Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….
National League Division Series, Game Three
FINAL — 10 innings
San Francisco 2
W: S. Romo (1-0)
L: J. Broxton (0-1)
Reds lead series, 2-1
–Homer Bailey was nothing short of brilliant tonight: 7 innings, one run allowed on one hit. He struck out ten and walked just one. Everyone was on the edge of their seats when Homer took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. Unfortunately, I jinxed it on Twitter and the Giants got a hit.
Still, a spectacular performance by Homer tonight.
–Sean Marshall and Aroldis Chapman were no less brilliant than Bailey, except for the fact that they only pitched one inning each.
–Jay Bruce had the only RBI for the Reds tonight.
–Wow, the offense was just bad tonight. Four hits in ten innings.
–In the tenth inning, Jonathan Broxton allowed the first two runners to reach base, before striking out the next two. Then a passed ball by Ryan Hanigan, of all things, allowed the runners to advance to second and third. Broxton induced a chopper to third by Joaquin Arias; Scott Rolen tried to short hop the ball, but booted it for an error.
To be fair to Rolen, it wasn’t a particularly easy play, but it was a play that Scott Rolen usually makes with no problem. Brutal way to lose.
–I don’t know whether this is a negative or not, but it was a curious situation. In the tenth, as I noted above, the Giants had runners on second and third with two outs. Arias was at the plate, and the pitcher (Sergio Romo) was on deck. The Reds pitched to Arias, and he hit the grounder to third. If Rolen makes the play, we aren’t even discussing this, no doubt.
But why didn’t Dusty walk Arias to get to the pitcher’s spot. There’s no downside to that move. First base was open, it would have created a force at any base. The Giants only had one remaining player available to hit for Romo; if Giants manager Bruce Bochy pinch-hits, it burns their last pinch-hitter and forces them to remove Romo from the game. If Bochy didn’t pinch hit, all Broxton has to do is retire Romo — a relief pitcher — in order to keep the game tied at one.
Seems like an obvious move in hindsight. But we all know what they say about hindsight.
–Brandon Phillips led off the game with a single. A bit later, he took off on a steal attempt of second. The pitch was actually a wild pitch, and Phillips rounded second and tried to advance to third. It was the type of aggressive base-running that the Reds — and BP in particular — have been known for. Unfortunately, BP was thrown out at third.
–Jonathan Broxton is going to give me a heart attack in the playoffs. At some point.
In that first inning, thanks to that play, the Reds got three hits and a walk, but they were only able to scratch across one run. That missed opportunity proved more costly than anyone could have known at the time.
–What can I say? The pitching was excellent (the Giants only had three hits), the offense was terrible. It’s a story that we’ve read before. Reds have a chance to win the series tomorrow.
–So what’s up with the Reds hitting well in a pitcher’s park, but being unable to score at GAB? I don’t like it.
–Attendance was 44,501, and it appeared to be a very raucous crowd. (The only larger crowd in Reds history was the 2010 NLDS game vs. Philly.) Let’s hope tomorrow’s crowd is even crazier.
–Wow, Homer Bailey was just flat dealing it tonight. In command the entire evening. He looks like an entirely different Homer than we’ve ever seen before. At one point, he struck out six Giants in a row, tying a Cincinnati post-season record.
–Some people will argue that Dusty took Homer out of the game too soon. After all, he had only thrown 88 pitches at that point. I find that a difficult argument to make. Homer probably had one more inning in him, and he was throwing well, no question. But the Reds needed runs, and I can’t argue with Dusty’s decision to pinch hit for him.
Also, how much grief has Baker gotten for leaving pitchers in for too long? I think his handling of the staff tonight was very defensible.
–The Reds had just one hit after the first inning.
–Scott Rolen is a Hall of Famer, but his defense in the playoffs for the Reds (2010/2012) leaves a lot to be desired. (Not even going to mention his bat.)
–The game started late because some idiot ran out onto the field…before the first pitch. That’s gotta be some kind of record. Anyway, here’s the moron.
–Some thoughts from Twitter:
Last 3 outings for Bailey: 20 innings, 5 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 26 Ks. #reds
— John Fay (@johnfayman) October 10, 2012
Homer Bailey: 10 K sets Reds single-game postseason record. Old record of 9 was held by Hod Eller and Jose Rijo.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 10, 2012
More on Bailey: 4th pitcher in postseason history with 7 IP, 1 H or fewer, 10 K. (Clemens, El Duque, Mussina the others)
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 10, 2012
Chapman goes 100 100 99 100 for k.
— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) October 10, 2012
–Tonight’s loss is likely to give Walt Jocketty and Dusty Baker a big headache. It certainly will force a difficult decision. We learned before the game that Johnny Cueto is suffering from a strained oblique (rather than just back spasms), and no one sounds confident that he’ll be able to pitch soon. So if Cueto can’t go tomorrow…who pitches?
It’s a tough call. Do they go with Mat Latos, on short rest again? The bullpen is fairly well-rested, if Latos isn’t able to go deep into the game.
Do they go with Mike Leake? That’s the toughest decision. If they remove Cueto from the roster and put Leake in his place, Cueto won’t be eligible for the NLCS roster. Do you want to play in the NLCS without Johnny Cueto? Me either, and I imagine that’s going to be an option of last resort for the Redlegs.
My opinion, based on the limited information I have before me, is that they have to go with Latos. I look forward to seeing what the Reds do.
A win tonight would have allowed the Reds to delay this decision until Sunday, giving Cueto more time to heal and the Reds more time to decide what’s best for the club. In the long run, tonight’s loss may end up stinging more than we know right now.
–Okay, keep those chins up, Reds fans. Cincinnati still leads 2-1, and they’ll have a chance to finish off the Giants tomorrow. Even better, I’m taking my son to the game, so that’s going to be a fun experience for us.
UPDATE: Homer Bailey says that Mike Leake is going to start tomorrow, which means Cueto will be removed from the roster for the NLCS too. I’ll wait for the Reds to announce this officially before I comment.
If I were the Reds, and I wanted to add Leake…I’d think outside the box here and remove Jose Arredondo from the roster. Who cares if he isn’t available for the NLCS? Can Arredondo fake an injury on such short notice?
I may blame Dusty for his inexplicable decision to pitch to Arias after the passed ball. But I don’t fault him for taking Homer out for a pinch hitter in the 7th. The game was tied, and we needed a run. Much better chance of that happening with Todd Frazier coming to the plate than Homer Bailey.
The sad part is, if we were ahead 2-1, or 1-0, then Homer stays in the game. Just goes to show how the little things early, like Phillips’ baserunning blunder or Bailey’s walk of Crawford, affect the way the game goes down in the later innings. As bad as the Reds’ offense looked tonight, we still win this game in regulation without either of those mental lapses early.
I kinda found myself wondering why Hanigan didn’t go out to talk to Homer during the Crawford at-bat. Just to tell him, “Hey, kid. The pitcher is on-deck, so go after this batter and don’t worry about the runner at first.” It just seemed to me that Homer paying way too much attention to the runner, and it made him lose focus on the batter.
If Bailey just goes right at Crawford, just like he did every other batter tonight, then the Giants don’t score that inning.
I would’ve also run Chapman out there again in the 10th. He was dominant in his one inning, and I’m sure he could have gone another. But in fairness to Broxton, he had worked out of his own jam by getting two strikeouts and inducing a weak inning-ending grounder to third, but we all know how that went…
I also thought Leake should’ve been on the postseason roster as well. Would’ve been nice to have him available without having to KO Cueto for the NLCS.
Considering the situation (tie ballgame), I think pulling him was the right move. But if we we’re ahead, I think they leave him in to face the bottom of the order in the 8th, with a very short leash if he allows any baserunners.
I just keep replaying parts of this game over in my mind. Homer was so dominant, why in the world was he nibbling against Brandon Crawford, of all people. It was like he just had a brain fart for a couple minutes, and it cost him a shutout.
Why is Frazier sitting the bench? So Rolen can go 2-11 with a couple of errors? Frazier was a big part of the Reds success when Joey went down & now he has to ride the bench. He should’ve started 1 or even 2 games of this series. Also it couldn’t hurt to start Heisey a game. Stubbs and his 2-12 aren’t exactly setting the world on fire.
On another troubling note, the Reds medical staff or someone in the organization is really dropping the ball. Like Steve said, it couldn’t hurt to have the costless procedure of an MRI done. You would think they would take the proper procedures to diagnose & treat injuries instead of taking a players word for it. They paid Votto over $200 Million then let him play a week on an injured knee. Now they’ve mishandled Cueto, their other best player. What does that tell you? Tells me this gang definitely can’t shoot straight
I’ll be in the minority but no way I take Rolen out now. He knows his error cost the game. You don’t remove an 8-time Gold Glover at this stage. I wheel him right back out there today. I’m rather tired of Drew Stubbs but I also slot him in CF today as well. Dance with the girl that brought ya in Games 1 & 2. You all should be more concerned with who is pitching for us today?
I’m with you. The Reds can absolutely NOT go with Mike Leake. I like Mike Leake but the Giants are due to start hitting and we all know that Leake can be a batting practice dummy at times.
I would go with Latos on short rest. He only pitched 4 innings and 70 pitches in game one so I think he would be fine. If it goes to a game 5 tomorrow (it won’t if Latos goes), then you can bring back Arroyo on short rest as well. We all know that Arroyo has no problem going on 3 days rest.
I just can’t picture the Reds winning a seven game series without Cueto right now.
I know this is crazy talk, but I would almost want Cingrani to start today’s game over Mike Leake. Throw a starting pitcher that nobody has a major league scouting report on, have Latos warming up if he gets in trouble. Call it crazy, but who remembers what Matt Moore did to the Rangers last year? They probably called that move crazy too.
Maybe the idea of losing Cueto is messing with my head here…
I am in minority here it seems. We have a better team. We are going to be playing at home in front of 45,000 wild fans cheering for our team. The team has proved, to me at least, that hey have that “clutch” gene and will come through. The Giants are a good team and sweeping them would have been great but unlikely, especially with all of their post season experience.
Barry Zito is as hitable as Mike Leake can be, and Mike Leake is a bulldog. I’m kinda excited to see what he will do in this situation.
Reds win tonight. Book it.
@Hank Aarons Teammate: I guess we just have to “Trusty in Dusty” then.
Waiting for this announcement on what the Reds plan to do is painful…
Everyone knew Johnny Cueto would get hurt in game one, the writing was on the wall all year. 200+ innings pitched so we knew it, freak injuries are easily predictable in hindsight. Alfredo Simon is on the roster as a long reliever but they haven’t used him – they only trusted Jose Arredondo with a 9 run lead, does suggest to me that Arredondo was more deserving of a roster spot. I thought Arredondo was a waste of a roster spot, and I still feel that way.
Disgruntled fans need somebody to blame and Rolen is an easy target.
Alright, Mike Leake is awful and a batting practice dummy. Homer Bailey, Bronson Arroyo, and Mat Latos, they’ve all been perfect every start all year. Oh wait, people usually want Bailey and Arroyo cut from the rotation and Latos gave up 7 or 8 runs in a game a few times. Arroyo and Bailey already exceeded everybody’s expectations in games 2 and 3, I think Leake can also exceed everybody’s low expectations in game 4. I just hope they don’t have to turn to him because it means giving up on Cueto for the NLCS.
Again, most people couldn’t picture the Reds finishing over .500 with Joey Votto out long term, but they did.
Neither the Giants nor Nationals (who will hopefully reach the NLCS) are very reliant on left handed hitters or susceptible to lefties. Tony Cingrani pitched well in a short time in AA but taking weeks off and starting a MLB playoff game with little to no warning seems crazy, even more so if it means bypassing Mike Leake, who helped the Reds to get here.
If Mike Leake gets the start (and I doubt he will, but who cares) you can be optimistic about the offense – maybe he can pull off a big hit. Maybe Zito will hang a pitch to the opposing pitcher not knowing that Leake hits better than many bench players. I expect a game starting by Leake to be higher scoring than a game started by Latos… for both teams.
Waiting is fine with me. The Reds making a major move (like shutting down Cueto for the NLCS) shouldn’t be done hastily. Waiting gives the Giants less time to prepare.
For all we know we could be facing a bullpen day with Sam LeCure (3 homeruns and 3.14 ERA in 57.1 innings this season), Alfredo Simon (2 homeruns and 2.66 ERA in 61 innings this season), and JJ Hoover. The worst case scenario would be a loss with Latos starting game 5 on full rest.
I was trying to find Rolen’s history against Zito. Anyone know where to find it? I know hw hit one of his HR’s against him earlier this year. I think that alone gets him in the line up today and also the standard “chance to redeem himself”.
I like an angry, focused Scott Rolen today against Zito. I also think Stubbs gets a big hit.
Espn’s Bob Holtzman just reported that Mike Leake will start today’s game, and Cueto will be out for the NLCS if we get there
I am at work getting nothing done waiting too see if Dusty is gonna give the ball to Latos or Leake. Rfay you are right it is painful and scares me… If the Reds want to go the Leake route, I would rather the Reds run LeCure out there for a couple of innings and piece together the game. Leake SCARES the crap outta me…
I think Rolen starts today and has a huge game. Just have a feeling he will want some redemption… As far as Stubbs or Heisey. You have to start Stubbs, you lose so much on defense starting Heisey.
It’s going to be Leake as it should be, I’m just not sure why they wouldn’t remove Cairo from the roster to make it happen.
I was at the game last night, first time watching Broxton pitch in person, and man, it’s freakin brutal. Never realized how slow he works. Reds made dumb mistakes last night and San Fran didn’t – BPs bonehead play, Bailey hitting the light-hitting Crawford, the passed ball, and of course Rolen kicking the grounder. Easy to skewer Baker for not going with the IBB, but it’s hard for me to lay this one on him when if you take away any of those 4 mistakes the Reds win that game.
I’m with you. I can’t wait to see them go out there and play another great game, just like they have all year.
@beavertucky: It has to be a player of the same position. That’s why you are hearing talks of removing Simon or Arrendondo, not Cairo.
@Matt WI: Beat me to it.
Saw a tweet from the Giants beat writer that Cueto was removed from the roster and Leake is in. Crap.
Leake and Latos have both been tabbed as the starter but I won’t believe it until the Reds make an official announcement. Sam LeCure is a candidate to start, and an option who they wouldn’t want to announce until the last minute. Ask him to pitch 3 innings before bringing in Alfredo Simon and JJ Hoover – worst case scenario Latos would start game 5 on full rest.
If Leake is activated hopefully we’ll get more run production out of the #9 spot in the order.
Zito is definitely hittable but the splits do not look great. The only players I noticed with good numbers were Phillips, Frazier and Rolen. Votto and Bruce have both struggled against him. I would not doubt that this played a role in the Giants decision to start him over Lincecum.
Let’s hope this is somewhat a product of small sample size.
Scratch that, Bruce is in good shape. Votto has a .452 OPS against Zito in 18 at bats. Time for that to turn around.
(sigh) Can’t Cairo just suddenly “get hurt” so we can replace him instead? Leake is probably a better hitter than him as it is… I have no idea on Johnny’s health, but if we advance and he’s healthy enough to pitch in the NLCS, it would be devastating to not be able to use him. That being said, I think you need to look at the present, and presently I’d feel more comfortable about our chances with a fully rested Latos in game 5 and Leake tonight. Although, Latos HAS only thrown 9 total innings in his last 2 appearances, so it’s highly possible that he’s rested enough to pitch well tonight. In other news, give Rolen the night off and start Todd. Please. I’m begging you Dusty.
Unfortunately I think we have to pitch Leake tonight. I know that means no Cueto for NLCS (I know he wouldnt be able to start the first couple games of NLCS anyway but who knows, maybe he would be ready by Game 6 or 7 of that series if needed).
But the fact of the matter is the NLCS is not a guaranteed thing for the Reds, Dusty has to focus on winning one game in the next 2 days. Our whole season is down to 2 days and we can’t make decisions assuming a victory tonight or tomorrow and I don’t know about you guys but I wouldn’t be very comfortable throwing all our eggs in one basket and starting Latos on short rest tonight then left with a “Well now what” scenario in Game 5
I would have extended Marshall and/or Chapman past 1 inning. With the uncertainty of the starting staff, I would have been managing last night’s game like it was a game 5(7), not like “we have 2 more chances”. I was confused when Marshall didn’t come out for the 9th, and down right furious Chapman wasn’t left in to face Posey – THE ONLY HITTER IN THAT LINEUP WHO CAN BEAT YOU. Posey is likely the MVP, Chapman has been historically great all year, that’s who I want facing Posey.
@redsfanman: I love your optimism.
Thanks! Going into this series I thought leading the series 2-1 at home would be something to be optimistic about; apparently it’s quite the opposite, and major changes must be made to get the team straightened out. Flip flopping Reds fans aren’t setting a good example for certain politicians.
It would have been until Cueto only threw 8 pitches and is done for the series.
We can talk about who is going to pitch and all the options and possibilities all day. It should be encouraged in fact. This is what matters though.
THE REDS HAVE NOT GOTTEN SWEPT AT GREAT AMERICAN BALLPARK IN 2012. Not once. I have a hard time thinking that it would happen now. There is stuff to worry about, but the big picture strongly suggests these guys can get the job done.
I’d say go with Leake. Barry Zito is 1-1 with a high 4’s ERA, 19 Hits and 10 ER in 22 Innings Pitched at GABP. Not a huge strikeout guy. Translation – if the Reds go up there and swing the bats just like in Games 1 and 2 there should not be much to worry about. If Leake can keep the ball down and induce ground balls he usually has a decent outing. I don’t want to risk anything on Latos with Cueto out for what might be the rest of the playoffs.
Why not just start LeCure, let him go 2. Bring in Simon/Arredondo for 2 each. It’s not like any of them are tired. And if Leake got bombed they would do that anyway, right?
I’m not sure if I’m joking or being serious here.
But if you are going to start Leake, bat him 8th.
Ditto on the joking/serious comment. 😎
@slappy80528: I love this idea… Unless there is ZERO shot at Cueto pitching in LCS, you don’t remove him. LeCure/Hoover/Simon can get the job done for 5-6 innings… I have more faith in that than Leake for any amount of time at this point…
Asking LeCure to pitch 3 innings, Simon to pitch 2 or 3, Hoover to pitch 1 or 2 to get the Reds to the big 3 (Marshall, Broxton, Chapman) doesn’t seem unreasonable to me, especially if LeCure is announced at the last minute. LeCure and Simon have both pitched much better than they’ve gotten credit for this year – combined LeCure and Simon have given up 5 homeruns in ~120 innings (Leake has given up 26 in 179 innings).
If Cueto is showing any signs of improvement and chance of being ready to pitch in the NLCS I think the bullpen option is worth a shot. I’m also not convinced that Mike Leake is a better option for one game than the long relievers, even if he is activated. Either way, whatever they decide will be fine with me. Pros and cons either way.
Has the move been made official? Havent seen it anywhere, other than the “report” on ESPN. Holding out hope until the Reds make the official announcement (which they very well may have and I havent caught it).
I think tonight will be a Leake versus Zito/Lincecum show. If Zito looks bad, they will get Lincecum ready.
I like taking a chance with Leake today. Just be ready to bring in the relievers if he gets in trouble. That leaves Latos to start a key game 5 if necessary. If not, he leads off the LCS, meaning he can potentially pitch 3 times if necessary. He and Bailey are the hottest pitchers going. I would hate to think Arroyo pitches game 1 of the LCS. He was good. But he’s been spotty all year. He could get lit up at any time.
Thank God, Dusty finally came to his senses and started Super Todd. You’d think that Dusty has been trying to power down a potential ROY of the year for the last few weeks. Save him for next year or something. Just too hung up on veterany-ness. I just realized Dusty’s ultimate nightmare — managing the Oakland As. Not to make light of Dusty’s health, but I think managing that rookie-laden roster would drive him up the wall. What would he do without a few washed up major leaguers to rely on like Cairo and Valdez and Rolen?
From another perspective you may notice that Frazier hit 13/72 in September, good for a .181 batting average. Sometimes players get benched when a competitor for their position hits better and has a whole shelf of Gold Glove awards.
Dusty probably knows that Frazier has hit better against LHPs (like Zito) and had prior sucess against Zito (3/5 with a homerun). I don’t think we should expect to see Frazier’s role change – he’s likely to be back on the bench once they’re finished with Zito. In the NLCS he may face left handed starters or play day games after night games.
Here are the career splits against Barry Zito. Seems like the Reds are in a good position offensively, and they’ve shown an ability to hit off Zito in the past. Maybe Mike Leake can be the secret weapon offensively for a big homerun.
Bruce: 5/14 (.357 average) with 1 homerun
Cairo: 4/13 (.308 average) with 1 homerun
Frazier: 3/5 with 1 homerun
Hanigan (who is out of the lineup): 2/8
Heisey (who is also out): 0/4
Ludwick: 6/26 (.231 average) with 1 homeruns and a .355 OBP
Navarro: Never faced Zito
Phillips: 8/19 (.421 average, .520 OBP)
Rolen (who is also out): 2/7 with a .538 OBP
Stubbs: 5/13 (.385 average, .467 OBP)
It’s a good sign when Joey Votto is the worst hitter.
Walt Jocketty isn’t a doctor and by sending Cueto to the DL he made a decision that wouldn’t have been made it the Reds won on Tuesday. Besides, lying about the condition of players isn’t new – remember Joey Votto being out with a mysterious inner ear infection? Jocketty has to say something to shut people up so they’ll quit asking but he’s under no obligation to tell the truth or offer the worst case scenario.