Final R H E
  Cincinnati Reds  (38-37) 6 8 0
  Chicago Cubs  (31-43) 1 5 1 
 W: Broxton (3-0)      L: Rondon (1-2)
 Fangraphs Win Probability |   The Worldwide Leader’s Box Score    |   Game Photos

Positives

The Reds have a winning record for the first time in 2014! The Brewers were shutout by Gio Gonzalez. With the win, the Reds are six games behind the Brewers in the loss column and trail the Cardinals by three games in the Division of Death.

Rumors of Chris Heisey‘s demise have been greatly exaggerated. He started the winning two-out ninth-inning rally with a bloop single to right-center. He advanced to second on a wild pitch/stolen base. From there, he scored on a hard ground ball base hit by Billy Hamilton that was just out of the reach of Starling Castro. Hamilton put together a great at bat after two “strike” calls that appeared to be six inches off the ground.

After the offense had been quiet since the first inning, the heart of the lineup finally came through in the ninth. Todd Frazier followed Hamilton’s hit with a single, Joey Votto walked to load the bases, then Devin Mesoraco blasted a grand slam into the centerfield bucket.

Alfredo Simon pitched well enough to win his eleventh game. He gave up one run, five hits and one walk in seven innings. The one run he gave up was to lefty Anthony Rizzo, who reached across to the right-handed batters box to hit a pitch that was a foot off the plate for a home run to left field.

Great defensive play by Skip Schumaker in the bottom of the seventh inning to rob Nate Schierholtz of a single with a runner at first when the game was still tied.

Negatives

None.

Not so random thoughts

Devin Mesoraco’s OPS is now 1.035 compared to Brandon Phillips at .696. That’s a rather large difference between the candidates who could bat clean up. For those who don’t like modern statistics, Mesoraco has 38 RBI compared to 34 for Phillips. And BP has had 140 more AB than DM.

Is there any doubt whatsoever which of them should be batting in the middle of the lineup? No. The question is whether Bryan Price will bat Phillips and Ryan Ludwick sixth and seventh. If he’s serious about accountability regardless of veteran status he should. He should, but I doubt he will.

Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t show up with a deadly cross for the Cubs tonight. As Greg wrote in his excellent series preview though, this isn’t the same Cubs team that the Reds have beaten up the past few seasons, particularly their pitching. You can see why teams are interested in Jeff Samardzija.

122 Responses

  1. vegastypo

    Nice way to start a road trip, don’t want it to turn into a ‘death march,’ eh? …I’m still a little shocked by Simon. Three months now, not such a small sample size, and he’s still getting guys out.

    • jdx19

      Three months is still a small sample size. Alfredo Simon did not all-of-a-sudden go from being a decent bullpen arm to a decent #2 starter on most teams.

      With that said, I’ll take it! I hope he continues to ride the gravy train for as long as possible!

      • jarodwg

        “Alfredo Simon did not all-of-a-sudden go from being a decent bullpen arm to a decent #2 starter on most teams.”

        Actually, that’s exactly what he did. No whether he continues to be a decent #2 starter is yet to be seen.

      • charlottencredsfan

        And how. Guy has been a lifesaver.

  2. Redgamer

    Great job by Mess, got on base every time up. Have to question how a pop up that happened to find a hole at deep second base makes Heisey back from the dead. Unfortunately Skip is not a much better an option.

    • vegastypo

      ah, c’mon, he just means actually getting to play again, Heisey has been milk carton material for awhile now. …

  3. Dale Pearl

    This was one of Simons strongest outings. He was throwing in the mid 90s even when his pitch was over 100.
    I am wondering how the two rookie pitching callups are affecting the mindset of our other middle relievers. Do they have fear of being demoted? I hope so!

  4. Kurt Frost

    Is it an ego thing with Phillips or a fill out the lineup card the right way kind of problem?

      • Mutaman

        Unfair. BP has batted where everthey have had to put him over the years.

      • docmike

        Then he should have no problem batting 7th if that’s where Price thinks he needs to be. Which he absolutely should be.

      • Vicferrari

        As long as its not below 4th, it would be a slap in the face if he complained about it if he turns up batting 6th or 7th; but in the long run does it really matter?

      • jdx19

        Of course he has. He has to or he wouldn’t play. I can guarantee Dusty never tried to pencil him in low in the lineup and I doubt Price has tried to yet.

    • pinson343

      BP doesn’t fill out the lineup card. He has batted in every lineup slot from leadoff thru number 5. He has said he’s OK with batting anywhere from 1 thru 5. Time for him to get used to batting 7th.

      In any case, Mes showed why he should be batting cleanup.

      • Skatedog

        Maybe I missed it or something, but I can’t remember a time BP complained where he batted. Can we wait to he actually makes a issue about something before we start attacking him. I remember about a month ago, as soon as a reporter stated someone was skipping batting practice, quite a few on here couldn’t wait to accuse, & blame BP. When it was discovered that it wasn’t him, not a peep from the accusers.

      • Kurt Frost

        I remember a specific quote from BP stating he’d bat anywhere…1-4.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Have a date on that? Maybe things have changed in his mindset. Possible??

      • Skatedog

        If that’s what he said, then I agree he needs to re-consider & accept the fact with the hitters the Reds have now, he should be agreeable to move to a lower spot. It doesn’t have to be 7th either. For some on here, BP most have rub them the wrong way, because a great deal of discussion about line ups & production seem to lead to criticism or just personal as it relates to BP. And the only reason I bring this up, is to me BP, BH & TF bring a great deal of enthusiasm, fun to the game & are a joy to watch.

  5. hamiltonred

    Love the Christiano Ronaldo ref. Good un

  6. CTRedsFan

    The player the Reds should be interested in is James Russell, he would make a nice addition to the bullpen. Not to mention his previous Reds connection.

    • lwblogger2

      James Russell is a good guy with strong, strong local connections, even if he did grow up in TX. I’d love to see him here. Joe Smith from the Angels would be nice to have too (also a local kid). He just signed a lucrative deal with the Angels though, and he seems very happy with the deal and So. Cal, so don’t think he’s going anywhere.

    • redmountain

      And how do you propose to get him? The Cubs are trying to build a contender, so why would you trade an effective lefty for anything less than a pretty big haul?

      • lwblogger2

        Yeah, Russell is still pretty cheap so I imagine the Cubs would like to get a couple good players for him.

  7. Redgamer

    Negatives could include Billy and Frazier running into outs at the top of a hot hitting order.

    • CTRedsFan

      Also, Frazier at 3rd with 0 outs in the 1st and the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th place hitters failing to get him in. A 2 – 0 lead in the first would have changed the entire complexion of the game. These are the runs the Reds must score if they are truly going to make a run at the Brewers and Cards.

      • Redgamer

        Thats been an ongoing theme for this team for a while now, anyone know these numbers? Are reds worse than most?

      • John Hay

        With runners on 3rd and less than 2 outs, the Reds have the 5th best batting average in MLB. The 6 best OPS. They have 22 Sac Flies which is 9th overall, but I don’t know where that ranks percentage wise.

      • jdx19

        Classic observer’s bias. You guys only watch the Reds exclusively, so you have absolutely nothing to compare to. So, you just assume they must be terrible.

        Thanks, John Hay, for looking that up.

      • Vicferrari

        I know someone else addressed this as well when I brought it up last month and that it seems like the Reds pitchers strand a fair share of runners at 3rd, to me a SF is more about luck, I thought a base hit is more likely but I could be wrong

      • lwblogger2

        Also, Cubs had 2B and 3B with no outs and Simon pitched out of it. Sometimes you just can’t get the job done.

    • GeauxReds

      Billy didn’t really get thrown out. There just wasn’t video evidence to overturn the call. The ump was in a poor position to see if the tag beat him to the bag. Billy wanted the call challenged. If you read lips you could see the ump say to billy “what am I gonna do?”.

    • Vicferrari

      I will give you Frazier as a negative, might need to work on the aggressiveness, But we want Billy to steal, he has just got o get batter at it

  8. sergeant2

    This Cubs team isn’t the type of Cubs teams we’re use to seeing. The “Cubs gonna Cub” doesn’t apply to this version of the Chicago Cubs. The Reds beat a good team tonight, no question about that.

    • Mutaman

      A “good” team that’s 12 games under .500. Same record as that other good team, San Diego.

      • kywhi1

        This is most definitely a better Cubs team than what that organization has been fielding the last few seasons, and certainly more of a threat to cause problems for other teams the rest of this season than San Diego is.

      • sezwhom

        Cubs pitching has been much better but offensively, Rizzo and Castro are good. The rest of team? Not so much.

      • Mutaman

        In 22 games this month the Cubs have gone 11-11. One of those 22 games was against a team with a record better than .500.

      • jdx19

        A Cubs’ team with Samardzija started in a good team. Any team with Samardzija starting is a good team. He’s been one of the 5 best pitchers in the NL over the last year and a half, I’d say.

  9. Vicferrari

    I like to emphasize that Billy’s hit would have a looked a whole lot bigger without the Grand Slam, guy has made huge strides and is coming with big hits late in games. Next step, will he have a good eye to draw the walks to put him up there with the top lead off players?

    • jdx19

      No doubt about that. In terms of importance, Heisey’s 2-out hit, then Billy’s, then Meso’s slam. IMO.

      • Vicferrari

        When Heisey was up, I was pessimitically typing Reds had 4 hits by the 3rd inning (7 of first 14 on base), Reds still have only 4 hits after 9- quite a rally and was looking like a game they would let go – 5 straight got on with 2 outs – Dusty would have lost it (note: trolling for all the Baker sympathizers and people who think Price is just like Baker)

  10. vegastypo

    just saw this on twitter from Joel Luckhaupt …lineup continues to average 6.0 R/G when Votto, Bruce, & Mesoraco all start.

    • Redgamer

      Hopefully that is more than 5 days a week from here on out. Mess may need a day off after the physical beating he took tonight!

      • lwblogger2

        Mes needs to remember to protect that hand. Bench usually put his behind his thigh, especially with no runners on. With runners on, he used to have it behind his glove, which sometimes doesn’t protect so well when you move your glove and a ball gets tipped… I used to actually put my hand behind my back after giving the signs with nobody on. With runners on, I made a fist and tried to keep it right at my hip unless someone started running.

    • Vicferrari

      Thom says, Big deal, would still be 5.5 without Votto

      • pinson343

        Actually 0.5 runs per game is a big difference.

      • Eric the Red

        Yes, that’s why THOM!’s comment was so idiotic. And, yes, he actually made that comment when Votto came back.

  11. Dale Pearl

    Billy hamilton won this game for us offensively. Mesoracos grand salami was the icing on the cake.

    • Vicferrari

      Exactly…huge hit. Showing that he can come up with a key hit in addition to his game changing speed, pitchers may have to think twice about giving him something to hit, what I was getting at when I posted earlier.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Yes, Billy’s RISP line: .333/.362/.431 in 59 PAs

      • Vicferrari

        Also, it seems like he has gotten a fair share of runners in with SF’s as well

    • jdx19

      You’re right. He drove himself in.

      Heisey getting on base allowed Hamilton to come to the plate. Both were equally important in the sequence.

      • Vicferrari

        A little bit easier to get on base with 2 out and no one on, Bily seems to get better with runners on is my impression, Char’s stats back that up or that he just gets lucky in his first 59 AB’s

    • sezwhom

      I agree. Hamilton’s hit to score Heisey was the key.

  12. ohiojimw

    The Hamilton AB in the 9th was huge and the kind of AB that too often in recent years the Reds have not gotten in those those situations and the dire circumstance of two very borderline called strikes putting the batter in a hole.

    Also a very good AB by Votto in the 9th, although once Frazier had moved down to 2nd it looked like Rondo wanted no part of #19.

    • Vicferrari

      If Mes can come up with those hits with runners are, is a pitcher really going to pitch around Votto

      • jdx19

        That’ll definitely have to start entering their minds. Go, Meso!

    • jdx19

      His next two pitchers were in the strike zone; Votto fouled them off.

      It was not a “since 1st base is open” walk. Rondon was trying to get Votto out.

      • ohiojimw

        I think the two foul offs by Votto sealed the deal. The were both pitcher’s pitches and Votto spoiled them easily.

  13. sergeant2

    Sure, you could point out negatives, but you could point out negatives in every win. If your looking for the perfectly played game, you might as well join the “Looking For Bigfoot Team. Go Reds!

    • sergeant2

      By the way OHIOJIMW my comment wasn’t aimed at you at all. From the the way my comment follows yours, it would be easy to assume I was replying to your comment, I was not. I agree with your post 100%.

      • ohiojimw

        That stuff happens. I love this site for the community and content but not the interface. I wish we could edit our comments and use fonts and formatting aside from direct HTML tagging. If there is a way I have missed, somebody please post a link and thanks in advance

  14. Davis Stuns Goliath

    I’ll be the token negative Nancy and call Ludwick leaving the population of Luxembourg stranded in scoring position and batters 5-8 going 1-17 both negatives… but who cares?

    Glad to see Broxton get the W. I know it’s a lousy stat, but I still feel awkward cheering for Simon. I sense from the recaps of his games that I’m not the only one.

    • kywhi1

      Why would a Reds fan ever feel awkward for cheering for the team’s starting pitcher, in this case Alfredo Simon, to get a win? Perhaps I’m missing something here, but I just don’t “get” what is awkward about rooting for Simon.

      • ChrisInVenice

        Look up Simon & legal issues.

      • Mutaman

        Look up “innocent until proven guilty”.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Fascinating concept, eh?

      • SPRO

        Innocent until proven guilty is also what Giants fans said about Bonds.

    • Mutaman

      You’ll feel “awkward” about it but you’ll still do it won’t you.If you honestly believe Simon is guilty of anything, then rooting for him is hypocritical.

    • pinson343

      I didn’t care about which Reds pitcher gets the W, but was glad to see Broxton in good from after his two rough outings. He was terrible against the Pirates. Against the Jays, I think he was pretty much his usual self but just facing better hitters than usual.

    • the next janish

      I agree with you regarding Simon. Until the case is finalized it will be hard not to find my enthusiasm for him not to be muted innocent or not. I do believe it will probably play a significant part in him not being placed on the All-Star roster.

  15. Josh Mohr

    This team is starting to click, look out. We need LH relief help. I hope Walt goes out and signs the Cuban RP as well. My lineup would be:

    Hamilton, Frazier, Votto, Mesoraco, Bruce, Phillips, Ludwick, Cozart

    • TC

      Mine would be: Hamilton, Frazier, Votto, Mesoraco, Bruce, Ludwick, Schumaker, Cozart.

      • Vicferrari

        Are we really saying Schumaker makes this team better than BP? I do not get to see many games and know he made a nice play, but he pretty much has been a slight step above Valdez, Cairo, and Santiago at this point. OPS barely above .500 ain’t cutting it, overall disappointment but I imagine he turns it around.

  16. zgreds

    Simon didn’t get the win, Broxton did.

  17. Ethan

    We’re on pace to be 10-0 on this road trip!

  18. pinson343

    Hamilton is so much fun to watch, so much talent and determination, and quick to smile. His defense in CF has wowed me.

    • lwblogger2

      I’ve been critical of Hamilton at times but his defense has been excellent. The scary thing is that it likely will get a notch or two better before he starts to decline.

  19. pinson343

    Why is OPS called a “modern statistic ?” It’s pretty crude, just a rough measure. In the 1960’s every week the Sporting News published everything you needed to know to compute OPS. I used to do that, as did many other kids back then, who had nothing to do after playing baseball in the afternoon.

    • ohiojimw

      I often think of those paper spreadsheets I calculated by hand (well maybe with an electro-mechanical 4 function or 1st generation electronic calculator) which I told my mother 20 years later to feel free to dispose of and now another 20 years later I wish I still had just to see which of today’s “newfangled” stats I was stumbling into back then……

  20. David B

    Gotta name for Hamilton…’Sandlot’ Billy gotta respect a guy that plays Baseball like he’s playing in his backyard w/ the neighborhood kids…

    • dmburns86

      How about Billy “The Jet”? It’s got a nice ring to it…

  21. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I don’t know about everyone else, but I like what I see from this team. First, I wasn’t expecting that much from the beginning of the season, with losing Choo, replacing him with a rookie who barely saw a breath at AAA, not that good a season at AAA as it was, with 3 top relievers and a major starter on the DL, having to go with a reliever as a starter, etc.

    But, then, from what I see as a mid-season summary:

    * half of our everyday starters barely have 3+ seasons at this level
    * 2 of the other starters would be considered in a slump (even though they are starting to come out of it; talking summary here, remember)
    * one of the other starters is an aging veteran coming off injury playing for a contract
    * the last everyday starter is an admitted “entertainer”, which tells me he isn’t interested in being a member of a team game and in winning games

    On top of this:
    * We’ve had 3 of our top relievers on the DL for much of the season
    * We’ve probably had a young stud who came up through the minors a season too quick
    * We’ve had another young stud who never spent a season in the minors, coming up through college ball
    * We’ve had another starting pitcher who, in my estimation, hasn’t and probably won’t (but hope he does) earn the $25 million annual payday at the end of his new contract
    * Another starter who’s been on the DL since the beginning of the season and, thus, forces up to use a reliever as a starter
    * Even our #1 Ace has been beaten up a little bit in 3-4 of his last 7 starts

    And, all this with a rookie manager.

    And, we are still hanging around 500! Sorry if you don’t agree, but I like what I see. I see more fire in these guys. I’ve said before, I would almost rather see the team go winless, as long as they try to win, putting forth some effort to learn, to correct errors, etc. I am seeing some emotion from these players, etc. I am seeing some hustle, not some of the deadpan baseball we’ve seen the last 3 seasons. I see a young resilient club who simply needs one more thing to put it all together. I still believe they are one hitter away from making the playoffs. But, that doesn’t mean I still don’t see this team making the playoffs. If we can get our bullpen back, people may need to start paying more attention to us.

    Again, in general, as a mid-season summary, from what I’ve seen, they still have to learn to hustle with their head. Like Frazier last night, he should never have been trying to stretch that into a double. From what I can gather, that costs us about 2 runs. I simply felt Frazier should have held even before the OF’er fielded the ball. Now Hamilton? Maybe, but Frazier? I just don’t think he is that quick. Quicker than we think? Maybe, but not that quick, imo.

    • redmountain

      This post confuses me no end. I do not know who you are talking about, could you be more specific?

      • Vicferrari

        not that confusing
        mid-season summary:
        Hamilton, Frazier, Cozart, Mesoraco< 3 seasons as full-time;
        Bruce and Votto are well below career numbers- disppointments;
        Ludwick, BP
        On top of this:
        Chapman, Broxton, and Marshall all missed time; Cingranni came up too quickly; Leake never played minor league ball; Bailey is not a $25 million arm; Latos/Simon; Cueto
        Sounds that this group is actually being managed- amazingly in my eyes since the season was written off at several points

  22. TC

    May I just say this Cubs organization is starting to worry me a bit. The division is already tough with Pittsburgh, St Louis, and Milwaukee. But you add Chicago into the mix next year, and this division brutal.

    • Shchi Cossack

      No question about it, TC. The NLCD is becoming a battleground of superior teams. I’m not sure 2015 will be the breakthrough season for the Cubs with Samardzija not anchoring the staring rotation, but the Cubs will start competing and having a well run organization with deep pockets within the division certainly gives pause.

    • truman48

      Yeah, and soon they should get a nice payoff for Jeff S. They are heading in the right direction. The Central is becoming brutal. It is going to be difficult to get the Wild Card(s) out of this division with the Cubs in the picture as well.

  23. Shchi Cossack

    Wow, the Old Cossack certainly didn’t see Frazier’s out at 2B, trying to stretch a single into a double, as a negative. The result was certainly negative, but the attempt was positive. If the only time a player attempts to take a base is when it’s a sure thing, that’s not aggression. It didn’t work this time and it took an excellent defensive play by the RF and SS to keep it from working. Sometimes an aggressive play doesn’t work out. I didn’t particularly like Frazier’s slide and a better slide would probably have made a difference in the result, but I thought the decision to try was completely justified.

    • lost11found

      I tend to agree Cossack, but I’ll not give an opinion as I havn’t seen it yet.

      Around these parts any out made in front of Ares, Canadian god of OBP, qualifies as TOOTBLAN.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Oh, hi, Cossack. I can entirely agree. If I see mistakes, I would rather see hustling plays than not. I just don’t see that as being one of those times where it should have been done. Now, Frazier’s triple? Yes, hustle that out, you are almost guaranteed an extra base. But, with trying to stretch that into a double, that was too much imo. Doing that cost us two runs by my count. In a close game like it was at the time, that could have been costly.

      It can always be a judgement call or gamble. But, what’s the scenario of the judgement or gamble? Like with Baker, bunting Stubbs over to 2nd would be a horrible judgement call, not even trying to gamble. Let the guy try to steal. If he isn’t adept at steaing yet, train the guy to get to that point. So, I loved to see Stubbs show some hustle and steal a base. But, would I like to see Hanigan steal a base? That wouldn’t be a very good gamble.

      Or, it’s like with a couple of Heisey’s defensive dives for balls. I’m a fan of Heisey, and I will admit there are times he shouldn’t have hustled so much for a ball, missing the ball by 3-6 feet if not more. I would rather see him hustle than not. But, it also helps a lot to be able to tell when you should/could be hustling or not.

      Then, also, sort of a good thing bad thing here. If you “only and always” hustle, then yes, you do force the other team to take away your hustling game. But, then, many times, the other team will be successful in doing that. But, if you can be more choosy when to hustle, like maybe when it is a better gamble to do it or not, then you have the other team always playing a guessing game, “Are they going to go for another base or not?”

      Again, I prefer hustling over not hustling. However, it’s even better when you can recognize when it is a better gamble or not to hustle. Not as much a “sure thing” but when it would be a “good gamble”.

  24. Eric the Red

    1) Nice World Cup reference with “Division of Death”.

    2) One or two more solid games like that from Mesoraco and BP should get used to hitting 6th.

    3) Some really bizarre ball/strike calls in this game, not to mention some very aggressive strike calls on checked swings. This problem will likely worsen when Bucknor is behind the plate.

    4) Speaking of Bucknor, he was wrong on the Hamilton caught stealing. But it would have been tough to see from his angle. I thought the replay showed pretty clearly that Hamilton got in before the tag. That said, I’m glad it didn’t get overturned, because I firmly believe that replay shouldn’t be used to show that a guy snuck past a tag when the ball beats him there by a mile and the play continues normally.

    5) Nice range on that Hamilton grounder in the 1st, Darwin. Him getting the GG 2 years ago because of his errorless streak was ridiculous. He’s a solid fielder, but that’s all.

  25. Drew

    I think we are seeing that when the call was made of “which” catcher to include in the trade for Latos, that the Reds got it right and kept the better choice.

  26. Andy

    If anyone is going to be batting 6th or 7th how about Jay Bruce? He has batted so poorly for nearly 2 months now. Why does he deserve the 5 hole? BP stats are far better.

    • brmreturns

      @ANDY – Really? Have you looked at the #’s? Outside of batting average, Bruce is performing better (in 80 fewer AB’s mind you). Here’s a breakdown (BP’s numbers first, Bruce’s 2nd):

      BA – .274/.224
      OBP – .306/.322
      SLG – .393/.395
      OPS – .699/.717
      OPS+ – 93 / 98
      K/BB – 4.33 / 2.23
      XBH – 24 / 20
      RBI – 33 / 26
      SB – 1-4 / 8-9

      • brmreturns

        Oh, forgot about ISO(.120 considered below average, .145 average, .180 above average) ….. BP = .119 , JB = .171

      • Andy

        BRMRETURNS – Yes, BP has had 80 more ABs, but considering they’ve been batting 4th and 5th respectively, check this stat out. BP has 61 ABs with RISP and is batting .328. Jay Bruce has 55 ABs with RISP and is batting .236. Now you tell me who you’d rather his 5th with those current stats.

      • brmreturns

        Very true, and admittedly Bruce is not having a very good year. However, he is starting to come on stronger (OPS’ing over 1.000 in the last 6 games – BP is at .538). Also, when you factor in the BABIP in those situations, BP is at .327. That is nearly 30 pts above his career average in those situations, so he is undoubtedly bound for regression.

        Honestly, one could find fault with either. I was just pointing out additional stats because most posters don’t know/realize the FULL stats involved before making snap judgements. Ideally, Bruce would increase his average a bit and find some more power coming off surgery. Ideally, BP would be willing to take a BB on occasion to improve his OBP more than 30pts above is BA.

        Either way, both need to improve in a few areas to make the line-up more formidable 1-7.

      • docmike

        The issue is that you’re looking at what each player has done so far this season. Do you really think that Phillips will continue to hit .328 w/ RISP while Bruce just hits .236? If so, then yes, you could justify hitting BP higher in the order. But there is no reason to think that will continue to be the case going forward.

        Even if you assume that Phillips will hit for a higher average the rest of the season, you would also assume that Bruce will hit for much more power. Personally, I want Bruce’s power hitting in the 5-hole.

        It is worth noting that BP’s OPS of .699 ranks 7th out of the 8 regulars (including Ludwick in this), ahead of only Cozart. It would be completely justified to bat Phillips 7th, although I would be fine with him hitting 6th ahead of Ludwick, based on how I expect them to hit going forward.

    • Eric the Red

      If the guy batting 4th is RH, I’d definitely keep JB 5th and put BP 6th. There are a million other reasons, as well, but even if you expect BP’s improved performance of the past couple of weeks to continue the L-R-L-R order batting 3-6 makes sense.

      Incidentally, last night was one of those rare times I was glad Bruce wasn’t batting behind Votto. At the start of the year, with high expectations for Bruce and no great cleanup options, I supported having the two LH hitters batting 3-4. (But not now, with JB not hitting well enough yet.). But if Bruce had been hitting behind Votto last night, the Cubs would have lifted Rondon and brought in a LHP to face him. This correct call is maybe a bit lucky, but Price could easily have used BPs absence/JBs recent signs of life/Mesoraco’s limited success batting cleanup to go back to Bruce behind Votto; trying Mesoraco there again belongs on Price’s “good decision” list to refute those who will again call him a one year and out manager the next time we lose two in a row.

    • Vicferrari

      Bruce is putting up pretty solid numbers since he has been back from the DL, .871 OPS in June- did you miss the Toronto series?

      • Eric the Red

        Did you miss “JB’s signs of life”? 🙂 Also, my point stands: last night, if Bruce were hitting 4th then Rondon would have been lifted with the Reds up one run.

  27. truman48

    Man, that was a great win! Great to see guys coming through in the late innings. Can we just win the next two in this series because Cubs fans are starting to get confident. Reds have done well in Wrigley.

  28. lost11found

    Best thing about this season so far… getting to see Devin blossom in front of our very eyes.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Yes. I still remember someone saying, “The game is too fast for him up here.” Who was that?

  29. Shchi Cossack

    Last night’s game probably represented the best chance for the Cubs to win one game in this three game series. Kudos to Simon for dueling Samardzija to a draw and allowing the Reds bullpen and hitters to prevail in the end. I nkow that I have been one of many voices to complain about the holes in the Reds lineup, but lineup fielded by the Cubs resembles the strainer Mrs. Cossack uses for pasta. Bailey and Latos now need to follow Simon’s example and lead the Reds to a series sweep to start the road trip.

  30. Eric the Red

    I don’t think we’re giving the team enough credit for how they’ve responded to the tough losses to the Pirates and Jays on Thursday and Friday. For anyone who has questioned the mental makeup of the team, these three wins in a row–and more importantly, how they were won–should provide the answer.

    I still think we’re short two bullpen arms since we’re missing a reliable/fully healthy LeCure and a reliable LH reliever, but we have most everything else we need to make a run. I don’t know where those two arms will come from–Parra is more likely to get it together since I really believe LeCure’s problem is physical–but that’s what we need.

    • Vicferrari

      Again, Price deserves some accolades, this is not a great team that can get by with the injuires that they have had, now can he get them to be a contender?

  31. docmike

    I could see Arrieta holding us down tonight just like Samardzia did last night. Bailey will need to be on his game to keep it close and let us get into the Cubs’ bullpen.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Tonight’s game will be the hardest to win of the series. I expect Homer to be excellent tonight, for no other reason than to keep up with Jones and the Cuetos, Leakes and Simons. Have seen Jake on three or four occasions and this guy is very tough.

  32. Eric the Red

    I would really like to see Homer pitch a solid 7 inning (or better!) game. Not 3 great innings, then a bloop, a walk, a homerun, a seeing eye single, a homerun, then 2 good innings. You know what I mean. And if we lose 3-2, or 4-2, or he leaves after 7 and the bullpen blows it, then so be it.

    • Shchi Cossack

      I have come to resolve myself with the bullpen, such as it is, and tolerate, if not expect, a bullpen collapse. I have found that allowing myself that ‘out’ as a fan this season, has made me more tolerant of the team’s shortcomings. I do hope that we get to see more of Jumbo and Contreras soon in order to provide them with a reasonable opportunity to show what they can or cannot do at the major league level. I know the Bats certainly miss Jumbo right now, much as the Reds missed Chapman.

      The Bucos just optioned out Tabata and his guaranteed contract. Sometime you just have to eat a bad contract when a team makes a bad decision and something better is available. Hopefully that lesson is not lost on WJ.

      • lwblogger2

        But still an “option” I believe which doesn’t expose them to the possibility of losing him. Paying a guy to work on some stuff at AAA in this case. Bold move but I could see the Reds not being too afraid to do that.

      • lwblogger2

        Looks like he was “Outrighted” which is a bit different as he is still under team control but can opt-out of the assignment as he has over 3 years of MLB experience. If he decides to opt-out, he can go to free-agency but if I understand correctly, he forfeits the remainder of the guaranteed money. So, more risky than an option but not necessarily eating all the money either. A bold move by the Pirates but one that I could see being good for both Tabata and the team if he accepts his MiLB assignment.

      • ohiojimw

        Tabatha has the remainder of $3M annual salary for this season plus a total $8.5M guaranteed for ’15 and ’16 combined plus a $250K buyout that could be taken by the club at any point after the 2016 season.

        I’d guess he isn’t walking on that kind of money; and, I’d also guess the contract made it likely he was going to clear outright waivers and the Pirates were pretty sure of that (and really would have been OK just having the money off their books if somebody bit on waivers).

  33. Shchi Cossack

    KC DFA’s ourfriend Donnie Joseph. He might be worth a shot as a LH reliever to see if Ted Power can help get his ship righted again. I was sorry to see Joseph go as part of the Broxton trade, but Joseph certainly never panned out for the Royals.

  34. Mutaman

    “Innocent until proven guilty is also what Giants fans said about Bonds.”

    And that’s what they should have said until the time came when he was found guilty. Its a concept that this society is based on. Can’t figure out why some folks find it so difficult to comprehend.