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

FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Cincinnati 3
WP: Hamels (2-2)
LP: Cueto (4-2)
S: Lidge (8)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Brandon Phillips and Ramon Hernandez had two hits each. And BP has even started hustling since Adam Rosales joined the club. I think Hernandez is hustling, but I can’t really tell since he’s slower than Joe Oliver.

NEGATIVES
–After reaching first place, the Reds have now lost four in a row, and they’ve looked pretty ragged in the process.

–When Willy Taveras and Jerry Hairston don’t get on base, it’s tough for the Reds to score. They didn’t get on base tonight (though JHJ did crush one ball for a homer).

–Jay Bruce hit a homer, but he is still looking pretty bad at the plate. Of course, he was facing Cole Hamels tonight, and there aren’t many tougher lefties out there. Still, Bruce has to get his swing back soon, especially if Votto is going to be out for any significant amount of time.

–Darnell McDonald went 0-4, and he is now .189/.231/.243. Yep, that’s a 474 OPS. I really do feel sorry for the poor guy; he’s so overmatched out there, it’s tough to watch. There is no acceptable reason whatsoever that the Reds shouldn’t FREE JONNY GOMES. It’s absolutely indefensible.

At this point, I believe the Reds are refusing to make a move solely because the fans are clamoring for it. McDonald should have been designated for assignment more than a month ago (well, he never should have made the Opening Day roster, but you get the point).

ETC.
–Other than the fifth inning, Johnny Cueto really looked pretty good. Unfortunately, that fifth inning cost the Reds the game.

–Thom Brennaman was talking on the radio about the fact that Alex Gonzalez is clearly not able to run at full speed. If that’s the case, why is he on the stupid roster??? Why is he playing every day? Why isn’t he out on a rehab assignment?

–Take a look at tonight’s lineup. Then tell me the last contending team that had players like Darnell McDonald, Alex Gonzalez, Jerry Hairston, and Adam Rosales playing significant roles. Without Joey Votto and Edwin Encarnacion, this lineup looks exceedingly weak.

Case in point: in the ninth, down one run, the Reds had two guys leading off the inning whose averages were under .190. Tough to win that way.

–Votto, by the way, is still taking tests. I’m officially worried.

–Bill Bray did have Tommy John surgery, and he’s out until 2010. We wish him a speedy recovery.

Go listen to the Redleg Nation Radio interview with my four-year-old son. He’s a great kid.

–During the game, George Grande said he lets his dog kiss him on the mouth. Ewwwwwwwww.

–Aaron Harang vs. Jamie Moyer tomorrow. Good night for the Redlegs to get back on the winning track!

5 Responses

  1. JerBear

    Still getting pretty good pitching…that leaves hope for a turn around at some point. But the every day 8 is right there with the Padres and Pirates as far as capablitiy to put runs on the board.

    A few more thoughts…doesn’t it always seem like the Reds are holding on or giving chances to players who it is inevitable will not be the ultimate answer? Alex Gonzalez at SS…what are we trying to prove here? Who really thinks this guy is that much better than Paul Janish or even Jerry Hairston Jr. on an every day basis? Willy Taveras…Willy’s been up and down, but deep in your gut you know it’s extremely doubtful he is going to be the answer in the leadoff spot. Drew Stubbs, or maybe more likely Chris Heisy in Double AA will probably be better answers in the near future.

    Edwin Encarnacion…injury has put him out of the picture, but it just seems like he is never going to pan out. I guess this is what happens when you’ve been a losing organization…you end up putting your hope in question mark type of players, old veterans, because you aren’t able to develop players through your farm system.

    Hopefully that is changing as it seems the Reds to have some talented position players in the minors.

  2. Chad Dotson

    Can’t disagree with any of that, except the Encarnacion part.

    EE career OPS+: 100
    Brandon Phillips career OPS+: 87

    EE is two years younger. EE has had 3 above-average offensive years in his career already. Phillips has had ONE.

    I think EE has ALREADY panned out. I’m not sure what people are expecting. Yeah, he stinks defensively (which evens up the comparison with BP, since BP is great with the glove), but EE is just entering his prime years. He’s going to improve.

  3. JerBear

    I guess I am just not an Encarnacion believer. I can’t recall him ever really hitting good when the Reds needed him to hit. I could be wrong, but it seems like when he’s come on it’s been when the Reds season is lost already and they are 10 or more games out of first place.

    His demeanor kind of bothers me too. He just seems lackadaisacal. I don’t think he’s a guy who doesn’t care. I think he does care, but he doesn’t exude confidence on the field. It seems like he exudes negativity to me! But in the end it’s all about results. Maybe his lackadaisacal negativityness (made that word up) is more valuable then Rosales’ grit, hustle, but average hitting ability. I just think there’s a better answer then Encarnacion. Unfortunately, Rosales, has not really taken the bull by the horn.

    I am a Norris Hopper believer though haha…I guess we all have certain players we believe in or don’t believe in rightly or wrongly.

  4. jason1972

    The team lost two very close games and then two close games to elite pitchers. I think we can attribute it to the offensive injuries and lack of roster flexibility at this point. This team is being done a disservice by its management right now, they are not starting the best hitting substitutes and do not appear to be willing to move anyone to improve the offense. With either Votto or Encarnacion, OR with a viable big league bat at SS or LF the Reds probably split those 4 games.

  5. Glenn

    This team is not the same without Votto. There just is no offense at all.

    Secondly, Gonzo is the shortstop because he makes over $5 mil a year and for no other reason.