This afternoon’s struggle was titanic and Titanic, here’s the recap…
W: Hughes (1-0)
L: Broxton (0-1)
— Mat Latos, spotted an early 4-0 lead, continued his strong April, taking a shutout into the seventh inning. This start was similar to his first of the season when he gave up a two-run homer with two outs in the seventh inning against the LA Angels. The bullpen implosion cost him a deserved win.
— Shin-Sin Choo continued his blazing start to the season with two hits in four AB. He’s now hitting .354/.483/.604.
— Brandon Phillips had his second three-RBI game of the series.
— Chris Heisey plays 100% at all times. He hustled to beat out a sacrifice bunt in the eighth inning. For all of his weaknesses, you can’t criticize his effort.
— 3B Jack Hannahan continued to impress in a limited role with a key pinch hit single in the eighth inning.
–Ã‚Â Joey VottoÃ‚Â hit his first home run of the season, deep into right-center field, in the ninth inning. Let’s hope that’s the start of Joey being JoeyMVP. It was his third RBI of the season. By comparison, Prince Fielder has 18 and someone named John Buck from the Mets has 19. He also walked three more times (eight BB in the series) to increase his OBP to .534.
— The Reds were swept by the Pirates and finished the road trip with a 1-5 record. After a promising start to the season with series wins against the LA Angels and Washington, the club is now 5-7. This loss was particularly devastating given the complete implosion by the bullpen. Marty called it a “nightmarish afternoon” and he was right. Let’s hope it’s rock bottom.
— Logan Ondrusek, who was pitching in AA a week ago, threw a wild pitch to the backstop on his first offering and on his second pitch, grooved a fastball to Andrew McCutchen who shot it down the left-field line. Ondrusek has no business being in the Reds bullpen. The Reds organization needs to realize this fact. His ERA was very deceiving last year. His BB/9 was 5.10 and KK/9 only 6.42. His FIP was 5.44.
— Lefty Manny Parra provided whatever the opposite of relief is by giving up an RBI single to Gabby Sanchez. He also has no business in the bullpen of a presumed contending team.
— Jonathan Broxton, who had not been used on this road trip, predictably was rusty and gave up
four five six runs in the eighth inning – surrendering the two-run lead and the go-ahead runs.
— Aroldis Chapman ruined his perfect road-trip by actually taking the mound. He surrendered a first-pitch RBI single. He retired one batter on the entire road-trip. He was previously seen when protecting a three-run lead last Sunday. Someone please reassure me again how the Reds have “a better chance to win” this year with Chapman in the closer role.
— Dusty Baker allowed an entire week to go by without using Broxton or Chapman. That’s 100% on him. Everyone, from former bullpen pitchers like Jeff Brantley, to former nothings like the editors and commenters of this blog, knew that was a sure-fire recipe for disaster. And it was.
— Somehow, the Cincinnati Reds had to rely on Logan Ondrusek and Manny Parra to pitch the seventh inning today. That should be unacceptable.
— Shin-Soo Choo was hit by a pitch for the seventh time this season, which leads the major leagues (second place is 3 HBP). The modern record for HBP in one season is held by Ron Hunt, who was hit 50 times in the 1971 season. Choo is on pace to be hit 94 times this season.
— Submitted without comment. From Nick Cafardo (Boston Globe):Ã‚Â The feeling is that if theÃ‚Â TwinsÃ‚Â arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t in the race in early July, Josh Willingham would become available. Ã¢â‚¬Å“HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a power righthanded bat that any contender could stick right in the middle of their lineup and get outstanding production,Ã¢â‚¬Â said one National League GM. Ã¢â‚¬Å“YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d have to give something up, but heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be worth the expenditure. He can really hit.Ã¢â‚¬Â
TOP GAME THREAD COMMENTS
— Eric the Red:Ã‚Â For a team with a manager who likes to bunt, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d think weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be better at it.
— RedZepplin:Ã‚Â Dear Mat,Ã‚Â How does it feel to get run support?Ã‚Â Signed,Ã‚Â The other starters.
— localboy:Ã‚Â Cingrani goes two innings w/ 5 KÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s and is replacedÃ¢â‚¬Â¦..Looks like he is starting for the Reds at home against the Marlins.
–Ã‚Â EdEddandEdWerder: Walks are so unproductive.
— George Culver:Ã‚Â Yep, that week off really did Broxton a lot of good.
— Sergent2: DustyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mismanagement of the bullpen is as obvious as the trunk on an elephant’s face, yet the Reds’ announcers wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t touch that fact with a ten foot pole.
–Ã‚Â CharlotteNCRedsFan:Ã‚Â One thing is for absolute certain: Baker has to start doing a better job starting tomorrow or everything else is meaningless. He should re-evaluate everything and most importantly the man in the mirror. I hope he is up to it because, face it folks, we are stuck with him.