Postgame extra: wild, wacky series

It was a wild, wild series with the Mets and it was capped by a 5-4 win in 10 innings on Orlando Cabrera’s walk-off home run off of the left field foul pole. That meant Cincinnati won two of three and moved to 14-14.

This series featured:

*Three games decided by one run and on a home run.
*11 homers combined by both teams — all solo shot. There were 8 by the Reds.

*All three games were tied in the ninth inning.

“As long as we win, that’s the objective,” manager Dusty Baker said. “This was some series here. We walked off. They walked off. We walked off again. Good thing we’re not playing them tomorrow or it would be their turn to walk off again. That was a great series.”

*The Reds have nine wins in their last at-bat this season. That’s just nutty.

“This is special,” Cabrera said. “I don’t think I’ve been on a team like that – that wins so many games in the last at-bat. It’s good and it’s bad. We put ourselves in some crisis situations sometimes. The good thing is we bounce back. Hopefully we can stay focused and keep a lead.”

The good from Wednesday:

*Brandon Phillips infield single to first base in the first inning. He hustled hard and beat the pitcher to the bag with a head-first slide.

*Miguel Cairo snapped a 0-for-13 skid. It was a soft roller past the shortstop.

*Jonny Gomes was 2-for-4 with a single in the fourth and a solo home run in the fifth that gave the Reds a 4-2 lead.

*Another nice outing for Nick Masset, who pitched a perfect eighth inning with two strikeouts.  He got David Wright to fan on a 95 mph fastball and then got Ike Davis to whiff on an 82 mph changeup.

*Cabrera got his team-leading 16th RBI with his home run.

Not so good:

*Ramon Hernandez ran through a stop sign from 3rd base coach Mark Berry on Cabrera’s two-out RBI single to right field. Hernandez was easily nailed at the plate by Gary Matthews’ throw for the third out with Joey Votto on deck.

“Maybe he thought he was Speed Racer all of a sudden,” Baker said. “He didn’t see the stop sign and he didn’t hear anything. Sometimes that happens but it shouldn’t happen with Joey on deck.”

*Drew Stubbs was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. In 92 ABs, Stubbs is batting .174 with 30 Ks. Baker is considering change at the leadoff spot.

“I may have to re-think things now with Stubbs struggling some,” Baker said. “He came to me today and said his legs were feeling good again. He was having a little problem earlier.”

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Baker, it seems forever, said that Phillips was not going to bat second; but, when he did put him in the 2 hole he showed that he could do that very well. No is the time for Baker to move Stubbs out of the leadoff spot and bat him ninth, behind our pitcher. And if that doesn’t work, then he needs to replace him with Helsey. Helsey needs a weed or two regularly in the lineup to let him relax and be all he can be, not just one start and then to PH from time to time. Are you listening Baker? Helsey might be that diamond in the rough just like George Foster was many years ago, when Sparky put him in LF and moved Rose to 3rd.

Mark, as a Reds fan that lives near DC, I’m giddy about the possibility of a Chapman-Strasburg matchup as suggested on the site today. I definitely plan on catching a game at least.

Unrelated to much of anything, I’ve got a question I’ve been meaning to ask for a while. (Well, a few questions…). How familiar are with sabermetric analysis (Rob Neyer, fangraphs, the book, etc.)? Any opinion on how it has influenced baseball in general or the Reds in particular in the recent past? Where do the Reds stand as an organization when it comes to sabermetrics? With a number of big contracts for under-achieving, but somewhat talented players coming off the books soon, should we expect the Reds to exploit market inefficiencies and re-invest in cheap, undervalued, but unproven talent, or should we expect them to make the same moves as in years past and pay a premium for proven performance? What are they learning from other teams to help set their course going forward?

@badenjr — I think sabermetrics has its place, as do the the Reds. But I don’t think this club lets it override their every decision. I think that’s a good thing. The game is played by humans with different issues and personalities and ability that can’t always be quantifed with a formula or stat. I think the org. has already shown it’s willing to invest in its system and bring up young talent. You’ll see more of that going forward when possible.

Fair enough. Balance is a good thing. I’m just glad to know that the Reds aren’t thumbing their nose to the sabermetric community. I agree that the Reds have shown that they’re willing to invest in the organization, and I’m very pleased with the recent decisions they’ve made. I just don’t want to see them overpay for the likes of Arroyo, Harang, or Cordero, and I don’t want to see them take that money and turn it into some kind of long-term deal that crushes any fiscal flexibility over the long-term. There’s a good young core here, and I hope we get to see what they can do.

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