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

FINAL (14 innings)
Chicago 6
Cincinnati 3
WP: Patton (2-1)
LP: Lincoln (1-1)
S: Guzman (1)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Another strong outing by Bronson Arroyo. He went seven innings, gave up only five hits and one earned run (though he committed an error that allowed a couple more to score). Arroyo has really been on a tear lately.

–Laynce Nix had three hits, including a double, and Ryan Hanigan had two hits. Of course. Those were the only Reds with multiple hits.

–Jay Bruce didn’t start, but he pinch-hit and got a double. Any good news for Jay Bruce is a positive right now, as far as I’m concerned.

–With one notable exception (see below), the bullpen was good. Six relievers shut out the Cubs over six innings. Carlos Fisher, particularly, was impressive. He struck out four batters in a row, including all three in the twelfth inning.

Wahoowa!

NEGATIVES
–Mike Lincoln is a complete disaster. After yeoman’s work by Arroyo and six other relievers, holding the Cubs scoreless after the third inning, Lincoln ruined all of that with one pitch. His first delivery after emerging from the bullpen was promptly blasted into the seats by Alfonso Soriano.

If the game weren’t over at that point (and it probably was: TOS*), Lincoln proceeded to allow two more runs by giving up three more hits and two bases on balls.

–Brandon Phillips did another one of his patented “let’s hot dog it instead of hustling” plays, which cost the Reds an out and possibly a run (and, consequently, possibly the win). Raise your hand if you are surprised.

–Jerry Hairston and Alex Gonzalez made particularly ugly errors. I know people want to give him time, and I know that George Grande and Chris Welsh think he’s the second coming of Ozzie Smith…but Gonzalez just isn’t a good baseball player at this point in his career. He’s just bad.

–It’s an absolute disgrace what we let Cubs fans do to Great American Ballpark during these series. Anyone that lives within driving distance is to blame. Every time I hear all those stupid Cubs fans cheering over something, it makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit. Then, in the bottom of the 14th, the only people left were wearing blue shirts, and it looked embarrassing. (Yeah, I know Lincoln drove most of the red shirts out of the stadium and into the bars, but still….)

ETC.
–Stupid Cubs.

–In this stretch against the Reds’ primary competitors in the NL Central, our beloved Redlegs put up a record of 3-7. We are really fortunate that the Reds didn’t lose more ground in the standings.

–Once again, the home plate umpire was terrible tonight. Baseball umpiring is in a lousy state right now.

–Boy, signing Lincoln to a two-year deal was a great idea. I really can’t disagree with this idea, or this one.

–The Reds and Cubs are now tied for third place in the Central, and things are starting to slip away. Hopefully, the Reds can get things back on track against the Natinals this week. “Washington: Good For What Ails You“.

*This Offense Stinks.

41 Responses

  1. Glenn

    Burton may have gotten the message but Lincoln has been dead weight in the bullpen since the season started. It’s apparent that Dusty has no confindence in him at all.

    On the offense side, keeping Taveras off the DL is really hurting this team. If he can’t us his speed on the basepaths or field his position he has no value.

    Finally, if Votto is with the team, the Reds don’t loose games like this.

  2. mhopp

    Kurt…BP ran in his rather arrogant manner to first on an infield ball and the throw was off line but the 1st basemen got BP on the shoulder barely…if he’d been hustling he most likely would have been safe and a run would have scored and Reds would have won…this kind of crap needs to be addressed with a game on the bench for BP but Dusty doesn’t have the balls to do such a thing

  3. mhopp

    Stubbs 3-4 tonight; Todd Frazier 2-3 with a HR now has 24 2B and a .906 OPS with a .340 BA

    Homer Bailey 6.2 0er 7SO and 0BB plus his ERA is down to 3.41;

    Robert Manuel (right handed reliever) has only allowed 3er over his last 17ip (and they were all in one game vs. Durham) and his ERA is 2.18 plus was the AA reliever of the year last in 2008;

    Josh Roenicke has only allowed 2 er over his last 10.1 ip and may have the best fastball in the organization.

    Please tell me someone why is Tavares not on the DL and Lincoln being sent down? This organization has a lot of depth and there is no reason why Lincoln shouldn’t be sent down and Willy T. should certainly be on the DL.

  4. BigRedMike

    The main reason that Agon plays is because of his salary. I cannot think of any other reason why someone as bad as Agon is still on a MLB roster.

  5. AnnapolisRed

    I agree that Phillips needs to be taught a lesson. Lincoln needs to go, now. Taveras should have been put on the DL, but he’s back now. He was running pretty well today.

    How is this team going to score runs? What would you do to improve this team? I would like to hear everybody’s suggestions.

  6. Brian

    Encarnacion and Votto are both out. When they return, the offense will improve. I would rather have this year’s issue than the past 10’s problems. Having good pitching allows the team to stay in games like today’s, Saturday’s, and Friday’s. Previous staffs wouldn’t have been able to hold the Cubs down for most of the weekend. Cueto and Arroyo have been solid, Harang will hopefully come around, Owings has been fine, and the team is missing Volquez (although it may be a blessing, being able to keep his innings down like this). The team is in contention despite injuries to many key parts. The pitching has been good and can be better (Volquez’s return, the emergence of Burton and Fisher, getting rid of Lincoln). The offense has been okay, but they have Encarnacion and Votto hopefully returning soon, Gomes and Nix seeing more time, Dickerson improving, and Hanigan being a nice surprise. This team has potential, let’s see how they look when the team is healthy.

  7. AnnapolisRed

    I am not holding out hope on Votto this year.

  8. JerBear

    Alex Gonazlez starting everyday is a little bit sad. Paul Janish could be helping this team win games, but instead plays about once every week if lucky.

    Anyone notice Hairston Jr. is only hitting .252? It seems like he is playing alright, but when you look at the numbers they aren’t very impressive.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Votto doesn’t come back this year. I’m starting to think that is the case. It is kind of sad, but in the end hopefully however much time he takes off will help him personally. I’m curious as everyone to know what he’s dealing with just from a human standpoint, but in the end it’s not our business. It’s just frustrating, but that is life. I really wish him the best.

    In the end, I’d feel a little better about losing if Janish was playing everyday and maybe Heisey was brought up from Double A, or Stubbs from Triple A and playing.

    It’s one thing to sprinkle in veterans on a young club, but when those veterans are holding back young players you feel like you just wasting time. Gonzalez is not the future…I’d like to hear what scouts say about him. I don’t despise him or anything. He’d be a nice bench player on a good team. But I imagine 90% of scouts would say Janish is a better player than Gonzalez right now.

  9. James

    I know the sac bunts by hernadez were by the book type sac bunts. I just don’t like the idea of sac bunting ramon when he’s one of the few guys driving in runs. Atleast let him try a hit and run. I would like to say all things considered Ramon and Hanigan have been playing very well.

    Gonzo and Lincoln must go. A bad veteran player is no help. I have no problem playing Janish and batting him eighth with what the Reds have now.

    It’s been a rough stretch. Hopefully pitching and some nationals can help the Reds start winning again.

  10. pinson343

    Dusty’s not using Masset today was a good move. On the game thread, people were giving him grief, and I too was sure Lincoln would give up runs (one pitch settled that) but it’s good that Dusty is trying to not run down our best relievers, which would be a disaster later in the season. Masset was on the DL not long ago, Dusty probably has a rule about not pitching him 3 days in a row for now.

    On the other hand, bringing Taveras in and putting him in CF (moving Dickerson to RF!) instead of putting Bruce in RF after his pinch double boggles me. In extra innings, with neither Gomes or Bruce in, that lineup was just brutal, as an intentional walk to Ramon Hernandez would indicate.
    Bringing in Lincoln was an act of mercy, they were not going to score.

  11. pinson343

    Speaking of Ramon, it’s odd that on a team of speedy “contact” types, he’s our best bunter and best bat handler. I agree with those who do not want to see him bunting, with EE and Votto out he’s one of our best hitters. And in particular, he’s a good hit and run guy, you can do that to have him stay out of the DP.

  12. pinson343

    I’m afraid that the faith that “our pitching is great so all we need is to get EE and Votto back” is a little misguided. Who knows if Joey will be back this season. And once the offense improves, there’s no guarantee that the pitching will remain as good as it has been. The bullpen will start blowing leads at some point. Cordero will have his annual midseason slump, and I like Rhodes and Masset but they can’t keep up this unhittable pace. Arroyo will slump, etc.

    The sad fact is we’re wasting a lot of well-pitched games, losing a lot of games we should be winning.

    Going to Washington this week might not be as much fun as people think, losing to them would be bad for morale, and it might happen. They have a better offense than we do, and we’ve had trouble beating them the last couple of years.

  13. pinson343

    The tremendous impact of the loss of Votto shows a lack of organizational depth. Some of us think that AAA talent can help our offense right now, but that’s not clear. We all clamored for Rosales to come up, and now he’s part of the problem. Yesterday he could have won the game twice in extras without even getting a hit.

    One thing’s for sure: we do have AAA talent that is much better than Lincoln.

  14. brublejr

    Observations & Thoughts:

    1.) Lincoln HAS to be cut, just eat the salary and bring up another RH hitter that can maybe be able to hit a HR off the bench.
    2.) The Reds had plenty of oportunities to win this game…Not getting a run all those last few innings is simply unacceptable.
    3.) That was Jay Bruce’s best swing in about a month. If he can do that more often, he can be a .275 hitter which at this point would be a heck of an improvement.
    4.) I think the league is figuring out Owings can only pull a bad pitch, make good pitches to the outside or up and in, he can’t hit it.
    5.) I don’t understand why Dusty took out Gomes and left Taveras in the game! Taveras makes the last out, and then Dusty leaves him in so the pitcher’s spot is further up in the lineup. Then in a situation where a deep fly ball ends the game, they have to hit Rosales, who breaks his bat and can’t get the run in. Gomes should have been hitting in that spot.
    6.) I’m not sure if Taveras can hit a ball out of the infield…seriously, when he came up with a chance to win the game, did anyone really believe he was capable of getting a hit there?
    7.) I HATE the stupid Cubs and their stupid fans.

    The rest of this month is huge. If this team wants to contend, they MUST go on a tear over the next three weeks. They are playing a lot of below .500 teams the rest of the month (Was, Atl, Cle, CWS, KC)…July’s schedule if you haven’t looked yet is absolutely brutal (@NYM, @PHI, STL, MIL, @CHC) ❗

  15. brublejr

    One other thing: I don’t think I can take much more of the media claiming how much of a defensive wizzard Gonzo is at short. It is sickening :poke: I don’t know how many times over the past couple of days it was said on TV, and I wanted to puke everytime. The front office has to have an order to the media to talk up Gonzo to justify his existance on this team.

  16. zblakey

    At least the Hoos won and are going to Omaha! :p

  17. AnnapolisRed

    I would have no problem giving up Harang and Phillips’ act is starting to wear thin even on me who has not been as harsh on him as some. Today was the final straw for me. The guy simply does not play hard. I’m not sure you can win a pennant with him.

  18. Bill Lack

    – I was at the game yesterday and while there were a ton of Cubs fans there, they were not that loud and everytime they started the “Let’s Go Cubbies” cheer, it was drown out by boos…

    – Rosales two chances to win the game were pitiful ABs. One was a first pitch swing that broke his bat and the other a weak grounder.

    – That said, the fly ball that he hit to RF, Nix should have tried to score on. There were two outs, if he’s the 3rd out at the plate, no one is going to complain. Make them make the play. I don’t know if that was Nix’s decision (which is what Marty seemed to think) or Berry’s; but the decision not to tag up was a bad decision.

    – The E on Arroyo in the 2nd inning looked like a Little League play. It looked like Gonzalez should have been covering the bag and was late getting there, so Phillips broke to the bag, was late and throw was high and on the RF side…then Arroyo made a terrible pitch to Lee. (They’d been getting him out working him down and away all weekend, then Arroyo throws one that appeared to be belt high middle in, two runs.)

    – Linda and I got to go up and see Chris Welsh in the booth. Got to meet George Grande and Jesse Jackson. They were all very kind and even put on the booth lights so that we could get a picture. Very cool.

    – How the Reds can justify keeping Mike Lincoln on this squad when there are better candidates at Louisville is beyond me.

  19. Kurt Frost

    ‘How the Reds can justify keeping Mike Lincoln on this squad when there are better candidates at Louisville is beyond me.’

    Money

  20. Glenn

    If the Reds don’t totally want to eat Lincoln’s salary then I’d recommend they send him down to Louisville and have Ted Power work with him. Maybe Ted can figure out his problems. I don’t see how staying in Cincy can be an option.

  21. GRF

    Bill, I wasn’t there but on tv it looked like if Nix went he would have been dead. That was the consensus on the game thread as well. Something could have always gone wrong with the throw, and the way we are hitting it might have been worth the risk (HAVOC!) but it would have been a big risk.

    Plenty of chances to win that thing. This is one I think we will regret when we look back at then end of the year.

    And where I think the lack of depth really got us was when they brought in the LHP to face Dickerson with men on in the 8th (9th maybe, I forgot already). Would have been nice to counter that with a RHB.

    And I will say again the work the bullpen is doing is remarkable given how many guys we were counting on at the beginning of the spring training (Bray, Burton, Lincoln) have not done anything.

  22. David

    I am at a loss for where the Reds are as a team right now. They are now fourth in the central, but only 3.5 games back. Will the Reds be buyers or sellers? How will the return of EdE/Votto/Volquez/Taveras impact the team?

    There are only three certainties. The Reds need Votto back BADLY. Stubbs needs to be starting in CF for the Reds. Mike Lincoln needs to be sent down.

    I’m in favor of moving Owings to the pen as the long reliever and keeping Maloney in the 5th spot.

    ~FREE DREW STUBBS~

  23. Bill Lack

    GRF (#27): Assuming he makes the same throw, true. But you don’t know that before the throw, that’s hindsight. I’m saying that with a chance to win the game and the Reds already showing they were pitiful with runners in scoring position, it was worth a shot. Who knows…not as good a throw, Nix knocks the ball loose, whatever…but I’m saying, it was a gamble worth taking and someone (either Nix or Berry) should have known that.

    And speaking of CF (where Dickerson has done a great job of late), anyone see Dusty’s comments about CF and Taveras? “I get tired of hearing that, I really do,” Baker said. “First it started, ‘How come Nix ain’t playing every day?’ … Whoever’s doing good, how come they ain’t playing that day? It don’t work like that. We’re a team and everybody’s gonna play.

    “… Then it was get Hairston out of there, play Rosales because he was hot when he came up. Then Rosales got cold, and I don’t hear as many people hollering about playing Rosales.”

    Can a player lose his job when injured, such as Taveras?

    “You can, but you’d better be a hell of a player,” Baker said, “There’s a reason he was the No. 1 guy before he got hurt. Willy’s my center fielder.”

    More from Baker, regarding lineups:

    “I know you guys have to write a story, and people asking … these bloggers, I understand. I hear it too. It’s all gonna work out. You push buttons, but you try not to force things.”

  24. Chad Dotson

    With respect to sending Lincoln down, its not really accurate that the Reds have to cut him or keep him, because he has no options. They would have to designate him for assignment to Louisville and he would have to clear waivers.

    But really, is anyone going to claim him off waivers? My guess is no. And if they did? Good for us, as far as I’m concerned.

  25. per14

    I’ve been hearing a lot of people prognosticate that Votto isn’t coming back this year. Why do some of you think that? Is it just a gut feeling (which, I don’t necessarily discount) or have I missed something in the news.

  26. Glenn

    Well, if there’s no options, DFA him. I think we all agree keeping Lincoln on the roster is just crazy.

  27. Glenn

    Per 14, I haven’t seen a thing about Votto in the news other than Dusty saying that he didn’t think Votto would be back in two weeks. There’s been no substanative news that I’ve seen.

  28. pinson343

    Per14, I’m one of those who mentioned the possibility that Votto might be out for the season, in my case it wasn’t a prediction,just a worst case scenario.

    My intuition that this MIGHT be a long term problem is not based on information, but lack of information. We don’t know what’s going on with him. Like others here, I don’t want to speculate. But if there is a family problem on top of his having a stress-related illness, it could be months before he’s ready to return.

  29. Chris

    I can see Dusty’s point, but at the same time, there are 2, maybe 3 guys in the current lineup who have the track record or raw talent to justify a “permanent” lineup spot, come hell or high water. They are: BP, Jay Bruce, and based on what I’ve seen so far, Ramon Hernandez.

    The other guys, frankly, don’t deserve the patience that Dusty Baker is giving them. They’re ALL fringey guys, and should be mixed, matched, played at sat, accordingly.

    What’s the real difference between Taveras, Dickerson, Nix, Gomes, Rosales, Hairston, Hanigan, Gonzalez, and Janish? Not one of those guys should have a guaranteed lineup spot. Play them a lot while they’re hot; and when they’re not, just enough to hopefully let them get hot.

  30. Dallas

    After calls to “Free Jonny Gomez!” and “Free Drew Stubbs,” I think the next uproar should be “Incarcerate Mike Lincoln!”

  31. GRF

    Well the Reds official site has an interesting spin on it:

    “Lincoln loses hist first game of the season”

    That certainly is one way to characterize his season so far. . .

  32. preach

    “What’s the real difference between Taveras, Dickerson, Nix, Gomes, Rosales, Hairston, Hanigan, Gonzalez, and Janish? Not one of those guys should have a guaranteed lineup spot. Play them a lot while they’re hot; and when they’re not, just enough to hopefully let them get hot.”

    Give that man a pony.

    The only caveat I would add to that is if you think someone on this list could be a meaningful part of the team next year. Then you might give a little more slack to see how they play out of a slump. Otherwise go with the hot and/or healthy hand.

  33. preach

    Oh, and how can you know what ‘bloggers’ say if you don’t pay any attention to what ‘bloggers’ say?

    chicken, egg, whatever.

    (Attn management: Sports bloggers as a rule buy many more tickets and merchandise than non-bloggers)

  34. Chad Dotson

    I know that, RCR, and it’s a gamble I’d be willing to take. We’re on the hook for that money if he goes to Louisville, too.

    It’s the concept of sunk costs. The Reds owe that money either way, so why not make the decision that benefits the club the most?

    And realistically, if no one claims him off waivers, what are the chances he’d just sit at home and collect a paycheck. Somewhere close to 0%, I’d imagine. He’d accept the assigment to Louisville and go down there to get things right again.

  35. preach

    And with his curve ball, which when working is dynamic, some pitching coach would believe that he could ‘fix him’, and some GM would believe that it would be worth a risk. He’d get another job. Don’t know how long he could keep it, but he would get it. Maybe he would end up as the next closer in St. Louis.

  36. Chad Dotson

    I dunno, my experience has been that veterans without much of a track record who are playing so poorly ALWAYS accept that assignment once they clear waivers. See Patterson, Corey.

    I can’t think of any examples where someone just sat and waited after being DFA’d, and not claimed on waivers. Maybe there are a ton of those examples; it’s certainly possible.

    Who has done that?

    Again, though…I don’t care if he sits home and collects his money until another team comes calling. It’s a sunk cost at this point. I’d rather him be collecting that paycheck at home rather than collecting it by putting up a 9.00 ERA in the big leagues.

  37. brublejr

    The Lincoln situation is basically like the Stanton situation from a couple of years ago, except this is the first year and Stanton’s was in his last year.

    But he is dead weight, bad investment, and needs to be let go.

  38. Chris

    The Lincoln contract was Walt Jocketty’s move. Remember that when you predict what’s going to happen. This isn’t the same as cutting loose one of Krivsky’s mistakes.

  39. Glenn

    One of these days I’m going to have to sit down and figure out the rules regarding options, DFA’s and all that. Everytime I think I know….I don’t really know.