Today, the Reds fielded a lineup that was absent Votto, Hamilton, and Pena, giving it a decidedly B-Team feel. They lost.

Pirates 3  Reds 0  |  Box Score  |  Win Probability Graph

Good Things

Keyvius Sampson had a very solid first major league start. He pitched five innings, walking only one and striking out six. He got the loss, but it wasn’t a bad day for the new kid.

Pedro Villareal pitched three scoreless innings in relief, which was very nice and all that.

Bad Things

No runs were scored by the good guys.

Thinking Thoughts

Ivan De Jesus is exactly – exactly, I say! – the kind of bench player the Reds should have. He’s cheap. Not embarrassing and not good enough to start everyday. After today, he has played 1st, 2nd, SS, 3rd, and LF this season. This is why I get angry about Schumaker.

I hate – hate, I say – bench-clearing stupidness. Yes, the Pirates instigate this crap all the time and yes I get being angry, but it’s just stupid. If you are a grown man, you do not fight other grown men. MLB needs to deal with the Pirates harshly and this kind of nonsense needs to be dealt with better in general. If I were in charge, I’d make leaving the bench with violent intent an automatic five-game suspension. You are grown men, sit down and control yourselves.

Side thought: Why are there people for whom bench-clearing fights are cool, but celebrating a home runs is not? Does that seem stupid to anyone else?

121 Responses

  1. seat101

    I disagree.

    It’s a team sport. You cover the back of your own teammate.

    • Jason Linden

      Why? It just gets into stupid tit-for-tat crap. Bench-clearing fights never accomplish anything good.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Very hefty doses of testosterone (natural not synthetic). It can make one “uncontrollable” at times. I like the Pirates back up their main man and that BP isn’t going to accept a lot of grief either.

      • greenmtred

        I agree with you, Jason, even though hundreds won’t. Part of the stupidity is that, clearly, for most of the players in the scrum, it isn’t about anger–righteous or otherwise: It’s about convention. Very few of these guys can fight or want to, so why bother? (not that serious, damaging fights would be good, mind you, just that what happens looks like a bunch of mildly pissed-off 4-year olds in a turf struggle near the swing set).

      • Frogger

        Love the intelligent views and out of the box thinking on this site. I do wonder how many of us on this site played sports competitively. Not as a pro ball player, but more than just a child for the fun of it. None or very very few of the ball players want to get in a fight or bean ball war. It is about defending yourself and your teammates. As baseball players they only have so much control of that process. If the league isn’t handling it (and their not look at Pirates for past 3 years) then at some point you need to try something more. It’s a mentality thing and you give the other team a competitive advantage. (see Phillips 2013) It will be that much harder for the Reds to turn back into a winner without an aggressive approach. You can’t have that aggressive bust your tail approach if you back down every time you make progress and the other team starts trowing at you with impunity. Not ideal but see all the World Series Champs and tell me who would allow this. I know Rose and the Big Red Machine wouldn’t and neither would the 90 team.

      • Austin

        You can’t throw at people with impunity. There are already rules in place to keep people from throwing at other people, namely the person who gets hit gets a free base. I’m not saying no one has ever thrown at another player intentionally, though I’m confident it’s far less than perceived by players, but if I’m a manager and someone wants to throw at my players, I would politely thank them for helping me win. Retaliation is the problem. Somehow MLB players/managers buy into this illogical argument of nothing about “protecting your teammates”. As if for some reason, if you don’t throw at the other team when they throw at you, the other team will just keep throwing at you ad infinitum. There is also the implicit assumption in this logic that if you do retaliate, then the other team will stop. As we saw yesterday and in pretty much every other example, that obviously doesn’t happen. The other team just retaliates back. I’ve actually heard an MLB manager in one of these incidents agree that the original HBP was unintentional, but said that his team still had to retaliate to “protect his players”. What does that even mean? If it’s an accident, it’s an accident. Also, if when a pitcher first hits a guy out of nowhere (like Blanton did to Byrd), the whole situation could be diffused if Blanton would just hit himself on the chest and say, “My bad, got away from me”, look over to the Reds dugout and say the same thing. How hard is that? I feel like I have rarely if ever seen a pitcher do that when they hit someone. A few manners would go along way. But, of course that can’t happen, because we’re baseball players, and men, and tough…grrrr. Oh well, I guess I just “don’t understand the game”.

      • lwblogger2

        Jason, the issue I have with suspending people for coming off the bench in those situations is that this isn’t like hockey, football, basketball, or even volleyball. The sides aren’t even. There are 9 guys on the field for the defensive team against 2 for the offensive team (batter and on-deck hitter). Sometimes when things heat up, you need to get out there and make sure you’re guy doesn’t get himself half killed. Even if he did do something stupid like charge the mound.

  2. Evan armstrong

    At some point it would be nice to see sports be responsible and stop these. Five games is not enough, if you leave the bench or bullpen you lose minimum of a month.

    • Jason Linden

      I think 5 games would do it. No team wants to do five games with most of the team suspended. But, yes, it’s idiotic. The only thing that it ever accomplishes is suspensions and the occasional injury.

    • Michael E

      If its an SP, five games does almost nothing. Make any SP 10 games and others 5 games.

      • Redsfan48

        That’s generally what they do. 10 games for SP, 5 for everyone else, but usually on appeal they get 5 game suspensions reduced to 1-2

  3. rhayex

    Last year Pirates pitchers plunked 53 batters. Second-place Boston was 45, then 43, 43, 43, 40.
    In 2014 the Pirates hit 88 batters. Second-place White Sox all the way down at 69.
    In 2013 they hit 70, then second-place Reds hit 66, then 65, 64, 62.
    They are WAAAAAY off the bell curve for HBP in the last three years.

    • Jason Linden

      The Pirates are awful. Hurdle or the front office or somebody really ought to be fined hard.

      • rhayex

        Yeah, they are. I go on other baseball forums as well, and Pirates fans are pretty terrible as well when it comes to this. Somehow everyone else is always throwing at McCutchen intentionally, and their guys are almost never retaliating back. It’s always an “accident”.

        That said…

        I’m not sure if Villareal’s pitch was intentional. Watson was clearly throwing at Phillips. Villareal had an inside pitch get away from him. You can tell by how the catchers were set up; Barnhart was set up inside and moved to catch the ball even as it went at McCutchen. The Pirates catcher was set up straight down the middle and didn’t move at all when the pitch went straight at Phillips.

        That, plus how irritated Villareal looked, makes it seem as though it legitmately got away from him. I can’t know for sure, though.

      • lwblogger2

        This I can get on board with. Hurdle is the king of bean-ball war starters and escalators.

    • pinson343

      I heard an interview where Hurdle was asked about this. He said the Pirates pitchers were just hitting guys on the feet by accident.

    • Joe Atkinson

      Did I actually hear a Pirates announcer say that Cervelli “was right” to be furious after Melancon got tossed? Really? Two hit batters in the 8th, followed by a bench-clearing, three-headed melee, then you hit a batter in the ninth and you DON’T think your pitcher should get the heave? What did they think was going to happen?!

      • rhayex

        Pirates announcers (both television and radio) are terrible. For all the trouble people have with Marty and Thom here, the Pirates announcers are world worse. They always talk up retaliation for HBPs and are the worst kind of homers.

        They actually have said the Pirates are “soft” and “don’t go after opponents (read: headhunt them) enough”, and that they “don’t always have their teammates backs”. It’s insane, and I’m convinced it’s the main reason a lot of Pirates fans believe that retaliation is okay.

      • jdx19

        Pirates fans are quickly nearing Steeler fan status in my mind. The whole city of Pittsburgh is just… blahhh.

      • Austin

        Not trying to necessarily defend the Pirates announcers as I have never really listened to them, but I would’ve lost it too if that had happened to the Reds. Clearly, Melancon isn’t trying to put the tying run at the plate with two guys coming up who can hit it out (Suarez and de Jesus). And, we know it’s part of his repertoire to throw that inside cutter to leftys. Now, it may be protocol to heave a pitcher for a HBP after warnings are issued, regardless of circumstances, but that doesn’t mean the Pirates weren’t justified in being upset. If that had happened to us and we’re up 3-0 and one of Chapman’s fastballs had run in on Marte and clipped his elbow protector to bring the tying run to the plate, there’s no way the Reds wouldn’t complain. Which speaks to the overall point that these stupid bean ball wars need to be eradicated as they impact the game. Once warnings are issued, you are much more wary of pitching inside, which is a big part of Melancon’s success.

  4. jamesgarret

    Price followed the Dusty script to a tee today.Day game after a night game,last game of the series,worse we can do is split(winning 3 out of 4 ain’t cool) and we’ll get them tomorrow is the battle cry.Don’t want to start anything but I wonder what will happen in September.Will we hear that we have to put our best team on the field because we are playing teams fighting for a playoff spot and we owe it to the game?Dusty always had a reason as to why he ran out the B Team so I expect Price to do the same.In the big scheme of things it doesn’t matter but I personally think with a rookie making his first major league start on the mound we would put out are best team on the field.

    • pinson343

      I don’t know about the others but Joey needs a day off now and then and Price said back on Thursday that he had all of his core starting players slated for a day off during this 4 game series. (The reason Bruce sat on Friday wasn’t due to trade rumors, it was a planned day off.)

      • lwblogger2

        Right and right. I didn’t have a big issue w/ the B lineup for this game. It isn’t like he was resting 2 big hitters on the same day. He rested Votto and Hamilton.

    • Michael E

      I honestly don’t get resting players every other week. You used to find lots of players that started 160+ games. Now its extremely rare. Why do players today, who eat better, have better drugs/PEDs available (some still use), and have more invested in locker rooms, medicine, massage, etc, need MORE days off than those of 30, 40, 50 years ago?

      If I had a great player, he’d start 155+ games and most likely 160. I give one day off in a stretch of 20+ days straight of games, maybe a day game, but I see this happen every other Sunday, even with off-day during the week.

      • pinson343

        I’m not talking about every player, it depends on age, recent injury history, how many days is the team playing in a row, etc. In particular I’m talking about Joey Votto, who of course missed most of last season on rehab. It’s tough after that to come back and play every game for 6 months.

        I fully expected his post-all star break hot streak after 4 days of rest. And then it was inevitable that playing every game, he would gradually wear down again. Giving him a day off every two weeks or so is simply smart.

        I really do wish he was there to pinch hit in the 9th, but that’s a separate story.

      • VaRedsFan

        I’m with you Micheal. Off days are fine for every player if you are on a long stretch off consecutive games. Monday is an off day for the WHOLE TEAM.

        Again, it doesn’t matter because we aren’t in the race, but I have the feeling it would happen regardless of the standings. Dusty did it. Pirates didn’t rest their guys. They are playing with urgency.

      • lwblogger2

        Very few players actually played 162. Heck, Pete was a rare exception to that and Ripken’s record wouldn’t have been as big of a deal. I think 155 is a good number for players that aren’t catchers, middle-infielders, or CF. It’s about a day off a month plus normal off-days. For the middle-infielders and CF, I think maybe 150 is a good number. I also may give a player a day more here or there if he’s been banged up… Catchers realistically should be around 120-125 games.

    • DavidTurner49

      “We don’t want to lose games, we want to win every single game we play, we’re going to try to win every single game we play . . .” (Price quoted by Rosecrans yesterday)

      But evidently on a given day “we” don’t want/try to win the game as much as we do another game later on? I don’t get a B team against the Pirates, Cubs, or Cards.

      • vegastypo

        I have griped about this before, running terrible lineups out there against good teams. I think that Votto should have been in there today, unless he has a minor injury or something. He had a great game Thursday, then had four walks on Friday, but because he struggled against a tough pitcher on Saturday, he has to have a day off right away?

        Votto will have Monday off, and since the team is not traveling, have most of the day Tuesday as well until game-time, if he so chooses. Take Monday off completely, then get through the Cardinals series as well, and he can rest for one or even two games on the road against the Diamondbacks and Padres.

        Play the ‘A’ team against the contenders. (And that’s not even factoring in the fact that moving DeJesus to first base creates about the worst outfield possible, in addition to what it does to the offense.)

      • pinson343

        FWIW, the day off for Votto was not due to how he played Saturday. On the pre-game interview on Thursday, Price said that all the “core players” would be getting a scheduled day off 1 of the 4 games.

      • pinson343

        Actually, playing your best lineup against contending teams, starting in August, is a code of honor to some managers. And I’m OK with that to a point.

        Pete MacKinnon insisted on that the half-season he managed the Reds. The problem was, he overdid it – the Reds had a two week stretch in the first half of September against nothing but contending teams, and he insisted on playing an obviously exhausted Griffey Jr. every day, until a very painful season ending injury in RF.

      • jessecuster44

        Look back to Price’s first press conference and you can clearly tell that Price’s words have little meaning at all.

    • TomatoTovotto

      The guys need days off every once in awhile; obviously, fielding the b-team is depressing and perhaps “giving one away,” but there’s little other choice. It’s on the front office if they can’t field a remotely competent b-team, not the fault of Votto, Frazier, Bruce etc (and I doubt they have much say in “forced” rest anyway).

      Yes, the whole team is off tomorrow, but this gives Votto and B-Ham two days of rest. Part of it is physical recovery–especially for Votto who played less then half a season last year. Yes, they are professional athletes, but their bodies need to recover. Players took less days off “back in the day” but it was precisely because they weren’t pushing their bodies like today’s athletes are forced to (drills, bp, lifting, plus publicity, etc.). And of course there’s mental rest as well. A lot of us probably work 6-7 days a week, and it wears you down.

      • vegastypo

        Eh, I realize the days off were pre-scheduled, not the result of one bad day, though I saw a few comments of Joey looking like he needed a day off. Didn’t look like it on Thur or Fri, but it looked like that to people on Saturday? …

        But the concept of pre-scheduling days off is kinda my point. When we get to August, can’t we wait just a few extra days to schedule those extra mental-physical recovery days? Again, if there are legitimate fears that resting Joey NOW is important to a certain injury or injury prevention, sure, that’s another story. And I think it might well be more important to give Hamilton consecutive “off-days” whenever possible, just because of the athleticism his game requires, but just wish Price would wait a few extra days on Joey.

      • vegastypo

        I’ll P.S. my own comment by noting that Votto just had five days off about three weeks ago, too. It ain’t like he’s been out there for two months with only a few days off scattered here or there.

    • greenmtred

      Yeah, what Pinson said. These guys need days off sometimes.

  5. pinson343

    “MLB needs to deal with the Pirates harshly.” They won’t.

    I completely understand BP’s getting pissed off and the Reds support of him. For one thing, back on June 1, 2013, BP was hitting .296/.347/.481. He got hit on the forearm, during one of these hitting the batter exchanges, by a Pirates pitcher. He was out until June 7, then came back and hit 241/.288/.349 after the injury. The Reds made it to the WC play-in game that year (losing to the Pirates), but were not the same team offensively after the injury to BP.

    We know this particular exchange began when Marlon Byrd almost got hit in the face by a pitch last night, on the first pitch to him with a base open. If that happened to a player on the Pirates, Hurdle would have had a fit. The Pirates get into these things all the time, it starts with Hurdle, then gets amped up by their obnoxious radio broadcasters, then their Neanderthal fans.

    I heard an interview with Hurdle on mlbnetwork radio a couple of years ago. He was asked about 4-5 incidents of this kind. In every single case, he insisted that every time a Pirate was hit by a pitch, it was obviously intentional, whereas every time a player on the other team got hit, anyone who knows anything about baseball would know it was unintentional.

  6. vared

    For those of us that missed the game, came someone offer a brief version for what happened? Thanks in advance.

    • Playtowin

      It is all over the Internet. Watch ESPN sportscenter.

    • Redsfan48

      Byrd almost got hit in the head Saturday. Villarreal accidentally hit McCutchen in the elbow. Watson intentionally drilled Phillips in the same spot. Phillips walked toward mound, benches cleared. Votto, Byrd, and Sean Rodriguez all thrown out. In the 9th inning, Melancon hit Tucker Barnhart (likely not on purpose) and was immediately ejected as well, benches did not clear that time.

  7. seat101

    You’re not going to stop these guys from protecting their teammates. And, personally, I don’t think you should try. These things tend to be self-correcting

    And I don’t understand how you can call it “stupid” and “nonsense”and then recommend draconian punishments for players involved in it. It’s either a serious issue that needs to be dealt with very severely or it’s “nonsense”

    • pinson343

      The players and managers do want self-policing. But it’s unfortunate that sometimes a player’s (and a team’s) season is ruined due to this stuff.

    • VaRedsFan

      I’m on board with self policing…you hit our guy, we hit yours, then it’s over. Problem is, the Pirates don’t think it’s over, and they drag it out.

      The one that should be the maddest is Mccutchen. He is on the receiving end of all these paybacks.

    • mtkal

      Why can it not be a serious issue when someone does something that makes no sense (nonsense), or something stupid?

    • jdx19

      Yes, you can.

      The NBA did it. It works. You can’t leave the bench or you are automatically suspended.

      The only thing professional athletes care about more than their teammates is their bank accounts.

      As Jason suggests, an auto-suspension for leaving the bench would stop this tomfoolery overnight.

      • lwblogger2

        The issue with that is that it’s 9 on 2 in baseball. It’s the only sport where the sides aren’t even aside from when there’s a power-play in hockey or a non-subbed injury in soccer. That’s why I think there shouldn’t be a blanket punishment for coming off the bench. I think punishments for these incidents need to be handed out upon review of the incident on a case-by-case basis.

  8. wizeman

    i would have pitched chapman in the 9th. guess that makes me a really bad guy…. or one who had teammates once in my life.

    • seat101

      I think the Reds were wise to wait. Another hit by pitch would have caused a lot of long-term suspension for the Reds. This way we can wait until they are back in September or when they’re in their park and take care of it.

    • pinson343

      I’m with you, have Chapman pitch high and inside to McCutcheon in September. Not to hit him, just to scare the living crap out of him.

      • DavidTurner49

        Not so sure you can count on Chapman to be that precise.

      • pinson343

        Good point, but I’ve seen Chapman handle that kind of situation well. Jonathon Lucroy hit a walkoff HR off Chapman and he had a lot to say about it afterwards, such as “It was easy to take his changeup deep.” The next time he faced Lucroy, Chapman threw him an inside pitch that was way high over his head. LuCroy wasn’t even upset, the pitch was a safe distance from his head, but he understood the message.

      • jessecuster44

        … Is that a bad thing? I’m not saying I’d like to see Cutch get hurt, but I imagine a 103 mph heater to the head would end the beanball shenanigans from Pittsburgh for quite some time.

        Given Chappy’s usage, the resulting suspension wouldn’t really affect his innings.

      • greenmtred

        Also not sure that you can count on McCutcheon to get scared.

      • earmbrister

        He can be and has been that precise. MLB Network showed Chapman nailing McCutcheon with a 101 mph FB last year. This will be continued …

      • Frogger

        These guys are grown men. They hit you and you scare them with an inside brush back pitch. There going to laugh at you. They are likely laughing right now. Good or bad you need to send a message they understand.

    • jessecuster44

      Wow. It’s one thing to plunk BP on the rump or leg, but that pitch drilled him near the head.

      This is so bush league. Watson should be suspended two weeks.

  9. pinson343

    Victor Martinez on the Pirates: “I have no respect for no one on that team, including Cole and their coaching staff.”

    This was in early July, after Martinez was hit on the ribs by a pitch from Gerrit Cole.
    The context was that Justin Verlander had hit Starling Marte with a pitch on a 1-2 count.
    Martinez on that: “If they think that Verlander hit Marte with a 1-2 count — he was battling that at-bat — if they really think we did it on purpose, they’re playing the wrong sport.”

    They are playing the wrong sport, Pittsburgh fans are football fans, they don’t get baseball.

  10. DavidTurner49

    What is the rule that led to Rodriguez, Byrd, and Votto being run? I didn’t see any punches thrown in the clip above. Votto would have come in handy as ph in B9.

    • VaRedsFan

      After things calmed down, it got heated again and Votto came back out to dance.
      I applaude Votto for standing up to BP today and Byrd last night

    • seat101

      I am guessing that Joey Votto was ejected because he came back onto the field and was seemingly trying to fight a particular player.

      Of course, Joeys really big problem will be explaining to Chris Carpender’ son what he did.

    • pinson343

      Votto sure would have come in handy in the 9th. No punches were thrown, and everyone was jabbering. Apparently some were evicted for yelling at the umps. Brantely said that Votto didn’t do anything that a dozen other players weren’t doing.

      • pinson343

        Just read what Seat101 said, that’s a better explanation but it too could have been applied to a number of other players.

  11. Tom Reed

    Didn’t see game but winner had 3 runs on 3 hits. Reds had 0 runs on 6 hits plus 14 LOB. Not a bad first outing for Sampson.

  12. tct

    I don’t get all the griping about the B team. Bruce, Frazier, BP, Byrd, and Suarez all played. Pena didn’t play, but Tucker is probably a better option anyway against a right handed starter. So it comes down to Hamilton and Votto, two guys who I think need regular rest.

    I really believe that the 2013 swoon was caused, in part, by Dusty overplaying guys. Votto played all 162 that year and he was coming off knee surgery! He looked completely worn down in September. I’m convinced that Joey plays better with a day off every couple weeks.

    As for Billy, his value is completely tied to his legs. They have to be full strength for him to have value. Some regular rest is not a bad thing for him.

    The problem I had with the lineup today was the order it was in. You had 2 of the worst 3 hitters in the lineup batting 1-2. Price has been somewhat open minded about lineups; hitting Joey second, the pitcher eighth, etc… But he has given most of the leadoff at bats to Billy and BP- the 2 worst hitters among everyday players.

    • Old-school

      We have Chapman….fight fire with a nuclear bomb….Chapman should hit McCutheon every game he pitches square in the back at 103 mph.

      • greenmtred

        Sarcasm, I hope? McCutcheon hasn’t hit anybody with a pitch. The problem with the whole business is that it isn’t just theoretical: A major league fastball is a potentially lethal weapon.

      • lwblogger2

        Agree with that. Beanball wars have no place in the game.

    • vegastypo

      I kinda vented my spleen a few times above about the B team, but I’d say this is a bit different than 2013. Then, the Reds had something to play for, so Dusty caved to the idea of overworking the guys. … Now, I think they kinda have the (sad) luxury of looking at the standings and judging better times to give days off, especially when there are team days off sprinkled in, in this case as soon as Monday.

  13. Steve Mancuso

    I was at the game with a pretty good view of the skirmish and wanted to post my thoughts before I watch the video or read the game thread. Without the benefit of video, my perspective is highly selective, based on what I happened to notice at the time. Being there live has its advantages, but also without replay and commentary, its drawbacks. For example, they didn’t announce in the stadium that any players had been kicked out of the game. So we were wondering why Votto didn’t pinch hit in the ninth. We didn’t find out until the drive home that Votto had been ejected.

    Joey Votto and Jay Bruce acted like leaders of a team that wasn’t going to get pushed around. Votto was shoo’ing the Pirates relievers back to the bullpen after the first skirmish and the entire Pirates team to their dugout after the second one. He and Bruce stayed on the field with Price and a couple other coaches long after all the other players were in the dugout.

    I thought BP pushed the umpire with his chest at the start. He had to be restrained several times by different teammates and coaches. On the one hand, walking toward the mound is an overreaction. On the other hand, he was injured two years ago by another HBP at the hands of the Pirates, missed time and struggled the rest of the year, so I understand him being extra-sensitive.

    The Pirates deliberately pitch inside. It’s part of their philosophy. That’s why they end up hitting more batters than usual. I have no problem with that, as long as they are willing to live with the consequences. The Pirates know they hit more batters than any other pitching staff, yet they always act so surprised when other teams react to getting hit. And, of course, they complain any time one of their guys gets hit.

    I don’t mind the bench-clearing stuff as long as it doesn’t turn violent. It’s silly, but it’s also completely harmless and spices up the environment.

    • tct

      Agree with you about the Pirates and their “philosophy”. I mean, pitching inside is not some newly discovered revelation that only the Pirates know about. But, fine, you hit more people than any other team every year because of your philosophy. OK, but understand that your “philosophy” is going to result in some of your players getting hit in return. Even a child could understand this. It’s the old “don’t dish it out if you can’t take it” mantra.

      Furthermore, their arrogance annoys me. They are “too busy winning”? Winning what? Did they get some rings made for their wild card berths? Did they hang a banner for it? I mean, the Reds are in the same boat when it comes to recent postseason success. But at least the Reds have won a couple division titles this century. The Pirates have never been the best team in the Central, and yet they act like they own it.

    • VaRedsFan

      Thanks for your perspective. I agree with you assessment of Votto, Bruce and Frazier. They weren’t in there playing patty cake. I looked like they were fed up with Pirate actions, and were backing up their teamates Byrd and BP.
      I’m thinking it goes a long way in the club house with their peers.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Yeah, I know I missed a lot in real time. There’s only so much you can take in and there’s a mass of humanity with a thousand things going on. But I was drawn to the body language of Bruce and Votto. They carried themselves like you would expect team captains to – in the skirmishes and afterward.

      • jessecuster44

        It’s really good to hear this. I wonder how Mat Latos would have acted?

    • PXShaman

      I agree, Votto, Bruce, and Frazier did the right thing. But it seemed like the Pirates were in the mind set of “Everyone is jealous of how good we are doing.” That team will never win in the post season, because they are immature. After the game, all the Reds players said the right thing. The Pirates though were like “I don’t know what the problem was.”

      I hate the Cardinals as much as the next guy, but at least they don’t retaliate and play to win. The Pirates on the other hand, are on the opposite spectrum. I can respect what the Cardinals do, but I cannot respect the Pirates. This will be the third year in a row they lead the league in hit batsman, and it isn’t even close. If Byrd did get hit in the head that would be insult to injuries to the Reds. If BP got injured, that would be even worse. Enough is enough, the Pirates organization needs to do something about this, or MLB needs to step in and put a stop to this petty organization.

      • PXShaman

        Also shout out to Homer Bailey, he looked pretty healthy out there.

  14. Steve Mancuso

    Michael Lorenzen stood with Billy Hatcher at the top of the dugout steps every inning when the Reds were in the field. Hatcher is always there – he’s directing the outfield defense. It looked like Lorenzen was asking questions all the time and Hatcher was teaching. Maybe talking about defensive alignment. I was impressed with the devotion Lorenzen had to whatever his project was today. I’ve never seen a player stand there and talk with Hatch during one inning, let along all nine.

    • seat101

      Thanks for pointing that out Steve. Someone with a better memory than mine can tell you if I others have spent time with Billy Hatcher. Occasionally I have seen Brandon bring him a drink.

    • GeauxReds

      Lorenzen seems like quality guy. Add your story to the fact that he turned Johnny Beisbol into a mentor in 4 months time. He seems very composed for a rook.

  15. Shchi Cossack

    The Little Cossack got to see her 1st bench (and bullpen) clearing skirmish live. Her response was “Daddy, what are all the players doing on the field?” I gave her some nonsense about a bunch of rosters in the hen house trying to impress the hens. I didn’t feel an in depth discussion of testosterone was justified or appropriate at the time.

    I couldn’t make out who was handling Byrd during the episode, but Byrd was hot and ready to explode. Whoever was handling Byrd did him a huge favor, because if Byrd had gotten loose, it would ceased to be a skirmish and escalate into a full scale battle with intent to cause serious bodily injury. Personal opinion, Byrd had every right to be livid. The pitch yesterday goes into his ear if he had not successfully raised his should to ward off the pitch.

    Jason, you are correct, the bench clearing is senseless and such cirmstances shou8ld be addressed harshly by the league. Pinson is also correct in that the league does not address these circumstnces harshly and won’t address these circumstances harshly. The numbers quoted by RHAYEX speak to the problem and the source. Since the league won’t take action, I don’t know what other course of action is available to the teams and players. I fully expected Jumbo to plant someone in the 9th with a 98 MPH fastball.

    • Steve Mancuso

      I think the league should focus more on penalties for intentionally hitting another player – something that is harmful. The shoving matches are mostly entertainment. Huffing and puffing.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Yes, I completely agree, but I simply don’t see the league taking any real action in that regard. Of course, Manfred may surprise the Old Cossack.

  16. Shchi Cossack

    Regarding the lineup…

    Phillips had a nice run back in May, but since May (2 full months), Phillips has a .305 OBP. It’s time to move him back down in the lineup and see what other options might exist at the top of the order (De Jesus & Suarez maybe?) I fail to see any even remotely valid reason for Schumaker hitting in the top of the order (or playing at all for that matter). His only value has been as a pinch hitter.

    I’m all for seeing De Jesus and Suarez starting every game for the rest of season. If Bruce needs a day off, De jesus in RF. If Phillips needs a day off, De Jesus at 2B. If Frazier needs a day off, DeJesus at 3B. If Hamilton needs a day off, DeJesus in CF. If all the regular IF and OF are playing, sit Byrd and De Jesus in LF.

    Schumaker plays only as a pinch hitter. We know what Schumaker can do and that should be enough justification to keep him on the bench.

    This insistance of moving Votto from the #2 hole to the #3 hole if Frazier or Bruce or Byrd are out of the lineup needs to stop. When a player is removed from the starting lineup, for whatever reason, the lineup is shuffled by moving players up not moving players down. Keep Votto in the #2 hole every game he plays…period.

    • lwblogger2

      In theory that works fine but to keep players sharp, and so that Schumaker can be at least somewhat productive when pinch hitting, players need regular ABs. A couple ABs a week as a PH doesn’t do that. You need to give them a start every couple weeks at least.

  17. Shchi Cossack

    I thought Sampson pitched a brilliant game for his 1st major league start with 6 SO, 1 BB & 3 H in 5 innings. I was making a water run for the Little Cossack and missed Walker’s HR in the 4th and I thought Sampson lost his composure in the 3rd after the Rodriguez double, but ala in all, a solid outing for the kid. I want to see more of this kid as a starter. Don’t look now but Villarreal may be auditioning for the long man out of the bullpen in 2016. He certainly pitched a gem today and Jumbo finished up the 9th in spendid fashion. Just a little more hitting would have been nice but the Little Cosasach and the Old Cossack had a splendid day at GABP and TiqIQ provided great seats at way below regular or even discounted prices from the box office or ticketmaster.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Thanks for thinking of TiqIQ! Agree about Sampson.

      • Wizeman

        Stephenson line tonight
        6ip. 1 run 3 hits 2 walks 5 strikeouts

        Duvall 2 for 5 with a homer. No strikeouts

      • Tom Gray

        Duvall has 1B/LF future with Reds (maybe). Back-up 1B for Votto. In the mix in LF and maybe platoon with Winker there in 2016.

  18. jamesgarret

    I like what Sampson did today and so lets give him another start.Steve,appreciate you sharing what you saw on the field.We need leadership on the field.Hats off to Joey and Jay.I heard some of Price’s post game and he took the high road saying both teams pitch inside.Also heard some of what Hurdle had to say(didn’t hear it all) and he appeared to be half way to where ever the Bucs play next.Rest assured Hurdle is old school and he will hit two for every one you hit if he gets a chance.

    • jessecuster44

      He couldn’t hit a lick for the Reds back in 1982, so I suppose he’s settling for hitting Reds players now.

  19. Indy Red Man

    Hitting a guy in the butt or even in the back or throwing behind him is one thing but they almost hit Byrd in the face on Sat night? That’s not old school? Thats how somebody might get seriously injured or killed? On top of that Cole comes flying out of the dugout like he’s going to take on the whole team by himself. I remember how he ran his mouth last time they were in town. Grown men probably shouldn’t fight other grown men but I don’t remember Robin Ventura ever charging the mound again after Nolan Ryan got done with him. Life is about learning and that can be a educational moment for some people.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Byrd was hit in the face a couple years ago and suffered several broken bones. Can understand how he takes a ball aimed at his head extra-serious.

    • Indy Red Man

      I ahd to go to watch the Nolan Ryan/Ventura thing again on Utube. I forgot that Frank Thomas and Bo Jackson were on the White Sox back then. If they came out of the dugout mad then some Rangers were getting a beatdown….lol

    • jessecuster44

      That last sentence. Awesome!

  20. HerpyDerp

    Benches clearing is just immature and wastes everyone’s time. Fine everyone on the field not currently in the game, possibly suspend them. Also, I doubt any of the HBP’s were intentional except for Watson-Phillips. Cutch needs to stop being so prissy about getting HBP. It was a spinning breaking ball, those are almost always the pitches people get hit by unintentionally. Put your head down and go to first base. Remember the Nats with Harper and Votto getting hit in back-to-back days?

    • Redleg 68

      We don’t need fines and suspensions to take the human element out of the game.

      • greenmtred

        It probably is a human element. But it’s not admirable.

      • HerpyDerp

        The NBA does it, and I completely agree with it.

      • lwblogger2

        Mentioned several times in this thread but you can’t compare baseball to the NBA in this case. The NBA has 5 guys on the floor for each team. If something happens on the court, the sides are at least even. In baseball, it’s 9 on 2.

  21. wildwestlv

    “I don’t know what it is,” McCutchen said of the history between the teams. “We’re too busy winning. I haven’t had too much time to think about it.”

    Clown answer from a clown player.

    • Matthew Watkins

      Think about this Clutch, the Pirates record against the Reds this year is 4 wins – 9 loses. Sure you’re to busy for that. I hope they slump and don’t make it in…Brew Crew style.

    • CP

      “winning”

      The Pirates haven’t won the World Series since 1979.

      The Pirates still haven’t won a Central division championship.

  22. GeauxReds

    Reminds me of Big Pasta starting a fight and getting someone hurt…. Was it Chapman? Anyway, you don’t need hot heads on the team. Glad to see Alfredo gone.

  23. sezwhom

    Today, the Reds fielded a lineup that was absent Votto, Hamilton, and Pena, giving it a decidedly B-Team feel.

    Votto and Hamilton yes but Pena? He has 245 ABs with ZERO HR’s and a mere 11 RBI. Even at GABP, he’s failed to hit a HR! Now that’s lofty B status.

  24. J.Gomes

    I disagree on the bench clearing. I don’t want to see it everyday, but it is nice to know you cheer for a team that cares. A team that is passionate about what is happening on the field rather than being complacent and just there for a paycheck.

    It’s a big reason why I have turned to watching Royals games the past few years. They remind me of the 2010 Reds who dug deep and came together as team out there on the field everyday. They are the team I want to see the Reds be again. \
    Each time I see the benches clear I look for who the first guys out were. In 2010, it was one Mr. Jonny Gomes and I’d don’t know if anyone could doubt his passion for the game. It’s infectious throughout a team and I love seeing it.

  25. Christian Domis

    The only thing missing from that confrontation was a punch thrown. If somebody f-cks with one of my teammates it is game on.

  26. Roberto

    Don’t forget how Johnny Cueto kicking Jason LaRue in the head during a brawl in 2010 ended LaRue’s career. Fortunately, the bench-clearing huffing & puffing doesn’t turn more serious very often.

    • lwblogger2

      It did and it was unfortunate. I understand what he did under the circumstances but that is a good cautionary tale on how this stuff can escalate and how people can really get hurt.

  27. Carl Sayre

    I have felt for a long time that since the WWII soldiers every generation mine included has went down hill. The comments on here proves that theory out, “we shouldn’t retalliate and hit their players when the hit ours” and todays players need the extra days off. When they have an extra inning game their workday isn’t 8 hours and a large part of that is sitting on their backside and play off teams play 9 months a year. I know they work out in the off season but what is that workday 3 hours. The injuries that plague professional ball players is because they don’t work enough IMO.