Final — 11 innings R H E
Cincinnati Reds (22-29) 4 9 2
Philadelphia Phillies (21-33) 5 7 2
W: Garcia (2-1) L: Mattheus (0-1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Outstanding performance by Mike Leake tonight. Leake held the Phillies hitless until the seventh inning, and pitched into the ninth inning, surrendering just two runs on three hits, while striking out nine. Unfortunately, he didn’t get the win because Aroldis Chapman couldn’t close the door.

–Brandon Phillips is no one’s idea of the ideal leadoff hitter, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better performance from a Reds leadoff hitter than we saw tonight. BP reached base four times in five ABs, going 3-5 with a double, a walk, and two RBI. I’ll take that every night, please.

–Joey Votto hit his tenth homer, a two-run shot in the top of the ninth, and went 3-6. Unfortunately, it didn’t secure the win because Aroldis Chapman couldn’t close the door.

–Billy Hamilton made at least two plays tonight that your average center fielder couldn’t dream of making, including one in the ninth that saved a run. I know we are all frustrated when Hamilton struggles at the plate, but try to remember that he brings real value to the club with his glove, even when he’s not hitting.

The Bad
–Have we mentioned that Aroldis Chapman blew this one tonight? Chapman entered the game after Leake permitted two base runners without recording an out in the bottom of the ninth, but with the score still 4-0 in favor of the good guys. A few minutes later, the score was 4-4 and we were headed to the tenth inning.

–Zack Cozart hit 5th in the order tonight. I like Cozart. He’s great defensively, and he’s been better than expected with the bat so far in 2015. I hope he makes the All-Star team this year. But hitting fifth? Really? Come on.

Cozart went 0-6 tonight.

–The Reds lost when Ryan Mattheus couldn’t handle an easy throw from Votto at first base in the 11th, permitting Cody Asche to score the winning run from second base for the Phils. Perfect way for this Reds team to lose a game in extra innings.

–For the second straight night, the Reds snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Against one of the worst teams in baseball. Fun!

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Five years ago, these two teams met in the playoffs. Much has changed since then. For example: these two teams are not good any longer.

–Good to see Leake pitch a good game after his recent struggles. Still, he’s never tossed a shutout. I wish he had tonight.

–This surprised me:

–Jay Bruce made his first error of the season tonight, in the ninth inning. Permitted an extra base. Last night, Bruce lost one in the lights, reminiscent of that fateful play during the 2010 playoffs. Bruce is a great defensive player, but he tends to struggle in Philly, huh?

–People on Twitter were blaming manager Bryan Price for this loss. Aroldis Chapman — Price’s best pitcher — blew the game in the bottom of the ninth with a 4-0 lead, yet some wanted to blame Price. I’m not a fully-paid member of the Bryan Price Fan Club, but give me a break.

Listen, if you’ve read this dumb little website (I’m talking about Redleg Nation here) for the last decade, you know that I’ve never been afraid to criticize the organization or those who are making the decisions. And I’m not going to go out of my way to defend Bryan Price; he’s made some indefensible moves as manager of the Redlegs. But we have to be intellectually honest here. You just can’t blame Price for the way this game unfolded. If Chapman pitches like the Chapman we all know and love, the Reds win easily.

–Michael Lorenzen — a pitcher — was used as a pinch-hitter tonight. And given the state of the Reds bench, he was probably the best option available. This roster is a dumpster fire.

–Yes, you’re right:

Milton was unhappy with Cincinnati's performance tonight.

Milton was unhappy with Cincinnati’s performance tonight.

–This Reds team exhausts me sometimes.

183 Responses

    • jdx19

      It’s insane to think we had 20 ABs with RISP in one game.

  1. Kurt Frost

    With the dumpster fire who should bat 5th?

      • ohiojimw

        They can’t even reconcile themselves to the fact Meso is done for the year. To open a 40 man spot, they released Lutz versus putting Meso on the 60 day DL to create a spot.

        Maybe Meso is off somewhere shagging fly balls and is going to emerge as the LF in another week or so when his minimum DL time is in.

      • I-71_Exile

        Poor Lutz’s career is probably over with TJ surgery during his peak years.

  2. wildwestlv

    Driving around, you can only listen to the opposing team’s broadcast on XM. It’s pretty funny, though, hearing the Phillies guys marvel at how many chances the Reds had, and still ended up blowing it. Last night as well. This team is such a joke. Get the brooms out tomorrow night.

  3. jessecuster44

    No second guessing here. But an interesting observation – After Franco’s HR. Chapman appeared to walk off the mound twds the dugout. Philly announcers questioned whether he thought the game was over.

    If my closer doesn’t know the game situation, I don’t want him as my closer.

    Is it possible that Chappy’s approach, demeanor, and attitude are a little less than professional? Seems like he’s gotten his own way ever since 2013, when he said he wouldn’t start.

    Maybe it is this attitude that may explain his erratic performance.

    • kmartin

      I have an uneasy feeling about Chapman and suspect that there is something physically wrong with him. I have sensed this for awhile now. He has five appearances this year with zero strikeouts. Last year he had two for the entire season. I really do think something is not right with him, could be attitude, but I think it is more physical or something in his personal life.

      • Robby20

        I agree ,which might also explain why he is not used more.

      • Tom Reed

        It’s obvious that Chapman’s rhythm is off. He throws to many high hard ones, and if I was batting against him I would wait him out. He got the ball down last night and the game was tied.

      • Michael E

        When he is low in the zone, he gets hit…he is better with high hard ones, provided of course they are close to strikes or upper strikes. Obviously pitches a catcher has to reach up high to get are too high.

  4. tct

    Guys, it not their year. No sense getting so upset about it. Bad teams find ways to lose games and this is a bad team. They are bad because they have very little talent after their top 10-12 players.

    I,.for one, am excited about a rebuild. Games like this should make it easier for Bob and the front office to realise that is what’s needed.

    Oh, and no mention of Tucker? On base 3 times tonight, and got Leake back on track with his awesome pitch framing and game calling skillz.

    Relax. This is supposed to be fun, even when the team is bad. Hopefully, the farm is going to get stocked up over the next few months and we will get to see some exciting, new young players.

    • RedAlert

      Tct, I have no confidence whatsoever that this organization has a clue how to go about a rebuild – and I certainly do not want Jocketty heading that up – Castellini relying on Walt to carry out a rebuild effort is like someone referred to In the game thread earlier – playing Russian roulette with 5 of the 6 chambers loaded

      • tct

        I don’t have much faith in Walt either. But the plan for this year should be pretty simple. Shop Cueto, Leake, and Chapman, starting right now. Also see what Phillips and Bruce could bring back.Gauge all of their market value, identify some possible prospects that could be,or have been, offered. Then have your scouting people identify which prospects or packages they like the best. The scouting and development wing has been under Buckley for a long time, and I do trust them.

        This off season will be a bit more complicated. Big decisions to make regarding Frazier, Mesoraco, Price, and the direction of the franchise. The thing is, even if Bob still has faith in Walt, which he shouldn’t, I don’t think Walt will really be up for a rebuild. So I don’t think Walt sticks around much longer either way. The hiring of the next GM will be a huge decision and Bob really needs to get that one right.

        The most important thing right now is that the owner recognize the need for a rebuild. That’s the first step, and nothing can happen until he commits to rebuilding. It would also be nice if he recognized that he doesn’t know as much about baseball as he thinks he does and realize that the Reds front office is currently behind the times.

      • WVRedlegs

        Phil Castellini is the GM-in-waiting. Unfortunately.

    • wildwestlv

      The future is Tucker Barnhart. He really needs to be getting more starts. And I don’t think we’ll ever see Mesoraco behind the plate again.

      • jdx19

        Cueto and Chapman to the Cubs for Kyle Schwarber!! 😉

      • Michael E

        Two top pitchers for ONE player? Only if it is Kris Bryant and that ain’t happening. Cueto and Chapman should both bring back two very promising prospects each (think all four entering our top 10 list with two of them in the top 4).

    • Robby20

      How can one be excited about a rebuild when there is no talent in the minors even close to ready to contribute? To make it worse there are very few bargaining chips that will bring major league ready talent to the Reds.

      The Reds will be bad for a long time because the current GM has not kept the system stocked with young talent. So if you think that same GM can lead a rebuilding effort you are an optimist.

      • tct

        First off, the Reds do have bargaining chips. More than probably any other non contender actually. They have a third baseman who is top ten in WAR right now who is fairly cheap and under team control for two more years after this one in Frazier. Despite all the doom and gloom around Chapman, relievers are always coveted and overpayed for at the trade deadline. And no reliever has been better over the last three years. They have Cueto and Leake who would have fetched more last winter, but still should bring back a few really good, if not elite, prospects. Then there is Bruce who is 28 years old and was the best power hitter in the NL from 2010-2013. He’s a hot streak away from being a good trade chip.

        Second, the farm is not amazing, but it’s not as bad as you imply. They have good pitching depth. More importantly they have a director who has proven that he knows what he is doing in Buckley. He has been with the Reds for over a decade, and became the head guy in 2006. From 2006-2012, there were very few teams in baseball who developed as many homegrown, quality big leaguers as the Reds did. The farm hasn’t helped much the last couple years, but remember that Walt traded away a lot of their depth in 2012 and 2013 trying to get that final piece. The roster situation and depth situation would look much different if Alonso, Grandal, Gregorius, Boxberger, Francisco, Wood, etc.. were still here.

      • Robby20

        Don’t see it. Hope you are right. There was an interesting piece on herein the last week or so detailing how little the Reds will likely fetch in return for the players you mention. And most the guys you list as providing depth if they were still here aren’t stars and some of the guys you mention were traded away for guys that are still on the 40 man roster or were used to acquire other players. You can’t count them both ways.

      • Big56dog

        Alonso, Grandal, Gregorius, Boxberger, Francisco, Wood all would have made this roster- name 2 players that you would keep over any of them

      • tct

        The piece about the trade value was spot on. The return on those guys was not very little. Chapman was something like two prospects in the 50-150 range, while Cueto, I think, was a top 100 guy plus a prospect to dream on. Frazier could legitimately bring a package with a top 30 guy plus a couple more top 150 guys. That’s only ” very little” if you were expecting to get a top 10 guy for a few months of Cueto, which isn’t gonna happen.

        I didn’t say that any of those guys who had been traded were stars. I said that they had traded much of their farm depth,.And that is one of the reasons they haven’t had much help from the farm lately. Compared to their peers, the Reds have done an excellent job of drafting and developing over the past 10 years.

      • Robby20

        My point is that the Reds aren’t going to get anyone who will make this team better in 20116 or 2017, and frankly the longer they hold on to Cueto, Leake and Chapman the less they may bring in return. Given Cueto and Chapman both had career years in 2014 it is probably safe to say they should have been moved in the off season but then that would be admitting the team stinks.

        Saying the Reds traded away their organizational depth is a bit misleading at best. The Reds roster is a joke. And in fact haven’t all the players you mention been gone for at least 4 years? That’s plenty of time to have replacements in the system. Kristofer Negron is the best the Reds have to play left field?

      • Michael E

        Robby, how do you know they won’t get someone that won’t help as soon as next year or 2017? There are dozens and dozens of MLB-ready prospects just waiting for a chance. Cueto and Chapman should each bring back at least one MLB-ready prospect and one lower level prospect. Leake and Bruce could bring back another near-ready prospect each (though not likely as talented as the ones Chapman and Cueto bring).

        If trades are done right, we should pass the deadline with at least two three players ready or close to ready to make the MLB club in 2016 and possibly when starting jobs. As for whether these prospects will become good, well, there is risk, but just as much risk as letting players walk and NOT rebuilding.

      • Michael E

        Robby, what is the alternative to a rebuild. There is none that I can see and certainly if you aren’t excited about a rebuild, then you must be absolutely suicidal about keeping the status quo. There is no hope AS is, we need to get younger and cheaper and better (its called a rebuild).

      • Robby20

        Never once said I was against a rebuild. It has to happen. My point is that it won’t be a one or two year process. This team will be bad for a long time because there is little in the pipeline that will help soon and the trade chips the Reds have will not bring players in return who will help in the short term.

    • Big56dog

      I for one am never excited about a rebuild. Rebuilds are what the ’82 Twins did or the current Astros for over half a decade- takes a long time to get good and fans have to watch 5 or so seasons of awful play. The Reds rebuilt the right way in 2012 transitioning Cozart, Frazier, and Mes in the regular line-up with mid- 20 year old pitchers around a few vets like Arroyo and Rolen. Almost had it, severely mismanaged and virtually nobody after that wave. Rebuilds take time and you need a core, the only core outside of a mythical WInkler or Stephenson to rebuild with are nameless prospects several fans think the Reds acquire.

      • Michael E

        The rebuild in this case isn’t a full teardown, 25 minor league journeymen manning the Reds. Why does everyone associate a rebuild with a 10 year run of losing records? A few mismanaged rebuilds (and cheap owners) will have those results, but most are not that bad.

        In this case, we’re talking about trading 4 or 5 players, which a couple won’t be with the 2015 Reds ANYWAY, and getting back two or three near-ready prospects and one or two low level prospects. That means, added in with our own collections of prospects, a very promising (and very affordable payroll) in the near future (one or two seasons).

        The alternative to a rebuild is a slow-steady decline into the worst team in the league. So, would you rather be old with a 70-92 record in 2020, or young with a winning record and many players still cost-controlled?


  5. WVRedlegs

    I hope the writers at RLN will now please, please refrain from calling Aroldis Chapman the “best pitcher in baseball.” I cringe every time I read it on here and some BS stat is congered up and cited in their claim. Chapman isn’t the best pitcher in baseball, he isn’t the best reliever, he isn’t the best closer in baseball, and he isn’t even the best pitcher on this team.
    Over the last 3-4 weeks, Chapman has reverted back to being just a hard thrower. He doesn’t pitch, he just throws as hard as he can. Very few sliders and change-ups.
    Sit on his fastball and wait for it, if he can get it over the plate.
    How many years since they signed this guy, and he only has one pitch.

  6. AARON

    They fooled you all with the Nats sweep. This is still not a good team. They will prove it more often than not.

    Bob, Walt….etc… hello up there?

    • Robby20

      Who’d they fool? Fact is they just lost two games they had in the bag because they don’t make plays when they have to. Pitiful.

  7. ohiojimw

    I take a bit of except to the theory that Price is blameless in this mess tonight,

    If the goal for the night was to win the game for the team, Leake should have never been sent out to start the 9th with a pitch count in excess of 100. If the goal was to try and get Leake a complete game (and hopefully shut out) then OK, you send him out there and whatever happens, happens. And it did.

    In this case, a spent starter allowed two men to reach without recording an out. Meanwhile Chapman who apparently was nearly ready was sat down in the pen after the Votto HR. Then when Leake got in trouble, Chapman was gotten back up. That pattern has been known in to cause difficulty.

    Chapman’s normal routine is to start innings not come in with the fire already lit. It is known from past experiences that Chapman can be a slow starter even when he begins the inning, often starting his own fires. It is known from his performances in tied games that he has trouble turning the momentum around when an inning is flowing against him. Yet now he is asked to come on with runners at first and third with no outs.

    All of these things are on the manager. And it wasn’t like we hadn’t seen the same thing happen before several weeks ago when an empty tank Cueto was sent out after a long top of the 9th and couldn’t finish the game. The only reason the Reds escaped with the
    “W” that night was that they had twice as big of a lead to work with as tonight.

    For his part, Chapman wasn’t pitching, he was throwing like he did in his earlier days. What has become of that finished pitcher we saw in April. Did he throw any sliders tonight? Or even change speed on his fast ball as he does some times?

    There is blame enough to go around. The manager did his closer no favors but the closer returned the same no favors to the manager with his performance after he came into the game.

    • RedAlert

      These players will get Price fired all by themselves – every move he seems to make backfires because of their inability to execute – yet Price is the one who pulls the strings and Has repeatedly been burned by his inability to learn from past mistakes – he is just not a good manager any way you slice it – regardless of the talent level at his disposal – and I’m certainly not giving Jocketty a pass on that – his ineptitude as s GM has never shown brighter than it has right now

    • Robby20

      One could second guess every decision a manger makes in a loss if they want to but in the last two games the players on the field gave the games away not the manager. One has to wonder about the focus when easy plays aren’t made and the closer doesn’t seem to know the score of the game. Chapman has been struggling for some time now. His command has been bad for most of the year.

    • pinson343

      I agree. If Chapman (or some other reliever) goes out there with a 4 run lead and no one on base, the Reds win the game. I did not second guess Price after Game 1. In this case, I was upset the moment I saw that Leake was coming out to pitch the 9th after throwing 107 pitches. Leake can dominate for 90/100 pitches and then suddenly tire and elevate his pitches and get hit hard. Last night was the most pitches he’d ever thrown in a game.

      I was relieved when Votto hit the 2 run homer in the top of the 9th, because it was easy to imagine Chapman giving up 2 runs, with the way he’s pitched lately.
      With the 4 run lead and no one on base, I felt that would be cushion enough.
      After Leake gave up the two singles, it was equivalent to a 2 run lead – potential tying run on deck – and Votto’s HR was negated.

      Price makes poor in-game decisions, period.

    • sultanofswaff

      Chapman threw a couple sliders to Ryan Howard, which contributed to the walk.

      Howard couldn’t catch up to the fastball BTW.

    • lwblogger2

      Price played it last night just as I would have. The only difference is I may have pulled Leake after the first runner got on. It’s possible that Chapman wasn’t quite ready then though. Of course that’s when you can stall a bit and make sure Chapman is ready. It wouldn’t have been a save situation at that point but that shouldn’t have mattered. With the tying run on deck, it became a save situation.

      Even if you make the argument that you take out a guy who’s been cruising all game so that you can give someone a clean inning, it’s still a fact that Chapman was awful when he came in. If you’re an elite closer, you have to be able to get those 3 outs and do your job with a 4-run lead. Price may not have played it perfectly but he played it well. The loss is on Chapman and I’ve been as critical about Price as anyone.

      • Big56dog

        I thought the way the saves rules work, Chapman did not qualify with a save with only 1 run on, has to be 3 runs or tying run on essentially Price managed to either get Leake a CG or Chapman a save

      • lwblogger2

        That’s correct. If he had come in with only one runner on, then he would not have qualified for a save.

      • ohiojimw

        My thinking is that if Chapman is the pitcher of choice with a 2 run lead then Chapman or somebody else beside Leake is the pitcher of choice with a 4 run lead, particularly building on what happened with Cueto in KC and adding in the fact that Cueto came up sore armed after that extension.

        I don’t have a lot of quibble with your thought of taking it batter by batter with Leake but they had cut bait on that when they sat Chapman down in the pen instead of keeping him ready. Just another example how the management in this team, FO and field keeps getting caught a day late and a dollar short.

  8. CommonSense

    Jay Bruce is NOT a great defensive outfielder. At one time he was, but not close now.

    • Robby20

      Amen Jay Bruce is an average defender at best. He is too heavy. Can’t knock him on this site though. And Chapman has not been dominate for sometime now. Very average in fact.

      Can you imagine having a fire sale where no one shows up to buy? Really, who on the Reds has increased their trade value since the season started?

      This is getting very ugly and this team may be bad for an extended period of time.

      Defensive lapses, terrible bullpen and a line-up that has more than a couple automatic outs. Frazier must be spending too much time with friends from Jersey.I guess he was due for a down turn but he has killed the Reds in both games.

      • RedAlert

        His approach at the plate is terrible in the 4 hole -Trys to pull everything and swings out his arse every pitch

      • jdx19

        The last two games have been pretty bad, but I have a hard time knocking him too much considering he was 5th in MLB in WAR after the Washington series ended, right ahead of a guy I like to call Mike Trout.

        Want to hear a silly Mike Trout stat? He has 3 less WAR than Joey Votto career. I did a check on Trout in April, and he has the highest WAR/game in MLB history. The guys in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th? Bonds, Ruth, Williams.

        Yeah, Todd was doing better than the guy I just described. He can go 0-5 tomorrow as well and I won’t bat an eye.

      • jdx19

        Gotta be honest… I despise when people make generalizations like “can’t knock him on this site though.” Mostly, posters on this site appreciate data and logic rather than opinions.

        No disagreement here, though, Bruce is average, perhaps slightly above-average, but that is more of a function of how bad some right fielders are. Nelson Cruz, anyone? Being an average RFer is significantly less impressive than being an average SS.

      • pinson343

        Bruce gets knocked a lot on this site. When he was batting .160 and an editor projected that he’d continue about at that pace all season, no one objected.
        No question that he often deserves it. My point is that I don’t see him as a favorite here.

      • jdx19

        Unrelated: here’s an interesting stat. Not meant to be inflammatory or anything, but Jay Bruce currently has a higher OBP and higher SLG than BP does. Almost seems impossible, doesn’t it?

      • Robby20

        Bruce is clearly not a favorite of many who post on RLN but many of the RLN staffers (for lack of a better word) bristle at negative comments about Bruce. I like Bruce but when I watch him play I see a guy who has put on too much weight in the last few years and that has cost him range in the field and hurt him some at the plate. It is unfortunate that he never developed into the superstar the organization though he would be but I accept the fact he is who he is, a guy who is very streaky at the plate and when hot can carry a team.

        He probably was the best right fielder in the NL for a couple years. He is not that anymore.

      • Robby20

        Despise seems a bit strong don’t you think? But thanks for confirming what I said.

      • George Mirones

        Thanks for the honesty.
        “Mostly, posters on this site appreciate data and logic rather than opinions.”

        The generalized statements (opinions expressed) that many commenters post is generally knee jerk, not based on data, experience, or research. The eyeball test is the only thing many fans use.
        I don’t defend nor condemn, as it is what can happen when folks get together. Nor is it my responsibility to educate the masses.
        Fangraphs recent projections for the 2015 season have the Reds finishing 28th out of 30 teams in MLB. The Reds are not a good team and discussing who the blame goes to, who gets fired, and which individual part (player) is better or worse than another is a defense mechanism used by many because their favorite player just can’t be the cause of poor results. Your comments in regard to J. Bruce and what the basis for comparison is, were correct and is a further example of that overall lack of view of many. My view is that being average solely depends on the basis of who or what is being used as a comparable. In some cases, l believe, as I am sure you know, that being the best of the worst is not saying a lot. A recent cursory look at individual hitting stats of the starting 8 on many other teams tell the story along with team pitching results. Even to the average fan who just looks at batting average, or ERA’s the story is fairly simple to see.
        While I am resigned to a very bad season, it doesn’t take away my interest and fascination in Baseball.

      • Dr. K

        JDX–That’s an incredibly interesting stat regarding BP vs. Bruce this year. To me, though, that’s exactly why I have such a hard time embracing all the new numbers and stats used in advanced stats. I’ve watched a majority of the Reds games and to me it’s cut and dry who has had the better season–BP. Bruce has had his usual streak where he’s one of the most dangerous hitters in baseball, but overall has not been as consistent as BP.
        I apologize for posting this so far after last night’s game, but your stat was incredibly surprising.

      • Nick Carrington

        OBP and Slugging percentage are not new stats or advanced. They have been around a while and used to evaluate players for years. BP has been consistently average all year at the plate and there is value in that. Bruce’s overall numbers are slightly better, but he has been far less consistent.

        You can argue that you prefer average, consistent production. But the stats cited are traditional metrics.

      • Robby20

        George, Are you saying the numbers show that Bruce has the same range in the field and is as proficient a hitter as he was in 2012 and 2013?

      • jdx19

        ROBBY20: “Despise” was the correct word to convey what I feel when people say things like that. That does not mean I despise the poster of the statement, however. Call it a pet peeve, or a button-pusher, but when folks imply that a group of people, who go out of their way to be objective and base arguments on more than opinion, are just a group of biased homers toward certain players it irks me. I think you’re correct that many people ‘bristle’ when they see negative comments about certain players, but from what I can tell, it is almost always tied to a statement where someone said something misleading or wholly innacurate.

        Geroge Mirones: Good post. Agree with your assessment. Thanks for sharing.

        Dr. K: As Nick said below, OBP and SLG are fairly traditional stats. Think about this example. Which player would you prefer: A player than got 25 singles in 50 ABs or a player who go 21 singles, 3 doubles, and 2 walks? The first player will obviously have a higher AVG, while the other guy will have higher OBP and SLG. So what’s the basic comparison? Are 4 singles more valuable than 3 doubles and 2 walks? The answer is no, based on much actual, real-world data analysis. Singles are better than walks, doubles are better than singles, 2 singles are better than 1 double, 1 double and 1 walk is better than 2 singles. There’s a hierarchy, so-to-speak. A stat called weighted On Base Average (wOBA) uses the actual value of each thing that happens, so looking at the one single number is kinda of like mashing up all of AVG/OBP/SLG. I started ramblinb a bit, but hope my example was clear enough.

      • Robby20

        JDX19, I don’t remember ever using the word ‘despise” in my life It is such a hateful word Again, a little strong but not unexpected and it makes my point. I’ll try not to offer an “opinion” about Jay Bruce again. He’s a player who just keeps getting better in every facet of the game. I’m sure the Reds will get lots in return when he is dealt. Since he is getting better and is under club control for another year.

      • Nick Carrington

        Implying that JDX was being hateful for using the word despise to describe an action and not people is silly. And he said Bruce was average or slightly above, so the snarky comments about Bruce are just strange.

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think JDX would just rather people use some evidence for their insights instead of stating what they think without any real justification. We have access to some great information that tells us much more than we could ever know with our eyes, which are terribly deceiving.

        As for complaining about Bruce, we have posters do that every day, even as he has hit extremely well for four weeks. So of course you can complain about him. Just don’t get mad if someone disagrees and presents evidence to the contrary. It’s all in good fun. Why can’t we just intelligently disagree on a whole host of players?

        I’m not a Jay Bruce apologist. I think we have a pretty good idea of who he is. Streaky but good when healthy. On another site after the 2013 season, I had several people try to argue that Bruce was the best player on the team. I strongly asserted he wasn’t because evidence suggests he wasn’t (Joey Votto was). I’ve argued against assertions stating he was better than he is, and I’ve argued assertions that he isn’t as good as he is. Goes both ways.

      • Robby20

        Nick we can agree to disagree. I’m not a Bruce hater or do I think the Reds would be better without him. I see a 28 year old man who has not taken care of himself or more to the point has not kept his weight under control. It has cost him speed and range in the field. It also may have something to do with his reduction in home runs. In my view Bruce is not the player he was in 2013 and at 28 he is young to be going into a downward spiral. if you can show me numbers that indicate I am wrong about the loss of range in the outfield and the decreased home run power I will admit I am wrong.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Data from 2015 show Bruce’s range is up or steady.


        You’ve stated, as though it is fact, that Bruce is overweight. Please provide evidence for your claim that he “has not kept his weight under control.” Have you seen him without his uniform on? If Jay Bruce has gained 10 lbs in the past few years do you consider that not keeping his weight under control? Can you provide comparisons between Bruce’s alleged weight gain and that of an average major league baseball player as he ages?

        Please provide evidence for the claim that Bruce is “going into a downward spiral.”

      • Robby20

        Seriously Steve? Of course I have not seen Bruce without his clothes on. Why be so condescending and arrogant? According to NIH a man of Bruce’s height 6 feet 3 inches should weigh 192 pounds. The Reds list his weight at 215 pounds which is generous to say the least. I am 6 feet 3 inches and can use the”‘eye test” to figure out he does not weigh 215 pounds. Regardless according to the National Institute of Health he is at a minimum of 23 pounds overweight.

        And I know you’ll shoot me down on this front as well as it is clearly not based in numbers and fact but twice in the last two weeks announcers from other teams have referred to Bruce as lumbering when he was running.

        Thank you for the data on Bruce’s range. I will check it out.

        I get on this site because I no longer live in Cincinnati and as a lifelong fan that doesn’t have too many Reds fans to commiserate with in my area I have found it enjoyable to talk Reds on here. But I have to tell you the level of arrogance and the need to criticize anyone who posts an opinion contrary to that of the writer or the poster has made this an unwelcoming place to interact.

        Just my take.

      • jdx19

        The NIH’s “should weigh” numbers don’t include dispensations for above-average muscle mass.

        These are the same hacks who classified me as “obese” when I was 190lbs at 5 foot 8 and could run a 4.7 40yrd dash, bench press 315lbs, squat 455lbs, and power clean 275 lbs as an 18-yr old HS senior.

        Jay Bruce is not 23 lbs overweight because a chart implies he is.

  9. The Next Janish

    I couldn’t watch the ninth but I checked game cast and saw Leake was pitching with two on and no outs and I thought “we’re going to lose this trying to get Leake a shutout” and come back home to find I was right.

    • pinson343

      I felt the same way when I saw him come out to pitch the 9th, after throwing 107 pitches and a long top of the 9th.

    • VaRedsFan

      He did come out after the 2nd guy got on base

    • Robby20

      Pretty funny, but as I noted above is there really much to sell that anyone would buy?

  10. Jake

    That 3 game winning streak was fun while it lasted. This team needs to be rebuilt around Votto, Frazier and Mesoraco. Cut the rest. Before the fire sale however, Jocketty needs to go

    • jdx19

      Can’t count on Meso yet. Gotta wait until he’s healthy to see if he’s even worth it.

    • Robby20

      Don’t get too excited about that fire sale.

      • lwblogger2

        Yes, it’s just a sad state of affairs. I’ve seen too many fire sales lead to a team being lousy for 5 years or longer. Even when they work out there are normally 3-5 years of terrible teams before a team starts contending again. I’m not looking forward to the fire sale at all. I’m sad that the Reds run of being a good team has ended in 4 years after being a very bad team for 10. I don’t look forward to them being a very bad team again over the next 3, 5 or even 10 years. It stinks.

    • tct

      Frazier is already 29 and only has two more years after this one until free agency. Unless you are planning a one year rebuild, it doesn’t really make sense to rebuild around him. Personally, I love the guy. But I think it would be a mistake to extend him because any extension would start at age 32, and you would be buying really high.

      • lwblogger2

        I agree on Frazier. If you’re gonna blow it up, blow it up. Frazier may well be the single best trade chip on the team right now because of his production and his salary.

      • lwblogger2

        So, yes, unless you think you’re going to be relevant again by 2017 (very bloody unlikely) then Frazier has to be moved.

      • ohiojimw

        Frazier is also in many ways a RH hitting JBruce. Very streaky, capable of carrying a team in bursts and just as capable of leaving them high and dry for similar periods of time. That’s why I have been maintaining he is a “support” player rather than a core player.

        Understand, IMO every outstanding team needs a couple or more strong support players to go with their core. It is just that it is imperative that management recognize which are which when they are handing out the contracts and making trades. Look no further than the Cardinals for proof positive.

  11. Tom Gray

    Look on the bright side. The more of these blown games (L instead of W), the sooner Bryan Price gets fired. Jocketty and Castellini hired him (despite no managerial experience at ANY level) after interviewing only him. They must swallow their pride, admit their mistake, and fire him THIS month. Maybe THIS week.

    The Reds will never succeed with Bryan Price at the helm. Look at his career record.

    Oh, that’s right. The Reds of 2014 and 2015 so far ARE his career record.

    • Jake

      The thing is, even if they fired Price we still have this same shallow roster. Jocketty needs to go first

      • RedAlert

        All goes back to Castellini extending him for additional years – made no sense to start with – THE GAME HAS PASSED WALT BY

      • Tom Gray

        Price goes first. He is NOT MLB capable manager. Make Riggleman the interim manager and let him earn 2016 helm (or not).

        The GM can go before the offseason. No ready replacement around for him.

        Castellini is the owner. You can’t fire the owner. Just like Marge Schott.

      • RedAlert

        Any combination is fine by me – long as it’s a package deal

      • cfd3000

        Count me in the camp of fine with Price, very not fine with Jocketty. Price will go because that’s what happens to managers of bad teams, but Jocketty is the bigger problem in my eyes.

      • Tom Gray

        Price. Prior to 2014, his managerial record was 0-0 at any level of baseball.

        Since 2014 he is 76-86 and 22-29 (so far) for 98-115 career record. Numbers like those have historically gotten Reds managers fired. Time for him to go.

      • lwblogger2

        Riggleman? I’m ready to say goodbye to Price but I’d take Price every day and twice on Sunday’s before I’d want Riggleman as the Reds’ manager.

      • Big56dog

        Riggleman is a solution? 662-824 for his career- maybe Bob Boone is still available

  12. cfd3000

    I stopped watching when it went extras. As frustrated as I am about this loss, two things really jump out at me about the play log and some of the comments on this site. First, am I really seeing now that Chapman can’t come in with runners on board and be effective? It’s bad enough that he’s constrained by the closer rules but if anyone’s suggesting that it’s Price’s fault that he didn’t succeed because he wasn’t given a clean inning of his own then shame on you. Chapman’s failure tonight is all on Chapman. I think any major league pitcher should consistently be able to get three outs before giving up four runs. A pitcher with Chapman’s talents should be able to do that about, oh, 100% of the time. Second, what happened in the 11th? Votto leads off with a double but the Reds can’t score? Two bunts. Two sac flies. Two ground balls to second base. That’s all it takes. There’s a lot to like about Todd Frazier but his situational hitting skills seem pretty weak lately. Move the runner over. Make productive outs. Drive in that guy on third with less than two outs. Really? I didn’t watch it, so if I’ve missed something let me know, but… Really? I know the Reds aren’t playoff bound but it’s hard to root for them when they are so inept like that. Phooey.

    • Robby20

      Don’t look now but Chapman’s trade value seems to take a hit pretty often these days. He has not been the pitcher he was last year. He is anything but automatic.

      • jdx19

        The silver lining is his trade value was extremely high. It can take a few hits and still be very, very good. I think most teams understand guys are going to give up runs sometimes. As long as he has a few decent appearances before the trade deadline we’ll get a nice return from him.

      • Robby20

        Hope you are correct. He just doesn’t seem to have the command he had for much of last year. Maybe it is inactivity or maybe the inactivity is because he isn’t quite right.

      • jdx19

        Yeah, it’s hard to say. Hope is all we have at this point!

    • jdx19

      Agree that Price wasn’t to blame for Chapman screwing up, but the decision to start Leake in the 9th was questionable, at best.

      • pinson343

        Yep. I was very uncomfortable with Leake coming out to pitch the 9th, before he’d faced the first batter.

      • Robby20

        Agree. A little like Baker, trying to give his guy a chance at his first major league shutout I guess.

    • pinson343

      I agree with your other points, but Chapman gave up 2 runs, not 4. Coming in with 2 runners on and a 4-0 lead is very different from coming in with the bases empty and a 4 run lead. Once the two runners are on, the tying run is on deck. From there it’s just takes a walk and a blast, and with the way Chapman has been pitching lately, no big surprise that happened. (Given up a lot of walks and near blasts lately).

      • jessecuster44

        Bah! I remember the late 70’s and early 80’s when Tom Hume would come into the game an put out whatever fire there was. He never needed to start with a clean slate.

        Chappy is soft.

      • Vanessa Galagnara

        Is Tom Hume under rated or what? That guy needed like 30 seconds to warm up.

      • jessecuster44

        He was awesome. I don’t understand why today’s pitchers can’t do what he did.

    • ohiojimw

      I don’t disagree with you about what Chapman should be able to do, However as a manager a person has to be realistic about what a player is likely to actually and there is ample evidence that he struggles with runners on base and that once an inning is flowing down hill, he has trouble stabilizing it.

  13. JMO

    Price is horrific at in game decision making. This team is just not fun to watch. The entire Reds organization needs to be reloaded. Trade Cueto and Leake. Chapman might go as well.

  14. Tom Gray

    Birdie Tebbetts. Mayo Smith. Don Heffner. John McNamara. Vern Rapp. Tony Perez. Ray Knight. Bob Boone. Dave Miley. Jerry Narron.

    All of those Reds managers were fired in mid season. In most of those cases, the new manager had a better record the rest of that year than the fired manager did.

    Fire Price. Make Riggleman interim manager for rest of 2015. Sort it all out before 2016.

    • RiverCity Redleg

      id rather promote Jay Bell instead og Riggleman.

      • lwblogger2

        I’d rather have Rivercity Redleg over Jim Riggleman!!!! (Note: That’s not saying too much because I’d rather have most anyone than Riggleman) 😉

    • docmike

      Riggleman makes Price look like Joe Maddon by comparison. If that’s who they’re going to hire as the replacement, then they should just keep Price.

  15. Robby20

    The alarming thing from my perspective is the number of routine plays being botched which is usually one of two things. Nerves or lack of concentration. Clearly in a game against the lowly Phillies who came in reeling it is not a case of nerves. It is, again from my view, a case of a team not being ready to play and playing without focus. That falls back on the manager. So while I don’t blame Price for his decision making the last two nights I do blame him for putting a team on the field that doesn’t make the routine plays and doesn’t do the little things well. He will not be the manager next year and may not survive this season.

    I get why the batting average with runners in scoring position statistic can be misleading but it wasn’t misleading tonight.

    • ohiojimw

      Yes, the examples you give are the sort of thing I was referencing when I was talking about lack of leadership last week. When Mr Murphy’s law seems to have taken up tenured residence with a team, it is a pretty good bet the team is poorly organized and managed.

  16. Kywhi

    Going into this season I never expected this team to be much over .500, but I did expect it to be competitive without giving games away in the manner in which it has the last two nights. And who among us really thought the Reds, no matter how roster-challenged, would lose 12 of their last 16 games? Truth is, this team should be celebrating a five-game winning streak with the possibility of making it six against Harang and then going back to Cincy to play San Diego before a rejuvenated fan base with the “lowly” Phils coming to town after that. Oh what could have been …

  17. big5ed

    Chapman has little trade value. Most other teams have figured out you can put virtually any plausible talent in the Closer Role, and it works out just fine. Only GMs still living in the 90s–Walt Jocketty–have not figured that out. Chapman just isn’t a very good pitcher–he has one pitch, a fastball that he doesn’t throw over the plate. He is a mere thrower.

    And he wasn’t ready to come into the game against Colorado to lead off the 9th, as the Rockies’ Charlie Blackman noticed as he was warming up. That leadoff walk led to a Reds’ loss. He wasn’t ready last night, either, to come in the middle of the inning.

    He could never have been a starter, because he has one pitch and appears to have little competitive fire. He wants to be the hardest thrower in the world, not the most effective pitcher he can be. Other teams see this, and I can’t see Chapman bringing any decent return in a trade. I would trade him anyway, for addition by subtraction purposes, and for a bit of salary relief.

    • tct

      Huge overreaction. Since he became closer in 2012, no reliever in baseball has put up more WAR. He and Kimbrel have been the most dominant relievers over the past 3 years, and there is no debate there. And yes, traditional closers and the save stat have been overrated, but bullpens are not overrated. See what KC did last year and St Louis a couple years ago with a bullpen full of young, flame throwers. Also see how the Tigers failed to win a world series despite having an elite rotation and elite offense because the bullpen couldn’t hold leads.

      As long as he is healthy and has his velocity, teams aren’t gonna care that he blew a couple games in May and June. What they care about is what he will do in September and October. He had a stretch like this in 2013 and he bounced back. Nobody can be dominant all the time, and Chapman is still the very best reliever on the market.

      • tct

        I want the Reds to trade him because he has value. What evidence is there that he is a head case? Name one single thing, because I can’t think of any.

        I do know that he made it through a tough situation when he defected and came to the U.S.. And once he made it through all that, he had to adapt to a foreign country where he didn’t know anyone and didn’t speak the language. Millions of dollars probably helped, but still. Within two years of arriving in the U.S., he becomes the most dominating reliever in baseball, and has kept that up for three straight years. Then last year he gets hit in the face with a 100 mph line drive. He had to go through surgery and get a metal plate. Yet he was back in, what, five weeks? And he never showed any reluctance or fear to get back on the mound and put up one of the most dominating seasons by a reliever in history.

        But, yeah, forget all that. He must be a head case because he blew a save.

      • jessecuster44

        He lost track of the score last night. He takes forever and a day to warm up. He childishly refuses to start, preferring to minimize his value to the team. He naps in the clubhouse during games. The throws a fastball almost exclusively, and refuses to learn to throw other pitches.

        Kudos to Chappy for defecting, and getting through the awful line drive incident. Kudos to him for being so dominant in his 50 innings of work each year.

        I didn’t like what I saw last night. I think he’s a head case. I think if the Reds continue to lose, he’ll get worse.

    • Tom Reed

      The big money teams will go out of their way to get Chapman. No question on that. And they’ll probably make him a starter.

  18. Vanessa Galagnara

    All Reds fans are angry, frustrated, and wanting someone to blame for the complete “team” package. Only an eneducated fan would be in favor of continuing further with the current lineup, both on the field and in the office.
    The injuries to Mes and Bailey signaled the white flag simply because we have no organizational depth ready for the majors.
    I find it all quite sad really. In the 70’s the Reds were probably the Daisy Duke of baseball. A small resurgence in the late 80s and ending in our fantastic 1990. Largely though this franchise has been laboring along since the inception of free agency. The owners we have had in the past and the owner we currently have are not forward thinkers. If i had to guess I would say that the owners of the Reds have a sense of resignation even before the season begins and largely see the ownership of a once glorious franchise as the real trophy in their mantel case.
    Until we get an owner who knows baseball, breathes baseball, eats and sleeps baseball, we will just have more of the same.
    Blame the players, blame the manager, but the real blame of any business failing falls on the one who is cutting the checks. Maybe in his mind he doesnt see failure because as mentioned above he succeeded in taking ownership and to him that right now is all that matters.

    I certainly hope a condensed version of Steve’s open letter finds it way to Mr. Cas. Will it make a difference? Probably not but we will all feel better knowing he heard our complaint just like it makes us all feel better to complain about this team through redlegnation.

    • Tom Reed

      I think the over arching intent is always to keep the Reds ownership in local hands which is the case with the Castellini family. Whether or not they are forward thinkers is another matter.

    • docmike

      Vanessa, I actually agree with you here. The biggest problem with the Reds is that their higher-ups are all stuck in the past, using outdated ways of constructing and managing a baseball team.

      Yes, we need a forward thinker.

  19. vared

    This loss is on Votto. If he doesn’t hit that 9th inning homer the save is in order to start the bottom of the inning and Chapman starts the inning as he clearly prefers. Yeah – I’m just kidding. Fortunately I didn’t see or hear the 9th – does anyone know if Chapman was warming up to start the inning before the Votto homer or was it gonna be Leake regardless?

    • VaRedsFan

      He was warming, and in my opinion, was coming in for the 9th.

  20. David

    *sigh* I almost don’t even want to watch tonight’s game…..

    • jessecuster44

      I’m done watching for a while. I can’t recall any Reds team that has been less fun to watch than this crew.

      • jdx19

        I’m watching because I want to try and divine how in the heck Aaron Harang is still getting it done on the mound!

      • lwblogger2

        I have no idea but I really like the big guy.

      • lwblogger2

        I tell you what, he doesn’t walk anybody and that’s always a good start.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Harang is no longer trying to ply his craft by pitching in GABP…

    • Tom Reed

      I used to try and schedule my day around the Reds game. Not anymore. I tune in when I can. There’s nothing I can do to fix this mess.

  21. Michael J Hampton

    I think the mistake Price made was sending Leake back out in the 9th and not Chapman once the Reds got the 4 run lead. I’m pretty sure he had Chapman warming up and it was pretty obvious to all, including, Leake and Chapman, that Leake wasn’t going back out there if it was a save situation. When Votto hit the HR, Price reverted to “the only using Chapman in a save situation” mentality and sent Leake back out hoping to get the complete game. Leake had to crank it up mentally again and he didn’t have it when he went back out. Same deal for Chapman, he was ready mentally an then he was shutdown and had to crank it up again. Ball players are human beings not just numbers you can plug into a fantasy league. You have to consider their psychology when you are the manager.

    • big5ed

      Uh, Leake had a 1-hit shutout; he has never pitched better. He is a 27-year-old with a mature arm, and he hadn’t yet thrown so many pitchers that he needed to be taken out.

      If Price had taken him out after 8 full, and Chapman stunk it up, as he has consistently for about a month, then people would be moaning about Price’s taking out a pitcher with a 1-hit shutout.

      If Chapman is so fragile mentally that he can’t keep himself into the game another 5 extra minutes, then he is essentially worthless.

      • I-71_Exile

        True. And we would have heard “why would you use your best pitcher with a four-run lead” or “any capable MLB pitcher can get three outs in that situation.”

        Let’s face it, when things go wrong, the unchosen option is the better one.

      • Vanessa Galagnara

        That is a perfect line right there. “Let’s face it, when things go wrong, the unchosen option is the better one.”

      • Michael J Hampton

        What I was saying was that I believe Price had already made up his mind to take Leake out when there was only a 2 run lead. Leake knew or suspected that and hence a mental letdown. When Votto hit the 2 run HR, Price then decided to leave Leake in, but Leake had already lost his mental edge. He was not the same when he went back out in the 9th. As far as Chapman goes, I don’t know how fragile his mental state is, but when you tell them they are going in the game and then they are not, no wait yes you are, it could play havoc with your mental preparedness. It really boils down to the old school mind set that Price seems to have regarding his closer – must use him only in the 9th inning, but only if it is a save situation. As Yogi said “Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.”

      • VaRedsFan

        You make a good point MJH as well as OhioJim above. In my opinion, I think Leake might have checked out after the 8th inning when Chapman started to warm. On the flip side, AC might have checked out mentally, when we got the 2 run HR and Leake went back out. Just a couple of “mental situations” that probably go unnoticed.

      • lwblogger2

        And many of his pitches were “low stress” pitches. He was cruising. I was totally fine with sending him out for the 9th.

      • jdx19

        (Not a direct reply to you, LW, just posting here b/c it’s at the bottom)

        I think what gets lost in decisions to send guys out in later innings is the “times through the order” idea. It’s been shown that hitters do better against a pitcher the more times they’ve seen him on a given day. There are some exception, I’m sure, but generally every pitcher does worse as he goes through the order time and time again.

        Even if Leake had some gas left in the can, I’d have taken him out for that reason only. I don’t value a “CG” or a shutout. 8IP, 0ER is good in my book.

  22. msanmoore

    From a potential goat-farting-a-rainbow to Milton … what a night. Somehow I just knew I wouldn’t wake up to happy news from our guys. Back on the fence about spending even $50 for MLB-tv when it goes on the annual Fathers’ Day sale.

    • jdx19

      There is A LOT of good baseball going on lately. I think it’s worth $50 even if the Reds are bad. The Cubs (Bryant, Russell, Soler, Rizzo) are fun to watch, the Nats are fun to watch if you don’t hate Bryce Harper. The Astros are a ton of fun to watch. The Royals, if you don’t hate them, are fun to watch. Lots of rookies are starting out and doing very well (Syndergaard, McCullers, Joc Pederson). And you’ve got lots of ‘spectacle’ guys as I call them, such as the newly called up Joey Gallo for Texas. 2 HRs in 2 games, both reaching the upper deck.

      if you only watch the Reds, maybe $50 is too much, but if you like baseball in general, there’s lots of good reasons to buy MLB.TV.

      • lwblogger2

        There have been a lot of times this season where I’ve enjoyed watching non-Reds games much more than Reds games. I like watching baseball just to watch baseball and doing so without much of a rooting interest is nice. My O’s aren’t having a very good year either but in their division, they are still in it. There are a lot of fun things to watch, even with both my teams struggling. It’s baseball and it’s an awesome game.

        I do however hate Bryce Harper. I don’t think he’s overrated. He is a fantastic ballplayer. I just think he’s a total tool. I’d probably love him if he was a Red though.

      • msanmoore

        Oh, I’ll probably do it. I primarily watch the Reds when I do it … but I could be an Astros fan this year. And the Royals are fun. It’s not the money anyway … it’s the time.

  23. big5ed

    Todd Frazier was god-awful the last 2 days. 0-11, with not one decent at-bat, and two errors. I know they are not machines, but in his last at-bat, with Votto on second and none out, he reached for a low-outside slider and hooked a grounder to shortstop, when the situation called for him–at least–to hit a grounder to the right side of the infield. He got an easy pitch to do that on, and he flubbed it.

    Which is to me the real problem with the Reds’ offense. Their very poor situational hitting (other than the George Brett-like Joey Votto) makes them less than the sum of their parts. They leave too many runs unscored, and it isn’t just BA with RISP that I mean.

    Too bad we have Walt Jocketty overseeing the trades that have to be made.

    • VaRedsFan

      Agree 100% with the Frazier AB. It’s pretty much the team as a whole. Votto struck out after a BP leadoff double. Where was the pulled ground ball when we needed it

  24. IndyRedMan

    BP w/a leadoff double and the meat of the order = Nothing. Votto w/a leadoff double = Nothing. They need to completely blow up everything except Votto, Frazier, Hamilton, and Mesoraco. I lost respect for Chapman last year when he declined the chance to start. What competitor wants to pitch 70 innings instead of 200? That’s a insecure guy that wants to show up and get paid and not a guy you can count on a key member of a world champion.

    • tgarretson82

      On the Reds that is 50 innings if he is lucky. Remember he can only come into games under title ‘save situations.’

  25. sultanofswaff

    Mattheus should’ve caught the ball at 1B in the 11th.

    THAT SAID, Votto should get a heaping helping of blame.
    1. The throw should arrive between his head and waist.
    2.It’s exponentially harder to catch a ball above your head while at the same time trying to find first base with your feet. Try it sometime.
    2. I’ve attended countless coaching clinics put on by major league coaches. They always teach to throw your underhand tosses in a direct line and not a rainbow. Votto’s throw had a huge hump in it, which forces the recipient to account for height and speed changes……….all while running.

    To me, this again speaks to Votto’s lack of fundamentals defensively.

    • IndyRedMan

      You’re not giving the Reds their props for creativity? Have you ever seen a game lost like that? It just saved everyone time because they weren’t going to score again and would’ve got Marquis’d or Badenhop’d at some point anyway.

    • RedAlert

      Sorry – that ball has got to be caught PERIOD- ain’t blaming Votto for that – throw was not perfect but INDEED SHOULD HAVE BEEN CAUGHT – also believe Votto’s defense has been pretty exceptional this year (without looking at any stats) – just the eye test

      • IndyRedMan

        Bad teams just find ways to lose and this is a bad team. If Frazier was in no-doubles defense like he’s supposed to be then it would’ve been 2 out and nobody on to begin with.

      • jdx19

        “No doubles defense” is like the closer rule. It’s wrong, antiquated, and makes no baseball sense.

      • ohiojimw

        The no doubles rule is an old by the book rule but the last two nights not being in it has pretty much cost them the game. There is a reason why things got into the book; and not all those reasons are invalid.

        For instance, if it makes sense to bunt and play for one run at the end of the game who is to say that on the other side of the coin, it doesn’t sense not to be beaten by cheap doubles that the no doubles defense would deny? Even if a single results from the being in the no doubles set, it takes an additional advancement of the runner for a run to score over what it takes following a double.

      • sultanofswaff

        Maybe it’s ‘exceptional’ because he makes routine outs into awe-inspiring feats of athleticism. In other words, when’s the last time you saw him field a ball between his legs or take one off the chest?

      • VaRedsFan

        You haven’t watched much of Votto’s fielding then.
        Awesome at scooping errant throws…awful at fielding. Never gets in front of the ball.

      • jdx19

        I’m convined folks that complain about Votto’s defense don’t watch much baseball outside the Reds. Votto is quite good compared to most 1Bman in the MLB.

    • jessecuster44

      Sultan, I disagree. Joe McCarthy, the famous manage of the Yankees, onece said that “Anyone can field an easy hop.” Mattheus is a major league pitcher who practiced this drill countless times during the spring.

      Heck, I practiced this drill in high school, and was able to catch the ball – even on a throw above my head. And I wasn’t getting paid for doing it.

      That throw should have been caught, and to place a majority of blame on Votto is flat out ridiculous.

      Joey Votto is one of the few good things this team has about it. What’s next – his HR in the 9th inning wasn’t long enough?

    • VaRedsFan

      Spot on Sultan! To anyone, try reaching up while running, with your hand over your head, making a catch while feeling for the bag (not looking).
      And yes Mattheus should have still caught it. but Votto turned a routine play into not so routine.

    • WVRedlegs

      You are right about Votto’s throw. First basemen are taught to hit the pitcher right on the letters. And to get it to the pitcher several steps before the bag. Not to throw it at the bag, just as Votto did. Look at the replay and you will see Matheus’ foot hit the bag, which makes his whole body go up a few inches as he steps on the bag. Just as he is stepping on the bag, the ball is over his head and he is reaching for it. Just as his body goes up, so does his glove arm, which raised his glove a couple of inches just as the ball arrives. And the ball bounces off the top of the glove. Error. Game over.
      Votto has to get that throw to the pitcher about 3 steps before he gets to the bag. And Matheus has to watch the ball all the way into his glove, then look for the bag.

    • lwblogger2

      It wasn’t fundamentally perfect, which by the way is sometimes more difficult than not in actual game situations. It was however a decent throw and as you lead off with, Mattheus has to catch that ball. Maybe a tiny bit of blame to Votto but seriously, very, very little.

    • jdx19

      The throw wasn’t perfect, sure. How many times do Frazier, Cozart, BP throw the ball in the dirt and Votto digs it out?

      Mattheus should catch that ball 10 of 10 times. It wasn’t THAT bad, even if it wasn’t perfect.

      The scorer gave the error to Mattheus, which is an important distinction because almost always the thrower of a baller get the error.

      The replay clearly showed Mattheus looking down before the ball was even within 12 inches of his glove. That’s the problem. Not Votto’s throw. Catch the ball first. That’s the only fundamental broken on that play, unless you expect every toss and feed to be 100% accurate all the time.

      • lwblogger2

        The hardest one’s to handle are the ones either behind you or the ones that are way low in that situation. If you’re going to miss, missing a little high is ok. That is assuming you don’t air-mail the guy.

      • WVRedlegs

        Yes, it was a play that should have been made. Plain and simple. Matheus has to catch that. Votto just didn’t make it any easier for Matheus, though. A little better throw by Votto and the runner is out. If Matheus keeps his eye on the ball all the way in his glove its an out.
        I was a 1st baseman for 8 years. Votto’s throw needs to be a bit better, and it wouldn’t have led to Matheus taking his eye off the ball. Votto’s small mistake led to Matheus’ big mistake.

  26. WVRedlegs

    Walt Jocketty’s winter time failings and blunders.
    1. Failed to build a reliable bullpen, one of the easiest jobs a GM has.
    2. The trade of Chris Heisey, to dump all of $3M in salary, is a close second for the worst move of the off-season for Jocketty. Total lunacy.
    3. The Heisey trade leads to Jocketty’s third biggest failure, a failure to build a reliable bench. Another easy job for most GM’s. What a mess led by Skip Schumaker.
    4. The fourth biggest blunder, and this led to number 1, Kevin Gregg on the opening day roster in the bullpen as the 8th inning guy. More lunacy.
    5. Next blunder, Jason Marquis on the opening day roster as a starting pitcher.
    6. Up next on the blunder list, trading for a 38 year old LF who cannot get on base much, after declaring that you are going to look mostly for OBP guys for the LF spot.
    7. Next blunder, filling the bench with guys that have high K% and low OBP, like Chris Dominguez and Brandon Boesch, after declaring that these types of hitters are not what you are looking for.

    Robert “Bob” Castellini, you should be very ashamed of yourself for letting this happen in the first place, and for letting it continue on.

    • Redgoggles

      Bullpen, LF, bench, OBP…….these holes seem familiar. Same team, different year. More than a manager can control, IMO.

      At least we are getting to see into the future in our starters. Time to cash in our trade chips and go young.

      • Nick Carrington

        As you have stated, The fact that the Reds still have the same issues as last year is the most frustrating thing to me. The Reds have a core of good players. They just need a few more pieces to be truly competitive. Think about how many more wins they could have with a better bullpen. Bad bullpen and zero depth. The injuries to Mesoraco and Bailey doomed the season.

        Each night, I assume if the Reds first four hitters don’t get runs in, they won’t score. Phillips, Votto, Frazier, and Bruce have all produced at high levels lately, with Frazier’s last two games withstanding. That’s a good top four.

        A lineup with Cozart and Negron hitting 5th and 6th is not a contending lineup. But that isn’t on Price. The alternatives are just as bad. We miss Mesoraco’s bat so much.

  27. WVRedlegs

    Is it just me, or does it seem like Chapman always goes into a 2 week funk in June?

    • tgarretson82

      He may do this. But the Reds management of him since his signing has been god awful. Starter, no closer. Closer, only a minute set of situations. Regular work, no only work every other week or 2 weeks.

  28. IndyRedMan

    On the bright side….in the last 6 games Hamilton is 6-23 (.261) with 4 rbis, 4 runs, 6 steals, and only 3 Ks. His D in CF is ridiculous as well…only Eric Davis in his prime could outrun the ball like that

    • lwblogger2

      I think I might take Hamilton’s D over Davis’ D and that’s really saying something because ED in his prime was an outstanding defender. Davis had a far superior arm though.

  29. big5ed

    Chapman hasn’t just merely hit a short slump. Since May 10, he has been in 11 games, throwing 10.2 innings. He’s surrendered 14 hits and walked 9, while giving up 6 runs. He does have 16 strikeouts. He’s only had a single 1-2-3 inning. In the 11 games, he’s lost 3 of them and blown 1 save. He has 2 wins and 3 saves, 2 of which were 3-run leads, plus has 2 get-some-work appearances in losses. In his last nine games that mattered, and two of them he entered with 3-run leads, he’s failed in 4 of them.

    After seeing that kid hit Jumbo’s 97 mph fastball about 4,000 feet the night before, he should have had some clue that a slider or change may have been prudent. Nope.

    Fangraphs has an article up on him.

    • Steve Mancuso

      The pitch Franco hit off Diaz was an 86-mph slider.

      • big5ed

        Well, it was a hanger, then, because it was on the inside corner at the quads.

        Franco is from the Dominican, which would give the Phillies one more decent Dominican hitter than the Reds have developed, ever.

      • big5ed

        Chapman’s pitch was there; Diaz’s was a bit out over the plate, if I recall. Franco can hit anything, apparently.

  30. Shchi Cossack

    Bruce has no-so-quietly become relavent offensively. After a absolutely dismal April (.181/.310/.403), Bruce has scorched his way to a season line of .226/.342/.405 with a 106 OPS after slashing .373/.492/1.061 over the past 3 weeks (15 games). For the season, Bruce has a SO% = 23.6% and a BB% = 15.0%. Those are outstanding ratios for a slugging, power hitter. Bruce is cost controlled through the 2017 season and is quickly putting his injury-impacted 2014 performance and his dismal start to the 2015 season behind him. By the end of June, Bruce should reestablish his offensive performance to career norms (a 115+ OPS+) and teams will be calling regarding both Frazier (RH power hitter) and Bruce LH power hitter). Both power hitters are controlled through the 2017 season and will probably cost about the same salary for the 2017 season. If both are made available, they could return a king’s ransom, even before factoring in the 3 pitchers who need to be moved (Cueto, Leake & Chapman).

    Don’t look now, but Phillips is quickly establishing some value as a top-of-the-order hitter with his adjustment from swing for the fences on every pitch to a controlled singles hitter. Phillip’s ‘clutchiness’ is still available with 23 RBI’s but his new approach at the plate has produced as much offensive value in 1/3 of a season as his entire 2014 season. Could Phillip’s be appearing on a contender’s radar for a team needing middle infield defense and top of lineup production? Phillip’s $13MM salary doesn’t appear so unwieldy with his current performance.

    • lwblogger2

      Agree with those assessments and assuming that Phillips’ toe is ok, he could play 2B for my contender anytime. Since I’d be taking on a lot of salary, I probably wouldn’t return much to the Reds but if I were the Yankees I’d be calling about him. I know he wanted an extra year to waive his no-trade clause and I still wouldn’t do that if I were the Yankees but considering the standings and the direction the Reds are headed, he may not demand that extra year.