Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Chicago 4
Cincinnati 5
WP: Owings (1-0)
LP: Caridad (0-1)
S: Cordero (1)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Drew Stubbs! None of us were having much fun until Drew Stubbs crushed a grand slam to center field in the 8th inning, giving the Reds a 5-3 lead. It was the first “jump off the couch” moment of the 2010 season, and in one fell swoop, we were having fun again.

Stubbs also had a triple in the first inning (scoring the Reds first run), and later killed a ball down the third base line that Aramis Ramirez made a great play on. Nice night for Drew.

–Micah Owings came into the game in the sixth inning and was dominant. I cannot express how good Owings looked and how much the Reds needed what he provided tonight. After Homer Bailey was shaky, Owings came in, pitched three scoreless innings, giving up just one hit, walking none and keeping the Reds in the game.

Even Marty Brennaman praised him on the radio broadcast. Too bad Owings didn’t get to hit.

NEGATIVES
–Until the 8th inning, the Reds offense was absolutely putrid. TOS*. Players swinging at the first pitch, showing no patience, making the Cubs look great. It was, frankly, disgusting, and if you’ll read the game thread below (great discussion in tonight’s game thread, by the way), you’ll see that everyone was pretty much sick to their stomachs over the display.

–The defense was terrible. Is it just me, or have Dusty Baker’s teams been worse fundamentally than any other Reds team in memory? For the second straight year, we have a starting shortstop who has no range whatsoever. Heck, in the ninth inning, the two best defensive players on the team both made errors. What is going on?

–Francisco Cordero was not very good. He wasn’t helped by two errors, but he gave up a long homer and almost gave up the win.

ETC.
–That was one of the ugliest wins I’ve seen in a while, but I’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss every single time.

–I guess I could’ve put Homer Bailey’s performance in the negatives column, but there were plenty of positives too. Bailey didn’t have his good command and he was terribly inefficient, but shaky defense didn’t help him either.

Homer gave up three runs in five innings, throwing 106 pitches. He struck out five and he walked two. Everyone agrees, however, that this is the type of game where Homer used to blow up and give up seven runs. Mentally, he hung in there, battled, and kept the Reds in the Reds in the game. It’s part of the maturing process, and (big picture-wise) I wasn’t displeased with Bailey’s performance tonight.

–Somehow, Jeff Brantley managed to credit Stubbs’ grand slam to smallball. Yep, you read that right.

–Cubs manager Lou Piniella forgot something.

–We had a Paul Janish sighting at Great American Ballpark tonight. He’s alive (though just for one inning) after all. Someone call his parents. I told you guys Dusty would bury him on the bench.

(Of course, Janish made an error, so he won’t play again for a month. Forget the fact that Orlando Cabrera never would’ve made that error, because OC never would’ve gotten to the ball in the first place).

–I can’t say I disapprove of Reds pitchers hitting three Cubs batters tonight. In fact, I kinda like it.

–Someone needs to photoshop a Drew Stubbs sombrero for us. Anyone?

*This Offense Stinks.

22 Responses

  1. Kurt Frost

    There was an announcement that the Janish error was ruled a hit during the post-game show.

    We went to the game. It was just terrible to watch. After the sun went down the temperature started to plummet so we left in the 6th inning. We were pulling out of our parking space in Covington when Stubbs hit the slam. I’m OK with it though, it was freaking freezing and the wind was brutal.

  2. Steve Price

    I have to admit that I’m alarmed at how poor our defense has been, with the exception of Scott Rolen despite his error tonight. Well, having said that, I’m not certain how much range Rolen has left, but he’s so quick and has such an accurate gun he still makes plays that most 3b won’t.

    Bad defense puts the pitchers, especially young pitchers, in an awkward position and they start overthrowing. I thought Bailey was overthrowing tonight, too, and Brantley reminded us after the game that this was the first time Bailey has actually opened the season with the team…it’s a different feeling and I feel certain he was trying to do too much himself…and then the defense let him down, making the situation even worse.

    • pinson343

      Bad defense puts the pitchers, especially young pitchers, in an awkward position and they start overthrowing.I thought Bailey was overthrowing tonight … it’s a different feeling and I feel certain he was trying to do too much himself…and then the defense let him down, making the situation even worse.

      I agree with all this, but it’s a 2-way street. Homer was overthrowing before any errors were made, and this unsettles the defense.

  3. Steve Price

    I’m also got to say that this team needs Paul Janish at shorstop with the shortstop not batting second. I had never seen Cabrera much before now…and I know he’s a veteran, but I read today that last year he had the worst defensive season of ANY player since 2003, allowing an estimated 33 runs to score more than the average shortstop. On the other hand, Paul Janish prevented 26 runs from scoring in about half the playing time. That’s huge…not just huge, but jets to the sky huge…

    Neither of those guys need to be batting second…

  4. Python Curtus

    To put a major positive on Janish’s non-error, the most important thing at the time was, he kept it in the infield. I doubt Cabrera would have been as successful. As for that bit the play before with Rolen, what was Rolen thinking? The ball was hit right to Janish. Rolen didn’t need to run all that way for it. Was there a miscommunication?
    But it’s clear the Reds will lose something having Cabrera at short. I still haven’t forgiven him for dropping that foul the other day. I mean, who does that? That was not a pressure situation and an experienced gold-glove winner should make that play

  5. Python Curtus

    I also want to mention, the Reds were hitting the ball hard all day. It’s just that they were hitting them right to the Cubs fielders. This is a fail on Baker’s part as it seemed the Cubs had scouted the Reds perfectly and Baker couldn’t come up with a counter strategy. Half of those line outs should have been hits.

  6. KYRedsFan

    The 9th Inning was so sicking to watch that I pulled a garbage can up, and was ready to vomit if we blew the game.

  7. pinson343

    Just saw the hilites after watching the game on Gameday, so here’s my “upon video review” take.

    It was a fat pitch, but Stubbs just crushed it. Looks like we’ve got a CFer.

    Philipps’ play on the dribbler to lead off the Cubs’ 9th was just sick. It looked like a tie at first, but umpires always call a tie against the runner anyway. In any case, it turned out to be a game saving play.

    Rolen’s error, stepping in front of Janish, was just totally dumb. It’s one thing if the 3rd baseman dives to knock down a ball, but this wasn’t a dive, it was unnecessary interference with Janish, who was set to make an easy play.

    I agree with everyone about Janish’s great range, and the unfortunate fact that Cabrera appears to have lost his. But I don’t agree with the perception that on Janish’s misplay, he kept it in the IF where Cabrera would not have. It was in the hole, but it was a slow high bouncer, any SS in pro ball would have gotten to it. What made the play difficult was that it was hit so slowly, the throw to 2nd had to be made in a hurry.
    This is most likely why Janish dropped the ball when about to throw. If it later got ruled a hit, it’s because the scorer had doubt that his throw to 2nd would have been on time.

    • mike

      It was a fat pitch, but Stubbs just crushed it.

      this was my 1st thought when Stubbs hit the HR today and my 2nd thought is that it was similar to Gomes pitch yesterday.
      The Gomes pitch was up even more and he just smashed it. Same with Stubbs today. A great feeling really. It’s classic. Bad pitch, jump on that #%#@$%! 🙂

  8. pinson343

    Our SS defense situation is unfortunate, but otherwise let’s not overreact to things like errors by Rolen and Votto. Rolen is still a good 3rd baseman and Votto showed last year that he can play a decent 1st base.

    Philipps, Stubbs, and Bruce play excellent defense.

    The SS situation is not good. I thought Janish would get decent playing time, I should have known Dusty better than that. Janish will get some playing time at 3rd base, when Rolen goes down or needs a rest. But that won’t help our SS situation. It’s tough for Janish to sit around not playing at all for days and then come into a game in the 9th inning on a cold, windy nite. A warmed up Janish makes that much discussed play.

  9. pinson343

    I just got a second viewing of the Janish “misplay” in the 9th inning, and what I said above was mostly wrong. It was not a hard hit ball, but it was also not a “slow high bouncer.” More of a low bouncer. I have no idea whether Cabrera would have gotten to it.

    It was a tough chance, as they say, and it was very tough for a guy who’d been sitting on the bench all week, coming in on a cold nite.

  10. lukeukcrazy

    funny 😆 Stubbs HR was around the letters and that was almost 6 inches from where Gomes pitch was.

  11. per14

    I didn’t think it was a bad outing by Homer. 5 innings pitched with five strikeouts, no home runs, and only two walks. The 7 hits are a lot but people will get their hits.

  12. Glenn

    Cordero’s control was not what it should have been last night but asside from the HR and the single, the problems came from little dinks, dribbles and dying quails the Cubs hitters put out there. If Phillips hadn’t made the play he did, the game would have been lost.

    Most of the hitters Cordero faced were overmatched but they did put the bat on the ball and anything can happen after that. Rolen and Janish helped them out after that.

    • pinson343

      Cordero’s control was not what it should have been last night but aside from the HR and the single, the problems came from little dinks, dribbles and dying quails the Cubs hitters put out there.

      Cordero deserves credit for a 4 out save, arguably a 5 out save. The problem with his pitching was the HR to Lee and the near HR to Ramirez.

      As the inning went along, his velocity went up. It was a tough nite to get warm.

      It’s mentally tough for a pitcher in a save situation to have an error made on an easy ground ball with 2 outs in the 9th. Then Janish’s dropping the ball on the next play made it tougher yet.
      A few years ago, after Brandon Larson made an error with 2 outs in the 9th in a save situation, the Reds still led but the next batter, Bill Hall, hit a game winning HR off Danny Graves.

  13. lukeukcrazy

    I thought we would have better defense with Janish and Hanigan.

  14. lukeukcrazy

    The Reds are 1 game back behind the Cardinals and are on a winning streak of 2.

    Reds PROBABLE PITCHERS

    Saturday, April 10 Great American Ball Park | 1:10 PM ET

    Carlos Zambrano, RHP (0-1, 54.00) Aaron Harang, (0-1,5.40)
    Cubs (1-3) @
    Reds (2-2)

    Scouting Report:
    Cubs: Zambrano struggled in his sixth Opening Day start, lasting just 1 1/3 innings against the Braves. That matched the shortest outing of his career. He gave up eight runs, six hits and two walks — very unimpressive for the ace of the Cubs staff. Big Z said the problem was location. He fell behind in the count. Zambrano is smart enough and talented enough to correct the mistakes. Last year, he was 1-1 with a 1.98 ERA in two starts against the Reds.

    Reds: During his Opening Day start on Monday — an 11-6 loss to the Cardinals — Harang gave up four runs (three earned) over five innings, with two walks, three strikeouts and two home runs. He said he made only two mistakes, which happened to be the home run pitches. In the first inning with two outs and two strikes, Albert Pujols slugged a fastball over the plate for a solo home run to center field. Colby Rasmus hit a solo homer in the top of the fourth to right field. Harang still had good velocity, in the 93-94 mph, which has the Reds optimistic that he is in position to be better than last year.

    Sunday, April 11 Great American Ball Park | 1:10 PM ET

    Tom Gorzelanny, LHP (0-0, -.–)
    Cubs (1-3) @ Mike Leake, RHP (0-0, -.–)
    Reds (2-2)

    Scouting Report:
    Cubs: Gorzelanny won a spot in the rotation over Sean Marshall, but both pitched well. Lou Piniella wanted to have at least one lefty in the rotation while the team waits for Ted Lilly to return from shoulder surgery. Gorzelanny has been a starter most of his career. Last season with the Cubs, he was 4-2 with a 5.63 ERA in 13 games (seven starts). The Evergreen Park, Ill., native has a 3-2 record and 6.00 ERA in six career games vs. the Reds. Last year, the lefty did much better on the road, posting a 5-2 record and 4.22 ERA away from home.

    Reds: Leake will be making his Major League debut and will be the first Drafted starting pitcher since Jim Abbott in 1988 to make the leap with no stop in the Minor Leagues. Leake won the fifth starter’s job over Aroldis Chapman and lefty prospect Travis Wood during camp by going 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in six spring games, including two starts. He allowed 16 hits, four walks and had 10 strikeouts over 18 innings. The eighth-overall selection in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, Leake was 16-1 with a 1.36 ERA in 17 games for Arizona State last season.

    Monday, April 12 Sun Life Stadium | 7:10 PM ET

    To be announced
    Reds (2-2) @ Ricky Nolasco, RHP (0-0, 4.05)
    Marlins (2-2)

    Scouting Report:
    Marlins: Summing up his first start, Nolasco deserved a better fate than a no-decision and three earned runs. At the Mets on April 7, the right-hander settled into a nice groove and limited New York to one run through six innings. Two walks to open the seventh cost him. And while he exited after 6 2/3 innings, two inherited runners scored. Nolasco walked three and struck out five, while allowing three hits. The right-hander tossed 104 pitches, and he said he was running out of steam at the end. Nolasco prides himself on throwing strikes, and in Spring Training he had just one walk in 25 1/3 innings. In five career appearances, with four starts, vs. the Reds, Nolasco is 1-1 with a 5.11 ERA.

    Tuesday, April 13 Sun Life Stadium | 7:10 PM ET

    To be announced
    Reds (2-2) @ Nate Robertson, LHP (1-0, 1.80)
    Marlins (2-2)

    Scouting Report:
    Marlins: Technically, it wasn’t a quality start, because he only threw five innings. So call it a solid start instead. Either way, the Marlins will take it. Robertson, the former Tiger, made an impressive debut in his first start — a win over the Mets. The 32-year-old lefty gave up one run in five innings. Key was he didn’t walk a batter. What he was upset at himself for was not being able to work the sixth. The reason for that is his pitch count was at 94. Robertson is still building up after a year where he had some injury issues with his shoulder and groin.

    Wednesday, April 14 Sun Life Stadium | 7:10 PM ET

    To be announced
    Reds (2-2) @ To be announced
    Marlins (2-2)

  15. lukeukcrazy

    oops we are on a winning streak of 2

  16. Y-City Jim

    @Steve Price:

    I cannot believe the Janish error was reversed. He made it too the ball easy.

  17. Y-City Jim

    @Glenn:

    Cordero normally is a good reliever but $12 million relievers should make it a lot easier than that mess last night.