There may come a time when a home run by stupid Buster Posey into the left field stands won’t make me think of Game Five. When it won’t refresh my frustration at how Dusty Baker managed the pitching staff that day. When I won’t relive Jay Bruce’s 12-pitch at bat against Sergio Romo. When it won’t recall Homer’s brilliant seven innings and Scott Rolen’s error.

There may come a time when I won’t re-experience the gut punch those three October games in Great American Ball Park represented. When I won’t contemplate how Posey’s fateful swing marked the turning point of the Reds recent fortunes. 

(And did Tucker Barnhart tonight have to turn away in disgust just like Ryan Hanigan did three years ago?)

Can that NLDS have happened just three years ago? It feels like it’s been thirty years since the Reds were postseason worthy. It feels like thirty minutes since Posey hit that ball.

There may come a time when I’m over it. 

That time is not tonight, even with this insane win. 

Reds 9 Giants 8  |  FanGraphs  |  Votto tight pants renowned

The Reds jumped on Giants starter Chris Heston with three first-inning runs. Jason Bourgeois walked, Joey Votto walked, Brandon Phillips singled and Ivan De Jesus tripled. 3-0 Reds. 

John Lamb walked six batters in his last start, tonight he didn’t walk any. He gave up six hits while striking out three. Lamb had pitched well for three innings before giving up some hit to some hitter. Bryan Price pulled Lamb after 77 pitches and four innings, with the score tied 3-3. 

Two innings of bull … pen later, the Reds trailed 5-3. Ryan Mattheus gave up a home run on his first pitch to rookie Jarrett Parker. Mattheus has had one clean inning in his last 14 appearances. Manny Parra gave up a couple of hits.

The Reds bats didn’t do much after the first inning until a 30-minute seventh, an inning that will likely inspire several dissertations on chaos theory. With one out, Skip Schumaker drew a walk and was then thrown out at the plate after Giants pitcher Josh Osich threw Jason Bourgeois’s tapper past the Reds’ bullpen. Jay Bruce singled in Bourgeois. Votto reached on an another Giants error. Brandon Phillips singled in Bruce. Todd Frazier was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Ivan De Jesus finished off one of the best at bats of the year with a run-scoring walk. Ramon Cabrera singled in two more. The bizarre seventh ended on an another out at the plate on a wild pitch by the Giants fourth pitcher in the inning because of course it did. (De Jesus may have been safe at home instead of making the third out. But the Reds had used up their challenge earlier in the inning trying to undo the Schumaker out at home by arguing fan interference. Follow that?)

When the smoke cleared and circus left town (for the moment), the Reds led 8-5.

Sam LeCure pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh. J.J. Hoover pitched a 1-1-1 eighth, walking the second and third batters he faced.

Bryan Price brought in Aroldis Chapman with one out in the 8th. Chapman gave up a walk and a HBP to give a run to the Giants. (The walk was earned by a pinch hitting Madison Bumgarner, or “Bumgardner” per Chris Welsh.) Chapman continued to struggle in the ninth, surrendering two runs to tie the game. It was his third blown save of the year.

Todd Frazier hit a home run (34) leading off the tenth for the game winner.

Someone other than Aroldis Chapman earned a save for the Reds tonight. Imagine that, career save #1 for Jumbo Diaz.

If Chapman had closed out the game, Manny Parra, who gave up two doubles in his two-thirds of an inning of work, would have been awarded the win. Javier Lopez would have been tagged with the loss. He pitched to one batter, Joey Votto, who reached base on an error. Instead, Aroldis Chapman got the win. Yay pitcher wins and losses.

62 Responses

  1. PARED84

    Was fan interference runners should be frozen at 2nd/3rd…..right?
    Chapman loses focus w big lead or non save situation. Not an 8th inning guy.
    Reds win Reds win Exhausted

    • pinson343

      It was Hoover who lost focus, or lost his nerve, with a big (3 run) lead, walking Posey on 4 pitches and walking Byrd after getting ahead 1-2. Chapman came in with the tying run at the plate. That’s not a big lead. It was also the right move, the move we’ve been calling for all season. If Price does his usual thing and leaves in Hoover, the Reds probably lose the game.

      After Chapman had throw 23 pitches in the 8th, putting him out there in the 9th was questionable, don’t know. He would have gotten the save without Frazier’s throwing error.

  2. vegastypo

    Nice recap, but I’m just impressed that you stayed up this late to write the thing.

  3. Jim t

    Steve you forgot to mention Hannigans passed ball which put the guy on third enabling him to score when Rolen misplayed the ground ball.

    • ohiojimw

      Yep. I think I knew when Hannigan muffed the pitch to get the guy to third that the run would score; but it was another shock when Rolen was the guy who booted the run in.

      • MrRed

        Right with you there, Jim. The loss of that game and the way it played out from a Homer Bailey gem to the series of miscues late in the game, gave me an inkling of what was to come (it must be part of my Cincinnati sports-fan DNA).

    • Matt WI

      That’s interesting… it was previously presented here by a poster or two that it was Byrd that refused to pinch hit, which seemed uncharacteristic of someone who has basically been a mercenary the last few seasons. Though it wasn’t written terribly clearly here, it suggested that it was Byrd who wanted in, which fits the larger narrative of how people describe him. Who knows.

      Also- Mat Latos, take note, that’s how you respectfully handle disputes with past employers. Well done, Marlon Byrd.

      • Tom Reed

        Marlon Byrd was involved last night with the Masons of California raising $93,000 to purchase baseball gloves for underprivileged children. Seems like a good guy.

  4. pinson343

    Steve said earlier this season: “It’s too soon to talk about the 2012 divisional series against the Giants.” But I will say that it was Game 4, not Game 5, where Dusty left Leake in for too long and mismanaged the bullpen (saving the best relievers for Game 5) while Bochy outmanaged him, pulling his starter after 2+ innings and using the best pitchers he had in the pen.

    • pinson343

      Oh right, Steve, that’s what you meant by the “too soon” part. Duh.

    • IndyRedMan

      All I remember is Latos was obv losing it and everyone could see it but Dusty…..and then WHAM. Series over…choke mode complete

  5. pinson343

    Love the reference to the 7th inning and chaos theory. For one thing, scoring 5 runs in an inning with two TOOTLBANS at home, wonder how often that’s happened.

    • ohiojimw

      I thought the Schumacher out was more of an outstanding hustle play by Byrd than an outright TOOTBLAN. Also give an assist to Posey on that one as it looked to me like he did a really nice deke job on Skippy. Plus as we saw in his misadventurous LF game back in Cincy, Skippy simply doesn’t have the burst or sustained foot speed to be playing at the MLB level any longer.

  6. pinson343

    DeJesus had a very good game at the plate, he’s a good bench player.

    Cozart’s defense at SS is missed.

    • Tom Reed

      I like DeJesus a lot. He has a good hitting presence and he’s not bad on defense.

  7. pinson343

    Frazier ends a 6 game extra inning losing streak and a 19 consecutive scoreless extra inning streak.

  8. pinson343

    I’m already tired of the “closer of the future” (Hoover). Too many walks, too many HRs, very poor defense, overweight. Give him a mop for the rest of the season. And I mean that literally.

    • Hotto4Votto

      In my opinion, Finnegan is the closer of the future.

      • ohiojimw

        Could well be right but they’ve got some work to do getting from here to there while keeping the player content.

      • Michael E

        only if he fails as a starter, and give him at least one full season starting before you declare him a failure. Nearly all modern HOF starting pitchers sucked in their first season. I want the pitchers with the best stuff starting and pitching 200 innings, not sitting on the bench for an entire week because the “closing” opportunity never presents itself with 4 losses and two lopsided wins.

    • Big56dog

      Why not Cingrani- someone teach him a change up

      • Jim t

        Some one teach him to throw strikes as well.

      • lwblogger2

        I do want my closer to pound the zone. I hate walks. I’d rather see my closer get hit around some than give free passes.

      • Michael E

        Exactly, age and injury caught up with him, but one of the best closers last year and before was and old, soft-tossing Koji Uehara because he had like a 10:1 K:BB ratio last year. A 88-90 mph fast ball, but pinpoint, Maddux-like control.

        Keep the best stuff in the rotation, keep those with good control in the bullpen, regardless of whether they throw 96 or 88.

  9. pinson343

    I guess that now that Game 5 has been brought up, I can’t help but talk about it. Latos was dominant for 4 innings and then freaked out when the home plate ump decided to shrink the strike zone.

    The one question is whether Latos should have pitched to Posey. I wasn’t thinking “get him out of there”, I was thinking “Get Posey out, only 2 runs down and Latos will settle down.” After the Posey HR the Reds bullpen allowed 0 runs, nothing to complain about there.

    What upset me was that Latos was clearly furious after one walk and someone should have come out right away and told him to settle down before he throws the season away. He was on that day, just lost it mentally.

    • jessecuster44

      That’s Dusty for you. He probably thought Latos would get it going the next day.

    • ohiojimw

      He was on that day, just lost it mentally….

      As things stand now that may well be the epitaph for Latos entire career unless he does some serious “growing up” between now and when he leaves MLB as a player.

  10. Scot Lykins

    ” Bull…..Pen”. Well said.

  11. jessecuster44

    You know, if Skip slid headfirst into home, he would have been safe by a lot. Where is the on deck batter telling him to slide?

    • CP

      Is there video of the play? Did he not slide at all?

      The headfirst slide into home is something I’d strongly advise against. I’ve personally seen two players separate their shoulder trying to do so (along with a concussion/torn labrum that came along for the ride for one of them). I also knew another coach who slid into home headfirst, only to wake up in a hospital with a metal plate inside the skull. Perhaps the new rules against catchers blocking the plate will change things, but in general, it simply isn’t worth it. Heck, if I’m Skip and I’m nearing my career end on this stinky team, it definitely isn’t worth it.

      • ohiojimw

        He slid. In super slow mo/ stop action, it appeared his lead heel caught on the ground and lifted the foot an inch or two off the ground just as his toe went over the edge of the plate without touching. In that split second before the toe/ front of the foot came down on the plate is when Posey’s tag was made. Posey’s tag was applied to the upper thigh area; so, the impression was that Schumacher’s lower body was almost entirely across the plate when he was tagged.

        I don’t think the original (safe) call was a bad call. This was simply one of those situations where the super slo mo gave an exact and differing rendering of a play that was at odds with the apparent outcome at real life speed.

        My opinion is that if every play like this is not going to be automatically reviewed then none of them should be reviewed because what we are seeing is that a lot of apparent outs are missed tags and vice versa. It tends to be the former on the bases and the later at the plate due to the plate being flush with the ground.

      • jessecuster44

        He slid feet-first, and was tagged out because his feet hovered above the plate. Had he slid headfirst, he could have slid away from contact, and reached with his hand.

      • greenmtred

        “slud” is not the past tense of “slide,” but it should be.

      • lwblogger2

        I would have strongly advised against players to slide into home head-first when I was catching. Maybe not too many catastrophic injuries but I’m willing to bet a lot of hand injuries.

  12. sultanofswaff

    When Dejesus got tagged out to end the 7th, he went into home plate not looking to score, but to avoid a collision. Surprised that he didn’t barrel over the pitcher (perfectly legal as he didn’t have the ball), even more surprised that Price didn’t have the play reviewed for interference. Either way, not scoring there is on us for lack of aggression.

    -1 to Votto for not blocking the errant throw by SuperTodd, which allowed a run to score. Another case of not being willing to use your body.

    Can’t wait to flip Chapman in the offseason for a cost controlled position player. CF or RF would suit me just fine. With the $$$ savings, you pick up one of the many relief pitchers available this winter on the cheap. The bullpen won’t miss a beat.

    Another wishy washy performance from Lamb. If I were making the call today, I’d say his best use to the Reds in 2016 will be as injury insurance at Louisville or a LOOGY in Cincinnati.

    • Shchi Cossack

      The only pitchers who should be starting at the major league level right now are Disco and Iggy. Everyone else still needs work and development. The work and development should preferably be at the minor league level, with 1 or 2 (in this case Disco and Iggy) young starters worked into the existing major league roatation. Unfortunately, poor planning and roster management resulted in the entire starting staff being gutted, so now the work and experience plays out at the major league level rather than the minor league level.

      I don’t see the LAD picking up a $6.5MM (after covering the $4.5MM buyout) option on a 39-year-old starting pitcher coming off TJ surgery. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Reds bring back Bronson on a minor league, incentive laden contract for 2016 and allowing him to finish his career as a Cincinnati Red. Bronson could actually have a few good seasons left after a full recovery from TJ surgery.

      The same approach with an incentive-laden, minor league contract for Hudson and/or Harang (although I think Harang’s tank might finally be empty) and/or a flyer on Masterson during the off-season, to fill the major-league starting staff and allow Ted Power to complete the final development work and role assignments for the young pitchers at AAA, would be good moves for the 2016 Reds. This would not only allow the young pitchers who are not yet major-league ready to worrk at AAA, but it would also help stagger the service time for the satarting pitchers so the Reds don’t face another complete turnover of the starting staff in 5 years.

      • lwblogger2

        I think Hudson said he was retiring. I don’t know about Harang. I kind of like the Arroyo idea but it depends on velocity and how he feels. Arroyo has said that he can’t get away with 85 mph on the fastball. He needs 88+ …

      • CP

        I disagree. I think Lamb is clearly ready for the major leagues, or as ready as he’s going to be. He dominated AAA this year, and his peripherals are still quite good.

        In addition, Lamb has to be on the major league roster next year or the Reds lose him. I’d rather him get starting experience at the MLB level now, and come in a little better prepared for next season. Perhaps he ends up in the bullpen, but he is too talented/cheap not to give him the MLB experience now.

        I agree about getting a veteran inning eater into the rotation next year. The bullpen is going to need someone to take some pressure off of them, and it will allow the Reds to be more flexible in handling the young guys.

      • lwblogger2

        I’m with you on Lamb. My father on the other hand is firmly in the same camp with the Sultan on him. My dad sees his upside as back of the rotation guy and sees him most likely as a bullpen arm.

      • ohiojimw

        Easy to lose in the mix that Lamb has never before pitched into September and because of his TJ is probably a year behind where he might have been otherwise in stamina development over the longer haul.

        For these reasons, I am still bullish on him until he shows next spring he cannot get through the line up twice.

      • CP

        Yeah, I get it. Although, I think Lamb is clearly a cut above some of the other rookies we’ve seen, he could very well end up not being good enough to be in the rotation. But given his roster situation, you got to at least give him the best chance possible.

        What is it with people that want to turn every LHP not good enough to be a starter into a LOOGY? Lamb hasn’t even shown a favorable split against left handed hitters.

      • CP

        Lamb is missing a lot of bats and not walking many hitters. Lamb is older so he has less time to figure things out at the major league level, but compare his start to someone like Homer Bailey. Perhaps this is just a small sample size, but Bailey has never consistently missed bats like Lamb has done. I’m not saying Lamb has that type of upside, but merely that Lamb has done some things that are very, very positive for a guy that lacks MLB experience.

        The Reds need to give him an extended spot in next year’s rotation to see what they have in him. It cannot simply a tryout in spring training (I’m not sure if that’s what you meant or not Jim.) There is almost zero downside in giving him a rotation spot for 3-4 months, unless they somehow figure out a way to compete next year.

        Honestly, the same thing applies to Finnegan. I think the rotation next year is more set than many realize, unless someone just falls completely flat and comes into spring training unprepared. The only question is whether Homer Bailey is ready for the start of the season and/or the Reds bring in a few veterans to compete for innings eating.

      • ohiojimw

        I meant basically what you said. Put Lamb into the rotation and leave him there unless/ until he totally craters out. Even as things are, he has shown the ability to recover from a bad inning. I was somewhat surprised to seem him pulled after 4 innings last night. My guess is that he is on an innings/ pitch count just like Iggy and Lorensen but the plan is to push him deeper in September by cutting his pitch count now.

      • ohiojimw

        Just to really stir the pot a bit…. What if Cueto doesn’t get it back together before the end of this season and falls back into $75M-90M over 5 years price bracket. HIs agent calls Cincy and offers to let DrK have a look see. DrK gives a thumbs up. Should the Reds bite?

      • lwblogger2

        I’m against long deals for pitchers but I think if Cueto falls into that price range, a lot of teams would take him. I see almost zero chance of that happening though.

      • ohiojimw

        I read on MLBTR two days ago that their (unnamed) sources are saying no way JC get a 7 year deal deal given what has transpired in the last month. They went on to imply without specifically saying that unless JC gets it together and finishes strongly he’d get 5 years max. No $$$ mentioned.

      • ohiojimw

        Cossack, re: managing service time etc. I think that is exactly what they are doing with Stephenson. They can off the record pencil him in as the 5th starter during ST if he is ready but then hold him back at AAA during the slow start up, even use a spot starter to fill a start or two, then bring him up late like the Cubbies did with Bryant. With a starting pitcher, it isn’t going to cause the brew ha ha like it did with Bryant since because of the off days early on, the team can always say they wanted to hold him down at AAA until he would be on schedule to pitch every 5th day in MLB.

        This would give them 7 years of control over Stephenson albeit at the cost of making him a super 2. It would also probably give them two years of separation between Disco and Stephenson plus one for sure and maybe two years between Iggy and Stephenson.

      • Michael E

        Unfortunately, this “bring in 10 over-the-hill, ragged arm” veterans is what we did all through the 90s and 00s under Bowden and we always had crappy rotations.

        I’d rather have a young guy growing up faster in MLB than bringing in a bunch of 5.00 ERA Marquis-clones and forcing promising SPs to languish in AAA, AA or A ball and waste another year of their early, energetic primes.

        I am willing to suffer a few more losses in 2016 (and a losing record) to see the pitchers of the future all getting better faster in MLB than mowing down mediocre AA hitters.

  13. IndyRedMan

    I watched the game til Lamb gave up the bomb to Posey and one thought immediately came to mind. Couldn’t Price call the pitches from the dugout in these tough situations? I don’t know what Lamb or Tucker were thinking but a fb down the middle wasn’t the pitch to throw there? These young guys are just rolling along then suddenly fall apart and they’re out of the game. Its all a learning experience but it makes competing in 2016 really just a pipe dream.

    • lwblogger2

      I think Price calls a lot of pitches from the dugout if you want my take on it. This is especially true with Tucker behind the plate and the young starters. I see Barnhart looking into the dugout with nobody on base, then calling the pitch. This tells me that Price is calling a lot of the pitches. At least it seems that way to me.

    • CP

      Lamb simply missed his spot. It wasn’t a terrible pitch, but Buster Posey is really, really good and made Lamb pay.

    • Michael E

      HRs happen, especially to younger pitchers. Let him get that out of his system now, so he can learn. Let him pitch through tough ABs, bad luck and loss of control.

      There are very few pitchers that can’t handle that and grow from it (Ankiel lost it badly, but most HOF pitchers were allowed to through 200 inning early and stink while doing it).

  14. VaRedsFan

    The Votto pants link above is hilarious.
    I wish all players would wear them.

  15. ohiojimw

    When I retired from regular full time work a couple of months back, one of the things I was looking forward to was being able to stay up to the end of these late night games.

    Last night though, I had had enough with the Reds being down 5-3 off of a 3-0 advantage and looking dead to the world . However I had a device in the middle of upgrading itself to Windows 10 and wanted to see that through. (for the record this was my 4th and they do seem to be getting the “automatic” part figured out better).

    As luck would have it this kept me up long enough to see the Reds 7th. When I was wrapping up the install I saw that LeCure had closed out the 7th without incident and decided if they managed to blow the game from this advantage, I just didn’t even want to know it until this morning,

    Now I don’t know whether to kick myself in the back side for missing all the excitement or pat myself a little higher up on the back for having the good sense to call it a night at 1AM my local. 🙂

  16. Art Wayne

    Jesse: Good comment about Dusty. He was so arrogant about incompetent.

  17. james garrett

    The young starters are getting very valuable experience in learning how to pitch at this level.Learning what not to throw is just as important as learning what to throw but there are and will continue to be growing pains.Disco is a really good example of what we hope we get from some of the others.He is a much better pitcher now then he was at the start of the year.

    • Michael E

      Absolutely. Don’t fear the young players having bad days or innings or ABs. They’re going to have them regardless of how long you hold them down in MiLB. Let them struggle and learn NOW, so that when we are ready to contend, they are already “seasoned” young veterans that have been through stressful days and weeks.

  18. peter ponds

    Last night is why it’s so debatable the Chapman starter/reliever dilemma . For one, he throws too many pitches per inning. Second, after 25 plus pitches he starts to be ineffective as his velocity drops and hitters get used to his stuff.

    I’ll avoid commenting on those 3 games in 2012. Life’s too short. 😉

    • Michael E

      One can’t forsee how Chapman would pitch as as starter. It is quite likely he wouldn’t overthrow and lose control as often and would have much less pitches per inning as a starter. Most players take pitches in the 9th when he is throwing 100+, that wouldn’t be the approach if he is dialing down to 95 and easy strikes.

      Chapman is an average closer that happens to throw 100+ often. He still blows saves and wins as often as many MLB closers.

      I’d rather have a swing-n-miss lefty in the rotation, pitching 200 innings. Kershaw or Randy Johnson as a closer is/was much less appealing to me than as a starter. While Chapman wouldn’t be a Kershaw (not likely anyway), one can certainly see NO CLOSER in MLB history has ever been as valuable as great starting pitcher. EVER. No one would have taken Mariano Rivera over Pedro Martinez, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Felix Hernandez, etc.

      I would not take Chapman as a closer until several rounds after I would draft Chapman as a starter if drafting a new team…that is the difference in value…it’s been severely degraded wasting him in the bullpen at a mere 60-70 innings a year. That’s about 2.5 inning per week for a top MLB arm. YUCK!

  19. WVRedlegs

    No mention of Adam Duvall taking a bad pick off throw at 1B right in the cookies. And I mean directly on spot. Ouch. Kelce, who was clueless to where Duvall got hit was a bit humorous talking about it. He thought Duvall got hit in the back. Duvall was trying to walk it off down the line in between his leaning over with hands on his knees. Kelce said that Duvall seems be in a bit of discomfort down there on the field. You could tell in his voice that Kelce seemed to be a little surprised at Duvall’s reaction. He said something like Duvall seems like that throw really hurt him. Then Barnhart bounces into a fielder’s choice and moves Duvall down to 2nd base. There Duvall leaned over again with hands on his knees in obvious pain and Kelce chimes in again, look at that Duvall really seems to be in some discomfort. I guess someone in the truck told him where he got hit. Kelce says, oh that pick off throw might have hit Duvall in the leg, or even the groin area. So they show the replay and at the critical second they show it in super slow motion.
    That was painful just to watch it.
    Duvall came out the next inning, I guess to ice down that injury.
    And it wasn’t a Jon Lester pick off throw, it was a BB. You got to feel a little bit for Duvall on that one.