Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Chicago 4
Cincinnati 3
WP: Zambrano (1-1)
LP: Rhodes (0-1)
S: Marmol (2)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Okay, positives. Well, Chris Dickerson had two hits, including a double. Brandon Phillips hit a two-run homer.

–Nice start for Aaron Harang. Seven innings, three runs on four hits. He struck out seven and walked none. I’ll take that from him every time, even though the three homers just killed him.

–Clutch hitter Ryan Hanigan knocked in a run, and threw out yet another runner who was attempting to steal. When are other teams going to learn that you do not run on Ryan Hanigan?

NEGATIVES
–TOS*

–Juan Francisco struck out four times in four ABs to earn the Golden Sombrero. At least he didn’t make an error! Oh well, he’ll be headed back to Louisville any minute now.

–Everything else was pretty much a negative. Arthur Rhodes gave up the run that lost the game, but what was Dusty Baker thinking when he ran Rhodes out there against three straight right-handed hitters? Bizarre.

ETC.
–I’m glad we lost Wladimir Balentien, just so the Reds could keep Juan Francisco on the roster.

As noted in the game thread, the Reds have only 9 BB on the season and have a sub-.300 team OBP. They won the only game they had more than 2 BB. I can’t believe this team’s collective patience has gotten worse. That’s the influence of Dusty Baker at work, folks.

–Rubber game of the series tomorrow. We’ll get our first look at Mike Leake. I’m looking forward to that.

*This Offense Stinks

47 Responses

  1. lukeukcrazy

    Gorzellany LHP(0-0,0.00)aginst Leake RHP(0-0,0.00)(major league debut) I think we’ll have a better day tomorrow. Why did Dusty bring Rhodes in to face three righties.

  2. Jason1972

    How long is Dusty’s leash this year? The man has been an anchor holding this team back since Day 1.

  3. Glenn

    Dusty needs to stop trusting his gut. Its not trustworthy.

  4. Matt B.

    I can’t believe I’m about to defend Dusty, but in his defense, Rhodes was brought in to face the lefty Fontenot, at least initially. Pinella then pinch-hit for him with Jeff Baker.*

    *I still hate Dusty Baker as a manager.

  5. BJ Ruble

    Harang gave up 2 HR, the other was Rhodes. The two HR that Harang did give up were bad mistakes on breaking balls that hung on the outer half of the plate.

    This offense has got to do something. Bruce is hitting the ball hard but right at people. Rolen has done nothing other than game 1. Phillips has done nothing other than his HR tonight. Nobody is on base when Joey Votto hits. It is really frustrating…

  6. BJ Ruble

    I think he ran Rhodes out there because he has only had one appearance this far and Fontenot was due up first.

    The bullpen has been the biggest disappointment so far. They were so rock solid last year and this year they have been a problem every game but one.

  7. Greg Dafler

    The only hitter who has been on base in all 5 games is Stubbs. He has scored at least 1 run in 4 of the 5 games.

  8. TC

    Pardon me for defending Dusty this time, but I didn’t see Dusty do anything worth getting upset about. I’m not sure what’s so bad about running Rhodes out there in the 8th. He’s solid against both righties and lefties.

    IMO, I think Dusty deserves at worst a 0.00 today. The Dusty-O-Meter is useless if we are going to pin every loss on him and I’d really like to feel the metric is unbias. Allowing 4 runs is not a bad day’s pitching (not great either). TOS, yes perhaps so. But most offenses suck against CZ.

    Look on the bright side, the defense was much better, AH got on track today, and other than a couple key missed opportunities at the plate, the team looked better in this loss than they did in last night’s win. I don’t like to lose to the Cubs, but if you have to lose a few games, I can take these kind.

    • pinson343

      Pardon me for defending Dusty this time, but I didn’t see Dusty do anything worth getting upset about. I’m not sure what’s so bad about running Rhodes out there in the 8th. He’s solid against both righties and lefties. IMO, I think Dusty deserves at worst a 0.00 today. The Dusty-O-Meter is useless if we are going to pin every loss on him and I’d really like to feel the metric is unbias.

      I agree with this completely. If Dusty gets a negative score for every loss, we really are just second guessing. And noone who has complained about the Rhodes move has said what Dusty should have done instead. What other options did he have in the 8th inning ? He had Masset lined up to pitch to Lee and Ramirez in the 9th, as Coco was not available. (If he’d used Coco, we’d be screaming.)
      So his options were Rhodes and Ondrusek (or use Masset for 2 innings). The first batter due up was Fontenot. I’d go with Rhodes in that situation.

      The point is that the problem was not an in-game decision, it was a roster decision. We don’t have enough RHed depth in our bullpen. Why not ? Because Lincoln is not a ML quality pitcher, and Ondrusek is unproven. I’m not complaining about Ondrusek making the team, but when you have a rookie you’re not sure about, and you also have Lincoln, it hurts your depth. We had so many better choices than Lincoln, I won’t even go into it. So am I blaming Linclon for the loss ? Not at all, he wasn’t the one who made the roster decisions.

  9. TC

    Oops. I got as far as Jason1972 and didn’t realize BJR basically said the same thing.

  10. TC

    Bruce… I feel for you man. It might help if you take the “Please rob me” sign off your back.

    I hope they send Francisco down tomorrow. I caught myself say “I want this guy completely out of the organization” today at the game before realizing just how stupid that would be.

    I tell you though, the strike out pitch in his last AB looked like it almost hit him from my vantage point. Yet, he still clubbed at it. 😕

    BTW – I think (though it was very close) we outnumbered them in the stands today.

    • Greg Dafler

      I hope they send Francisco down tomorrow. I caught myself say “I want this guy completely out of the organization” today at the game before realizing just how stupid that would be.

      I figure he is one of the guys on the trading block this July if the Reds are still in it.

  11. pinson343

    I didn’t find today’s loss so hard to take, relatively speaking. Of course I hate to lose to the Cubs and I wanted to see Harang get a win. He pitched great except for those two sliders, which he hung badly – they were total meatballs. Rhodes HR pitch wasn’t that bad, just a little too up.

    One Dusty complaint before I sign off. A habit of his I don’t like is using his weakest bats off the bench first, saving the good ones until later. You do want to save your best PHer for the right situation, but Dusty overdoes it. He uses his bench like he expects the game to go 20 innings. The result is that our RHed bat who gets the most PH opportunities is Cairo. Ugh.

  12. Jason1972

    Well, it’s true I suppose, we have to figure that this team has faced a brutal set of SPs in the first 6 games with Carpenter, Wainright, and Zambrano.

    I still can’t stand Baker at all as a manager, so it’s hard to separate that and be objective.

    • The Mad Hatter

      Well, it’s true I suppose, we have to figure that this team has faced a brutal set of SPs in the first 6 games with Carpenter, Wainright, and Zambrano. I still can’t stand Baker at all as a manager, so it’s hard to separate that and be objective.

      I don’t think Baker is the right manager for this team or just about any other team but the reason the offense has struggled isn’t because of Carpenter, Wainright and Zambrano, it’s because they stink and have no idea of what a professional at bat looks like. They didn’t hit Penny or Silva either. There is a lot of criticism currently directed at the Yankees and Red Sox over the length of their games. While I don’t like either team and can’t watch them, if the Reds had the same problem, e.g. their at bats being too long, working counts too much, running starting pitchers out early in games, going through multiple reliever changes thereby lessening the effectiveness of the bullpen later in the series, I would be thrilled. This team does none of that and worse yet they haven’t improved in any of those areas in the two years that Dusty has been here or the time Brook Jacoby has been here. The players on the Cincinnati Reds have their careers damaged by what this coaching staff does. Granted this is just my opinion but if Jay Bruce came up with St. Louis, the Dodgers or Milwaukee do you think he’s making the all star team perenially or being talked about a platoon situation. And to all who haven’t noticed this little Dusty rule here’s another:
      Dusty Rule #1: CF always bats leadoff
      Dusty Rule #2: 2B always bats second (it’s in the name afterall)
      Dusty Rule #3: SP will always pitch betweeen 100 to 110 pitches no matter how effective he is or game situation.

      The quicker this guy is gone, the better this organization will be.

      • TC

        they … have no idea of what a professional at bat looks like

        There it is.

  13. Furniture City Red

    Hopefully Dusty will be gone by late May / early June. Jacoby is a disaster as batting coach – Why didn’t they replace him at the same time the replaced Poole? Check out Jacoby’s career stats – especially BB’s, SO’s and OBP- and you’ll see he’s coaching like he played.

  14. TC

    The following statement is not based in any factual extrapolations whatsoever:

    But I believe the Reds are husseling, they are intense, and they are having fun. But they are not precise or thinking through the game. The players are relying on their athletism and skill, and forgetting that baseball is also a mind game. Pitchers are not the only one who needs to think during an AB. The Reds are playing totally impulsive and reactive. They are not driving the game, but are being driven. The lack of quality (professional) ABs is a symptom of the problem in my opinion.

    Young players suffer from this because it is the last part of the game learned. We understand it from a pitching point of view. We call it the difference between throwing and pitching. I believe hitting has the same component. So does defense to a lesser degree.

  15. lukeukcrazy

    Louisville won 7-1 against Toledo, Drew Sutton homered(1) and Matt Maloney got the win,(1-0).

    Carolina won 3-2 against Birmingham, Cochran got the win(1-0), Chris Denove had an RBI,R, Kahaulelio 2B, RBI,R.

    Lynchburg played 2 games and they won the first game 4-3. Partch got the win(1-0)and Thurman got the save(2), Fellhauer had a homerun(1), Merasco had an RBI.
    Lynchburg lost the second game 9-1 with Frederick getting 8 runs in the 8th, Gonzalez got the loss (0-1), Puckett got the only RBI.

    Dayton 5-4 against Lansing, Infante got the win(1-0), Joseph got the save(1), Wiley had a homerun (1), Henry Rodriguez had two RBIs.

  16. Furniture City Red

    Does anyone else think Pete Mackanin did a good job for the short time he was manager of the Reds? I seem to remember the Reds started playing some pretty good baseball after he replaced Jerry Narron half way through ’07…Always thought he did good enough to come back as manager in ’08 – But no. Somebody thought the Reds needed “a big name” manager. 🙄

  17. Jason1972

    I think what is really tragic here is that there is a very real possibility that this incredible opportunity – talent wise – will slip past the Reds organization because of bad management and coaching. Organizations don’t get the collection of emerging young players that the Reds have very often. What a travesty it will be if this group never comes close to its potential.

  18. Glenn

    Mackanin was a small ball, strong on the basics manager. Many of us liked him and thought he’d have made a good manager, but management decided to go with a “big name”.

  19. TC

    @Jason1972: I find it strange that the minors have better coaches than the big league team. The only reservation is Bryan Price with whom it is way too early to determine his affectiveness.

    I trust that Mr. Jocketty will fix this. The problem is you can’t trade managers. You have to move mountains to unseat a manager.

    Rick Sweet for Manager!

  20. Furniture City Red

    @TC: Found this on the Phillies site (coaches bio)…”…was named interim manager on 7/1/07 to replace Jerry Narron; at the time of his hiring, CIN had the worst record in the majors.
    During his tenure as manager, CIN had the 2nd-best record in the NL Central, including 5 series sweeps.”

  21. Truman48

    Great to see so much passion about our beloved Reds.

    OT: But why did MLB network show the playoff game with the Mets in 1999 as a “great game.” There was nothing great about that game!

  22. Furniture City Red

    @Truman48: I agree – Didn’t we get shutout and only managed to get a few hits? Nothing great at all!

  23. TC

    Shocking fact: The Reds pay more for their manager than the Yankees. Baker is tied for the second highest paid manager in the majors. Less than Torres (7.5 Mil) and tied with Lou (3.5 Mil).

  24. TC

    @Furniture City Red: No, I agree. I was saying I thought he did well. Plus, we didn’t have to be torchered by Naron’s pregame monotone, run-on sentense interview with Marty.

  25. Furniture City Red

    @TC: Yeah, I didn’t think you were disagreeing…I just posted his bio ’cause I thought it was interesting/relevant.

  26. The Mad Hatter

    Yep, I meant SS. And to continue to MacKanin love, I thought he would have made a great manager at that time but instead of get veteran loving Dusty who doesn’t realize that Cincinnati can’t afford the veterans he so loves.

  27. TC

    Bruce is being spelled by Dickerson who is batting… EIGHTH!? Hmmmm. That’s odd.

    Otherwise, it’s a standard Baker lineup.

  28. Furniture City Red

    @TC: There’s probably some really deep Dusty logic going on with Dickerson batting 8th…Don’t spend too much time trying to figure it out or you’ll end up with a brain cramp. 😉

  29. The Mad Hatter

    @TC:

    In Dusty’s mind Bruce needs a day off because he’s not been getting any hits but if this was someone over 28, brought in on a free agent deal with Dusty’s blessing the quote would be he’s really seeing the ball well, hitting it hard right at people and just needs a little luck. He looks comfortable to me.

    As it is, I think it is a good idea of giving him a break with a lefty up today. As long as Jay isn’t sitting as a regular thing against lefties.

  30. Furniture City Red

    Willy T. had a 4 RBI game yesterday for the Nationals…Man I miss that guy – Just Kidding….Also, Hamilton has had a nice opening week for the Rangers…I really do miss Hamilton, but like Volquez too – wonder how his elbow’s coming along?

  31. TC

    😆 😆 😆 Anyone seens the Nelson Cruz vs. Andrew Bailey MLB 2K10 commercial yet. Funny stuff!

  32. 18to88

    in the final 4 innings, the Reds had 13 plate appearances. 1 hit. 1 BB. 8 Ks. A double play.

    TOS indeed.