Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

National League Division Series, Game Four
San Francisco 8
Cincinnati 3

W: T. Lincecum (1-0)
L: M. Leake (0-1)

Series tied 2-2

–None. That was terrible. Just terrible.

–I try not to be too hard on Dusty, but he was unbelievably incompetent tonight. Why he insists on pinch hitting with the likes of Miguel Cairo is beyond me. The timing of pitching changes. The use of Arredondo when their were better options. If there is blame to lay at anyone’s feet in this game, it should be at Dusty’s feet.

–Mike Leake was not good.

–Jose Arredondo was worse.

–The Reds did not hit especially well. They left a ton of men on base today.

–This was a bad game, but I still think it was the right choice to start Leake. The Reds will have Latos on full rest tomorrow and that is cause for celebration.

–The Reds have their backs against the wall now, but this team has fought all year long. I have to believe they’ll pull it out one way or another. It will be all hands on deck and the Reds are better than the Giants. They just have to show it one more time. I’ll be watching and cheering and I hope you will be, too. It’s been a great season and it isn’t over. Don’t despair yet.

44 Responses

  1. vermilion red

    This one is easier to take than last night, as I think winning with Leake starting would have been a bonus. But I am still totally on board with this team. I am betting they are exactly what we thought they were all year. Can’t wait for tomorrow.

  2. jessecuster44

    Win tomorrow, and Dusty looks pretty smart. lose tomorrow, and Dusty looks for a job.

  3. K

    I have only left a game early a handful of times and today was one of them. My family left in disgust in the 7th inning. I knew when Arrendondo came in that the Reds weren’t going to win the game. But I still feel good about the fact that Mat Latos is pitching tomorrow. I hate losing Johnny Cueto but really Mat Latos has been the ace lately. Let’s hope the team we saw in San Francisco and not the one we’ve seen at home is the one that we see tomorrow.

  4. jessecuster44

    Could someone tell me why a GAME 5 is being played at midday? I have to work and can’t watch. Anyone notice that not one of the Reds games have started at a time that is “normal” for the Reds? there’s no conspiracy here, just the idiocy that is playoff baseball directed by Bud Selig.

  5. jessecuster44

    Why didn’t the Reds disable Arredondo instead of Cueto?

    • jessecuster44

      Why didn’t the Reds disable Arredondo instead of Cueto?

      This is a SERIOUS question.

      • jessecuster44

        This is a SERIOUS question.

        Still looking for an answer, here.

      • reds74

        Cause we got to get Arredondo going. We’ll need him in the Series. Big time.

        In order for Arrendondo to go on the dl, he would need to fake an injury. Not a good idea, especially in the playoffs.

      • jessecuster44

        In order for Arrendondo to go on the dl, he would need to fake an injury. Not a good idea, especially in the playoffs.

        Thanks. Bummer that this isn’t the NFL.

  6. Sergeant2

    Tonight was a case of Dusty wanting all his guys to get playing plain and simple.

    • Sergeant2

      Tonight was a case of Dusty wanting all his guys to get playing plain and simple.

      Get playing time is what I meant to say.

  7. jessecuster44

    If the Reds lose tomorrow, their biggest victory would be in the losses that come from it: The loss of Dusty Baker, loss of Drew Stubbs, Miguel Cairo, Jose Arredondo, Wilson Valdez. Not to mention the loss of Todd Frazier the Utility Player and the loss of Cozart hitting anywhere before seventh.

    Stubbs? We gotta get him going!

  8. Omri

    @jessecuster44: You can only replace a player who is injured mid-series. Arredondo was not injured. MLB has to approve any moves, so even if you act like he’s injured, if MLB doesn’t buy it, no dice.

  9. jessecuster44

    Right. I think the real question is, why was Arredondo on the postseason roster to begin with? If he isn’t active, Leake could have had he spot, thereby making it unnecessary to deactivate Cueto for the duration of the NLCS so they could have a starter for Game 4.

    Yes. Better question! Arredawful has been bad all year in important situations.

  10. icee82

    Let’s look back here! Many of the Reds’ legends that we hold in such high esteem is due to their post season heroics. Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, George Foster, Jose Rijo, Chris Sabo, Eric Davis, Joe Oliver, and yes even Billy Bates. I have to believe that tomorrow another Reds’ legend will be born tomorrow. Is it a touch of irony that the key acquisition of the off-season holds the key to our entire season now? You could not write a novel with that much irony. Could Mat Latos become a Reds’ icon tomorrow with the performance of his young life? Could Joey Votto surprise everyone of us by doing something that he has not done since June…hit a key home run with runners on base to cement his role as a Reds’ legend? Could Scott Rolen get up out of the wheelchair, drink from the Fountain of Youth, and come up big in a key situation? Could Brandon Phillips experience his defining moment as a Red by coming up huge in a key moment in the game? Jay Bruce walked off a hero in 2010. Could he walk off a legend in 2012? Could the much maligned Drew Stubbs come up huge and make us forget all of his failures over the past two seasons? Will Ryan Ludwick hoist this team upon his shoulders for his defining moment as a Red? Who will become a Reds’ icon tomorrow? I know that I can hardly wait as the most gut wrenching game in recent Reds’ history will be played tomorrow in truly the biggest game in GABP and perhaps one of the most important games in over twenty years. These are the games that I love but yet hate. There are moments that your you feel like throwing up as you put something over your head because you cannot bear to watch. You sit in front of the television shivering in anticipation and fear at the same time. Am I sadistical or what? Let the game begin!!! Here is my prediction. Jay Bruce was the hero in 2010. I predict that Joey Votto will become a Reds’ legend tomorrow. Remember the home run that Kirk Gibson hit on a bad knee in the 1988 World Series. Many times people that are facing extreme adversity rise to the occasion. He has not had a run batted in during the LDS. I think, I hope, and I pray that Votto or someone will rise to the occasion and become a post season hero!!! #Believe #RedsOctober

  11. RichmondRed

    I know the Reds did not do so well today, but it’s difficult for me to understand why people in Cincinnati were booing the players. This may sound very odd, but I find it actually heartbreaking. You don’t high-fie and cheer for a tough loss, but you don’t boo your own players who have gotten to where they are and like the team chemistry.

    In my very biased opinion, the city of Cincinnati has been gifted with one of the greatest and most storied sports team ever (the Reds, not the Bengals… definitely, definitely not the Bengals). If you’re going to squander that by booing the players at the games you bought tickets for, please email me so I can buy your tickets and go cheer on my team tomorrow. I will drive all night, sleep in my car, and miss a midterm for this just so you don’t have to boo our guys and embarrass your city and your team. The Castellinis have said that their ownership of the team is that of public trust. Watching them, I trust them with this team. Win or lose, this was a great season for the Reds. There will be a sting of failure that each player will deal with differently, as will the coaches and the roster as a whole. They do not need you throwing salt in the wounds.

    I know I’m speakign to the wrong crowd here, but as frustrating as that game was, this is far more bothersome.

  12. RedinSC

    Simple answer…God always smiles on the Cardinals. They are the New England patriots of baseball. That team can collectively fall in a pile of s*hit and come out smelling like a rose every time.

    Pete Kozma = 2012 David Freese. Nuff said.

  13. RedinSC

    I’ve been saying he should have been canned after the 2010 playoff debacle. Obviously this tool has compromising photos of Dusty or Walt, he has life long tenure.

    If the Reds offense does not wake up tomorrow, management needs to think long and hard about Jacoby’s future as Reds hitting coach.

  14. mthomas5810

    There was a lot of poorly played baseball today and there were some questionable managerial decisions, but nobody is perfect, people are human and days like that happen. But I am going to root my heart and soul out tomorrow because Dusty is my manager and these players are my players and they have my full and complete support. Go Reds! Make October 11th one to remember

  15. bart756

    The horrible storm that hit at the start of the season, which caused the sky to fall in July, has now fallen on a bus that the wheels have come off of. Look guys, the Giants are a pretty good ball club. Votto isn’t 100%, they wont even face our cy young pitcher, and this club is right there. I will say not walking Arias is a major brain cramp, and that i thought Leake should have been on this roster, simply for his ability to hit. But, it is what it is, and these guys really laid it out there when Joey went down, so i’ll not give up on them. Remember, those dramatic, incredible, once in a life time games come from situations like this. This time, Ryan Hanigan plays Carlton Fisk, and the Reds walk off to the NLCS.

  16. Jetsons Dog

    @OhioJim: I think you’re dead on that it’s Dusty’s call. The owner has stated publicly that he wants him back, while the GM has been much less obvious in his desires (which I suspect probably differ with the owner’s). Also, regardless of what happens Thursday, the local lapdog media, which never misses a chance to defend Dusty, will do their usual “what do you expect, he can’t play for these guys”, unless they go on to win the series in which case it will have been “Dusty’s genius in handling the adversity that sustained them”. I personally believe that on his best day Dusty Baker is a mediocre manager, but he will be back next year. Take that to the bank.

  17. doctor

    Stubbs and Cozart are only ~10 months different in age. Stubbs turned 28 about 6 weeks ago; Cozart will be 28 in June of 2013.This is why I suggested a couple of weeks ago that Cozart’s window of opportunity might be very short and that Gregorius at age 22 and already a better fielder and similar hitter should be given preference in their future planning.

    yes, cozart already 27, and supposedly in “peak” career years, he may improve his hitting/OB% but dont think its going to be by “leaps and bounds”. I think the Reds move of Hamilton to CF, shows they are already comtemplating a Zach/Didi show at SS in 2013+, possibly some type of platoon or maybe move Cozart to 3B and Frazier to LF if Reds are unable to keep Ludwick or find another option for LF.

  18. Scott

    I had no idea that tickets on stubhub would be as cheap as they are. Skipping work in Columbus today to head down to the game.

    Hopefully that drive home is a happy one.

  19. K

    Yesterday the guy sitting next to me said “I just wish I didn’t care so much”. That sums up my feelings. No matter what happens today my weekend plans are not going to change. Tomorrow I will still get up and go to work. Next week whether I am watching post season baseball or not my life will go on pretty much as it has been. But still, I just wish I didn’t care so much.

    Come on Reds, go get em today!

  20. sezwhom1

    Winners win, losers lose. Cincinnati Reds…you’re on the clock starting at 1:07 PM today.

  21. CSharpAJ

    Two things…

    1) I know the Reds have claimed that Rolen and Hanigan not being in the lineup yesterday had nothing to do with Game 3. But am I the only one that finds it pretty coincidental that the two guys whose defensive miscues led to the winning run scored were not in the lineup the next day?

    2) I am thrilled to have Mat Latos going today and believe he’ll do well. But I’m extremely concerned about trying to beat Matt Cain for the 4th time this year.

    I’m still very nervous, but I think the Reds really are in Matt Cain’s head. I mean he’s been their best pitcher until it came to playing the Reds. And I certainly hope that Matt Latos is in the Giants heads. Just typing this out, I’m starting to believe that the Giants and their fans have a lot more to worry about than we do. Come on guys make it so.

  22. lanai1003

    Hi there from sf, it’s funny reading your post because it’s the same crap we bich about in sf, hitter are hack no discipline, no walk, strike out. I had hope for a game 5 after we left att, now its here so amp. just my observation for game 5, sf has better manager, i still like dusty and hes really good, but he hasn’t close the deal yet. he gets u there but cant close. yes lato does well against sf but in the last elimination game against sf he lost. go sf, giant baseball – torture!

  23. DenL42

    Regarding the boos… someone said they were for Baker, not Arredondo. I was there and the boos from my section most certainly were for Arredondo. There were several audible groans when he was announced, and he didn’t fool a single batter. The one out he got was a few feet from being a home run. He took a winnable game and turned it into a laugher in a matter of a couple of minutes. Any boos that were for him, he deserved.

  24. rfay00

    @lanai1003: I’m sorry, but I don’t understand a thing you just said except that you are a Giants fan. Good luck today!

  25. Eric the Red

    @Bill Lack: It is indeed coincidental that Hanigan and Rolen were out yesterday. There’s no way on God’s green earth Dusty dropped Hanigan because of a passed ball. Navarro has been catching Leake, Dusty clearly values his postseason experience, and maybe he wanted some extra power in the lineup. I don’t agree with it, but that’s Dusty. Rolen probably wasn’t ever going to get 5 starts in a 5 game series, but his weakness at the plate–more than the error–most likely ensured a Frazier sighting.

  26. Eric the Red

    If we pull this out, do they drop Arredondo and put Ondrusek on the roster for the next round? I wouldn’t pitch either of them if I could avoid it, but Arredondo was generally better and might get a lefty or two out…

  27. tgarretson82

    Anybody know how to watch the game ONLINE without forking over 5 dollars to MLB for postseason.tv?

  28. Deadair789

    @jessecuster44: a thursday 1pm game is a normal start for most reds games so we have that going for us

  29. RC

    Thoughts on a few things:

    I think the only way Dusty’s not back next year is if he steps down for health reasons. Regardless of what happens today, managers who tie for best record in the NL regular season don’t get canned.

    Yes, you pay your money, you have the right to boo. I have the right to think of you however I think of you for doing so – that’s how it works here in the good ol’ USA. It was an utterly classless thing to do.

    I don’t know what to think about the Hanigan/Rolen-gate thing – both have gotten regular days off every 4th or 5th game during the season, so maybe their off days were already planned… but still…

    There’s certainly a case to be made for cutting Jacoby loose at the end of the season. Or last season. But the Reds’ hitting philosophy comes from the top and goes all the way down – we don’t draft plate discipline, we don’t coach it in the minors, and we won’t hire a new hitting coach who stresses it unless there’s a fundamental change in organizational philosophy. We all hope for that, but we probably shouldn’t expect it.

    dn4192, are you OK? You’re usually the “everything’s OK” guy… come in off the ledge.

    Oh, and GO REDS!

  30. AnnapolisHoosier

    The hitters left too many runners on base. Two of the pitchers were ineffective. The team in general seemed to be going through the motions. That’s mostly what happened.

    Also: This game was managed from the line-up on as essentially one of those “give away” games. Pretty unique approach for a postseason game. Ryan Hanigan can’t catch three games in a row in the postseason?

    Earl Weaver had a saying that when you play for one run, that’s all you get. A new corollary: When you manage for Game Five, that’s what you get.

    Wasn’t the reason that we didn’t use Chapman for a second inning last night that we might need him for today? Where was the “give away Game Four” thinking then?

    Pinch hitting with Miguel Cairo when the game is still close? With Rolen, Heisey, Paul and Hanigan on the bench.

    Using Jose Arredondo in a close game? Raise your hand if you were surprised that the right-handed Giants hitters torched him.

    Mike Leake was guaranteed to give up more runs and end poorly because that is exactly how he was managed. Leake was never, ever, ever, ever going to be replaced in this game until he was in fatal trouble. At no time did Baker have the bullpen up during Leake’s innings until the very end. At a minimum, Baker should have had LeCure up at the start of the fifth inning. That might have saved two runs.

    Today’s game looked exactly like Major League Baseball when one manager is playing for today and the other is playing for tomorrow.

    “There’s always tomorrow.” has, predictably, turned into “There’s only tomorrow.”

    Bingo. I feel the exact same way on all the above.

  31. RC

    THose guys did NOT look like a playoff team that wanted to win a series last night. In the 4th with Leake in scoring position Brandon, Joey, and Ludwick all struck out swinging.

    You’re saying that those three guys didn’t want to get a hit? And what exactly clued you in that Joey wasn’t “focused”? The two hits? If he’d been focused, he’d have gone 5-5?

  32. vared

    Obviously, it’s hard to attribute intent to the booing. My two cents was that the booing in my section had as much to do with Baker’s use of Arredondo as Arredondo’s pitching himself.

    I think you are spot on with this. The disgust was with Dusty’s decision to go with him and then to stay with him when he had nothing. It was clear to everyone.

    On the Votto situation, I sure would like to know if his procedure was botched or if the recovery is just taking way longer than expected. We’ll never know, but something about the whole thing STILL doesn’t set right.

  33. AnnapolisHoosier

    Dusty not walking Arias in game 3 is looking to be the turning point of the series.By not doing so, Lincecum was still available to be used today.All the work that went into chasing Zito was nullified by the Freak.You can almost hear the joy in Bochy’s voice when he talks about that decision.

    This much I believe—our season will boil down to the first 6 innings of tomorrow’s game.Whichever starting pitcher holds the lead after six will likely turn the game over to a lockdown bullpen that will turn the final few innings into a formality.

    Agreed. I said it at the time.

  34. AnnapolisHoosier

    Everyone that’s ever listened to one of our podcasts know that there is no bigger critic of Brandon than myself, but this team, for the past 3 years, has been known for taking the extra base…it’s a source of pride to both our players and the fans. I don’t think it’s really fair to criticize when someone gets thrown out doing what they’ve been doing for 3 years. Bad decision? Absolutely, but out of character for this team (taking the extra base, not the bad decision)? Not at all.

    Completely agree with this

  35. AnnapolisHoosier

    I don’t understand the obsession over the Arias decision. Even if Baker walks Arias, Sanchez might have gotten a hit. He actually has a better split against RHP than Arias does. Even if Broxton would have gotten Sanchez out, the game would still have been tied. The Giants had other pitchers for the tenth inning beside Romo.

    People are talking about this as if it definitely lost the game. It didn’t. Plus, keep in mind that Arias hit INTO AN OUT. But Rolen made an error.

    How can the focus of that play be Baker’s mistake, not Rolen’s? If Rolen had made the play without error, Baker’s move would long have been forgotten.

    Steve I normally agree with you, but not this time. You have to walk Arias. 1) You get Romo out of the game and 2) You make them use their last hitter. I don’t care if Sanchez hits a grand slam it’s the right move to make. It’s really the only move to make. Not saying the Reds would have won (who knows), but you have to make the Giants burn their best relief pitcher and their last hitter on the bench.

  36. RC

    @Matt WI: This whole “wanting it” thing is very insulting to the players. I’m not an athlete, but I’m pretty sure that if I was, and someone came up to me after a playoff loss and said “I guess the other guys just wanted it more”, I’d punch them hard.

    • AnnapolisHoosier

      @Matt WI: This whole “wanting it” thing is very insulting to the players.I’m not an athlete, but I’m pretty sure that if I was, and someone came up to me after a playoff loss and said “I guess the other guys just wanted it more”, I’d punch them hard.

      Completely agree. It’s just plain stupid and wrong. Nobody wants to win more than the guys in the dugout and if you think otherwise then you have never been a part of a sports team.

  37. RC

    @Hank Aarons Teammate: Yeah, also to be fair, there are places where pure desire can make a difference – the trenches in football being a likely example. But like the Sultan just said, hitting a baseball isn’t one of those places. “Wanting it” too much probably just makes you swing at pitches you shouldn’t have.

  38. AnnapolisHoosier

    I’m about to leave for the game, so can’t continue the Arias debate beyond this right now.

    I’m not saying it was the right decision. Only that (a) it wasn’t crazy and (b) it wasn’t decisive. People are treating it like the Reds would SURELY have won if we had just walked Arias. The game would still have been tied even if Sanchez makes an out.

    Arias hit a weak ground ball to our third baseman.

    How would everyone have reacted if Baker had walked Arias (a .248 hitter vs. RHP) to face Sanchez (a .277 hitter vs. RHP) and Sanchez had gotten a hit? Baker would have been killed for that.

    You have to weigh the Romo/bench factor vs. the better split/load the bases factor. That’s a close enough call that I wouldn’t refer to it as “the thing that turned the series around.”

    Rolen’s error was a much bigger factor than Baker’s decision.

    I personally wouldn’t have killed him for it because it was the right play (in my opinion).