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

FINAL
San Diego 3
Cincinnati 2
WP: Correia (7-8)
LP: Arroyo (10-10)
S: Bell (25)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Edwin Encarnacion had two hits, including a double.

–Bronson Arroyo’s outing may have been just good enough to entice one of the five scouts who were sitting behind home plate. Unless Bob Castellini and Walt Jocketty decide the Reds are still contenders and try to do something dumb like trade for Scott Rolen or something.

–Willy Taveras and Alex Gonzalez didn’t go 0-10 at the top of the order. They only went 0-8. That’s a positive, isn’t it?

NEGATIVES
–TOS*

–The Reds have 12 hits in two games against a team — the Padres — that is now 5-20 in the month of July. They’re worse than us, yet we can barely put the ball into play.

–Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, and Edwin Encarnacion didn’t drive in a single run tonight. They really suck.**

ETC.
–ESPN headline sums it up: “Kouzmanoff powers Padres by free-falling Reds”. Free-falling, indeed.

–The Reds have now lost 13 of their last 17 games. They are 3-9 since the All-Star break. I’m starting to think the Reds may not make the playoffs in 2009.

*This Offense Stinks.

**Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that Dusty Baker puts together a lineup every single &*#(#(%&%ing day with two guys who can’t get on base. Maybe Votto, BP, and EE could get some RBIs if the table-setters could actually set the &(*)([email protected]%)&# table.

41 Responses

  1. Steve

    Sigh.

    No hitting again, starting with the top of the lineup. The stretch of Tatum-Pitcher-Taveras-Gonzalez is just brutal. Not much to be done about Tatum and the pitcher, but why do we have to bat (or play) Taveras and Gonzalez there…Gonzalez 1 for 13 since the DL. Could there possibly be a worse choice for a top-of-the-order hitter?

    Once again we under-utilize our bullpen, despite the fact that we are carrying 8 pitchers there. Why in the world let Bronson start the 7th?

  2. pinson343

    In the meantime, Jeff Keppinger went 4 for 5 with a double, a triple, 3 runs scored, and 3 RBIs last nite,
    batting in the number 2 spot.
    On the season he’s now at .283/.362/.428.

    And why did we trade him for Sutton, who can’t hit that well at AAA ? At the time Astro fans were laughing about what idiots the Reds are.
    No doubt they’re still laughing.

  3. pinson343

    Gonzo was 1-13 in his AAA rehab, yet they rush him back and now play him almost every day, batting in the number 2 hole. Why ? “He’s my shortstop,” said Dusty.

    I’ll repeat what I said the other day. I never root against the Reds in a particular game, but if it takes a last place finish to rid us of Dusty, I’ll take it.

    My confidence in WJ is also at a new low.

  4. pinson343

    I noticed concern in the Viva Dusty thread about AGon being our SS again next year. I would think he couldn’t get better than a minor league deal with anyone, including us. Someone please tell me I’m right.

    I don’t like the Janish-Hairston options either, though I like Hairston as a utility player. We need a major league caliber shortstop.
    Any such SS would be a huge upgrade.

  5. doktor

    pinson343, regarding A-gon, all depends if Dusty has the owners ear or not. So it would not surprise if the Reds for some reason even pick up A-Gon’s option. At this point, I still think Walt is smarter than that but temper that with the Gomes/McDonald move at season start along with the 40 man roster manipulation.

    I agree with your previous post, to get rid of Baker, I too would put up with a last place finish. Never wanted him here, boo’d him as a cub manager, boo’d him as a dodger player. For all the talk about him being a “winner” as a manager, seeing how he has managed the Reds and the last couple of years with the Cubs, I feel at some level, those teams won despite his efforts. Plus he “managed” two of the biggest roided up players, Bonds and Sosa, only mars his resume even more, at least to me.

    Go (2010) Reds.

  6. AnnapolisRed

    I would root for the Reds to finish last if it meant Baker’s dismissal. Fifth or sixth, what’s the difference anyway.

  7. per14

    I’m not defending Dusty, please don’t misunderstand.

    But who is supposed to bat 1-2 if Votto, BP, EdE, and Gomes are your middle of the order sluggers? That’s what is so sad right now. There’s nobody else to bat at the top of the order w/ Dickerson and Hanigan out with injuries. I guess you could bat Nix up there. Or play JHJ (is he injured? I can’t keep track) instead of A-Gone.

  8. Dan

    Re: Gonzalez, he has a “mutual option” at $6 million for 2010.

    I’m thinking that means that BOTH the team and player have to want it for that option to kick in, and someone here found a link that supported that idea yesterday.

    But Christina Kahrl, the transactions guru at Baseball Prospectus, thinks that it means that EITHER party can exercise the option.

    Anybody have a definitive ruling on this? I sure don’t want A-Gon here next year, and I SURE don’t want him at $6 million!!

  9. Dan

    per14, ANYONE would be better than Taveras and/or A-Gon up there!! Except maybe Tatum and the pitcher. Literally anyone else, I think, would get on base more often than those two guys. I’m totally serious. I’d rather have Jonny Gomes leading off than Willy.

  10. GregD

    My understanding of mutual option is:

    Team has to exercise option if they want player to return.
    If they decline the option, they owe him the buyout money.

    If they exercise the option, then the player has to also take the option.
    If the player declines, he gets the buyout.

    I’ve Yahoo! searched this topic and found a handful of stories about “both parties exercised the mutual option”.

    I also found this link on the Carlos Delgado mutual option, and it goes into some detail discussing the mutual option.

  11. per14

    Yeah, I would too. I guess the lineup could be:

    Gomes
    BP
    Votto
    EdE
    Nix
    Tatum
    Willy T
    A-Gon

    At least that way you minimize Willy T’s and A-Gon’s PAs as much as possible.

  12. GregD

    Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, and Edwin Encarnacion didn’t drive in a single run tonight. They really suck.

    This was another thing that Brantley said last night that really irked me. Early in the game, he made a comment about why the Reds weren’t scoring runs…that the Reds were getting people in scoring position and to third but they just weren’t executing.

    1 – he’s wrong. They are not creating nearly enough opportunities to score runs. I don’t care whether you like to look at AVG (15th in the NL), OBP (14th), or SLG (13th), they are not getting it done. And their split stats do not support that they get people on when the bases are empty but then strand them on every night.

    2 – Even with the rate stats as bad as they are, the reason they fail in scoring opportunities is that they use all their outs to get a runner to 3rd base. Then you’ve got 1 shot to get the runner home from 3rd. Given our team batting average, on average that is a less than 1-in-4 chance of happening. AND, even if successful, you’ve just played for 1 run. The pitching isn’t shutting teams down like it was in the first half. You can’t be playing be playing for 1-0 and 2-1 wins in the 3rd inning.

  13. Dan

    Thanks, Greg. I did email Christina at BP.com to try to iron this out and verify that we have it right. I sent her your link too. I’ll let you know what I hear. (I think and hope that we are right!)

    per14, yup, your lineup looks fine to me. I mean, it’s a massive OBP sinkhole in slots 5-9 in the order, but that’s more an indictment of the whole team (and a sign of injuries) than anything. At least you’re minimizing the number of times they come up, as you said.

    I do truly think that, if you’re starting those 8 guys, you can NOT DO WORSE than putting Mr. .289 OBP and Mr. .249 OBP in the top 2 slots. (Maybe Tatum too, as he might not be a major league hitter at all – we don’t know yet.)

    But the whole point is to maximize the at bats for the guys who get on base. Dusty (one of only 30 MLB managers in the WORLD!!) proves day after day that he does not get that. It’s infuriating (until you stop caring… sigh…)

  14. RiverCity Redleg

    with last nights players, I would probably bat:

    Phillips
    EE
    Votto
    Gomes
    Nix
    Taveras
    Tatum
    AGon
    Pitcher

  15. Dan

    Yup, that works for me too, RCR. Far better than what the Dustball came up with.

  16. doktor

    Dusty could have several ways to mix things up, plus send a message to WT to start hitting.

    One option based on last nights lineup
    Nix (yes, i know he is slumping but at least its an attempt at something)
    BP (maybe get BP some better pitches with Joey behind him)
    Votto
    Gomes
    EE
    AGon
    Tatum
    Willie (his speed would make it easier to bunt him over, plus open up other options of hit-run with pitcher up, during those times WT did get on base)

    Go (2010) Reds

  17. RiverCity Redleg

    It also sucks that Tatum is our only catcher right now. We had a critical AB late with runners on base but couldn’t pinch hit for Tatum b/c we had no one to catch defensively. Have we had a full roster yet this year?

  18. per14

    NO, but we’ve had 13 pitchers a few times.

  19. Travis G.

    I like RiverCity’s lineup, as well, but I’d swap EE and BP. Edwin looks at more pitches and Phillips makes more contact.

    One would hope that putting Phillips in the two-hole might change his approach, however, because this combo could be a recipe for constant double plays.

  20. RiverCity Redleg

    I would be fine either way, Travis, but the reason why I like BP then EE is b/c EE is more slective at the plate, I think he would benefit more by hitting in front of Votto. Plus by not hitting cleanup, I think BP would “spray the ball” more and has the ability to steal a base once on.

  21. REDS1

    I like the idea of unorthodox lineups. Those two bottomless pits at 1-2 in the lineuop getting an extra at-bat makes no sense.

  22. Matt Steele

    if Hanigan is healthy bat him second. But if we’re just looking at the team we have out there, well then I’m not sure who should bat leadoff

    I would probably go with per14’s lineup but switch Votto and BP.

    Oh and remember when we had this guy?

    THE NATIONALS ADAM DUNN BECAME THE FIRST PLAYER TO HIT A HOME RUN OUT OF MILLER PARK IN A REGULAR SEASON GAME WHEN HE HOMERED TO RIGHT CENTER IN THE FOURTH INNING.

    lol

    at least the nationals are taking it to the brewers right now. I am happy about that

  23. Steve

    Hairston (CF)
    Phillips (2B)
    Votto (1B)
    Gomes (RF)
    Encarnacion (3B)
    Nix (LF)
    Janish (SS)
    Tatum (C)
    Pitcher

    With Hanigan:

    Hanigan (C)
    Phillips (2B)
    Votto (1B)
    Gomes (RF)
    Encarnacion (3B)
    Nix (LF)
    Hairston (CF)
    Janish (SS)
    Pitcher

  24. Dan

    See how fun and easy it is? EVERY ONE of these lineups we’ve posted would produce more runs than the ones that Dusty uses. I would bet lots and lots of money that that is true.

    I mean… how hard is this? Seriously?

  25. pinson343

    We’ve already discussed our lack of organization depth at SS. At catcher right now we’re on the verge of a desparate situation. We can’t PH for Tatum, as he’s our only catcher.
    (Janish is the emergency catcher.)

    If Hanigan goes on the DL, we have to bring up Corky Miller. He hits less than Tatum and is not on the 40 man roster.

  26. pinson343

    Batting Taveras 8th makes a lot of sense. I might even bat him 9th, as LaRussa would do.

  27. pinson343

    A mutual option is like a mutual anything. Both parties have to consent.

  28. Steve

    pinson343: LaRussa would never be playing Taveras

  29. pinson343

    Well, sure Steve, I meant hypothetically.

  30. Kurt Frost

    If the Reds hadn’t signed Taveras would he be on a major league roster right now or in AAA somewhere?

  31. Dan

    Ugh… a painful but good question, Kurt. I really don’t know.

    There is always Kansas City… they seem to be big fans of low OBP guys… 😉

  32. Travis G.

    The Mariners acquired Jack Wilson and Ian Snell for Jeff Clement, Ronny Cedeno, Aaron Pribanic, Brett Lorin and Nathan Adcock. Nice trade for both teams, actually.

    I think Snell will really thrive in Safeco, especially with that now-improved defense behind him.

    Word is that Philly’s about to acquire Cliff Lee, which increases the likelihood that Boston will get Halladay. That could increase Harang’s value to teams like the Dodgers, Yankees, Angels and even the Rays. (Speaking of the Rays, I hear they’re shopping both Kazmir and Crawford. Walt should be talking to them.)

  33. GregD

    I read that Clement was pulled from his AAA game last night and rumored to be traded. I had hoped the Reds had something cooking for him, especially given their short-term and long-term catching situation, but no, he goes in-division to the Pirates.

    I don’t know if the Pirates are a better team the next few years or not, but they sure are making a lot of moves.

  34. GregD

    Clement is the prize closest to the majors. He’s a 25-yr-old LH catcher with a pretty good bat throughout the minors. Positive bb/ab and xbh/ab ratios. There is some questions about his defense, and the Mariners have left him in AAA since 2006, his age 22 season, for over 1400 plate appearances (284avg/372obp/495slg – 867ops). He’s not hit as well (701ops) in a little over 200 major league plate appearances scattered in 2007-08.

    Cedeno is the former Cubs SS who is all-glove and no stick. He’s probably only the short-term replacement for Jack Wilson.

    The other three players are all pitchers. Aaron Pribanic and Brett Lorin are both 22-yr-old starting pitchers in A-ball (The Midwest League). Adcock is a 21-yr-old starting pitcher in A+. I don’t know the scouting reports on any of these pitchers, but Lorin is posting the best ERA, whip and strikeout ratios.

  35. Travis G.

    The Phillies and Indians have agreed to a deal that sends Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco to Philly for Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald and Lou Marson. Great deal for Philadelphia, who give up four good but not great prospects for an ace left-hander on an affordable, two-year deal and a fourth OF type with some pop.

    (Technically, the Phillies could probably still land Halladay if they wanted, because they didn’t give up either Drabek or Happ in this deal.)

  36. BigRedMike

    “Cedeno is the former Cubs SS who is all-glove and no stick. He’s probably only the short-term replacement for Jack Wilson.”

    Why do I have a feeling that as long as Dusty is the manager of the Reds, there is a chance that Cedeno could become the Reds SS and bat in the #2 spot in the order??

    Former Cub Check
    Cannot Hit Check
    Slick Fielder Check
    Might be fast Check

  37. Travis G.

    Hey, even if Cedno’s all-glove and no stick, he’s got a leg up on our current #2 hitter and starting SS.

  38. GregD

    I wonder in which payroll period options are accounted for. Would the $1M buyouts of Gonzalez and Hernandez go against 2009 payroll/budget or 2010?

    My thought was this: if the Reds have room to take on 2009 payroll – i.e. the Derosa and Rolen rumors – they should “take on” the 2010 option buyouts of Gonzalez and Hernandez & “take on” the 2010 Taveras contract (and release him) in the 2009 budget. That clears $6 million in 2010 payroll and gives the Reds a chance to make the 2010 team appreciably better.

    If the buyouts are accounted for the year that they are paid, then change the $6M number above to $4M

  39. Travis G.

    Per MLB Trade Rumors: Ed Price of AOL FanHouse reports that the Reds acquired Wladimir Balentien from the Mariners for righty Robert Manuel.