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

FINAL
Cincinnati 3
Colorado 4
WP: Betancourt (2-1)
LP: Fisher (1-1)
S: Morales (4)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Homer Bailey only went 5.1 innings, but he gave up just 1 run on five hits while striking out 6. Unfortunately, he also walked five which means he threw a lot of pitches (more on that later), but still…another good start by Homer.

–Brandon Phillips and Scott Rolen had two hits each. Rolen also had a walk and an RBI.

–Jonny Gomes hit another homer, his 18th.

NEGATIVES
–Arthur Rhodes and Carlos Fisher took a game the Reds were controlling and blew it up by allowing 3 runs in an inning and two-thirds.

ETC.
–Oh well. The winning streak is over, and what’s frustrating is that this is a game the Reds, by all rights, should have won. You hate seeing the good guys blow a chance to take a game against a pretty good team like the Rox.

–Remember when the knock on Gomes was that he couldn’t hit right-handed pitchers? Well, that’s still the knock since we’re talking about small sample sizes, but Gomes has had great success against RHP’s in 2009: 13 homers with an OPS over 900.

That’s good.

–Homer Bailey threw 117 pitches. Am I the only one concerned about what Dusty Baker may be doing to Bailey and Johnny Cueto’s arms in these meaningless September games of a lost season?

22 Responses

  1. Steve

    I’d add to the negative list the weak defense – by Bailey, Phillips and Gomes.

  2. Shane

    I didn’t see the replay for either play (Phillips and Bailey) but from seeing them when they happened I’m kinda wondering if Votto shouldn’t have grabbed both those plays

  3. David

    Votto is weaker defensively than many people tend to admit.

    Those folks who were so concerned about the Reds having a winning season are seeing what happens when the only thing you strive for is a winning season. The Reds are going to throw out Cueto and Bailey in otherwise meaningless games, risking the future, all in the long shot the Reds go 19 and 6 the rest of the way. Is it possible? Sure. Is it worth it? No. But all this is exactly why at the beginning of the year I said winning 82 games is meaningless and why all those begging for a winning season are hoping for the wrong thing.

  4. Chris

    Am I the only one concerned about what Dusty Baker may be doing to Bailey and Johnny Cueto’s arms in these meaningless September games of a lost season?

    Meaningless? Meaningless!?? This winning streak saved Dusty Baker’s job.

    • Dan

      Ugh, Chris… I hadn’t thought about it this way, but I’m certain you’re right!

      Where else in the working world of America is such stubborn adherence to conventional wisdom, and the complete lack of consideration of any ideas from the last 30 years, so richly encouraged and rewarded? I find it frustrating and sort of depressing.

    • Steve

      Chris: dead on – the person with the greatest interest in the winning streak is Baker. And he’s done little to cause it. As Chad pointed out a few days ago, these changes (Stubbs, Janish) were forced on him. If Taveras hadn’t been hurt and Gonzalez been traded they would still be batting #1 and #2 every day.

  5. Chad Dotson

    Steve: Chris: dead on – the person with the greatest interest in the winning streak is Baker. And he’s done little to cause it. As Chad pointed out a few days ago, these changes (Stubbs, Janish) were forced on him. If Taveras hadn’t been hurt and Gonzalez been traded they would still be batting #1 and #2 every day.

    Test.

  6. mike

    Curious. Would be fun to ask Dusty, or the GM or the talking heads if the team has such a horrible record because of injuries how do they explain the current winning streak?

    sure, beating Pitt is something we could do if we formed a team of Redleg nation people but beating Atlanta is good. If injuries were an issue 2 weeks ago that caused this horrible season why aren’t they an issue now?

    agreed, this winning streak HURTS the Reds and helps only Dusty

    why is Dusty in “no rush” to get Bruce back?
    I think it’s important that Bruce get more experience against major league pitchers

    anyone have any idea what Dusty’s love affair with McDonald is about?

    If Dusty stays manager for more than 1 more year, we can forget about Cueto and Bailey. He will destroy them

    Do you think Dusty, the GM and the talking heads think veteran leadership is the cause of the 2 weeks of good play? I’m asking that in all seriousness

    I didn’t watch a single inning of the last 4 games.

  7. broadwaydave

    hell yes, i’m worried about the overuse of bailey and cueto. i predict they will both be out with arm injuries by the all-star break next year.

  8. Chris

    @mike: They HAVE been entertaining lately. And I’m not convinced that any harm is being done. But it (riding Cueto and Homer) does seem to be an odd choice.

    • Dan

      Chris, the risk of harm is being elevated though, for sure. In games that are meaningless except to Dusty himself. (I never thought about the screwed up incentives here…)

  9. Chris

    @Dan: Even though I made the crack, I don’t honestly think Dusty is making moves to save his job. He’s given no evidence that he thinks more than 45 minutes ahead, on any decision, and has never lacked for confidence. Being fired has likely never entered his mind.

  10. Jay

    I understand that the pitch count is a way to judge the work on the pitchers arms. But I feel like 100 pitches, or 115 shouldn’t be a big concern. If you’ve watched an ESPN game when they cover the Rangers, all they talk about is how Nolan Ryan wants his young pitchers to go out and do exactly that, pitch.

    I’m not saying that Dusty and Nolan sit on the phone and talk to each other about pitch counts, but there are two schools, and maybe Dusty belongs to the same group as Nolan?

    Just food for though. I could be wrong on all of that, and even that being said, I’m pretty sure he can’t figure out a talent pool based on his starting player decisions throughout the year, but at least with pitch counts, I think that should be something the player is more worried about keeping down to let him go further into the game.

  11. pinson343

    Chris: @Dan:Even though I made the crack, I don’t honestly think Dusty is making moves to save his job.He’s given no evidence that he thinks more than 45 minutes ahead, on any decision, and has never lacked for confidence.Being fired has likely never entered his mind.

    Partly I’m just playing with the quote feature here.
    I agree that Dusty is not thinking of saving his job, it doesn’t occur to him that anyone who really knows anything about baseball would think he’s doing a bad job. And working starters, young and old, long into games is just “Dusty being Dusty.”

    What bothers me more, in that you can’t always go by pitch counts, is how when Cueto was obviously tired and was having back and leg cramping problems, he was sent out there start after start to get hammered. Just skipping one start would have helped his fatigue, and instead he was never even moved back a day or two in the rotation.

  12. GRF

    Chris: Am I the only one concerned about what Dusty Baker may be doing to Bailey and Johnny Cueto’s arms in these meaningless September games of a lost season?Meaningless? Meaningless!?? This winning streak saved Dusty Baker’s job.

    I think Dusty’s job was safe whatever happened, but this does make it easier for the organization as a whole to play the “injuries ruined the season” card. Just hoping that does not get in the way of really looking at the roster during the offseason.

  13. GRF

    Jay: I understand that the pitch count is a way to judge the work on the pitchers arms. But I feel like 100 pitches, or 115 shouldn’t be a big concern. If you’ve watched an ESPN game when they cover the Rangers, all they talk about is how Nolan Ryan wants his young pitchers to go out and do exactly that, pitch.I’m not saying that Dusty and Nolan sit on the phone and talk to each other about pitch counts, but there are two schools, and maybe Dusty belongs to the same group as Nolan?Just food for though. I could be wrong on all of that, and even that being said, I’m pretty sure he can’t figure out a talent pool based on his starting player decisions throughout the year, but at least with pitch counts, I think that should be something the player is more worried about keeping down to let him go further into the game.

    There are a number of systems out there that are looking at pitcher workloads and while I am no expert most seem to agree 100 is not a magic number, but that totals over 120 can be bad for a young pitcher and that significant increases over prior major league innings pitched (the young guy who goes from 120 innings one year to 180 the next) can be a real problem the following year. That is why I am worrying about Bailey and especially Cueto.

  14. ProfRedleg

    I understand your concern with hurting young pitchers but I strongly disagree that the games are meaningless. The games still have meaning for the players, who are busting their assess trying to salvage a poor season. The games have meaning for the few fans who attend and for those of us diehards who watch on TV. I’d rather see these young players bust their asses (within reason) to see how good they can be rather than see them dog it out because there’s no chance of post-season play. Call me old-fashioned.

  15. GRF

    Here is what I was thinking of. Do not know where is at now, but earlier in the season Cueto was headed towards this issue.

    Verducci Effect

    Named for Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated, this is a negative forward indicator for pitcher workload. Verducci, who called this the ‘Year After Effect,’ found that pitchers under the age of 25 who have 30-inning increases year over year tend to underperform. Will Carroll independently found that pitchers who break the “Rule of 30” tend to get injured. Carroll renamed this ‘rule’ the Verducci Effect in honor of the man who initially found the evidence.

  16. David

    ProfRedleg: I understand your concern with hurting young pitchers but I strongly disagree that the games are meaningless. The games still have meaning for the players, who are busting their assess trying to salvage a poor season. The games have meaning for the few fans who attend and for those of us diehards who watch on TV. I’d rather see these young players bust their asses (within reason) to see how good they can be rather than see them dog it out because there’s no chance of post-season play. Call me old-fashioned.

    So by that logic the Reds kill it for the last 25 games win 78, if lucky, and the result is what exactly? You gain nothing by blowing out Cueto’s arm in hopes of winning his five remaining starts. This is exactly why I don’t care about winning seasons. It doesn’t matter if the Reds finish 82-80 or 63-99. They aren’t going to the playoffs. Diverting from “the plan” or increasing the risks of injury to pitchers in hopes that you can get to the elusive 82 game mark is absolutely obtuse.

  17. Dan

    @ProfRedleg: Of course, the players are going to play hard and try to win every game. I think that even happens in stuff like beer league softball. No one else cares who wins, but to the guys on the field, yeah, they’re out there to try to win.

    To me, the whole “meaningless game” thing pertains mostly to what Dusty is doing.

    I don’t want to see arm injuries in young pitchers next year caused by throwing too many pitches in September 2009 (at the end of a lost season). Those young pitchers will go all out while they’re out there, of course, but Dusty should use them conservatively.

    In addition, rather than always trying to put your “best chance of winning” lineup out there every night, I’d like to see more “let’s learn about these guys for next year” lineups. I’d like to see Phillips at SS. I’d like to see Sutton at 2B. I’d like to see as much as possible of Balentien. Not b/c I think this helps us win now, but b/c I want to go into spring training 2010 knowing as much as possible about them.

  18. shane

    I’d like to see somebody teach Janish how to hit! The dude is amazing defensively and I just know they are gonna put somebody at shortstop that can hit and we’ll end up suffering defensively again. I hope I’m wrong if Phillips gets it but I just don’t think he’ll cut it.