The second half begins….

I’m not going to lie to you; I’m a little concerned about the recent slide from the good guys. As noted the other day, this season is teetering on the edge. If the Reds go just 35-40 the rest of the way — I hope it doesn’t happen, but it isn’t entirely unreasonable, is it? — then they will finish the season 77-85. Heck, if they just play 3 games under .500 during the second half, as they did in the first half, they will still lose 84 games. Ugly when you think about it like that, huh?

So, in order to win 85 games and possibly stay somewhat close in a race where the teams ahead of us collapse, the Reds would have to go 43-32 in the second half. I guess that’s theoretically possible. I want to believe that, anyway. Try to ignore the fact that it would require the Reds to win at a .573 clip and leapfrog four teams.

To win 90 games, the Reds would have to go 48-27, a .640 pace.

Well, anything’s possible in baseball. Tonight, Homer Bailey looks to keep up his momentum against Braden Looper, who pitches against the Reds once a week, it seems. Discuss the game here!

112 Responses

  1. AnnapolisRed

    Couple of interesting notes from Fay:

    The Reds have played only 10 games (5-5 record) with the projected Opening Day lineup of C Ramon Hernandez, 1B Joey Votto, 2B Brandon Phillips, 3B Edwin Encarnacion, SS Alex Gonzalez, LF Chris Dickerson/Jerry Hairston, CF Willy Taveras and RF Bruce.

    • The Reds need better starts, having been outscored 72-44 in the first inning – by far, their worst inning this year. When the Reds do score first they are 28-10. When the opponent scores first, the Reds are 14-35.

    • The Reds have a major-league worst .589 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) from the leadoff spot. Primary leadoff man Taveras led the majors with 68 steals last year (for Colorado), but has just 17 this year. Taveras has not always been healthy (flu, tight hamstring) and is hitting just .245. On the upside, Taveras has hit .339 over his last 14 games.

  2. Matt B.

    From comments on Fay’s blog, it seems like Sutton is going to be re-called. Baker said there was a technicality about calling a person up, so they are waiting until tomorrow. The only technicality that can be thought of is that Sutton had to be in the minors for ten days until he is recalled.

  3. Kurt Frost

    W. Taveras CF
    J. Hairston Jr. SS
    J. Votto 1B
    B. Phillips 2B
    R. Hernandez C
    L. Nix LF
    J. Gomes RF
    E. Encarnacion 3B
    H. Bailey P

  4. Kurt Frost

    The wife and I discussed going up for the game tonight but I’m not giving them any more of my money until they fire the moron.

  5. Chris

    Technically, Sutton isn’t any good.

    Just kidding, but the truth is that The Poor Man’s Keppinger adds nothing to this roster that’s not already there.

  6. Matt B.

    Gonzalez could be back soon. Color me happy…

  7. Chad Dotson

    I’m giving them more of my money tomorrow and Saturday. I don’t know why, but I am.

  8. Jimmy James

    I can’t figure out how a team with so little offense can justify carrying 13 pitchers.

    I was looking last night, because they were showing it on MLB Network….in the 1987 All-Star Game, I think the NL carried 8 pitchers.

  9. Matt B.

    Grande said that Dickerson is headed for the DL. Is that true?

  10. pinson343

    Kendall’s specilaty is getting hit by pitches. It’s his only qualification for hitting leadoff.

  11. Dennis

    Really tough watching Taveras getting behind in the count, then skying one to shallow center field. Lead off hitting is killing us big time.

  12. pinson343

    Noone else has said that Dickerson is going on the DL.
    But if he does, doesn’t that mean we almost have to bring up Stubbs ? I mean after bringing up Sutton and sending down a pitcher.

  13. pinson343

    Is there a way to make Taveras hit the ball on the ground ? Why is he taking full swings anyway ? He should just be chopping at the ball, trying to hit bouncers.

  14. Matt B.

    Nix continues to look pretty bad at the plate.

  15. Matt B.

    Meh, Homer should’ve been up there telling Hernandez to get down (He might have been, but I didn’t see him in the replay). He still probably would’ve been out, though.

  16. REDS1

    Does anyone on this team slide at home?

  17. pinson343

    I can’t believe they challenged EE with an open base and the pitcher up next.
    He did what he was supposed to do, but …

  18. Matt B.

    Ah, it looks like Homer was telling him to get down. Pretty emphatically, too. My bad.

  19. Dennis

    Can’t wait to get rid of Hernandez and Taveras. Can’t believe Hernandex didn’t slide.

  20. Jason

    Ugh. I dont why I thought it would be any different frustration wise, etc. if i stepped away from all things Reds after the Phillies series, including a weekend trip to Cincinnati for a couple games this weekend. Im at a loss of words trying to convey my frustration at what I see on a night in night out basis.

  21. REDS1

    That IS really bad. It is that kind of little stuff that kills you. And that is not Dusty’s fault.

  22. Southern Fried Red

    that was pathetic bench him now.

  23. Southern Fried Red

    Also how does Mark Berry keep his job?

  24. Matt B.

    Prince Fielder can go to the donut shop now.

    And SFR – You almost have to send Hernandez in that situation with two outs and the pitcher coming up. He was almost safe, after all.

  25. Dennis

    Another early inning deficit. Which certainly will carry to the ninth, because of the low OBP batters in front of Votto and Phillips. This team deserves to lose with DB at the helm.

  26. Chad Dotson

    I’m going outside. Gonna read a book on the deck.

    I can’t believe I bought tickets for tomorrow and Saturday.

  27. wanderinredsfan

    Question: With a base open and two outs, why go after fielder? Wouldn’t you try to keep everything out of the zone and take your chances with the right-handed hitting McGehee??? Whose call is that anyways; Homer’s, Hernadez’s, or Baker’s? Either way, someone made a three-run mistake and should have his feet held to the fire.

  28. pinson343

    Looks like the pitch to Fielder was supposed to be a little more outside.

    I didn’t see it, but if Bailey signalled to Hernandez to slide, and he doesn’t, then that’s got to be a fine and/or a benching.

  29. Chris Garber

    I love what Welsh is saying right now. “Two completely opposite managers. Ken Macha has two guys with great OBP at the top of his order.”

    He could’ve stopped right effing there.

  30. Chris Garber

    Welsh is now sounding idiotic trying to justify Baker’s stupidity.

    “I’m not saying one is right or wrong. Sometimes you have to go by your gut, if The Book isn’t working for you. And the book hasn’t worked for Dusty Baker all year long.”

    THEN WHY IN THE HELL IS HE DOING EXACTLY THE SAME THING HE’S DONE ALL SEASON LONG?????!?

  31. ty

    joey!!! way to make me eat my words!!!!

  32. Chris Garber

    Yah, Joey!

    A “thumper”?

    Of course it fell short of the Tundra. That’s like 800 feet out there.

  33. pinson343

    VOTTO !!!!!!

    If we had a leadoff hitter who ever got on base, we’d score a lot more runs (duh).

  34. David

    I might be out of my mind, but Votto reminds me A LOT of Adrian Gonzalez his first two years thus far.

  35. Chris Garber

    David, I’ve been saying the same thing for 2 years now. I moved to Ohio before the ’08 season from SD, so I had the opportunity to watch both guys at the same stage.

    Gonzalez is the best defensive 1b in the game, though. Easily.

  36. Jimmy James

    I don’t mind having an Adrian Gonzalez-type on our team.

    Unfortunately, we also have an Alex Gonzalez-type.

  37. David

    I know that we get down on the Reds for a lot of things but Votto (25), Bruce (22), Volquez (26), Cueto (23)and Bailey (22) may be the best young core in all of baseball. The only other teams I think come close are Tampa Bay, Milwaukee, and Baltimore.

  38. Matt Steele

    I was so excited that MLB network was broadcasting this game and then there was some sort of explosion outside my window and the cable went out (though not the internet, oddly enough)

    Anyway, Homer was looking pretty good, nothign too special but a lot of the balls he was missing the strike zone on were pretty close or at least he was having the right idea (pitching towards certain players weak points) so besides the Prince homerun I don’t think he’s made too many mistakes.

    As for our offense. EE should not be batting 8th at all, should be ahead of Gomes and Nix for sure and in a perfect world, Hernandez as well.

    The MLB network announcers were talking about how the Reds have the lowest OPS in the majors and you can’t really win with that and a lot of it starts with Willy Taveras, but they didn’t criticize anything at all and said that he would bounce back. However, they were saying a lot of stupid stuff about the validity of OPS anyway.

    Keith Law today said that Drew Stubbs is not only better than Taveras today, but was better this past offseason before we spent that much money on him. I think we need to bring up Stubbs now and give him the starting role and let him adjust. He won’t hurt us in the field and I doubt he can do that much worse at the plate

  39. Matt Steele

    The Reds certainly have a great young nucleus of players. We need to build around Bruce, Votto, Stubbs and ideally Alonso if all goes as projected and then Cueto Volquez and Bailey in the rotation (and possibly Wood if he continues).

    Baltimore might be a little bit better if only because their best position players are already in the majors and starting and getting some good experience. Their pitchers aren’t quite there yet but they might be really good in a couple years or so

  40. CarolinaReds

    Team BP that was MAJOR LEAGUE!!!

  41. David

    Whatever happened to Hayden Penn. He was a blue chip prospect that just tanked.

  42. Matt B.

    Holy crap, Fielder mashed the crap out of that ball.

  43. CarolinaReds

    I think they’re pitching around Heisey tonight…he’s 1-1 with 2BB and a .377 BA!

  44. GregD

    As they were interviewing the two ladies, I thought to myself “that lady on the left has a bit of a Tea Leoni look going on.” Then we find out it IS Tea Leoni.

  45. David

    Seriously, Marty went five minutes without calling a single pitch. He’s not on tv for crying out loud.

  46. David

    I had to switch over to WTMJ. Mr. Baseball is just as bad but at least he doesn’t interview people during the game.

  47. CarolinaReds

    Kudos to Dusty for bringing in his best reliever…yes I said it and you heard it here first!! :p

  48. CarolinaReds

    Well, I can’t blame that on Dusty but I’d have taken Homer out before the bases got loaded

  49. CarolinaReds

    Yep, the wheels have fallen off…time to look at next year :poke:

  50. Steve Price

    Two defensive mistakes by Encarnacion in this inning (no error charged) has led to these runs.

    If he cuts that ball off on the way to third, it’s either a double play (inning over) or a Fielder on third and two out (because it would have been a FC at second)…then the infielders are a little further back and possibly get the next out….then Encarnacion doesn’t catch the throw at third allowing the trailing runner to advance.

    I’m about through defending him and his average offense….

  51. Steve Price

    Obviously, if Homer hadn’t walked the two hitters to start off, they wouldn’t be on base….

  52. AnnapolisRed

    #21-Taveras should be fined every time he swings at the first pitch and every time he flys out.

  53. AnnapolisRed

    #24-This team is HORRIBLE at fundamentals. How many times this year has a Reds player not slid when he should have. It is ridiculous.

  54. adaircam4

    this is just depressing watching this…where are the Reds of my youth? I can barely remember it’s been so long.

  55. GregD

    I was surprised to see how few of Leoni’s movies I’ve seen

    A League of Their Own (charcter didn’t have a name; listed as “Racine 1st baseman”)
    The Family Man
    Spanglish
    Ghost Town

  56. GregD

    Defense and small ball = 15th in the NL in scoring.
    5 Halladays would have trouble getting wins with this team.

  57. Chris

    They were talking about Stubbs’ performance in the AAA All-Star game. In a sane world, he’d only be in AAA if he was blocked by some sort of good CF at the big league level. Instead, he’s blocked by a guy with an OBP in the 280s.

  58. AnnapolisRed

    #31-that was not Berry’s fault. Sending him was the right thing to do with the pitcher up next.

  59. AnnapolisRed

    Catching up on DVR so sorry for all the late posts. The two guys in this division you can’t let beat you are Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder and the Reds have let both of them beat them the last couple of weeks.

  60. Chris

    Dickerson can’t buy a break. With no evidence, they’re speculating that he was off windsurfing on Lake Tahoe over the break (aggravating the back injury).

  61. AnnapolisRed

    #42-What book is that? Bat your worse hitter first?

  62. GregD

    Walt Jocketty agrees with the Baker on rushing Drew Stubbs.

    “I saw him play three games last week. I saw that All-Star Game last night. He’s getting closer. You don’t want to rush a guy. Wait till our people think he’s ready. He’s only played Triple-A three months. That’s not rushing a guy.”

    “Worst thing you can do is bring a guy here when there are certain things he is working on. I’m not going to say what they are, that’s his business. But if you bring a guy up when he’s not ready, they’ll exploit his weaknesses. It’s a lot tougher here than Triple-A. That’s the worst thing you can do for a guy’s confidence.”

  63. GregD

    Welsh is a little softer on Baker when George is in the booth.

  64. Chad Dotson

    Same ol’ Reds. The break doesn’t seem to have helped.

    Heaven help us if the bad Bronson shows up tomorrow night.

  65. AnnapolisRed

    #80-My guess is that somebody told them that. If he was he is stupid.

  66. Chris

    “Worst thing you can do is bring a guy here when there are certain things he is working on. I’m not going to say what they are, that’s his business. But if you bring a guy up when he’s not ready, they’ll exploit his weaknesses. It’s a lot tougher here than Triple-A. That’s the worst thing you can do for a guy’s confidence.”

    They say that crap, then they let Taveras/Patteson/NedFlanders pile up 500 plate appearances at .200.

  67. GregD

    “He’s only played in AAA for 3 months.”
    Current Reds who have spent less than three months in AAA:

    Ramon Hernandez
    Willy Taveras (skipped AAA)
    Drew Sutton

    Honorable mention for Alex Gonzalez – 108 AAA games

    Is that their problem?

  68. preach

    Just now settling in to watch the game. See not much has changed from the first half of the season. Well, at least they are consistent.

    Unrelated rant: I would love to go to the ‘Faith Day’ thing coming up in early August. Problem is it’s on Sunday afternoon. I have, you know, church. Person of faith and all. I know, other people may be able to participate, but in order to participate to show my ‘faith and love of baseball’ in Cincinnati, I would have to blow off service in Columbus. It would be something my wife would even enjoy, but if I even suggested it for a Sunday, I already know the look I would get and it would just ruin my day. End of rant.

  69. REDS1

    #85 What is Baker supposed to do?

    This team is just not good. LaRussa, Torre, Sparky or Casey Stengel’s ghost would not win with this team. They cannot hit their way out of a paper bag.

    Apparently the pitcher is Milwaukee’s secret weapon.

  70. Chris

    That is pretty stupid, preach. (Of the Reds, that is). While the on-field product stinks, the organization is generally pretty well-run. I would send an email to the Reds on that, pointing out the irony.

    Regular churchgoers (and least those with a Sunday Sabbath) anywhere outside the immediate Cincinnati area will have a hard time attending the event designed for them. Hmmmm…

  71. REDS1

    Which Reds team was better 1975 or 1976 Reds?

  72. Chris

    #85 What is Baker supposed to do?

    Troll alert. Troll alert.

    Willy Taveras #1. EE #8. For starters.

  73. GregD

    Putting the best 8 on the field every night would help.

  74. CarolinaReds

    The Reds have Joey Votto in the line up and…that’s it

  75. preach

    Has anyone ever seen a catcher who stands up more than Hernandez?

  76. REDS1

    No troll here just a realist. CarolinaReds is right. We have one real hitter. And very little power.

    Mike Lum was the key wow!

  77. AnnapolisRed

    #91-Get Taveras out of the lineup would be a start.

  78. AnnapolisRed

    Oh and play Hanigan would help too.

  79. AnnapolisRed

    I disagree with Reds1 on this one, but he’s not a troll.

  80. REDS1

    I agree on both (101 & 102) but I don’t think it would make a huge difference in the win/loss column. Our run differential is terrible.

  81. Matt B.

    I think the Reds can only score more than two runs in an inning when they are already out of the game.

  82. reds234

    What’s the deal with BP staying in the batters box watching everything that comes off his bat lately?

  83. Kurt Frost

    If my wife gave me ‘a look’ over skipping one Sunday service I would start looking for a new wife.

  84. GregD

    Nah, trolling would be “just think how much worse their record would be if they had Adam Dunn”

  85. preach

    If my wife gave me ‘a look’ over skipping one Sunday service I would start looking for a new wife.

    Well, when her husband is the preacher, I guess it’s a little more understandable. Once we get some more help I definately will be taking some time away.