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

Cincinnati 9
St. Louis 3
WP: Cueto (5-3)
LP: Lohse (4-4)

–Smilin’ side of the scoreboard! The Reds secured no worse than a split in St. Louis. That’s something.

–It was Laynce Nix night in St. Looie. Two homers, both very important, four RBI, and a great defensive play in left field (which is nice, after he botched one last night). Nix was a man possessed tonight. On the season, he has an OPS of 933. Me like.

–This just in: Johnny Cueto is good.

–Nix wasn’t the only star tonight. Brandon Phillips isn’t content with being RN’s Player of the Month for May. He wants the June award, as well. Tonight, BP had three hits, including a homer, a double, 3 RBI and 3 runs scored.

–Ryan Hanigan had two hits, including a double. This is a recording. I love an OBP of .416 from your backup catcher.

–Jay Bruce is just bad right now. A lot of you are pushing for Bruce to get a day off. I’d be hesitant to do that, since the Reds have so many bats out of the lineup now, but Bruce isn’t doing us any good at all at this point. Maybe he needs a mental break, if nothing else.

–Only other negative was Carlos Fisher’s rough performance in the ninth inning. Fortunately, the game was over by that point.

–The umpires blew at least three easy calls tonight. I’m starting to think MLB umps are as incompetent as NBA referees.

–It is a complete joke that the Reds haven’t placed Willy Taveras on the disabled list. With Taveras (hamstring) and Wilkin Castillo (lack of talent) both unable to play, the Reds are seriously short-handed right now. Makes you feel sorry for Dusty Baker. (More on this later.)

Fortunately, Danny Graves wasn’t in the building tonight.

–What about a good outing by Aaron Harang tomorrow to give the Reds 3 out of 4 in this series? I could handle that. So could Jonny Gomes:

41 Responses

  1. pinson343

    Every time we go into the 9th with a big lead against the Cardinals, I get nervous, because of THAT night. I’ll never get over that trauma. I was excited when Phillips homered in the top of the 9th to widen the lead to 8 runs, because a 6 run lead in the 9th against the Cardinals makes me especially nervous.

    I liked the lineup more tonite, with Dickerson, Hairston, and Janish in there. I suppose Jay will get a day off the next time we face a lefty.

  2. pinson343

    The Pirates trade Nate McLouth ? Pirate fans ought to go on strike. At least when I listen on XM radio to the Reds play in Pittsburgh, I don’t listen to “Nate the Great” anymore.

  3. CeeKeR

    As someone who lives in PA (and thus only gets FSN Pittsburgh for Fox games), the McLouth trade saddens me a lot – the Pirates really have nobody worth watching now… I guess I’m glad I got to Pittsburgh early in the season this year for a game!

  4. pinson343

    Let me try that again. I’m glad that when I listen to the Reds play in Pitttsburgh, I don’t have to hear their broadcasters scream “Nate the Great” anymore.

  5. pinson343

    The story with the Pirates is sad. As a baseball fan, it bothers me. Are they saying that without a salary cap, we might as well give up ?

  6. earl

    It is weird to think that a generation of baseball fans have grown up with the Pirates, Orioles and Royals all being terrible year out of year considering how those clubs dominated decades.

    I’m pretty sure the Orioles have about the worse record in baseball over the past 10 years! That seems really hard to believe. The O’s from the mid 60s to the mid 80s were about like the Braves in the 90s, pretty much always in contention.

    The Pirates had a couple of years with Bonds/Bonilla & Drabek, but they haven’t been the same since coke scandal in the 80s. There is a whole lot of baseball history in that town, just not much of it good for years.

    The Royals were pretty great from the early 70s to the mid 80s and have been pretty much terrible for 20 years. Pretty much the end of KC’s run ties when John Schuerholz left to go to the Braves.

    Of course I sadly don’t want to bring the Reds into this discussion. Hopefully we have turned the corner.

  7. preach

    ..and the Royals look pretty good with their pitching. They also have a couple young players in the field who are exciting. They might be turning the corner as well.

  8. JerBear

    Good points earl…I often say I feel sorry Pirates fans until I realize most of them are Steelers fans as well!! But seriously, it is sad what has gone on there. The Reds haven’t been much better over the years but for a good sports town and a team with good tradition like the Pirates to have 16 straight losing seasons is pretty sad for baseball.

    I wonder if deep down the Pirates think Mcclutcheon, the young CF they are going to bring up, is going to be better than McClouth real soon. From that standpoint it could be a very good trade if a couple of those minor leaguers they got turn into solid major leaguers.

    But it also doesn’t make sens to treade arguably your best player this early in the season.

  9. pinson343

    Earl, I agree with your sentiments. In addition to the good years in the early 90’s, Pittsburgh had a contending team all thru the 70s. The Reds beat them in the NL championship series of 1970, 1972, and 1975. Of course the Pirates won the WS in 1971 and 1979.

    The Reds, Pirates, and Orioles all had outstanding overall records and a lot of great players in the 60’s and the 70’s.

  10. pinson343

    After seeing all the hilites, a few additional positives. BP stealing second (on a pitchout) and then third (he was safe, just barely). But those headfirst slides scare me.
    Hairston’s leaping catch at 3rd. Cueto’s bunt single.

  11. mike

    The Pirates were GREAT in the 70s. Almost year in and year out
    If it wasn’t for one of the greatest teams in history we’d be talking about the Pirates of the 70s as one of the greatest in history

    Here are the teams with the most wins in the 70s
    WINS W
    1 Reds 953
    2 Orioles 944
    3 Pirates 916
    4 Dodgers 910
    5 Red Sox 895

    a look at the most productive NL players of the 70s and it’s almost all Reds, Pirates and Dodgers

    Stargell, Parker, Hebner, Clemente, Sanguillen, Zisk, Candelaria, Tekulve is a pretty good list of very, very good players.

    the Pirates were also one of the only teams to play VERY well against the BRM
    During the 70s the Reds record vs Pitt was 150-170

    That is a shocking record when you consider just how GREAT the Reds were

    interesting that both franchises have been under .500 since 1980
    the only NL team with a worst wpct since 1980 than the Pirates is the Brew Crew
    Reds are .495 since 1980 which is 8th out of 16 teams

  12. zblakey

    Nice CS by Hanigan tonight as well. Love everything this guy is bringing to the table so far!

    Don’t forget the Pirates’ Al Oliver as one of the top players of the 70s, later Dave Parker who went on to have a few quality years with the Reds…

    My brother and I spent many an hour during the 70s playing a table top baseball game, based on the 70 season (with updates later in the decade) and the Reds and Pirates had many a battle between the two of us…

    The Pirates had a good broadcasting crew back in the day, when I would scan the AM dial late at night and listen to them, Al Michaels with the Reds (pre – Marty), Jack Buck with the Cards via KMOX, etc etc. Brings back some memories!

  13. per14

    I needed a game list this. I echo everything everyone has said.

    Today’s game is (well, just one game), but a win would be huge. A 3-4 road trip is marginally acceptable for me. A 2-5 road trip is a real downer.

    “…Makes you feel sorry for Dusty Baker. (More on this later.)”
    Don’t know where you are going with this, but I’ve been thinking that, you know, Dusty has done a pretty good job with this team. Votto, BP, Voltron, EdE, Taveras have all missed a lot of time. BP and Votto are having great years but nobody else is really having a stellar year. He’s been working with essentially 22 or 23 man rosters. He’s done a good job of patching together line-ups, and sometimes his decisions drive me crazy, but the results have been good. Of course, the wild card is what blame he should get, if any, for all the inane roster decisions (i.e., McDonald, Castillo, Lincoln, etc.).

  14. John

    “…Makes you feel sorry for Dusty Baker. (More on this later.)”

    Even with all of Dusty’s in-game faults and weird lineup choices, I’ll throw Jocketty under the bus first. Dusty has done a good job with the 22-23 man rosters he’s been given. Jocketty’s the one who seems like he’s dozing on the job rather than helping the team with something as fundamental as a full, healthy roster. Ensuring Dusty has 25 to work with is Jocketty’s job.

    Players get dinged up in a long season, sure. Still, when two or three of guys can’t play for extended periods — not just a day off here or there, but sitting on the bench physically unable to play when they should be on the 15-day DL — and Jocketty does nothing for days on end, he’s just not doing his job.

    And for all of Jocketty’s option-weighing and careful consideration of every move, I’m still left scratching my head at some of the boneheadedness.

  15. Jimmy James

    Obviously, some home runs come at more important times in ballgames. For example, both of Nix’s homers yesterday came when the outcome was still in doubt. BP’s homer came after the game was out of hand.

    Hence, Nix’s were more important yesterday in the context of winning that specific game…but it’s a good thing BP hit his. I was starting to worry in the ninth that the Cards were going to come back.

  16. Josh

    I don’t know that Willy T. should be on the DL; I’m not convinced he’s hurt. I think Dusty benched Taveras. I think he’s playing up the injury to protect Taveras from the media and people like us for blasting him for loafing. Personally, I think he’s done well with managing through the injuries from a mental standpoint for this team. IMO that’s been a strength of Dusty’s, personell and lineup issues aside.

  17. Matt WI

    Kurt, I think you mean Paul Janish in the bullpen. If it had gotten crazy in the 9th, Dusty could have just warmed him up and it would have been taken care of.

  18. Matt WI

    Josh… I don’t think Dusty has the luxury of being able to “pretend” someone is hurt to teach him a lesson right now. This team it too banged up for that kind of approach. Willy has to be hurting a bit.

  19. RiverCity Redleg

    I’m not sure what Weathers has to do to get a little respect around here. He has been lights out the last couple of years.

    Speaking of the Janish appearence out of the bullpen, did you see who StLouis had warming up in the ninth if needed… Jason LaRue. Who knew.

    I’m also glad to see Dusty getting a little credit for being able to manage these short rosters. With all of the key injuries they have had so far, to be in the hunt and four games over .500 is pretty good.

    Walt Jockety may be to blame, but I blame the 40 man roster. There just aren’t any position players on there that they can bring up and down. It may be a stretch, but I blame Yonder Alonso. He insisted on starting his career on the 40 man and wouldn’t sign otherwise. Now, until he is ready, we are short players that are ready.

  20. per14

    I don’t blame Yonder. He leveraged his rights as much as he could. I blame the system that allowed him to make and get such a request. But, yeah, having him on the 40 man roster causes limitations.

  21. Bill Lack

    I agree that the 40 man is a problem. But some of that falls on Jocketty also, Castillo has no reason to be on the 40 man. This is a team that used to be lucky to find 12 decent pitchers…now the 40 man is crowded with them (overcrowded if you look at the fact that there are few position players on the 40). But Bray is still on the 40 man, which makes no sense to me…

  22. Dallas

    Technical question about the decision:

    How does Lohse get the loss? He only gave up one run and left the game down 1-0. His team scored two runs after that, eliminating the deficit he left. Shouldn’t the guy responsible for the Red’s 4th run be the losing pitcher?

  23. Sultan of Swaff

    Pujols is really starting to irk me. After blocking the bag picking off Phillips monday, he slides back late and into Phillip’s leg last night at second—to disrupt the catch? Add in the fact that he routinely forces runners to sidestep him on groundouts because he wanders (intentionally?) into the baseline, and I’m sensing a pattern here. Being a LaRussa disciple doesn’t make me want to give him the benefit of the doubt, either.

  24. nick in va

    The Gomes picture never gets old.

  25. Sultan of Swaff

    It is NOT in the teams best interest to play Bruce tonight against Carpenter. Sadly, the possibility of catching lightning in a bottle by starting Gomes against a righty has a higher probability of being successful than what you KNOW Bruce can’t do in his current funk. His lack of pitch recognition is morphing into something really ugly. This is regression at it’s best, a career defining pattern at worst.
    There. That should guarantee a couple of dingers tonight.

  26. Matt WI

    Dallas… the Cards never tied or led the game after Lohse left. Those runs didn’t come until it was 4-0 or worse for the Cards. He’s on the hook.

  27. Dan

    Would love to see Gomes get more playing time! I love his potential, his power, his energy, and he’s barely played in a week. I don’t want to see him get rusty!

  28. GRF

    Has there been any explanation why Bray has not been put on the 60 day DL? There is no prospect of him coming back within that time period, right?

  29. pinson343

    Josh, I agree with you on (18),that Dusty didn’t want to show up Taveras in public but that he was real pissed off.

    Taveras is certainly hurting, but he drifted toward that ball rather than trying to get there asap, as they teach in pre-Little League.

    One clue was Dusty saying that he had a “long” one-on-one meeting with WT yesterday afternoon. Why would they have a long meeting to discuss WT’s leg ? Also Dusty said that “Dickerson will be starting tomorrow” immediately after the game. How often does he announce a lineup decision for the next day immediately after a game ?

    I agree that Dusty’s main strength is his impact on the mental attitude of the team. This team is resilient.

  30. pinson343

    RiverCity Redleg, a lot of us on this site respect Weathers, I certainly do. Who would have thought that when O’Brian picked him up, he would be a mainstay in our bullpen for 5 years. He’s very smart and mentally tough, I’d say fearless. The young relievers say they learn a lot from him.

    BUT when he comes to the mound in a close game, my pulse rate goes up. He has a very small margin of error. If an umpire squeezes him, for example, as happened once this year, he’s in big trouble.

  31. GregD

    I mentioned it in the other thread, but I don’t think Bray on the 15-day DL vs 60-day DL means anything. I don’t think there is any advantage to have a 39-man roster.

    And it wouldn’t be a Reds-Cardinals series without a Harang v. Carpenter showdown.

  32. Jen

    He who shall not be named would have never made the catch that Nix did last night. Plus Nix gets hits and homers in key situations. Really glad he is playing regularly.

  33. Kurt Frost

    Jeez, Castillo is the backup catcher while Votto is out. It’s not like he’s been starting and batting third every night. Give the poor guy a break.

  34. pinson343

    Because of Hernandez filling in at first base, we need a 3rd catcher until Joey returns. Who’s better for that than Castillo, who plays multiple positions and doesn’t seem to be intimidated by playing in the major leagues.

    I don’t have the same issues with him being on the roster as I did with McD.

  35. Kurt Frost

    Yeah, but he has been labeled as ‘lack of talent’. I think a guy who can play multiple positions in the major leagues is not lacking talent.

  36. RiverCity Redleg

    Greg, the difference is that there are men not on the 40 man that could possibly help this team get through injuries. They can’t be added unless there is a spot to add them to.

    I kinda agree w/ Kurt and pinson about Castillo. I think he is OK. He played pretty well last year after the call up and can play anywhere on the field. I don’t think he’s a terrible guy to have on the bench for flexibility.

  37. RiverCity Redleg

    I think McDonald might be one of those 4A players, he’s been tearing it up in Louisville, but is completely overmatched in Cincy. He and Kevin Barker would be a good nucleous for a 4A league.

  38. GregD

    RiverCity, I understand that. Until the Reds decide who that “40th man” is, there is no need to move Bray to the 60-day DL. It’s not like if they said today “we have to add [insert outfielder name here] to the roster” then they’d say “oh wait, we can’t because the roster is full”

    If they decided “we have to add [insert outfielder name here] to the roster” then Bray is moved to the 60-day DL and outfielder is added to the roster and called up.

    There is no advantage to sitting around with a 39-man roster.
    There is a disadvantage to adding someone to the 40-man roster if he’s not added to the 25-man. For example, let’s say they add Stubbs to the 40-man and leave him in Louisville “in case of injury”. Well, you just limited who that 40th player is.

    And as Doug suggested in another thread, Bray’s spot may be held until the draft in case someone like Crow falls to them…speculation that Crow would want a major league contract.

  39. earl

    Could you imagine what playoff baseball would have been like if you had the modern expanded playoffs during the 70s and 80s? The Reds would have been in the playoffs every year from 70 to 81 except 71 & 80! (Just thinking about 81 still burns…the fact the Dodgers won that year is still b.s.) I’d love to have some TV broadcasts from some alternate Earth where they started the wild card playoffs about 1969.