Final R H E
 Cincinnati Reds  (11-14)
0 5 0
 Atlanta Braves  (17-7)
1 7 0
 W:  Thomas (1-0)     L: Hoover (1-3)
 Box Score  |   Play-by-Play    |    Photos    |    Depth Chart    |    FanGraphs Win Probability


Johnny Cueto continued his astonishing start to the 2014 season with a 3-hit performance over 8 innings. He has made six starts, throwing 47 innings. Cueto has struck out 50 and given up only 22 hits. He lowered his ERA to 1.15 and because of his new-found strikeout rate, the run-independent metrics love him, too. His FIP is 2.96 and xFIP is 2.78. 

In two particularly dramatic situations, Cueto struck out Jason Heyward with two outs and runners on second and third in the fifth inning. In the sixth, Cueto struck out Dan Uggla to strand a runner at second. 

Zack Cozart had a single and a walk. Ryan Ludwick had two hits.


The Reds offense struggled for the second consecutive game. It consisted largely of a bunt and popping-up the ball as high as possible and hoping the Braves fielders would lose it in the sky. From the second inning yesterday on, the Reds were shut out for 18 consecutive innings. In the two games, the Reds managed six hits and five walks. The Braves pitchers are good, but there are just too many gaps in the Reds lineup, particularly at the top, to expect consistent offense.

That said, the big hitters in the Braves lineup (Freeman, Justin Upton) came through in this series and the Reds big hitters (Votto, Bruce) didn’t. Freddie Freeman was the villain in today’s ten-inning loss.

Not so random thoughts

Bryan Price got thrown of the game in the first inning when he went on the field to complain about an instant replay review, which is forbidden. The Reds had appealed a pick-off ruling at first base. Homer Bailey was also thrown out over the incident. The replay seemed to show clearly that B.J. Upton was out at first base.  

FWIW (nothing), I completely disagree with Marty crushing J.J. Hoover after the game. The Reds announcer said he thought the play on Upton’s ground ball through the box was easy and one that Hoover should have made. I thought the play was impossible and it was unlucky Hoover even got a glove on it. Otherwise it’s an easy third out by Brandon Phillips who was shaded to the middle of the field.

Top game thread comments

Tony Cloninger: Good thing they have an option for next year on Cueto. More time to figure out what Latos or where he is at…along with what the new cable contract will be.

eric nyc: The BABIP suggests (Cozart)’s still suffering from seriously bad luck. And I guess there have been instances of guys declining suddenly, I doubt you’ll find too many instances of a guy putting up consistent numbers throughout their minor league career, through 3 years of their major league career, and then losing 70 points of OPS+ overnight with no injuries. Now, he may not have a correction in the sense that he goes on a .300 hitting tear to bring his season numbers up to his norms, but there’s no reason to think he won’t at least start hitting like that 80 OPS+ guy again sooner than later and that’s fine for what he’s asked to do.

108 Responses

  1. Paul (@jockopablo)

    As I said in the game thread, when you can’t score a single run, what your pitchers do is irrelevant. I refuse to blame Hoover for this L.

    • Bill Lack

      I’m not blaming him, but as much as I hate to agree with Marty, I thought it was a ball that Hoover should have had, period. Bigger questions were a) in a game like this, why not PH for Cozart in the 5th..did ANYONE other than Price/Bell and Cozart’s family believe he was going to get that run in from 3rd? and b) Why Parra in the 10th to a RH Upton when Parra’s not been able to get anyone out the entire roadtrip?

      • lwblogger2

        With the pitcher on deck, if the Reds PH for him, I simply would have IBB the pinch hitter and worked to the pitcher. I was kind of surprised they didn’t do that anyway. Cueto and Hamilton don’t scare me at all if I’m in the opposite dugout. Of course the fact that they worked to Cozart instead of issuing the IBB in that situation shows the lack of respect that opposing teams have for his hitting ability right now.

      • AnnapolisHoosier

        I thought Parra came in to face Freeman? I was following the game on my phone so maybe I’m wrong.

  2. Vicferrari

    Why were Heisey and Marshall not used in Key situations in the 10th?

    • theybege

      That was my major question of the game too.

  3. Pete Rose

    Sad to say it but I put it squarely on Cozart — again. Man on 3B and less than 2 outs and he can’t even get his bat on the ball. The Reds have to do something about him – and fast before the season slips away.

    • Steve Mancuso

      It’s a team loss. None of them hit when they needed to. Cozart might have had the single easiest chance to win, but every other one of them could have hit a ball in any of the first nine innings to win the game. Cozart was one of only two players who got on base twice.

      • Pete Rose

        Don’t really care how many times Cozart was on base – since in the long run it really didn’t matter because he didn’t score today. When he is swinging at balls when all the Reds need is for him to get his bat on the ball – then it becomes totally inexcusable. Too many short comings on this Reds team (coaching staff is too often the main culprit) – and this season is simply going to bear it out.

      • Kurt Frost

        Once again, people are screaming for Joey Votto to swing at balls with RISP. Should that not be a team hitting philosophy?

      • AnnapolisHoosier

        Kurt, after a week I came to the conclusion that Pete Rose is a troll and no longer engage with him.

    • CP (@nomoresalads)

      Immediate fixes:

      1. Move BP down in order, probably 6th with Pena/Cozart batting 7/8.

      2. Give Bernadina/Heisey Hamilton’s ABs against RHP. I’m beginning to think the Reds will end up with a platoon in CF between Bernadina/Schumaker & Heisey, which is sad.

      That’s it, and #1 really doesn’t matter all that much. This team doesn’t have a lot of options to address the offense.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Good stuff. Coming into the series BHam was 11 for his last 31. Perfect guy to lay this offense starvation blame on. No one hit the Braves this weekend.,not even MVP and Bruce. Maybe, just maybe the Braves are very good at pitching?

      • AnnapolisHoosier

        Agree, although I do think batting him #9 is not a terrible idea. Might take some pressure off of him and after the first inning he becomes the second leadoff hitter.

      • Pete Rose

        Charlotte, Braves have very good pitching. A team with a 2.10 ERA heading into May, good gracious. Plus the Red’s hitters failing to execute and the coaching staff rendering poor decisions.- thus the week-end sweep in Atlanta.

      • CP (@nomoresalads)

        I responded before but the website ate it…

        I’m not blaming B-Ham for the offensive woes, but removing him from the leadoff is an obvious solution they can take. BP is more responsible but the Reds can’t do much with him but ride it out. Schumaker and Bernadina have some capacity to get on base.

        We can cherry pick B-Ham’s numbers all we want, but the fact that he and Zack Cozart have the sam amount of walks on April 27th tells you all you need to know about how B-Ham has performed.

      • charlottencredsfan

        He has been showing continued progress. I’m throwing out the Braves series because nobody, except Ludwick, could hit the Braves. Let’s revisit this next Sunday.

  4. sultanofswaff

    This loss should hang around the necks of every hitter who took an at-bat. Teheran was excellent, but this is the new world order. They have to find a way to manufacture a run somehow. It’s criminal to waste such a dominant performance by Cueto, who was simply a joy to watch.

    • lwblogger2

      Gotta agree with you Sultan. Watching Cueto was a joy and a half. From a purely “I love baseball” perspective, watching Teheran work was also a pleasure.

  5. Ellis Henry

    Who decides the “top” game thread comments? Ernest P. Worrell?

    • Steve Mancuso

      No. If he did, you’d surely see one of the thousands of repetitive Cozart or Homer bashing comments. Or any one written by someone named Vern.

  6. Pete Rose

    Plus the cracker box coaching staff struck again. If its not the 3B coach making very poor base running decisions it’s whoever’s on the coaching staff that decided to bring in Parra to face the Braves hottest hitter. That’s type of decision making is going to cost the Reds big time this year (as it already has) and whoever made the Parra decision today is inexcusable and should have his feet held to the fire and held accountable.

    • AnnapolisHoosier

      Come on man, that move makes total sense. Quit trolling

      • Pete Rose

        Sure, that’s why everyone was in agreement with the move. Or do you not read the other poster’ comments?

      • AnnapolisHoosier

        If you can’t bring Parra in to face a LH batter then he shouldn’t be on the team.

  7. wildwestlv

    Agree on it’s a team loss. Time to go beat up on some losing ball clubs.

  8. yorktownred

    I liked seeing Price getting tossed in the first inning just to make a point. It’s for sure his predecessor would not have done this. They mentioned on the telecast that it was the first time a Reds manager had been thrown out since August of 2011.

      • yorktownred

        Not at all. I think it was a travesty the way the club was previously run. I also believe that Mr. Castellini also applauded the actions of Mr. Price after he protested that atrocious non-reversal.

      • lwblogger2

        If I was Price I would have gotten tossed too. I almost never argue with umpires but when you have replay, and they still can’t get the call right, it’s beyond annoying. I’m anti-replay to begin with and my feelings get compounded when they go to the replay command center and they still can’t get the call right. Inconclusive? In this case, I didn’t think so.

  9. JRS1972

    I blame this loss on Homer Bailey who was out there being a head case, getting ejected, and causing all of the batters to lose their clutch.

    • Vicferrari

      The Reds are paying him $19 million a year to do that, really needed his support on the bench today

  10. John Walsh

    Guys, the Reds are badly injured and have played a brutal April schedule. Several said that if the Reds finished April at .500 you should call it a win.

    They’re literally 3 games under .500 with 3 games left in April against the (Stupid) Cubs.

    Step back from the ledge for a minute. This team will get healthier. Price will continue finding his legs.

    Even more to the point, this series wasn’t a blowout. I could understand complaining if they lost every game by 3 runs. But two of the three games were fantastic battles. I live in DC and saw the (Very Stupid) Nats play the Braves a few times, and those series were NOT that close. Collective deep breath…

      • Pete Rose

        Sure, Reds can beat bad teams – but when it comes to good teams – forget it. Last time I checked close only works in horseshoes and the Reds are definitely not playing horseshoes. Way too many deficiencies on this Red’s team (players and coaches alike) to be considered a serious contenders. Solid .500 team as they have a # of quality pieces – but the sad truth is, its simply not enough to be considered serious contenders this year. Btw, this Braves’ team ERA is 2.10 after today’s shut-out – so it isn’t just the Reds struggling to find a way to beat this Braves pitching staff. And like MLB network recently stated, the Braves are going to set a record for 1-0 wins in a season in 2014. The Reds need solid leadership – yet sadly there is none to be found.

      • lwblogger2

        Ok Mr. Rose, who do you suggest lead the team?

      • lwblogger2

        I’m just hoping they get the game in tonight without too many delays. I’m supposed to be in section 416. Only the 2nd game of the season for me. I’m also supposed to go Thursday.

    • ProspectCincy

      You can say that … but then I can say that the Reds are 3 games under .500, and have two starting pitchers who have pitched out of this world; and a third pitching very very well.

      You can point to the positives, the negatives; but at the end of the day, this team is 3 games under .500, when they need to finish the season ~22 games over. I appreciate the injuries, but you can’t have another month like this if you want to make the post-season.

      • charlottencredsfan

        You want to know what? Yes, you can actually have another month kike this and win division.

        Homer Bailey can still have a decent season, the Reds could somehow find a way to win the division. Some folks act like this is their very first season following baseball. Maybe take a break for a couple of months and then come back when you can have some perspective.

        And we call the Cards WLBs???

      • Pete Rose

        Charlotte – spot on again. The BRM went through spells of .500 ball during stellar seasons – how else did they go 41-9 (32 games over .500) and end up 1 season 42 games over .500 and another 54 games over .500 (truly an anomaly). This team could find itself, by there are definitely pieces that need to step up. Here’s hoping Cozart and Homer take off after the calender turns to May. Hot weather brings out the best in a lot of players. Let’s hope its true with the Reds.

      • ohiojimw

        Reds cannot have another month like they’ve had in April and win the division unless the Brewers have a month as insanely bad as April as been good for them.

        I agree that the month for the Reds hasn’t been a disaster based on what the competition has been and how we all projected. What nobody projected was the Brewers have a +.700 month. That changes everything.

    • kywhi1

      Great comment with advice we all should heed! Thanks for helping keep things in perspective.

  11. Pete Rose

    Friday night the Reds are down a run in the top of the 9th – with runners on 1B and 2B and no outs (with a chance to take the lead) – and yet don’t score subsequently losing by a single run. Today, Reds have a runner on 3B with less than 2 outs and the Red’s hitter strikes out. This Reds team has the talent but is definitely missing something. Have not heard of any of the Red’s hitters being called ‘clutch’. Today – tie game – bottom of the 10th – 2 outs – runners on 1B and 2B for Braves – game over. Good teams learn what it takes to consistently win – bad teams learn how to consistently lose.

    • mwvohio

      I understand that you want something to blame but I don’t think barking up the clutch tree is going to be the way to go around here. You can talk about Cozart all you want but Cozart is down in the 8th spot for a reason. The guys up near Votto who aren’t getting it done would seem a better target. Also it’s popular to blame Bailey so you could go that route.

      I think the Braves are just a good team and they picked a good time to play the Reds. Frazier and Mez both going down, several other key injurites. Bailey obviously in a funk, etc. Reds and Braves are both going to be pretty good this year.

      • Pete Rose

        Simply don’t agree as the Reds don’t look sharp enough – the Reds will be a .solid 500 team in 2014 – while beating the bad teams and losing to the good teams – no better qualifier than that.

      • mwvohio

        It’s a long season. They’re not going to keep losing 80%+ of their 1 run games, it just will not happen unless some truly awful luck manifests. That’s really the entire 2014 season in a nut shell right now, 1 run games not going our way. If we had won even a third of them (not the half number that you’d expect) nobody would be complaining like they are right now. Okay, some people would be but that’s just because people enjoy complaining.

      • drew

        You base this off then less then one month of the season?

      • Pete Rose

        Granted, Votto and Bruce need to (as well as very well could) round into shape. Votto is currently hitting .287 while Bruce .224. Homer has a 6+ ERA. Definitely below their career norms. So sad that the only player that’s been hot and playing above their norms is Mez (and he’s been hurt and on the DL twice) – as good as he is he’s not a .450+ hitter. This team will adjust. Simply a very frustrating week-end. But one thing for sure – better decision making needed from the Red’s leadership – and no more TOOTBLANS or serious errors in judgement from the 3B coach. I hope that coach studies up and improves – as there is definitely room to grow.

    • Richard Fitch

      Please read what John Walsh said above.

      The Braves have the #1 pitching staff in all of Baseball right now. Not the NL. All of Baseball. Beating up individuals for not hitting against this team may make you feel better, but it ignores one of the fundamental realities of the game: hitters struggle against great pitching.

      And the hitters actually did a good job against Santana Friday night. He’s shutting everybody down but the Reds hung a 5+ ERA on him.

      Every time someone evokes CLUTCH, I shake my head. Ask the St. Louis Cardinals this year about clutch. Clutch is not a skill.

      • Kurt Frost

        Now gutiness, grit and sticktoitdaness,…those are skills. And the Cardinal Way (TM).

      • Richard Fitch

        GAR: Grit Above Replacement.

      • Pete Rose

        Definitely agree with you, nice comeback in a losing effort by the Reds Friday night. The Reds simply need to improve on team fundamentals and decision making, please (as the Reds lead the league in being thrown out at home plate). Will gladly admit though, still peeved that the Reds went all in on Bailey and the early results haven’t been more favorable for him or the team. This first month has definitely indicated that during these trying times, the $$ may have been ill spent and the Reds best pitcher may actually walk away after next season. And in time that may be the most difficult pill to swallow.

      • charlottencredsfan

        What do the Braves do with their pitchers? If they picked Ondru, he would have an ERA under 2.00.

      • Janet

        Hey! Lets try to trade Ondru to the Braves! Yeah, that’ll work.

  12. CP (@nomoresalads)

    Immediate fixes:

    1. Move BP down in order, probably 6th with Pena/Cozart batting 7/8.

    2. Give Bernadina/Heisey Hamilton’s ABs against RHP. I’m beginning to think the Reds will end up with a platoon in CF between Bernadina/Schumaker & Heisey, which is sad.

    That’s it, and #1 really doesn’t matter all that much. This team doesn’t have a lot of options to address the offense.

    • Pete Rose

      Sure especially after Billy Ham almost scalded a triple down the 1B line that unless the Braves’ 1B snags the drive as the defensive gem of the game could have been the difference in the game. And as an FYI, Billy Ham has been hitting .270+ since the first series of the year as he has responded very well since the Cardinal series.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Probably be the wise thing to do to not include the Brave series for anybody. The Braves pitching put on a clinic and have been all year. If we only faced the Braves, the Reds would be hitting about .200.

        See you next Sunday when we can resume the conversation.

  13. VaRedsFan

    I love Johnny Cueto as much as anybody. I hope we can sign him to an extension. But what I don’t understand is why people are saying we should have given Bailey’s contract to JC. In the off season..JC was coming off an WHOLE SEASON of injuries as well as the playoffs in 2012. At THAT time, HB had earned the contract and we were all excited. You make the best decision based on the information you have. You don’t tell Homer and Johnny to start pitching and whoever does better gets a new contract. It doesn’t work that way. Enough of the contract talk, it’s in the past, nothing we can do about it. Here’s hoping that Johnny stays healthy and gets his contract as well.

    • Richard Fitch

      People are frustrated. Homer has gotten off to a lousy start. Homer got the money because Homer was first up. If Johnny had been the one in his walk year, he’d have gotten the money.

      The real question is, who are the Reds going to give money to next?

      • drew

        So we are supposed to do something other teams haven’t done? The Braves SP have been top notch so far this season. The season is still young…we just need to relax.

      • Pete Rose

        Part of the game – would give the Red’s a C+ for April – as there are many areas for the Reds to improve on going forward. And Homer’s mental make-up has been called into question for years. And the Reds harp on the fact that they are a small market team. Just hope Homer can eventually positively respond and put all the pressure of a huge contract behind him and pitch like we all know he can. And as most Reds fans know, there is precedence for a Red’s pitcher wilting under the weight of a huge contract (Eric Milton). And to answer the question about Cueto, we don’t know if the Reds will extend him or not – and comparing the early results between the 2 pitchers simply calls into question whether the Reds extended the wrong pitcher. But the sample size is small – we don’t know yet if Homer will eventually overcome his trepidation about his contract and whether the Reds will eventually extend Johnny Cueto. A lot has to be factored into the equation. Homer’s outburst today may indicate the kid’s true level of frustration – and wish him well going forward – talent is there – hope the huge contract isn’t his downfall.

      • charlottencredsfan

        All I will say is that since Bob C. has owned the team, he has signed the guys he wanted to sign. He did not sign a 31-year old outfielder to a long-term contract and I’m glad he didn’t.

    • Pete Rose

      As long as Homer isn’t producing, talk about his contact will continue. Do you work for a Company where people complain about how little they are paid or how much a ‘supposed slacker’ is making? Same exact idea – as people equate how much somebody is paid with how they are producing – same idea. And yes, all the uncertainty can lead to a very frustrating situation for all involved. Let’s hope for the best for the Reds. .

  14. Josh Mohr

    I think Cueto should have been extend before Bailey. I really hope we can keep him long term. This team needs to be more patient.

  15. Reed Tom

    What a horrible loss; Cueto gives up 3 hits and strikes out 11. The 2nd., 3rd, 4th., and 5th. hitters all go for the collar. It’s been true for years and it’s become old hat that the one thing keeping the Reds from the elite rank of teams is a consistent right handed cleanup hitter. If that’s going to happen, it looks like some of the Reds fine pitching will have to be moved or else it’s going to be more one run loses.

    • Pete Rose

      Reds just lost their potential RH clean-up hitter to another injury. Don’t know if it would have happened or not (moving Mez up to hit clean-up) this year but Mez is getting there. So sad that an injury cost the Reds, even momentarily, a chance to see if he’s that RH bat. Could very well be – there are still 5 months left to the season and early returns look good. And as Mez said, he will be back on the 16th day – just love his grit and determination. And maybe the Reds can have a great home stand. Welcome home Reds.

  16. Eric nyc

    Well my prediction of the Reds scoring fewer than 3 runs without Mes is now 2 for 2. The stupid Cubs should help us get right for a bit, but we’d better figure something out before the Brewers series.

  17. jessecuster44

    I love how Johnny Cueto pitches. Reds picked the wrong time to run into a buzzsaw pitching staff, then get two key injuries.

    The bullpen is a disaster – Hoover is lost at sea, LeCure’s velocity is down, Marshall isn’t 100% yet – and this is a bullpen that WJ has constructed.

    The Reds have needed a RH power bat in his prime in LF since Greg Vaughn left in 1999, yet this is not addressed.

    This is a good team with just enough flaws to be not good enough. Expect more of the same all season. It’s very frustrating to be so close to excellent, but unable to get there.

    • Pete Rose

      Please read the preceding comment – thanks.

  18. VaRedsFan

    Hoover and Parra were very solid last year. Chapman went down in spring training. Marshall and Broxton have been good this year. Simon is in the starting rotation. What else would have WJ do?

    The bullpen is a disaster – Hoover is lost at sea, LeCure’s velocity is down, Marshall isn’t 100% yet – and this is a bullpen that WJ has constructed.

    • jessecuster44

      Marshall and Broxton have barely pitched because they’re injury prone. I would not have WJ sign relief pitchers to multimillion dollar contracts. I’d send Hoover down. I would not have released Pedro Beato. I would fire my entire medical staff and replace them with people who are competent.

  19. AD

    Reds are now 3-9 in one run games this season.

    The issue as was suggested before the season; offense. The starting pitching staff is for the most part having an exceptional start to 2014 and will keep the Reds in any game. While the bullpen has struggled some, as they (and the starting rotation) gets healthy, the Reds will be very good at holding teams to under 4 runs a game.

    There were lots of debates in this space in the past few years about RISP and the average batters have in such situations. I am starting to think this team collectively lacks the “swag” factor, if you will. Call it the killer instinct. Living in the south I was subject to watching the weekend series on the Fox Sports South due to MLB blackout restrictions. The Braves commentators said something that blew me away….Brian Price being ejected today was the first time a Reds Manager has been ejected since 2011. It was overall the first ejection since early 2012. The Reds have had 3 ejections in 3 years which is BY FAR the lowest of any team. Dusty Baker was fired for allowing this team to coast and for not setting the right tone…and I still believe we are seeing the same old Reds.

    There was a time in 2009 and 2010 the Reds were the “comeback kids.” Seemingly always at the top of the NL in walk-off wins. They had a “we won’t lose” mentality and you could see it when they walked to the plate. Anyone who has watched the Reds the past 2 seasons has not seen that. You just don’t feel like anyone coming to the plate with a chance to take the lead or win the game has much of a chance.

    Complacency has run rampant in the organization and it was a major reason why Dusty was fired. I am willing to give Brian Price some time, but so far it seems to be the same old Reds and you have to wonder if promoting from within was the right choice vs. going out and getting new blood to provide the spark.

    • jessecuster44

      They need a clubhouse leader, like Greg Vaughn or Scott Rolen.

      • Eric the Red

        As I recall, we choked away the Giants series with Rolen playing 3rd. We also blew 2011 with him on the team. Not a knock on Rolen, just pointing out the limits of the “we need a Rolen” argument.

      • jessecuster44

        Yes – but that’s the playoffs. Look at the regular season. Rolen was a rock in that clubhouse – even though he was hurt and not hitting well. There won’t be any playoffs this year if the Reds don’t get some leadership.

      • Eric the Red

        After winning the division in 2010, the team sleepwalked through the 2011 season and missed the playoffs completely. So that’s an entire season, not just the playoffs. Again, this isn’t a knock on Rolen, or the overall point that leadership is a Good Thing ™. Of course it is.

        This is a team decimated by injuries, that’s played a murderous schedule and the fewest home games in MLB. Health is really important: look how valuable a healthy Cueto is. If he stays healthy, Latos comes back strong, and Billy Hamilton gets to a +.300 OBP, I believe this team will compete for the playoffs regardless of whether the team’s personality changes somehow.

  20. Robby20

    Bottom line is the Reds went into the off season with glaring weaknesses. Nothing was done to address them. Add to that a run of bad luck with lots of injuries and you have what you have, an average major league team. No division winner along the river this year. The season is long I get it, but this isn’t a team that is built to make a run at a title.
    Phillips is in a steady decline, Votto (20 million dollar number 2 hitter) can’t drive in runs in to win games, there is no punch from the right side of the plate and Hamilton is not ready for prime time. He’s even getting thrown out stealing at a higher rate than is acceptable. The season could be 200 games long and it wouldn’t matter. This is not a playoff roster.

    • drew

      So what? Enjoy the season and the number of great players we have. We are only 25 games…let the season unfold and see what happens and remember we dont have to win the division to make the playoffs.

  21. preacherj

    Just an interesting FYI: Today is the first time in MLB history that 9 (and if the Angels game holds, 10) starting pitchers went 7 innings and gave up 3 hits or fewer. Ever. To me, that’s fantastic baseball. But I know for others thats ammo to move the fences and flatten the mound.

  22. ohiojimw

    I liked something I heard Branley say a couple of times over the weekend about the Braves big hitters, Freeman and J.Upton. He said that they weren’t looking for a pitch a little in or a little away or in any particular spot; they were just looking for a pitch to drive somewhere.

    That seemed like a pretty darned good approach this weekend for a team which is offensively challenged except for those two and was facing pretty decent pitching.

    On the Reds side, Ludwick had a pretty good offensive series; and, it looked like he was using the same approach.

  23. Robby20

    Number of great players? Define great. Cueto, when healthy, is a great pitcher. Votto showed flashes of greatness in years gone by. And for some on this site he is still considered a great player. No one else even comes close to being great. I’m not knocking the Reds. I’ll watch 150 games at least this season and enjoy many of them. I’m just being realistic. This is not an above average roster and my frustration is that despite obvious weaknesses nothing has been done to fix the offense for 3 or 4 years now. Management has a history of over rating its in house talent.

    Without significant changes this roster doesn’t enjoy post season action and with a minor league system void of any soon to be ready talent significant changes won’t be made.

    • pinson343

      If Chapman and Latos return healthy, that will be significant changes to the roster. The Reds have a very good pitching staff, good enough to contend for the playoffs.
      You don’t need “great players” to reach the playoffs.

      But if we are talking about greatness, Frank Robinson, he was great, as you seem to know.

    • drew

      Cuteo and votto and Mes and Latos and Hamilton snd Chapman and Bruce and Frazier to just name a few are fun to watch play.

  24. tourniquette15

    Hey guys, haven’t gotten to watch many games this year (stupid work), but I’ve got to agree with Charlotte. Step back, take a deep breath, and remember that it’s only April. Bruce is already better than we’ve seen him before this year with the walks, Cozart is slumping but will more than likely start seeing the ball better, Meso will be back with his insane bat next month, and Price is still trying to figure out this whole “managing” thing. It’s only April guys. Go Reds!

    • Steve Mancuso

      Other positives that I’d add: Cueto has returned healthy, it appears Broxton and Marshall will eventually be every-day relievers again, and Mesoraco showed he has that next level. The Reds have also weathered the Latos injury pretty well so far. Lots of underlying things to be positive about.

  25. pinson343

    Kudos (do people still say that ?) for not pointing a finger at Hoover for this loss. Didn’t see the game but, from what I see of the play by play, he pitched pretty well. Just reading about this game reminded me of the 1982 Reds, when Mario Soto would have to pitch 10 scoreless innings to get a no decision.

  26. pinson343

    I was pleased to see Price make some noise after the missed call that wasn’t reversed, even if it meant ejection. Even Gonzalez, the Braves manager, thought Upton was out.

    The number one surprise for me so far with challenge/review process is that the reviewers are so unwilling to reverse calls, even when there is an angle with convincing evidence. I’ve heard a lot of astonished announcers reacting to calls not overthrown, and MLB video showed they had a point.

    On the non-overturn review that got John Farrell ejected, MLB said the reviewers didn’t overturn the call because they didn’t have access to the video view that Farrell (and everyone in the stadium) did. Say what ?

    • Steve Mancuso

      Agreed. And the mistakes seem to primarily be working in one direction – upholding the original calls. I’m sure they had to agree to use actual umpires in NY to get the union’s consent to the entire scheme. But I’m not sure there isn’t some “I’ve got your back, you get mine” going on. The umpires who review the calls in NY should be held accountable to the public, just like the umpires on the field.

      Agree that it was good to see Bryan Price show some fire. He was still red hot after the game. Don’t know if you saw that interview, but he basically said he knew he was going to get thrown out but wanted to let everyone know the “Reds weren’t going to back down.”

      Hope his players received that message. It’s not one they’re used to hearing the past few years.

  27. mikemartz

    This post is for all the armchair GM’s running the team from home. Hindsight is 20/20, no way does Walt let Homer walk at seasons end and sign Cueto to the 100 million contract before the beginning of this season having seen him on the DL so long last season and no guarantee that he would even pitch well again. What will you be posting next year if Cueto gets paid and Latos is pitching lights out? Yep you’ll be doing the same thing as you did this season, I knew we should have signed Latos first, blah blah blah.
    Walt is doing his job, he doesn’t have a crystal ball to decide who will get injured and who will struggle. Give it time, it’s way too early to jump ship!

    Go REDs!

    • jessecuster44

      Get a RH power bat, Walt. Wash, rinse, repeat.

      • Drew

        Why does everyone seem to think that with just a snap of the fingers ole Walt can get a RH power bat. Exactly whom is this bat and exactly whom do we give up to get said bat? It sure is easy to sit at home and say we need this or that with zero knowledge of what is avaialbe on the market or what it would take to get this RH power bat.

    • Robby20

      Way too early to say whether the Homer signing was a mistake but it is not too early to question WJ’s contracts given to Massett, Madsen, Broxton, Marshall and Phillips to name a few.

  28. MGMcCoy

    What about sending this lineup out there?

    1. Heisey CF
    2. Votto 1B
    3. Frazier 3B
    4. Bruce RF
    5. Ludwick LF
    6. Phillips 2B
    7. Pena C
    8. Pitcher
    9. Hamilton SS

    Not sure how well BH could handle SS (didn’t see him much in the Minors there), but I think the upgrade from Cozart to Heisey would be huge…I also think that Heisey has more speed than he’s credited with and love his new approach…given solid playing time I think he could surprise.

    I am not sure, also, if Brian Price is willing to be experimental enough with his lineup to bat the pitcher 8th, but this would be a great spot for Billy to hit (9th). That said, he did move MVP to the 2 hole where he belongs!


    • mwvohio

      Bad idea. Billy is an error machine at short stop. You would be trading one of our biggest strengths (defense) for a minor upgrade in the lineup.

      • lwblogger2

        Agree with MWVOHIO about Hamilton at SS. He was brutal there. He doesn’t have the hands, his footwork is iffy, his arm is good enough but lacks accuracy (perhaps partly due to bad footwork), and he made horrible decisions. He however a “plus” defensive CF. Hamilton is in the right spot. The biggest issue with Hamilton is he’s being put in a position offensively that he isn’t quite ready for. He may be a leadoff hitter at some point, but he isn’t that hitter yet.

  29. Eric the Red

    2 big questions from this game: 1) How could the umps mess up the original call and the replay on Cueto’s pickoff? Has anyone seen some angle that wasn’t shown during the broadcast? 2) Why Bernadina and not Heisey? I’d rather have had Heisey against their tiring RHP, or against the LHP they brought in when the Reds announced Bernadina. I don’t get why the Reds stuck with Bernadina there.

    Otherwise…another awesome performance by Cueto. There’s no shame in struggling offensively against the best pitching staff so far this year in all of baseball, and it’s a shame that ball ticked off Hoover’s glove. Luck has not been kind to our Redlegs so far this year.

    • Steve Mancuso

      The thing I like about Heisey over Bernadina in that situation (other than that Heisey is a much, much, much better hitter) is that Heisey is relatively match-up proof. Opposing managers will tend to use a RHP against him, and as we know, Heisey does pretty well either way. When the opposing manager is ready to make a match-up move (or not), Heisey seems the right way to go.

      • lwblogger2

        And another thing about Heisey over Bernadina there is that Bernadina is legitimately brutal against LHP and the Reds had to know that a LHP was going to be brought in to face him. With Heisey having pretty much a reverse platoon-split, Steve is right in his point about him being matchup proof.

      • Eric the Red

        Having sent Bernadina up to force the pitching change, they still could have used Heisey vs the LHP (and he could have stayed in the game in LF, since Ludwick had already been pinch run for). If they were hesitant to burn both Heisey and Bernadina because we’d lose flexibility later or would have a problem if an outfielder got hurt then they should just have sent Heisey up and held Bernadina back. It was just really odd to let Bernadina bat there.

  30. al

    I watched all three games and Santana looked like the most impressive pitcher the Braves threw out there. I put this on the Reds offense, not the Braves pitching.

    Hale could barely throw strikes. He was around 90, straight fastball, and nothing offspeed was in the zone. Before the game, Brantly said the thing the Reds had to do was be patient against him for all those reasons. The Reds went up hacking at everything and made him look good.

    Teheran is clearly better than Hale, but again, his fastball is straight and topped out at 92. His slider was good but he never threw it for a strike. His changeup sucked and he barely threw it. What Cueto did was dominate, what Teheran did was let the Reds get themselves out. Also, he had what? 4 or 5 ks? Mostly of Cozart and Cueto.

    I think the Reds should have swept this series. It’s down to coaching and execution, they had the talent to do it.

  31. al

    And I’m going to keep asking this until they address it: where is the accountability on this team?

    Phillips is batting 3rd because of fame, period. That’s not accountability. He’s got a 2.8% walk rate and 4 RBIs. Someone needs to tell him to start being more selective, period. And he needs to be hitting 7th.

    Cozart needs a trip to AAA. He swings at everything and his swing looks terrible. He needs to go get his head on straight somewhere else.

    If the Reds made those two moves, that would be holding players accountable. Until then, this is just the same old stuff repackaged.

    • Drew

      It’s 25 games into the season, why rush to judgement? Also the Reds are not the only team that hits a player more based on past performance then present production. IF you send down Cozart who plays SS? How about we take a breath and allow for things to progress. Heck it’s early, look at the Dodgers, there fans must be out on the ledge given all their talent and monies spent and are just barley over .500.

  32. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I have to say, though, even though I haven’t seen every game, so far from what I have seen, I do like from this new manager and from a team attitude. Price is coming out and arguing calls. The team is running more. Instead of Price going to the papers to complain about what the front office gives him to work with, he looks to make the best with what they did give him. Now if that can just translate into better hitting.