and his loafing cost the Reds a double. Then he jogged down again in the 7th on an infield grounder instead of trying to beat it out.

Why is Brandon Phillips allowed to get away with hot-dogging and loafing? Thom on the radio, and Chris Welsh/George Grande on the television broadcast all called BP out on the loafing. Why aren’t they complaining about it on talk radio? Junior Griffey used to get hammered for the same stuff.

25 Responses

  1. GusChiggins

    Homer Bailey is running a train in Louisville right now..

  2. mike

    an odd note about Bruce’s production so far this year

    96 OPS+ last year
    96 OPS+ so far this year (before today’s game)

    since his injury (and was it 2 days off?)
    and ungodly
    10 for 23 with 4 HR and 2 2B
    6 game hit streak

    and one thing that is for sure hurting the offense now
    it’s probably not a good idea to bat a sub-.800 OPS guy who is slumping in between your best hitters

  3. mike

    just took a glance at the Louisville box score…WOW!!!!!!

    Bailey has 14 Ks through 6 allowing only 5 base runners and 1 run

  4. Mark in CC

    There is a double standard in a lot of places. EE got benched last season when he didn’t run out a ball he lost in the Houston roof. You would have thought they should erect a cross. This past Houston series Votto didexactly the same thing and nothing was said. As far as Griffey goes he should have been dogged about it, but I agree so should Phillips.

  5. james

    The way ramon and gonzo have picked it up lately, maybe Dusty should bat Phillips 8th to see if he’ll wake up. You have to think the Walt Jocketty has been seeing this happening.

  6. david

    Well, it’s hard to take BP out of the lineup because of his defense. He’s a gold glover and that certainly speaks for something. He’s also capable of doing much more at the plate. Having said that, I do think Frazier and/or Valaika will be the Reds’ 2B of the future with Phillips moved by the time his contract looks ugly i.e. next season.

  7. david

    By the way Mark, it’s the gold glove that keeps BP in but saw EdE the door.

  8. Chris

    That’s a cop-out. Defense is important, but so is hitting, running, etc. I’ve never in my life heard of a second baseman whose defense is so essential to a team that he can’t be benched.

  9. Chris

    I always think of this story. The reigning MVP gets benched for not running out a popup, and he says this:

    “There is no explanation,” Rollins said. “I just didn’t do it, and sometimes, the manager gets you. I know better. I’ll just go out there and make sure I don’t do it again. He’s the manager, and that’s what he’s supposed to do. He has two rules: One, be on time. Two, Hustle. I broke one of them.”


    THAT’s how you act when you want to be a leader, and face of your franchise.

  10. Dallas

    There is a double standard in a lot of places. EE got benched last season when he didn’t run out a ball he lost in the Houston roof. You would have thought they should erect a cross. This past Houston series Votto didexactly the same thing and nothing was said.
    You’ll always catch more flack if you’re playing poorly. Edwin got benched last year for loafing…he also had A LOT of errors and his batting fell off. Votto didn’t have any reprecussions because he’s playing well.
    Phillips is not getting crucified because he’s coming off a Gold-Glove year.

  11. Mark T

    I hope they give Nix a chance to air it out. Dickerson did not do well at all.

  12. Greg

    It’s about time people get on BP’s case for his inexcusable lack of effort.

  13. Bruce in the OV

    The poor start that BP is off to should prevent him from admiring anything positive he does until he starts to play well consistently. Even if the ball had landed in the river it wouldn’t negate his feebleness so far.

  14. pinson343

    Philipps should be benched for multiple reasons at this point. As I said in the game thread, I hope Rosales is coming up. Then we’re in a better position to give him a “rest” and also to give EE some time off.
    If Rosales starts to outplay Philipps, that will get his butt going.

    BP should not be batting cleanup, even if he’s going well. Until he starts hitting, bat him lower in the order. He responded well (for 2 days) batting 6th, then was put back in the cleanup spot, where he shouldn’t be at all.
    Bat Bruce cleanup. If you think batting him cleanup against lefties puts too much pressure on him, use someone else vs. lefties: if it has to be EE, so be it.

    I won’t yell for benching Dickerson immediately but he’s obviously got to play better. LF is a disaster, as many of us expected. Right now I’m more comfortable with Nix than Dickerson, he went 0-4 today but hit 2 line drives.

    Did GG really call out Phillips for loafing ?
    There ought to be an automatic fine for that !

  15. Y-City Jim

    Herrera deserves some kudos. While he wasn’t 1-2-3, he has become very effective out of the bullpen.

  16. Chris

    Dickerson should be on a short lease to begin with, as he has zero real track record of success at this level. They really don’t have many other options, but Nix is just as deserving of a chance as Dickerson is.

  17. Glenn

    Being down here in SC, I had to watch the satelitte feed of the game with the Braves announcers. Their analysis of the Reds was; “They’ve got some good players but their offence is not going to keep them in the race too long”.

    I hope theyre wrong but IMO the failure to address the LF problem is really hurting this team. If the Reds had a LF’dr who could hit .275 and drive in 70 runs or so like most teams do, that would go a long way to solve the lack of offense problem. Dickerson’s just way over his head.

  18. Kurt Frost

    It’s too early for you guys to be burying Dickerson. Troy Tulowitzki and Jimmy Rollins are both below Brandon Phillips in terms of offense. What does that mean out of 60 at bats? NOTHING! Let’s just calm down a little.

  19. GregD

    Should have traded Phillips and signed Hudson when they had the chance…

  20. earl

    Jay Bruce has really hit in the last week. I saw that his average is up to .286.

    Encarnacion .136
    Phillips .167
    Gonzalez .152

    Things can average out if they have a good week or two, as you starting to see with Bruce and Ramon Hernandez.

    After today, we’ve now got a high quality start out of all starters except Edinson Volquez.

    Considering that three starters are have not hit, the Reds best starter from last year has been wild and the most consistent reliever over the past year or so in Jared Burton has been really off; we are still off to a pretty decent start.

  21. Jay

    BP is needing to be benched,until he pulls his head out of the clouds and realize he is not hank aaron. Just because he can glove it doesn’t make him a good player in this level example juan castro who was a GCL league bat at best with good glove.BP needs to learn to go the other way with the ball to be at his best or send him on down the pike.

  22. brublejr

    The Phillips thing really bothers me…this is not like it is a one or two time thing here. He consistently does not run hard. I think it would be beneficial if they would bring up Rosales to at least give BP and EE some days off time to time. Two days off did wonders for Jay, why not those guys?

  23. per14

    I agree: Rosales needs brought up.

    I’ve been thinking that BP should bat 2nd. I know that sounds crazy. But he has shown so far that he actually can be patient at the plate. When he bats 4th, he tries so hard to hit homers and drive people in. Maybe if he bats 2nd, he’d take a different approach and focus on making contact and working walks. Plus, he’d get some protection with Votto and Bruce coming up behind him. His GIDPs are going to be a problem no matter where he bats in the lineup.

    Of course, I’d bench him too when he dogs it on the base paths.

  24. pinson343

    I hope Rosales is on the roster today. Batting Philipps second is not crazy, it makes sense. I recall past success with his batting second, although I don’t have the numbers.

    The one problem with it that I recall is his GIDPs, but that will be less of a problem with Taveras leading off.

  25. Matt B.

    John Fay already has the lineup for tonight posted. Guess who is batting cleanup. Well, with Dusty’s logic, you really don’t have to guess. I don’t understand why the hell he continues to bat BP there. Okay, the guy is in a slump. By batting the guy cleanup, you continually put pressure on him instead of hitting him lower in the order where he has less pressure and can try to sort himself out.