I don’t know which deity we’ve angered. But it’s the one that in the seventh inning turned Todd Frazier’s certain three-run homer into a soul-crushing out. Perhaps a sacrifice 0f social evil is in order. Those commercials for ambulance-chasing attorneys that run on FSO would do.

It was appropriate in this absurd game that when the Reds managed to get the tying run on deck in the ninth inning, it appeared in the form of Skip Schumaker – another taunt like the loud Frazier fly ball from the Cincinnati-hating spirit.

With one more game to go against the surging D-Backs and the $300 million Dodgers rolling into town (even though it looks like the Reds will miss Kershaw and Grienke), you have to wonder if the make-up game on Monday against the Tigers is the only realistic hope Bryan Price and Walt Jocketty’s team has of avoiding an 0-for-1o home stand.

Reds 7  Diamondbacks 11  |  FanGraphs  |  Self-serve Milton

Before you could mutter the words seven game losing streak, Anthony DeSclafani had surrendered two home runs. He gave up a total of ten hits and six earned runs. DeSclafani deserved a little better in the latter department because the Diamondbacks fifth run wasn’t his fault. A misplay by Eugenio Suarez cost the run. On the bright side, DeSclafani didn’t walk anyone and struck out four in five innings.

Joey Votto reached base four times and it actually lowered his on-base percentage. (Not really, but admit it, for a second you considered that was possible.) In addition to his long fly ball, Todd Frazier had two doubles, a single and a walk. Tucker Barnhart and Eugenio Suarez reached base twice.

I have a request for those of you who describe Walt Jocketty picking up Ryan Mattheus from the Angels DFA curbside as a masterstroke. You either need to explain the four hits, two wild pitches and three runs Mattheus gave up his one inning of work tonight – and the 4.85 ERA. Or prove that masterstroke is one of those words that can have two opposite meanings.

In three innings of work, Mattheus and Pedro Villarreal gave up five earned runs and turned a winnable game into an embarrassment. What is the word that means the opposite of relief?

Flashing Leather: Old Reds and new teamed up for back-to-back defensive gems tonight in the sixth inning. Brandon Phillips, playing in game 1434 in a Reds uniform, dove to the middle of the field to grab a ground ball and throw out the hitter. On the next pitch, Ryan LaMarre (video) laid out on a ball hit to his left and in front of him to rob Chris Owings of a base hit. It was LaMarre’s first major league game.

My Kingdom for a Complete Player: Suarez, who we love for his bat, had another loss of concentration in the field, costing the Reds a run in the fourth inning. Suarez is the bizarro Billy Hamilton. Broadcasters keep assuring us that the shortstop will get these lapses ironed out by next year.

Big Dog Fun Fact: Tony Perez is one of just three players, along with Hank Aaron and Jason Giambi, to have hit a pinch-hit, walk-off home run at the age of 42 or older. Perez hit his pinch-hit, walk-off home run in 1984 at 42 years and 110 days old.

38 Responses

  1. RedAlert

    Nice recap Steve – Folks don’t need to stand too close to Mattheus – might get scorched in the process . The dude is a walking gascan.

  2. RedAlert

    Free Bryan Price – permanently ! will repeat again > Price FIRE-O-METER now at 19 games under and counting

    • Joe Atkinson

      Exactly. Because if we fire Bryan Price, the bench will suddenly learn to hit, the bullpen will get everyone out, five rookie starters will morph into the ’95 Braves, and a weeping phoenix will appear, using its tears to miraculously heal Homer Bailey and Devin Mesoraco.

      • zaglamir

        Of course. That’s what happens every time a manager is fired. You said that like it was sarcasm or something.

    • Redsfan48

      I fully agree we need a change but you don’t throw in a young manager (Larkin) into someone else’s mess to try to fix it. It simply won’t work. Wait until the offseason, see what moves are made, and if it’s reasonable to think we can get a playoff spot in 2016, hire a new manager then. If not, let Price finish out his contract and replace him in 2017 when I’m very confident we can contend.

      • Dewey Roberts

        I totally disagree with that. The reds have developed a losing culture under Price and next year will only make it three straight years under .500 with him at the helm. This team has never been as good as the sum of its parts under Price. I often look at the stat sheets of other teams, good teams, when they play the Reds. Those teams have players with the same type batting averages and ERA’s as the Reds. Yet, those teams are winners. The Reds are losers. Price cannot get the job done. Period. Keeping him for financial reasons would be the dumbest decision of all. The Reds need someone who can light a fire under these players and get them to become a team. Now, they are just a group of ballplayers.

  3. Jeff Morris

    Great Recap…Steve. Suarez can Hit, but cannot field. Hamilton can Field, but cannot hit. Don’t know who is making decisions on these pitchers, if its Walt and Bryan, or Bryan suggesting to Walt and Bob, and then both say Yes? Gregg & Marquis did not work out. And, I don’t consider Mattheus as reliable at all. I have my doubts about Villareal and also Contreras.

  4. Matthew Watkins

    Good to see the boys hitting the ball, but I can’t count on two hands the number of times the bullpen has done it’s job this year, ugh. Keep working those young arms we need to stretch out some starting pitching for next year. We are going to need the whole rotation giving us 200 plus innings.

  5. Chuck Schick

    Not a Price fan, but they were projected to be bad with Cueto, Leake, Bailey etc. Do you really think the greatest manager ever could win with this roster? The vast majority of managers are irrelevant so firing him doesn’t hurt… But how does it actually help?

    • jessecuster44

      Dusty wouldn’t fire his hitting coach. Dusty and Walt didn’t get along. Bob C finally said “enough.”

    • Chuck Schick

      There was no reason to fire Dusty. He won games at rates consistent with the talent he was provided. Did he actually matter? No ….virtually none of them do.

    • Joe Atkinson

      They messed with it because the window was closing, and Dusty had made it clear that, while he is capable of managing successfully over a 162-game season, his laissez-faire attitude does not play in the postseason. He’s the Marvin Lewis of baseball managers, and Bob Castellini wanted to win a World Series with this team, not just the NL Central.

      Clearly, that has not worked out as he planned. But that has less to do with Bryan Price taking over for Dusty Baker than it does with our roster slowly morphing into the Phillies Light. We may or may not be exactly 19 games under .500 if Dusty had this roster, but you’d likely have to squint to see a difference.

    • Chuck Schick

      Post season success is as much about luck as how good you are.

      Dusty’s teams lost to a vastly superior Phillies team….and then lost 2 coin flips against the Giants and Pirates.

      Sparkey Anderson’s post season record was far less impressive than his regular season record…..did he have the same laissez faire attititude?

    • Chuck Schick

      Since 1970, the Reds have had 17 managers… 8 had winning records, 9 losing ones. Now compare the rosters of those respective teams to their results and you’ll see they all won games at rates consistent with the talent they managed. None of them mattered much more than any other.

      Would Sparkey Anderson have lost about 101 games with the 1982 team? Very likely. Would Dave Miley have won about about 108 games with the 1975 team? Very likely.

    • Chuck Schick

      In 2001 Larkin played 45 games and JR 111. Yes, the roster was similar to 2000, but the actual people playing were much different.

      In early 2014, when the actual people playing we’re similar, Price won at a rate in line with 2013.

    • Chuck Schick

      The extreme change in fortune can be explained by understanding good players were replaced by bad players. To quote Joe Nuxhall, “If you play the extras long enough they’ll show you why they’re extras”

      The Cardinals have had injuries and kept winning…is that because Mutheny is a genius or the organization supplies replacements that are nearly as good?

      The 1971 Reds had a 30 game negative swing from 1970. Did Sparkey Anderson take stupid pills that year? Lou Pinella had a similar situation in 1991…was he derelict in his duties?

      Everything in baseball is relative. Is Price a good manager relative to 95% of other managers? No….is he bad? No. Switch Price and Mutheny and the results for both teams would be about the same.

    • Playtowin

      Blaming Price is ridiculous. This team is not any good. Nobody could win with this roster.

      • Redsfan48

        Read above for my full analysis of Price as manager, but I don’t think changing managers right now is the right move.

      • Chuck Schick

        Redsfan48,,,,,Your analysis makes sense if you believe that a replacement manager would win at a rate higher than Price relative to the talent given. There is no evidence that Random Manager A will do better than Random Manager B given the same level of talent.

        Lets assume Bob Castelleni invents a pill that allows people to eat ribs and hot fudge sundaes all the time and never gain weight. He takes his millions in royalties and invests them in putting together the absolute most talented team possible….perhaps the most talented team ever. There’s no evidence that 99% of all managers ever would do a whole lot better or a whole lot worse. Would Price win as many games as Tony Larussa, Casey Stengel or Joe Torre? Maybe, maybe not…….but it would be close. Is that because Price is good? No…..he doesn’t matter, just like virtually ever other manager.

    • jessecuster44

      CI3J – Walt and Dusty didn’t get along because of Dusty’s insistence on keeping Chappy in the bullpen. The relationship deteriorated further from there.

  6. Jeremy Conley

    I don’t think firing Price for an 8 game losing streak would be the right reason to fire him, but I think there are enough reasons to fire him that I don’t really care. He had an opportunity with the Reds to really change things up from the last few years, and he hasn’t taken it.

  7. Chuck Schick

    It’s been shown that 95% of managers add between -3 to +3 wins per year. Maddon may be part of the 5% that adds more…but even that group doesn’t make that much of a difference.

    If the Reds hired a reasonably knowledgable person off the street who played the percentages he wouldn’t do any worse or better than most managers. If managers mattered they wouldn’t be so easily replaceable.

    Joe Torre was a clown when Ray Lankford was his best player and a genius when Jeter was his best player.

    Price doesn’t matter and his replacement likely won’t matter either

  8. jessecuster44

    Does it matter if the Reds win one more game this season? Not really. All this poor play can get fans like us upset, but I doubt there will be any ramifications.

    Price is a substandard manager, but he’s under contract for next year . He won’t be fired this year unless he does something that gets him put in jail.

    And in terms of player management? Right now it’s just deck chairs on the Titanic. Check back on September 1, when some prospects might come up.

    It’s all very disheartening, but you can see the course than management has set after the ASG. Whether it’s to earn a higher draft pick or for some other reason, they don’t care about winning these games. The offseason can’t come soon enough.

  9. Scot Lykins

    I have not seen anything in Price to make me believe he will be a Hall of Fame manager one day, but firing him is not going to change anything at this point. There is not enough talent in the dugout.

    • Playtowin

      The Reds play hard. They are just not very good.

      • jessecuster44

        Ryan Mattheus plays hard?

        Ha ha ha ha ha ha. That is funny.

    • Dewey Roberts

      If managers don’t make any significant difference, then why do we have one? Everything I have ever observed about sports indicates that managers and coaches are HUGE in winning games. Yes, the players play, but they need guidance, motivation, training, encouragement, etc. Managers know what to do and when to do it. Price only knows how to blow up with F-bombs. Enough of him already.

  10. Tom Billings

    Look what Buck Showalter did when he first went to the Orioles. He immediately changed the mindset the mentality and the ways of thenOtioles. This resulted in being more competitive and winning ball games.

  11. Tom Reed

    As CI3J stated previously, I do believe the manager can have a psychological effect on a team’s performance. The GM is responsible for getting the players and the manager interacts with them daily. It was known that Dusty Baker was interested in the lives of his players and I think that’s a positive since most of us have experienced the competition and tension of an organization of various intensity. Usually when you see Bryan Price he has his arms folded in front of him as if to say ‘I’m in charge, don’t talk to me.’ And I feel the F-bomb incident has had a lingering effect. Who really knows how he interacts with the players in the clubhouse. With rebooting underway and the number of young pitchers, it looks to me like Price will be here come opening day 2016.

  12. Carl Sayre

    The manager is responsible for who he puts on the field and when you are 19 games under .500 and an 8 game losing streak and you roll out BOOOHHOOO and true rookie and everybody’s favorite never was Schumaker as your starting OF. Beurgois and Schumaker have no business on a major league roster and he has them starting.

  13. Playtowin

    Price has no choice of who to play in the outfield. None of them are very good. After Bruce there is nothing in the outfield. That’s not Price’s fault. He will get fired for no other reason that management has to look like it is doing something. My guess is the Reds wire fire at least 2 or 3 more managers after Price before they are competitive for the playoffs.

    • jessecuster44

      Price should be fired because of his overuse of the sac bunt, his misuse of Chapman, and his milquetoast demeanor.

  14. Rm

    The problem is not Bryan Price. These problems have been a long time coming in the general manager refusing to give his manager the correct pieces in the bullpen. the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings are the reason the club is where it is! Last year at the all star break, the Reds were in a position to contend and nothing was done. That is why the club finished so poorly last year. I think Walt really got tired of Dusty always complaining about the bull pen. The Reds are better this year offensively. They could have competed this year if they would of had 2 more decent arms in the pen. Very sad!