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

FINAL
Cincinnati 3
Chicago (NL) 5
WP: Hart (2-1)
LP: Cueto (8-7)
S: Gregg (20)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–As usual, Joey Votto is pretty much the only positive for this team. Votto went 2-3 with a double, a homer, and 2 RBI. The guy is just a stud, and it’s a shame he has to play in the middle of such a horrible lineup.

–Jonny Gomes hit a homer in the ninth inning. Off a right-handed pitcher. Imagine that.

NEGATIVES
–TOS*

–This team can’t hit, they can’t pitch, they can’t field. I don’t know what else to say.

–I didn’t see the play, but some discussion in the game thread indicates that Willy Taveras and Chris Dickerson loafed after a ball that allowed Derrek Lee to get an extra base. If that happened, why should we be surprised? The hallmark of Dusty Baker’s teams in Cincinnati has been a lack of effort and a lack of fundamentals. The 2009 Reds are no exception.

ETC.
–The Reds have now lost 7 of their first 9 games of the second half. They are 8 games under .500 and 7.5 games out of first. Anyone who thought this team was a contender is being rapidly disabused of that notion.

–After 96 games, the Reds are 44-52. After 96 games last year, the Reds were 46-50.

That’s right. This team has a worse record than last year’s team that lost 88 games, despite better pitching. I’m glad Walt Jocketty got rid of all the offense. This speed and defense thing sure is working out well, isn’t it?

41 Responses

  1. Glenn

    How does Reds management expect to win with this offense?

    The Cards get better and the Reds apparently don’t care.

  2. MLH

    What about Don Mattingly as manager? Might just be Indiana pride talking.

  3. Mike Smith

    Lots more injuries this year but still the telling tale is they are worse

  4. Mark in CC

    Mattingly needs to work on managing his house and not having his son beat up his mother. Go get me Ronnie Oester. He would light a fire under these slackers.

  5. Y-City Jim

    I might go with Oester. He should have been given his shot several years ago but instead got stabbed in the back.

    As much as I hate changing managers midseason, I think Baker has to go now. If the Reds are going to lose then lose with the respect that comes with leaving it all out on the field. That just isn’t happening now. Does it every happen with a “player’s manager?”

  6. JerBear

    I don’t think Dusty is the right guy for this team going forward, but man they’d have to eat a lot of money right? Like 4-5 million dollars? I think Dusty is in the lower half of managers in the league, but the roster just stinks right now too.

    These are once again dark days to be a Reds fan. Seems like it’s like this every year. We are really not no different then the Pittsburgh Pirates. They lose 5-6 more games a year then us, but neither team is making the playoffs or having a winning year for the past 9-10 years.

    I wonder who they could get legitimate value for with a trade. There are 2 players that immediately come to mind…

    1)Bronson Arroyo-I think we could maybe get a nice prospect or 2 for him. Hopefully a SS prospect.
    2) Brandon Phillips-Not sure what contender is needing a second baseman, but this would really shake things up, and you would probably get 1-2 good prospects in return for Phillips.

    I think Arthur Rhodes could be a big pickup for a team needing bullpen help, but not sure what he’d bring in return.

    While it stinks to witness our Reds just completely collapse, it’s interesting to me also. What makes a team collapse? Was the talent never there in the first place? Does the manager not inspire his players enough? Injuries? You could probably say Yes to all of those.

    I remember back in like April or May when we were beating the Astros, and I kept thinking, man their starting 8 is so much more talented then ours. How are we beating them? At the time, I think our pitching was just amazing. But I think the talent on the Astros has risen to the top, while our pitching has for some reason gone completely down the tubes.

    It’s frustrating, but it’s what we’ve come to expect as Reds fans. I almost feel sorry for Castellini. I think he honestly wants to win, but either doesn’t know what buttons to push or has just been unlucky.

    But if the Tampa Bay Rays can turn it around…maybe there’s hope that our beloved Reds can also eventually turn it around.

  7. pinson343

    On the road again.
    I listened to the entire game on XM radio, while driving from Boston to NY. Derek Lee’s triple said it all. First the Cubs broadcasters couldn’t understand why Dickerson didn’t catch the ball. Then there was Taveras’ loafing after the ball. Last but not least, they said that if Taveras had hit the cutoff man, Lee was easily out at 3rd.

    This is the 3rd time this week I’ve listened to the other team’s broadcasters say that Dickerson completely missed on a catchable ball to right center.

    How many times has Taveras missed the cutoff man this year ? Does he ever hit the cutoff man ? With his arm, that’s the best he can do, so why doesn’t he do it ?

    Has Dusty sounded off about Taveras’ lack of hustle ?
    Will he get benched for it ?

  8. Kurt Frost

    ‘Has Dusty sounded off about Taveras’ lack of hustle ?
    Will he get benched for it ?’

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAA!

    You don’t bench speed!

  9. pinson343

    PS The loafing of Taveras I’m referring to above was his trotting to the ball after it got past him and CD.

  10. pinson343

    There were other bad plays of course, on defense, on the basepaths, etc. On the leadoff double by Johnson in the first inning, the Cubs’ guys said that EE was there, he just didn’t get his glove down.
    They said the same thing about Cueto’s error on a gound ball.

    Not get the glove down on a ground ball ? The first time I put on a glove, at the age of 6, that’s what I was taught to do.

  11. pinson343

    Cueto was hit hard today. He got lucky on a number of line drives hit right at someone and was helped by some good defense after the first inning.
    The broadcasters’ comments were that he’s lost some speed off his fastball since they last saw him and he’s throwing 90% fastballs.

    Why is he relying so heavily on his fastball ? I thought he had a slider and a nasty changeup ? What happened to those ?

  12. pinson343

    This team has no idea how to hit with runners in scoring position. Other than Vottos’s SF, the at bats in those situations today were abysmal.
    This too has been a season long trend.

  13. pinson343

    Why, with Derek Lee and then with Ramirez batting in the first inning, did our manager (don’t want to mention his name) bring the infield in ?
    Was he playing to win 1-0 ?
    Cueto’s problem of late has been big first innings. Bringing the infield in increased the risk of that.

  14. Chris

    Here’s the thing about Dickerson: He’s excellent in CF, and atrocious in LF/RF. Meanwhile, Taveras is indifferent in CF, and has a feeble arm.

    A manager who paid attention to such things might try Taveras in LF and Dickerson in CF. A different manager might just bitch about Dickerson.

  15. RedinFla

    Speaking of being discouraged… the realization that this year’s record is worse than last year just about took my breath away. I think I was still running on the potential this team had going into the season. Unfortunately, potential doesn’t win ballgames unless more than two players actually perform up to it.

  16. Chris

    From McCoy’s blog:

    Baker said he reads Proverbs in the Bible every morning and this morning he read, “And I’m paraphrasing now, but it was, ‘How small is your faith if you waver in times of trouble?’”
    http://www.daytondailynews.com/o/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/cincinnatireds/

    Now, I’ll wait to hear from Preach on this, but I don’t think the Author was referring to faith in Willy Taveras.

  17. shane

    Aren’t sliders and changeups harder on your arm? Maybe they’ve just decided why put the work on your arm when you’re going to lose anyway.

    And big first innings seem to be a problem with all our starters lately, are they not warming up properly?

  18. Steve

    Rolen for Encarnacion?

    Reports have the Reds still in trade discussions with the Toronto Blue Jays for Scott Rolen. It is generally been assumed that part of this trade would include the Reds sending Edwin Encarnacion to Toronto.

    My question: who else would you be willing to include to make this trade?

    A few weeks ago there had been talk of adding Homer Bailey with E5E5 for Rolen. I kind of think that is too steep of a price, as the 22-yr-old Bailey may still turn into an excellent pitcher and a cornerstone of the organization.

    I view Rolen as a very positive addition, both at the plate and in the field. He would bring needed veteran stability to the team and give us a solid bat to back up Joey Votto. He is under contract for 2010. He might sign an extension to stay with the Reds (he is from Southern Indiana). But at a minimum he seems like a great bridge to the next generation of Reds 3B.

    Thoughts?

  19. pinson343

    A Rolen for EE trade doesn’t sound good for a number of reasons: Rolen is old, injury prone, and expensive; our most serious problems are at SS and the OF; 2009 is over.

    I’d like to see EE play every day for the rest of the season before giving up on him.

    On the other hand, I won’t give a thumbs up or down until I see just what the trade is.
    If Jocketty is thinking of an upgrade at 3rd base for 2010, that might make sense. The mere fact that he’s considering picking up Rolen’s salary indicates he’s set on trading Harang or Arroyo.

  20. pinson343

    Steve, I just read your comment after posting mine. I agree with what you say about Rolen as a positive addition for 2010, if he can stay healthy.

    If we’re giving up EE to get Rolen and taking on his salary, I don’t think we should give up any more, maybe a minor prospect.

  21. pinson343

    One thing’s for sure: Toronto will not be interested in Arroyo. They’re hoping he gets traded to another AL East team so they get to see him more often.

  22. BigRedMike

    I was looking at the Salary link on this site and is it true that the Reds have a potential 70 million for 11 players? I know there are some club and player options, but, that seems pretty high.

    The 11 are Arroyo, Harang, Cordero, Gonzalez, Taveras, Lincoln, Rhodes, Encarnacion, Hernandez, Alonso, and Phillips.

    How is that going to work??

  23. Steve

    @BigRedMike – hard to think we’d take on Gonzalez and Hernandez in 2010, plus we’re really likely to trade Arroyo or Harang. I even could support trading Cordero at this point, for financial reasons.

  24. BigRedMike

    I would tend to agree that Gonzalez and Hernandez will be gone, but, I could see the Reds re sign them at a lower salary. It was just kind of surprising to see that potential salary level for 2010 and the somewhat low level of performance from that group.

  25. RedinFla

    Thinking about trading pitchers – I still think when other teams look at our guys through the filter of lousy defense and (very) little run support, they don’t look half bad. Kind of like they looked to us in April and May…

  26. David

    I’m all for the Reds moving E5. He is what he is at this point. He is about to enter his prime. He can’t play defense and is an average offensive player. He has more 20+ error seasons than 20+ homer seasons.

    As for Arroyo or Harang, they would probably have to go in the deal to balance the money. What about Harang, E5, Frazier, Francisco, Maloney for Rolen and Halladay?

  27. Chris

    Re Rolen: How would the “veteran stability” manifest itself?

    I’m much more worried about the fact that he’l be 35 next year, making $10M, and had 89 and 107 OPS+s the two years before this one.

  28. REDS1

    So much good analysis here and so very depressing.

  29. GregD

    John Fay’s comment on the Lee triple from his blog:

    Derrek Lee followed with a flyball to right-center. Taveras looked like he had a bead on it. But he pulled up. Chris Dickerson had the ball go off his glove. It was scored a triple, but the ball should have been caught.

    Quotes from Baker on that same play in Fay’s Enquirer article:

    “That was a ball in no man’s land,” Baker said. “There’s a certain area like that here. Those are balls when it goes up nobody can really call it. You couldn’t have thrown that ball to a better spot. “It’s situation where you can’t really call it. If you do you can’t hear it with the crowd noise. It was a bad break for us and good break for them.”

    So when Taveras doesn’t make a catch, it’s Dickerson’s fault for not backing up the play…but when Dickerson doesn’t make the catch, it’s bad luck? Got it.

  30. earl

    Getting rid of Cordero’s contract would open up to sign a bat during the off season. Coco has done well, especially this year, but you need the basics before luxury and I think we have some pretty good young bullpen arms. I still don’t think any club will pony up to take on his contract.

  31. David Lowenthal

    re: What about Harang, E5, Frazier, Francisco, Maloney for Rolen and Halladay?

    Well, what about it? Halladay is being dangled for JA Happ, Kyle Drabek, and Dominic Brown from the Phillies. That’s about 10 times better than the above “package”. There is no way on God’s green earth the Phils would trade Halladay to the Reds if it didn’t (A) involve Yonder Alonso and (B) Jay Bruce. And that isn’t going to happen.

  32. GregD

    They have enough money for a bat if they don’t resign/retain Gonzalez, Hernandez, and Weathers.

  33. GregD

    They’re asking for pitching. They would want Cueto and Wood for Halladay.
    Halladay has a full trade clause and has said he only wants to go to a team heading to the playoffs because he’s never played in the playoffs.

  34. David Lowenthal

    It’s always interesting to see how people overreact to the first 50-60 games. When you have a bad team, you can be good over 60 games. How many times have we seen a good record in the 2000’s around June 1. Baseball is cool because most times, flukes even out over 162 games.

    I said the Reds would lose 90 games in April/May when optimism was king. I based that on what I base it now: the offense sucks. Sure, there have been injuries, but there are always injuries. Bruce was sucking anyways, and Volquez wasn’t having a great year either. Cueto had a great start and I have high hopes for him, but he’s not THAT good (as he was in April/May).

    The Reds need to make moves now to get some players for next year and then spend some money in the offseason to fill a hole or two. That could theoretically put them in position for Castellini to approve a big money trade in July and end up in a playoff berth. Not likely, but possible.
    If they make the right deals now.

  35. Kyle

    I hope the Reds stay away from Rolen. He will be 35 next year and he is not the player he was (injury-prone, no power, defense will slip).

  36. AnnapolisRed

    The Nationals are dying to get rid of Adam Dunn.

  37. GRF

    To be fair to Walt, the Rhoades signing was a good one, Gomes and to a lesser extent Nix were good “buy low singings” and I would argue that even the decision to offer arbitration to Weathers worked given everything else that has happened with our bullpen. Even the Hernandez trade was not that bad given what we gave up, the money we got back, and the need we had at catcher. The only reason it has turned out negative is our (Walt’s, Dusty’s?) refusal to recognize Hannigan has outplayed him and give him less ABs.

    Against that, the decision to sign Willie is an obvious disaster that is going to hurt us into next year. The Lincoln signing turned out badly, and you can fault him for not making a bigger move to shore up the offense during the offseason, but then you have to point to a move we could have really made. There were also some of the odd roster construction moves at the start of the season (McDonald over Gomes, for example).

    My biggest criticism is the way Walt has dealt with injuries and used the DL generally. Gonzo never should have been on the roster to start the year, and should have been given a chance to prove he was healthy before joining the 25 man. We have repeateldy played short because of injuries that we have lasted longer than the were supposed to or played guys that were gurt and hurt the team. He also constructed the 40 man in such a way to make it very hard to bring up position players in case of an injury. The lack of middle infield depth, or at least depth they are willing to use, is inexcusable given the injury Gonzo was coming off. If he did not have enough confidence in Janish or Sutton to play them, he never should have moved Keppinger.

    Finally, Walt was to slow to decide ifwe were going to be buyers or sellers, and now that the season is essentially over he is continuing to allow Dusty to play the JHJ’s, Gonzo’s and Hernandez’s (pre-injury) of the world of the world as opposed to seeing what we have in Hannigan, Janish and Gomes, let alone some of the kids in minors.

    On the whole, I think Walt’s record is mixed, but my concern is the same one I have with Dusty; that he is a bad “fit” ofr a team that is trying to fight its way up from the bottom with younger talent. He needs to be more active, including more active in making sure his manager is doing what is in the long term interest of the team as opposed to just playing guys Dusty has confidence in at this particular minute.

  38. GRF

    Funny thing is, but for the history, I would argue Dunn provides a lot of the things this offense needs (OBP, power). Not going to happen.

    To me SS is clearly the biggest need going into next year. We have outfield options in the system, and they are easier to find in free agency. There is nothing in the system ready to play league average SS next year and free agents are thin. A big part of how I am going to judge Walt going forward is on how he addresses this.

  39. GregD

    When did the Nats change their tune? Last I read, they were keeping Dunn because he’s signed through next year but interested in moving other players, esp guys with contracts expiring this year.

  40. AnnapolisRed

    In the last week or so they came out publicly and said he was available. I never believed them the first time when they said he wasn’t.