Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Philadelphia 6
Cincinnati 4

W: V. Worley (10-1)
L: M. Leake (11-9)
S: R. Madson (26)
BOX SCORE

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–Brandon Phillips had a couple of hits, including a double. Chris Heisey returned with a bang, hitting a pinch-hit three-run homer.

–Mike Leake was adequate, but not great (six innings, four runs). Jared Burton was simply terrible in his return to the majors, and the two runs he allowed in two-thirds of an inning were the margin in this game.

–At least the Reds snapped their 21-inning scoreless streak.

–…and that was a four-game sweep at the hands of the Phils. Philly just has Cincinnati’s number; over the last six seasons, they’ve won 30 of 42 against the Redlegs.

–Welcome back, Milton:

Milton is sad.

24 Responses

  1. Jason in Toronto

    Can we finally pull the plug on Dusty Baker? All these close losses, all this mismanaging of a pitching staff, all the mismanaging of a lineup…This isn’t a bad team.

  2. Dave Lowenthal

    LaRussa, shockingly, didn’t pitch Carpenter, so it’s Cueto vs Carpenter in the steel cage match tomorrow.

    The Cards are about to sweep the Brewers, who are starting a gag job. The Central race is about to, I think, get a lot closer. The Crew had a huge pitching advantage in each game and stunk the joint up. IMO it’s run differential catching up to them. Today Gallardo managed to K 8 and BB 1 in 4 IP yet give up 8 runs on 4 jacks.

    We’ll see if the Reds go in and play ball or continue to stink the joint up and let the Cardinals pull closer before their return engagement with the Brewers next week.

  3. RedBlooded

    This series plus the post season sweep last year with the Phils says that this team as currently constituted and/or mismanaged is not ready for prime time. There needs to be some changes. I’d start with the manager and then find another dangerous bat and a very good starter.

  4. Derek

    It is time to pull the plug on Dusty Baker. His ways of managing just are not right for this team. He clearly can’t coach young talent the way it has to be done.

  5. mike

    @RedBlooded: 3 of the top 5 starters in the NL went up against an average offense and no starter in the top 20

    I’d say “not ready for prime time” == not as good

  6. mike

    since 2006 (including the playoffs) the Reds are 12-33 vs the Phillies
    2004 was the last time the Reds had a winning record vs the Phillies at 3-3

  7. wildwestLV

    @Dave Lowenthal: But don’t the Crew play the Stros next? They should take care of business in that series if they’re at all worth their hype. We can’t catch the Cards, so I’ll be interested to see if we lay down or put up a fight, but I have no idea what the mental state of this team is right now. Hopefully, for my own amusement, the Brewers sweep will be akin to what they did to us (albeit a little bit earlier in the season) last year, and then the Cards will go on a laughable implosion. I still think the Brewers will win the Central (probably by 5 or 4) but I don’t see them going far into October. It’s only one series, but I watched, or listened to most of those games, and it felt eerily similar to how the Reds finished up 2010.

  8. OhioJim

    @Dave Lowenthal: Dave, want to pick on what you were asking me last night right at my bedtime…..

    In my opinion if the Reds had the Pfils starting staff but the Reds current pen (including Chapman still in the pen), Yes of course the Reds would win some more games but I don’t believe they would say be as good as the Pfils (with their current starting staff) or probably even the Brewers because the the gasoline gang which is the Reds pen (less Chapman and Cordero on most days) would find a way to blow games.

    The context last night was what to do looking to 2012. I think if they bring in one or even 2 quality starters (i.e. solid #3’s borderline to being #2’s), it doesn’t make a material difference in how the team finished unless they also seriously address the bull pen situation.

    Given the limited resources, I would put most of my effort into the pen. Then I would go for 1 solid starter and finally offense because they have offensive options in house. They just have to bite the bullet and do what they have to do to play them.

    • mike

      In my opinion if the Reds had the Pfils starting staff but the Reds current pen (including Chapman still in the pen), Yes of course the Reds would win some more games but I don’t believe they would say be as good as the Pfils (with their current starting staff) or probably even the Brewers because the the gasoline gang which is the Reds pen (less Chapman and Cordero on most days) would find a way to blow games.

      last night I posted a response to this idea and in the end I disagree

      the *major* and I mean HUGE difference between the Phillies and Reds (other than the fun thing you are talking about which is the Phllies rotation becoming the Reds rotation) is the Reds defense.

      the hitting and bullpens for the two teams have been very similar. So similar as to not make a difference in the W-L column. That said, since the trade deadline the Phillies hitting has been better and the Reds bullpen has fallen apart. But on the season they are very similar.

      give the Phillies rotation the Reds defense and I think you’d see even more wins than the Phillies have already

  9. mike

    funny quote from one of the baseball “power rankings” about the Reds

    “Hoping to recreate last year’s playoff feel for fans, Reds get crushed by Phillies.”

  10. OhioJim

    @mike: And that was about what it was like except the Reds did not even have the game the game they “should” have won to hang their hats on this time around.

  11. OhioJim

    @mike: But looking to the future, which pen should the Reds expect to see in 2012 if they essentially stand pat there? The one that was (maybe) OK in the first half or the one that has fallen apart in the second half?

    And the likelihood is that we will never see the defense as good as it was prior in the current window of opportunity. Phillips will be a year older. The guy they project at short will be coming off TJ surgery on a tight time frame to be ready. Rolen will be Rolen, i.e. he will breakdown again. Meso at the MLB level is an unknown; and Hanigan is known to seriously drop off if he has to go over 4 games a week consistently and that was when he was several years younger.

    You may well be correct that with this year’s personnel, the Pfils starting staff makes the Reds a big winner. That (on my part) presumes that some large portion of the pen collapse has been due to overwork in the first half; and I am iffy on that as the prime cause.

    However to base planning for next year on the same premise, is I believe a recipe for a disaster of a different type but similar proportion to this season.

    • mike

      You may well be correct that with this year’s personnel, the Pfils starting staff makes the Reds a big winner. That (on my part) presumes that some large portion of the pen collapse has been due to overwork in the first half; and I am iffy on that as the prime cause.

      I am also, well, even maybe more than “iffy” on that being the primary cause of the bullpen collapse. Actually I don’t believe it at all, until someone can even give the slightest bit of proof.
      but imagine for a second that because the Phillies rotation is SOOO amazing that their bullpen is under-exposed. Which they have been. 3rd fewest innings for a bullpen.
      The Reds bullpen on the other hand has pitched nearly 100 more innings than the phillies bullpen. That’s a LOT. Remove 100 innings. Oh and I’m not talking about being over worked at all…I’m talking about the idea that, for example, Ondrusek and Arredondo would not EVER pitch.
      the Reds and Phillies bullpens have produced at almost exactly the same level. Now imagine for a second Arredondo and Ondrusek never pitched. The Reds bullpen all of a sudden becomes MUCH better. Much much better

    • mike

      But looking to the future, which pen should the Reds expect to see in 2012 if they essentially stand pat there? The one that was (maybe) OK in the first half or the one that has fallen apart in the second half?

      the same thing but different wording.
      who do we want in the Reds bullpen moving forward

      me? LeCure, Masset and Bray are the only ones that should stay
      I’d say Chapman but he should be a starter

  12. Dave Lowenthal

    @OhioJim: If I understand you right, there are two different things here. One is what would conceptually happen if you replaced the Reds starters with the Phils. I say very possibly a world series championship. At the least a playoff team, and that’s the *very* least.

    The other is what the *Reds* should do with limited resources imposed by ownership. That’s a different question. However, given the high variance and unpredictability of bullpens year to year, I think one would be mistaken to put the limited resources there. I agree the bullpen needs a good bit of work, but again, it’s hard to fix that problem. I would go after the starting rotation, period.

  13. Dave Lowenthal

    @wildwestLV: Most likely, yes, the Crew win but the gap closes somewhat. But personally, I just don’t buy that the Crew are that much better than either the Cards or the Reds for that matter. I wouldn’t be stunned (but of course very surprised) if the Cards “miraculously” caught them, which to me, would be a matter of luck catching up with the Crew.

    The Crew just blew three games in which they had huge pitching advantages in each game. Next time the Cards are going to throw the kitchen sink at them, and it won’t be in Milwaukee. Then I believe after that the Crew play the Phils 4 games. It could tighten up quite a bit.

  14. wildwestLV

    @Dave Lowenthal: I think I agree completely. I’ve always felt that the 2011 Crew was a team that is catching all the breaks the 2010 Reds did, and that the 2011 Cards were, more or less, the same team as they were in 2010 (perhaps slightly better on offense). I guess it’s just the nature of the game of baseball…that is, little tweaks, or, luck, one way or the other, makes or breaks a season for a team that’s on the margin, in a division that’s on the margin.

    • pinson343

      wildwestLV: @Dave Lowenthal: I think I agree completely. I’ve always felt that the 2011 Crew was a team that is catching all the breaks the 2010 Reds did, and that the 2011 Cards were, more or less, the same team as they were in 2010 (perhaps slightly better on offense).

      I don’t know if it’s so much a matter of luck but I agree with you that the 2011 Brewers are not much better, if at all, than the 2010 Reds. And the 2011 Cardinals are eerily similar to the 2010 Cards. They sweep the Brewers, with the best home record in baseball, at home and yet they can’t win consistently against losing teams.

      In the end, the Brew Crew will get much the same result as the Reds last year. They’ll hang on to beat the Cardinals by about 5 games, and they’ll get blown away by the Phillies in the playoffs, if they get as far as facing them.

  15. LVW

    Taking my nephew to Houston this weekend; we’ll be at the Brewers/Stros game Sat night.

  16. Dave Lowenthal

    @pinson343: It’s not really that simple, I don’t think. The 2010 Reds had no frontline pitching, and the 2011 Brewers have Greinke, Marcum, and Gallardo, which is a lot different than Volquez, Arroyo, and last year’s version of Cueto. In addition, before this sweep, the Brewers were 8-4 vs the Cards. They’re now 8-7. The Reds were terrible against the Cards head to head last year.

    And, the Brewers aren’t going to face the Phils in any case, at least not in the first round. The Phils are going to face the NL West champion.

    People here think Greinke is kind of a joke, but he’s been massively unlucky this year. I’ll take a guy who strikes out 10 per 9 and walks 2 per 9 any day. He’d be my game 1 starter.

  17. OhioJim

    Interesting comments from Meso about Corky helping him out this year. Whatever the reason for Lewis’ departure, I wouldn’t bet against Corky getting that 40 man spot come the end of the Louisville season. Only makes sense to have another catcher around with all the pitchers they have on hand. Also it is a good way to pay off Corky for his service and take a step toward retaining him next year be that as a catcher/ mentor for Grandal at Louisville or as a coach somewhere in the system.

  18. RiverCity Redleg

    On a positive note (for me at least), I watched the game from the Diamond Seats for the first time (and probably only time) in my life. It’s nice knowing how the other half lives.

  19. rightsaidred

    Someone (Pinson, Sultan?) had said Burton had no business being up here and it could have been a message to Dusty.

    I would say Dusty received that message and put it on display. The funny thing is, I think Jared got the call before anyone else not b/c he was the least prepared for the challenge but b/c Dusty had a comfort level with him out of the pen last time he played in the big leagues.

    Meso had his day to learn the signs and he even worked on his Spanish in AAA, he had better see some time behind the plate tonight!