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

FINAL
Cincinnati 4
Philadelphia 3
WP: W******* (1-1)
LP: Lidge (0-4)
S: Cordero (21)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Smilin’ side of the scoreboard! Clearly, the Reds are a much better team than the Philadelphia Phillies.

–Aaron Harang is the man. On an evening when the Reds really needed a good start from their workhorse, Harang responded by tossing six strong innings, giving up three runs and striking out seven. It wasn’t Harang’s best start ever, but he kept the Reds in the game at a time when the Phillies could have taken control.

–Brandon Phillips was the Face of the Franchise tonight, I suppose. BP was 2-3 at the plate, with two homers and 3 RBI. Can’t ask for much more than that, can we?

–If you had to guess who got the winning rally going with a leadoff double in the ninth, Joey Votto is at the top of a very short list, isn’t he? He also made a superb defensive play in the 8th inning to cut down a run at the plate. (Ramon Hernandez deserves a brief mention here, as well, for bringing Votto in to score what turned out to be the winning run.)

–How many times this season have we given kudos to the bullpen combination of Francisco Cordero, Arthur Rhodes, and that other guy? They were outstanding again tonight.

NEGATIVES
–I am very appreciative of everything Jerry Hairston does for this club. Once and for all, however, the guy just is not an everyday shortstop. Dusty needs to get that through his thick skull (he isn’t a #2 hitter either, but let’s deal with one problem at a time). JHJ’s throwing error (his tenth! of the season) in the 8th inning almost cost the Reds the lead and, potentially, the game.

ETC.
–Outstanding bounce-back game by the Redlegs. Very impressive, especially the fact that the Reds came from behind to take the victory. They could have just folded, and they didn’t. That’s something.

–This is what we’ve come to expect from Harang over the years, isn’t it?

–Cumulative score of the series: Phillies 25, Reds 5. Yet, Philadelphia has won one game and Cincinnati has won one game. I love baseball.

–Aaron Harang is winless since May 25.

–Someone needs to make up a BP sombrero photoshop, or maybe Bruce or Edinson or CoCo or W*******. Let’s go with Joey tonight, since he was key to the victory:

38 Responses

  1. RedBlooded

    I love the Titanic Struggle Recap. My night is not complete without it. Thanks Chad. And nice to have a come back, bounce back win. We could even take the series. Who’s a thunk it?

  2. Y-City Jim

    On the issue of Hairston, does anyone have defensive stats on Encarancion when Hairston plays versus Janish.

  3. Steve

    Agree on the JHJ comment. His throwing accuracy is horrible from SS. It’s a little better at 3B I guess because it’s usually a shorter throw with more time and less movement.

    I’d love to see Janish get some more time at SS – JHJ could spell E5E5 at 3B.

    Still playing Taveras way too much and Dickerson not enough.

    I thought pinch hitting Nix for Gomes was a dumb idea given how hot Gomes has been. Although it probably didn’t matter in the end since the Phillies walked Nix. Although if Baker could have anticipated that then he could have saved Nix.

    Phillips had two clutch hits tonight, but also was lazy getting to Utley’s ground ball and that almost cost us a crucial run.

    The Jurassic Park section of the bullpen was outstanding again tonight. Both Weathers and Cordero seemed to know who to pitch around. Although Cordero did give up two very long, hard-hit outs.

    Lots of pressure on Homer Bailey’s young shoulders tomorrow night, although winning tonight helps with that a bit. I hope he can maintain his good control. I’m convinced his stuff has improved this year – at least that’s what that Pujols guy claims. To me it’s a matter of fighting off the nerves and getting command of his location.

    I’ll be satisfied with a 2-2 split vs. the Phillies. The Mets are in total free-fall. I heard them compared yesterday on MLB radio to a minor league team because of all their injuries. I’m optimistic we can get a couple wins there, depending on Arroyo and Cueto.

    Great bounce back win tonight for the home team. They are resilient if nothing else. I’m just waiting for that winning streak to go with it…

  4. Steve

    And, can you believe how great of a hitting team the Phillies will be when Ibanez comes off the DL later this week?

    Would you guys support trading Harang for Werth?

  5. Glenn

    DW walked a tight rope tonight and got away with it. JHJ put him in a bind with one of those throws Steve was talking about.

  6. Glenn

    I’d rather keep Harang and pick up a hitter some other way.

  7. Kurt Frost

    So if Janish is sitting because of his error the other night it’s time for Haiston to grab some pine.

  8. Kyle

    This was a big win that the Reds had every right to lose. I don’t think Werth is much of an upgrade, unless he played CF. I would hope Harang is more valuable than him regardless. Werth is 30 and only has one season with over 100 hits (at 114).

  9. Kurt Frost

    Where does Hairston play when Gonzalez comes back? You know Dusty won’t sit him so I assume Gomes will sit for Hairston.

  10. nick in va

    It might be a while before I make it to another game, but I will be wearing a sombrero. And it doesn’t matter if Gomes is still on the team or not.

  11. nick in va

    Ditto what RedBlooded said too. I love the recaps. Thanks for the effort.

  12. Matt Steele

    Big fan of the recaps. Glad to see we could bounce back after that terrible game last night.

    I wouldn’t mind packaging a pitcher and EE for a good young 3b if we had a shot at one, but I feel like if we play Dickerson in center and keep the Nix/Gomes platoon in left, we will have a decent outfielder. I mean if we could get a good CF, I’d take that but I feel like by including EE we might have a decent shot a good 3b

  13. Southern Fried Red

    It’s a good feelin after the awful disaster from the night before…Gota give them thier due they’ve won a lot of games with piching, the defense and offense not so much….I gota think Bruce is gonna get hot at some point….EE looked better at the plate tonight…WT has a 5 game hitting streak, who knew!!! Joey came thru again with a bigtime clutch 2bager….Ramon got the game winner…..Pitching was awesome Give AH a standing o for putting the brakes on a good hitting team, and the back end 3 ..Arthur, Stormy & CoCo were great again….

    BP took charge and big as the 2 HR’s were the sac. bunt was a bigtime pro atbat…How anyone could see BP as issue on this team is beyond me..

  14. pinson343

    Hairston is OK at 3rd and in a corner OF spot, but he is a bad SS. I don’t think much of Janish either. We can’t afford such a weak bat every day in an offensively challenged lineup.

    Our current situation is a downgrade from Gonzo. That’s not a compliment to Gonzo, it just shows how desperate our situation is. WE NEED A SS.

    Who do people think we should pursue ?

  15. pinson343

    Let’s give Dusty credit where it’s due. Having BP bunt in the 9th, although he’d hit 2 HRs, was a good move.
    BP is suspect to RH pitchers with good sliders. Turns out he was 0-7 against Lidge lifetime.

  16. pinson343

    On ESPN last nite, Buck Showalter talked about the 3 dumbest plays of the nite in baseball. One was Taveras’ turning the Ruiz hit over his head into a triple.
    Buck: If you know it’s going over your head, don’t run all the way to the wall so it caroms away from you.”

    It seems like Taveras hurts us almost every nite in CF. He doesn’t seem to know the fundamentals out there.

  17. Bill Lack

    Funniest comment of the night on the play at the plate in the 8th…after a replay: (paraphrased)

    Chris: “What do you think?”
    George: “Close”
    Chris: “It wasn’t close, the Reds got a break.”

    And they did, sure looked like he was safe to me, terrible play by Hernandez, you’ve got to block the plate.

  18. per14

    Janish is most definitely not a downgrade from Gonzo. Gonzo is horrible at the plate and simply mediocre in the field. So I don’t see how the current “situation” is a downgrade at all from Gonzo. I’d be happy if Gonzo never played again. Nothing against the guy personally, it’s just how it is.

  19. Travis G.

    I hear ya on the SS situation, but Janish had to have last night off, after pitching (!) the night before. Maybe even tonight, actually, which I’m sure he’ll get.

    Cumulative score of the series: Phillies 25, Reds 5. Yet, Philadelphia has won one game and Cincinnati has won one game. I love baseball.

    I know exactly what you mean, and you know what’s weird? When the Reds got out of that jam in the eight (although Mayberry was absolutely safe), I was certain the Reds would win. How crazy is that, after the night before?

  20. GRF

    Admit I stopped watching after we went down 3 nothing. I am not worthy of a rally like this.

    As for SS, Gonzo needs a long rehab assignment to prove he is ready (I think that is what should have happened before the start of the season but water under the bridge). I would like to see Janish play more to find out whether he can hit, but a move here would really be nice. I do not know how we match up with the Angels, but Wood is on the market and the Pirates would be glad to move Wilson, but with his salary, I am not sure I would give up anything for him. Anyone else out there?

  21. per14

    I’m guessing Juan Castro is somewhere looking for work…

  22. Sultan of Swaff

    We’re running into some very underwhelming pitching from now until we face Santana on Saturday. Including last night, 4 in a row or 3 of 4 is completely realistic, if not necessary. You gotta beat up on the bums.
    Bruce is doing that thing again—getting all twitchy in the box like he can’t wait to get his at bat over and go sit down. His lack of selectivity is either a cause or effect of his nervousness. Either way, he gives away more at bats than any two players on the team put together, including Taveras.

  23. David

    “Brandon Phillips was the Face of the Franchise tonight, I suppose.”

    I had this “argument” with Chris last night. The guy was 2-3 with 2 HRs, 3 RBI and sacrificed (albeit a mistake by Howard) to move Votto to third with one out in the 9th. He still doesn’t get any love. Why? Because his OBP is low, he’s not a cleanup hitter, and sometimes it seems as though he doesn’t care. To me he takes way too much criticism.

    “Ramon Hernandez deserves a brief mention here, as well, for bringing Votto in to score what turned out to be the winning run.”

    Seriously?

    Hernandez’s line with RISP is terrific. He came through as he usually does in that situation (though I had my doubts last night). Joey Votto was the “key” to victory? Really? He went 1 for 4 with a run scored. How about Phillips or Hernandez?

  24. David

    Sultan… I went to see the Mets play the Brewers a few games back. The Mets’ lineup is completely awful. I’m not scared of the Mets at all. That said Johan is likely to throw a no-no, but that’s just one game. It is definitely possible to go 5-2 on this road trip. Now, if Milwaukee can come through and take two from the cards, then we’d be in good shape.

  25. per14

    I am critical of BP because he has the capacity (I think) to be so much better and he doesn’t show much willingness to improve. He really could be one of the best players in baseball if he “simply” learned plate discipline. There is very little separating him as a player (maybe not as a leader) from someone like Barry Larkin except Larkin had plate discipline and BP does not. (Of course, that difference is not “very little”. It’s the difference between the HOF and “merely” making a few All-Star games.)

    Now, maybe I’m full of BS and he really is working on improving, but it just isn’t showing up. I don’t know.

    But he probably does take a little too much criticism.

  26. Glenn

    Showalter’s on the money. Taveras kills the team defensively. (offensively too, now that I think of it) As I’ve said before, WJ got sold a bill of goods when he signed Tavaras for 2 years. He’s an upgrade over Patterson, but Crappy didn’t set the bar real high.

  27. Steve Price

    1) Ramon Hernandez percentage of runners scored: 2009: 16%, career: 14%, MLB 14%
    Ramon Hernandez runners on 3rd, less than 2 out: 2009: 63%, career: 60%:, MLB: 51%

    2) I didn’t get to see early part of the game, but I was listening to the Phillies announcers on XM radio. On Utley’s “double” they really gave it to Phillips for not hustling….for giving up on the ball after he dove for the ball.

    That’s the problem with Phillips. He’s not a clean up hitter; well, he’s not even a top of the line up hitter, but that’s really not his responsibility. That’s the make up of the team.

    However, the hot dogging, in my opinion, is getting out of control. Throwing off his back foot has led to some of his errors, and that’s from lack of effort, too.

    He had this reputation when he came to Cincinnati, and when he first came to the Reds, he publicly let everyone know that he had was leaving that behavior behind.

    I don’t call that leadership, and it’s made him look bad at times this year. It’s being seen by the opposition now (example: Phillies announcers), and if the “Onion” is making jokes about it, too, that’s a real sign there’s a problem, in my opinion.

    He has real talent; he should be our shortstop; our infield needs leadership to replace Alex Gonzalez.

    Again…my feeling is that he’s a prime candidate for the Reds to move.

  28. Steve Price

    I’m not convinced that Taveras is even an upgrade over Patterson.

    Taveras OPS in 2009 is 587.

    Patterson OPS in 2008 was 582.

    Bill James’s website has posted a new defensive statistic, runs saved by position.

    Reds CF runs saved in 2009: 0
    Reds CF runs saved in 2008: 18

    (frankly: still uncomfortable on defensive stats; this was published this past Monday)

  29. per14

    All the more reason to play Dickerson!!!!

  30. Glenn

    Steve, I was being kind when I used the term upgrade. With the stats you just posted in mind, it looks like a wash at least offensively.

    Defensively, I’d have to say that Patterson was a better outfielder than Tavaras is now. The defensive stat you mentioned is a new one on me also.

  31. RiverCity Redleg

    Patterson played a good CF, he just had to cover so much ground with Dunn and Dunner on each side of him.

  32. Chris

    Votto put himself in scoring position with 0 outs. That’s the key play. BP then bunted him to third. He was on 3rd base with 1 out. As Chad says, Hernandez deserves mention for bringing him in. He did it with a hit, which was nice.

  33. John

    What does Dickerson need to do to get back in the lineup? Knock out Taveras and take his uniform? I keep saying Dusty should play the hot hand because this team has so little offense. If a guy is slumping, sit him down. If a guy is hitting, play him.

    This is a simple game. You throw the ball. You hit the ball. You catch the ball. You bat your best hitters higher in the lineup. You bat your crappy hitters late in the lineup or not at all. You walk Albert Pujols no matter what the situation. You don’t pitch to Bill Hall or J.J. Hardy or Lance Berkman or Alfonso Soriano or You never make Josh Hamilton bunt. You don’t sign defensive specialists when your team is below .500 and needs pitching and/or hitting. You don’t put David Weathers in with the game on the line. The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!

  34. per14

    Only Dusty could say something like this, re: last night’s win:

    “The real hero was Janish, saving bullpen last night,” Baker said. “He allowed (the bullpen) to be fresh and sharp in a meaningful situation.”

  35. AnnapolisRed

    Hernandez and Phillips were the stars last night with the bullpen and Votto getting Honorable Mention. Phillips does deserve every bit of the heat he gets because of his antics. If he played hard every day people would get off his back. The guy mails it in way to often for me.

  36. pinson343

    Phillips played consistently hard at 2nd base last year, determined to win the Gold Glove, which he probably should have won in 2007.

    After winning the Gold Glove in 2008, he seems to have lost his hunger, and will make a great play followed by a lazy, sloppy play.

    What’s wrong with this picture ? It’s all about personal recognition and glory.
    BP does want to win, but he seesm to have fogotten the connection between winning and playing hard.

    That said, don’t trade him unless you get at least as good a middle infileder in return.

  37. pinson343

    I knew at least someone would object when I said we miss Gonzo. My point was not to praise Gonzo, but to point out how desperate our SS situation is.

    In terms of Janish vs. Gonzo, I don’t think there’s a meaningful discussion right now. Janish has not proven that he can hit ML pitching. I’m skeptical that he can, but now is the time to find out. I like Hairston but he can’t play SS on a regular basis.

    As for Gonzo, management has really screwed up this year. He should have started the season on rehab. Then Dusty insists on playing him every day, rather than giving Janish some playing time. This predictably leads to tired, ineffective play by Gonzo and his two injuries.

    In sum, if we don’t get a new SS, give Janish a chance and also give Gonzo a chance by giving him the long rehab he needs.