Final R H E
Arizona Diamondbacks (59-61) 5 13 0
Cincinnati Redlegs (51-68) 4 10 0
W: Hernandez (1-3) L: Badenhop (1-3) S: Ziegler (22)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–The Redlegs were up 4-0 after two innings. Unfortunately, some moron back in the 1800s decreed that games were supposed to last nine innings, instead of two. I hate that guy.

–Eugenio Suarez was 3-4 tonight with an RBI. The kid just keeps hitting. His season slash line is now .305/.342/.488. Me likey.

–Jason Bourgeois was 2-4 with a triple, an RBI, and two runs scored. A good bounce-back performance after last night’s disaster.

–JJ Hoover pitched a perfect ninth (though no more; see below). Ryan Mattheus didn’t allow a run in an inning and two-thirds.

The Bad
–Reds lead 4-0, lose 5-4. If you are a new fan of the Cincinnati Reds National League Baseball Club, get used to this.

–I’ll repeat what I said a couple of nights ago: I really don’t think Bryan Price is as bad a manager as everyone seems to think, but his handling of the bullpen drives me right up the wall.

Here’s an example of what I was talking about. Tonight, the Reds held a 4-3 lead going into the 8th inning. Price brings in Burke Badenhop. That’s fine. I like Badenhop. He’s a good reliever.

Well, Bade Burkenhop proceeded to load the bases. So, here’s the situation: bases loaded, one run game, two outs, eighth inning, a struggling pitcher on the mound. Perfect spot for Aroldis Chapman, right?

Ummm, no. Chapman wasn’t warming up. No one was warming up! At least, not until Badenhop loaded the bases. So, predictably, the D’backs scored two runs and took a 5-4 lead.

Now, perhaps Chapman wasn’t available for some reason (and that’s looking increasingly likely). That’s the ONLY excuse for him not being in the game. There is absolutely no justification, however, for someone — JJ Hoover? — not warming up in the bullpen as Badenhop began to blow this game. And that’s all on Bryan Price.

–Badenhop hadn’t allowed a run in a month and a half, folks. He pitched poorly tonight, but he’s good. He just didn’t have it tonight.

–In the bottom of the eighth, down one run after Price’s bullpen shenanigans, the Reds got two runners on with no outs. Todd Frazier: lazy fly ball. Jay Bruce: strikeout. Ivan DeJesus, Jr.: groundout.

–Bruce is 6-58 since August 5. Ugly. And his strikeout that I mentioned above? He chased a bunch of balls out of the zone. Funny how Frazier and Bruce get mired in slumps when they swing at bad pitches, but when Votto refused to swing at pitches outside the strike zone, he’s hurting the team. I’m confused.

–Joey Votto only got on base twice, with a double and a walk. Not an elite performance.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Six straight losses and nine of their last eleven. Can someone explain why I am still watching this mess every single night?

Because I love this franchise. And I probably need mental health treatment.

–I’m going to put John Lamb down here, instead of under “The Good” or “The Bad” above. Lamb started really well, mixing up his pitches, keeping hitters off balance. Then he struggled a bit. In the end, he pitched into the sixth inning, 5.1 innings, three runs allowed on nine hits. But Lamb struck out 8 and walked none.

He’s a rookie. But I really love what I’ve seen from this kid so far.

–If you aren’t completely and utterly in love with Eugenio Suarez, we can’t be friends.

–Marlon Byrd was traded before the game. You can’t blame him for tonight’s loss. Sorry.

Alert: Sentimentality ahead. This makes three straight Recaps for me. I like it. Feels like the first 7-8 years that Redleg Nation existed, when I pretty much wrote ALL the recaps. More than 95% anyway.

Goodness, I love this dumb little site. Thank you guys for making this so much fun over the years.

89 Responses

  1. jessecuster44

    chappy is HURT. it’s a shoulder issue. Apparently all that lack of work has been counterproductive. Shocking.

    Nice work not trading him, Walt. Now he’s worthless.

    • pinson343

      You might be dead on right about the cause of the shoulder injury. Price after the game: “The game [Chapman] had the other day against Kansas City, he never was able to get loose.” After that game, when Chapman was asked whether pitching for the first time in 6 days bothered him, he specifically said that his shoulder was stiff.

      So we know that Chapman was not “rested” for 6 days because of the shoulder problem, and that the shoulder first bothered him when he tried to pitch for the first time after that.

      Regardless, Brantely knows about relief pitching, and says the same thing over and over: Relief pitchers want to pitch on a regular basis, and they need to pitch on a regular basis.

      • RedAlert

        Agree Pinson – Brantley knows his stuff when it comes to pitching. Been there , done that. Plus, he was VERY GOOD at it !

      • pinson343

        He sure was – one of my favorite closers in Reds history.

      • lwblogger2

        I love it when Brantley talks pitching. The guy really does know his stuff. Don Sutton is another one that’s great to listen to when it comes to pitching. Orel Hershiser, as bad as he is as an analyst, is another one that when he talks pitching, I listen.

      • WVRedlegs

        Cowboy Brantley should be doing the TV commentating. He is an excellent analyst. There is no need for him to do the radio play by play when Marty takes his 3 inning breaks. Marty and Welsh or Kelch should do the radio broadcasts.

    • Morgan Mayham

      Tommy john for chappy,… i would’nt be surprised.

      • lwblogger2

        We Reds’ fans tend to think the worst when it comes to injuries to our guys. We’ve been bitten pretty hard lately. Let’s hope it’s just some stiffness and he’ll get over it pretty quickly as he has in the past. @Kmartin makes a good point above. Let’s hope he’s right.

  2. RedAlert

    Thank you Chad – We appreciate this site and all the work that you guys put in to it. It’s a place where we can all express our opinions on how to fix this team and organization and also vent our frustrations. Enjoy reading all the articles and conversing with the Nation !

    • mtkal

      Here, here! Could not agree more. Well said.

    • kmartin

      Yes, thanks to Chad and all of the writers. This blog provides a tremendous service and outlet for Reds fans.

    • whodeythinkgonnabeatthemredlegs

      Agreed. I have only been reading for several months now but I am already started to take it for granted.

    • lwblogger2

      Best fan site I’ve been a participant on. Excellent writers and good analysis and debate. Very, very little trolling and flaming.

  3. JRAL

    On the positive side we have a good performance from a young pitcher while potentially improving next years draft position. I have no problem with losses at this point in the season.

    • jdx19

      Agreed. The reasons I tune in are down to 2, at this point… to see the young pitchers develop and to watch Joey Votto be Joey Votto.

  4. mtkal

    I try hard (I really do) to agree that Price isn’t that bad of a manager. But you say his bullpen handling drives you nuts. (Or something like that).

    And that’s the thing:
    First of all, isn’t handling the bullpen a really big part of what a manager does?
    Secondly, Price was a pitching coach, and a good one by all (or most) accounts. It just seems like that’s the one thing he should be best at.
    I know he’s been dealt a bad hand with the bullpen and bench he was given to start this season, and then all the injuries. But there just seem to be so many decisions that make you go W-T-F!?!?!?

    • pinson343

      Yes and Right now the bullpen isn’t that bad. Since the Cueto trade, their ERA has been microscopic and even without Chapman they have 5 decent options (I’m counting Mattheus because he can pitch, though he has issues with things like holding runners and fielding his position).

      You’ve nailed it with decisions that make you … umm, upset. Tonight he had options in case Badenhop got into a jam, he didn’t use them.

      • brmreturns

        Price said in post game interview that he was holding off in case the game went long. Hoover and Diaz were the only available arms in the pen. Stated that he would have gone to a starter after those two.

      • vegastypo

        Holding off in case the game went long (Hoover, last night)…. holding off in case the guy is needed for the next three games (Chapman, last week) … holding off in case the guy is needed for longer relief (Cingrani, in April)…

        Gee, it seems that Price ALWAYS has an excuse to NOT try to win whatever game he is actually involved in on a given night. … How he keeps his job just astounds me.

      • pinson343

        Parra’s being unavailable explains a lot.

      • pinson343

        You don’t play for extra innings when you have a 1 run lead in the 8th. This is the kind of thinking that is Price’s problem. We give him a hard time for burning pitchers sometimes, but that’s in a tie game.

      • jessecuster44

        Price ALWAYS HAS AN EXCUSE. Has he ever been accountable for his decisions?

  5. RiverCity Redleg

    I like when you are more active as well. I have missed the Not So Random Thoughts on off days this year.

  6. wildwestlv

    This just in: Bryan Price’s prized Hennessey Venom GT, which set a world record for fastest car in the world (270.49 mph), back in February, 2014, is now BROKEN. Apparently, Price, after almost a year and a half of polishing it with a diaper, neglected to keep up basic maintenance on the superstar vehicle, causing the gaskets to dry out, the oil to leak out and the engine to seize up.

    • pinson343

      This is what seems to have happened, I replied about it to JesseCutter above.

  7. ohiojimw

    This is getting depressing. I keep track from a safe distance for several games then allow myself to actively follow an entire game in real time (or close to it. tonite something came up so I was watching the DVR recording maybe 15 minutes delayed and asking myself why I didn’t just cut to the chase).

    Then I figured out why I didn’t just cut to the chase. These Reds are almost nightly finding new ways to lose; and, I didn’t want to miss tonight’s creativity less it happen in the 15 minute gap between the recording and real time. And of course I wasn’t disappointed; my patience was rewarded in both halves of the 8th inning.

    So here is my take away. At some critical point in every game, the other team steps up and does something to win it while the Reds almost always find a way to fail at these points when they are presented with them; and, almost nightly, they are presented with them. Some of the teams the Reds have been playing are clearly much better teams over the haul; but even those teams are going to lose 40%+ of their games when the season is done; but the Reds are losing 2 of 3 games (and worse) regularly because they can’t close the deal when it is there to close.

    So yeah, being this bad versus being merely mediocre is about that intangible we argue about here, leadership. From the manager, the coaching staff, the veteran players, the young comers or front office. Somebody has to step up and say enough is enough then go out and prove it.

    • pinson343

      I’m going thru the same thing, I try to keep a distance and then I get sucked in. I’ve ended up enduring the last 3 nights up close and painful. Tonight I watched because Lamb was pitching, then when he left with a narrow lead it would have been more stressful to not watch.

      In all 3 of these losses, the Reds offense has had chance after chance to win a game, or at least tie the game, or add to a lead, with a single or sometimes just a fly ball. They just keep failing. Frazier and Bruce have been especially brutal.

      When the DBacks pulled their starter after 2 innings, on the game thread I said the Reds wouldn’t score again, as now they had to face a bullpen. It wasn’t a dead serious prediction, but there it is, another 7 scoreless innings against a bullpen.

      • ohiojimw

        Lamb was also the draw for me. I think he has some ceiling but work to do.

        Reminds me a bit of a LH Bird Fyderich with some of his mannerisms.

      • pinson343

        He’d be a Big Bird. I loved the bird. Too bad his career was cut short.

      • redmountain

        This is the key here. Price has nothing to do with how the Reds take a lead early and then cannot seem to hit. They have done that too many times this year.

      • lwblogger2

        It’s like they have a good game-plan and approach for the starting pitcher. It’s like he’s been scouted and prepared for. The middle-relievers and long-guys though? Not so much. Then there’s the setup guys and closers and sometimes even when you have a plan, their stuff is just too nasty.

  8. Patty Breitenstein

    I have to tell you Chad, you are my favorite writer on this post. I look forward to the articles you write after another loss, after loss, after loss…………The humor helps after the bullpen comes in and blows another game.

    Thanks for cheering us up!! Love this page!

  9. Jeff Morris

    Great Job as usual Chad on the Post Game Recap.

  10. pinson343

    We love this dumb little site too, Chad, in large part because of recaps like yours tonight.

  11. The Next Janish

    Best recaps around! RLN the only recap I read now. Thanks for making this season a little more bearable.

  12. Lid

    Terrible handling of the bullpen … managers like this costs us 7-10 wins per year(?) … when the score was 4-2, Price should’ve replaced Lamb … and the eighth inning … no brainer … the best manager, Bochy, would’ve won this game for us …

    • ohiojimw

      And keep in mind, a game not lost equals two game that do not have to be made up if one is concerned about the standings. So, if a manager has lost a team five games, that’s a 10 game swing.

    • Westwood Eagle

      Because of course, Bochy wins every game he manages!

      • lwblogger2

        No, I don’t think anyone says that. Where he’s different is that he seems to manage for today and he seems to not overthink things. He lets tomorrow worry about tomorrow. Heck, he seems to let anything in the future be a problem when it happens instead of before it happens. In doing this, he seems to often avoid the problem in the first place.

  13. pinson343

    Chad really nailed it with his description of yet another 8th inning bullpen loss, acknowledging that Badenhop has pitched well and aware that Chapman may not have been available.

    Why not have Hoover ready for that bases loaded, two out, game on the line, situation with Pollock up ? RHed hitters are batting .136 against Hoover ! Instead Price gets him up when Pollock comes to bat, so he can come in after the Reds are behind. Ugh.

  14. pinson343

    One can say more about Price’s lack of anticipation, lack of proactive thinking, in the 8th inning. Before it got as scary as bases loaded with Pollock up, Inciarte was up with runners on 2nd and 3rd, 2 out. He has a .245/.275/.275 line against lefties, and a .314/.346/.431 line against righties. Huge difference.

    Thom B. (not knowing about the Chapman situation) was annoyed that Chapman never gets used for a 4 out save, even though Price said he would, etc. Chris Welsh was sensing that Chapman might not be available, asked why Parra wasn’t coming in to face Inciarte. Lefties are hitting .208/.250/.313 against Parra, and he has a 4.33 K/W ratio against them.

    How could Price not look ahead, in terms of protecting a lead in the 8th, see that if Inciarte gets to bat, there’s trouble, and have Parra ready ? Is Parra hurt too ?

      • ohiojimw

        Oops, that was meant to be set piece gm, set piece mgr; matching bookends.

        Had to be the darn auto speller, right? 🙂

      • pinson343

        Right. But my point about Parra becomes moot – he was unavailable. No excuse for not having Hoover ready to face Pollock though.

    • Brian

      As I live in Detroit, Price and Ausmus are really very similar. The other day Ausmus decided to pitch to Altuve with a runner on third and first and second base open because he was worried that the astros would PH Preston Tucker who was getting the day off (altuve ended up hitting the first pitch for a walk off hit), i’m sure if pushed Price would come up with something like Ausmus’s excuse that had he brought in Parra they would have pinch hit X. Its really crazy how similar the managers are as neither can handle a bullpen and consistently cost their teams games.

      • pinson343

        And Ausmus is a smart guy, Dartmouth grad who got a lot of respect as an intelligent cacther. Price seems bright also, it’s not about that. A good manager wants to win every day. Joe Torre used to say: “we play today, we win today.”

  15. pinson343

    In sum, even without Chapman available, Price no longer has the excuse of “no options in the bullpen”. The bottom line is simple: he doesn’t make good decisions.

  16. pinson343

    “This makes three straight Recaps for me. I like it. Feels like the first 7-8 years that Redleg Nation existed, when I pretty much wrote ALL the recaps. More than 95% anyway.”

    I too have fond memories of those years and recaps.

    And the timing of your 3 straight recaps has been excellent. Even though I’ve stopped concerning myself with the Reds 2015 record and start every game with a “Let’s just enjoy it” attitude, the last 3 nights have been a brutal stretch. You mention “mental health treatment”: the recaps have been great therapy.

  17. Myron Gaines

    I don’t understand how there are still Price apologists… that 8th inning was a fitting example of how a poor manager WILL cost a ball club some number of games over the season. It reminds me of a certain Cubs series this year where something similar happened not once, but TWICE.

    Even if it’s only difference of a few games, it’s maddening because they are entirely preventable mistakes, caused by lapses in, or total lack of, logic. He seems like a fine pitching coach, but this manager experiment is clearly not working.

    • ohiojimw

      And if the talent issues are fixed at some point, that’s when those “few” games will make a big difference.

  18. Scot Lykins

    I have not been on the “Fire Price” bandwagon. But after last night, I have reserved a spot.

    • pinson343

      +1 I think the Reds are up to 60% of next years’s rotation: Disco, Izzy, Lamb (Big Bird ?) …. And hopefully Stephenson is OK, and Homer is back by mid-season.

      Next year could be one of those fun years where the team is ultimately not a contender but clearly improving and headed in the right direction.

  19. peter ponds

    Fond memories indeed, Chad. When this “dumb little site” had to do recaps on those 2008 and 2009 Reds and then saw the rise of a helpless team to a contender. But even in the darker times, your humorous, accurate recaps (and Milton!!!) made things easier.
    Now that we as fans have to endure yet another hard time, the last thing I want to read about is win probabilities or WAR after losing a 4-0 lead, believe me.

    As for Price, we have to agree to disagree. Very good Pitching Coach, Bad Manager.

    • pinson343

      Love Milton the goat. I remember the naming contest (I voted against “Milton”, but that’s OK). I used to say he’s a Cubs fan.

      I’m with you on Price.

  20. Eric

    Chad…..Your recaps are still the best………they’re the reason that I became obsessed with this site 6-7 years ago. Ayy you hen E O Suarez may be a star!!

  21. sezwhom

    The Good: Suarez and Lamb.

    The Bad: Frazier and Bruce! The latter should have been traded.

    The Ugly: lack of team hitting. The Rookie pitchers, for the most part, have kept us in games. Bryan Price. Deer in headlight. He won’t be back.

    • ohiojimw

      “Deer in headlights…” My very thought when they showed Price on tv after the 8th inning bullpen meltdown

  22. sultanofswaff

    Yes, it’s back to the future here at Redleg Nation. Ever since the trade deadline, the site has taken on some of that old magic from pre-2010. Those were great times.

    For me, I’ve always been more interested in the process of building a team and figuring out how all the pieces work together. Not that I didn’t enjoy all the winning the last few years, but it doesn’t stimulate the ol’ melon.

    Is it sad or funny that this site is one of the my most important rituals each day?

    • RedInInd

      “. . . sad or funny . . .?” Neither. It’s just a good habit to develop. I’m here several times a day, just like checking e-mail.

    • pinson343

      It’s one of my most important rituals too. For me that’s sometimes sad, always a little funny.

  23. Matt WI

    More Chad Dotson recaps! And I agree with Rivery City up-thread… the old not-so random thoughts on off days were great. Oddly, as the site grew bigger the comments on those threads decreased. Like all people wanted to talk about is baseball or something 😉

    Also, even though the games haven’t been happy endings, I enjoy Kelch and Brantley together on the radio. Just a much better vibe.

  24. james garrett

    A manager can’t lose a game in the 8th or 9th inning because he isn’t prepared.Not thinking ahead and not having one or two guys warming up is dumber then dumb.I can’t fault him for not bringing in another pitcher because you have to have somebody ready to come in and he didn’t.

  25. Carl Sayre

    Take your pick with Price what drives me nuts the most. Waiting 3 hitters to long to get someone up in the bullpen, bunting runners over to second and my all time favorite he was terrible about giving 2 and sometimes 3 starters a day off in the same game. These players need a day off from time to time but at best the bench has one plyer (DeJesus) so you can’t give multiple starters a day off and have any hope of winning.

  26. pinson343

    Incredible reaction to Chad’s recaps here. And it’s not just a wave of nostalgia, it includes “new” people. I hope Chad is reading his fan mail.

    I want to give a Shout Out (as BP would say) and Thank You to the other recap writers who have hung in there, writing excellent recaps too, in particular Steve, who writes so many thoughtful recaps.

    Every recap writer has a different style and point of view, which makes the blog so great.

    Chad just has that one in a million charisma – I still think he looks like George Clooney’s younger brother.

  27. Sean Feder

    One small comment: It is not correct to say that getting on base only twice is not an elite performance. Assuming 5 at bats, that’s a .400 OBP. Check your stats.
    If most players got on base twice, the Red’s would win.

    • Matt WI

      That was a joke, poking fun at those who don’t value exactly the point you are making.

      • Matt WI

        …Chad’s recaps often involve sneaky sarcasm. Tough to tell on a screen sometimes.

      • Sean Feder

        Ah, I see. That’s good to know. thanks.

  28. Chad Dotson

    Thanks for all the kind words, gang. I’m humbled. This really is a wonderful little community we have here.

    I think the return of Not So Random Thoughts is a great idea. I had always hoped to bring it back at some point.

    • WVRedlegs

      With the little ones you have, all the rain and extra-inning games this year making the games run late, you’ve done yeoman’s work this year. As have the other staff. Great, informative articles all year.

  29. WVRedlegs

    John Lamb is going to be a very good pitcher. His pace of pitching is great. Very quick. Just think, all 3 of these KC pitchers that came over in the Cueto deal could be in the rotation on next opening day. That would be something. The Reed kid is going to be very special. Finnegann wants to be a starter, so you know he’ll be given a chance.
    BP has passed through waivers this month. I wonder if that was for the Dodgers even though they settled on Utley? Or is something else happening behind the scenes?

    • pinson343

      I love Lamb’s pace and polish. I didn’t criticize Price for leaving him in as long as he did, just a couple of bad 2 strike pitches in the 6th cost him that critical run.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Leaving the young starters in to work out of trouble is not a bad thing, even if it results in runs scored that could have been avoided. The rest of 2015 is nothing but auditions and learning opportunities for the young starters.

      • Tom Reed

        You hit it. The auditions of the young starters is my main reason to watch the games thru Oct. 4th.

  30. Chuck Schick

    The Reds were projected to win 79 games with Bailey, Cueto and Leake…..they’re on pace to win 70ish. Price has won at a rate consistent with his talent level this year, which dumps him into a huge pile of irrelevancy with 99% of the people who have ever managed. He is replaceable and mostly irrelevant to W/L’s…..as are virtually all of his peers….both current and historic.

    He has made decisions that lost a small number of games and made decisions that won a small number of games…..the vast majority of the Reds performance is based on the sheer badness of the team.

    • pinson343

      True. That’s the big picture, the macro picture. We’re mostly micro managers here, to vent the frustration of yet another loss.

      I don’t think the win/loss record tells the whole story about a manager though. The day Dusty got fired, the mlbnetwork people talked about what a great job Dusty had done with the 90 wins in 2013. Yet those who followed closely knew that team had issues beyond talent limitations, it’s ending the season on a whimper (6 straight losses, 4 to the Pirates) was not a surprise . And I knew that Dusty would not be offered a manager job after his tenure with the Reds.

      And Price will not be offered another manager job after he leaves the Reds.

    • jessecuster44

      Good managers make decisions that win games that talent alone would lose. Price is not a good manager in this regard. Sure, this would maybe give the Reds 6-8 more wins this year, but suppose he is still around, and still making these foolish decisions next year or the year after, when 6-8 games may be the difference between the playoffs and staying home?

  31. james garrett

    Price will still be here next year and will still be making the same decisions.We all know players play and coaches coach but Price is responsible.You wouldn’t here anything from anybody if he just got the book out and and did what he should do based on the situation.I could live with him throwing the book out and using data or percentages to manage the game.What I can’t live with is not being prepared and doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.Go over on the Reds site and read where he said he only had 3 bullpen guys to work with last night.Notice the part that said Badenhop had the 8th and Hoover the 9th win or lose.

  32. jdx19

    Well, I don’t know when it happened, but Votto recently passed Goldschmidt for 2nd in the NL in wRC+ (167 to 164). Of course, Harper is out of reach in 1st at a Ruthian 196.

    Also, I found a stat that both Votto and Skip Schumaker are Top 20 in since 2002. Anyone care to take a guess? I’ll donate $10 to the site if anyone gets it correct between now and the end of Sunday’s game. 😉 (One guess per user!)