Postgame: Baker behind Cordero
Sometimes with this job, especially on Twitter, trying to be pragmatic ends up making you look defensive. Of course, everyone is calling for Francisco Cordero’s head or for a demotion after his second blown save this weekend in a 3-1 Reds loss. Today on Twitter, I tried to do the former and came across sounding like the latter.
Obviously, it’s been a shaky season at times for Cordero and if I’m the Reds, I’d a little worried about his ability to put games away in the postseason. But is he going lose his job? No chance. And should he lose his job? No.
Cordero, who is 35 for 43 in save chances, never makes it look easy when he gets saves but until Friday, he saved 11 in a row since July 9 and he had converted 18 of 19. It’s not Dancing with the Stars or figure skating — there are no style points for how saves are made, even if he loads the bases with walks and hit batters.
These two times though, it wasn’t the walks killing Cordero and the Reds — just clean hits by the Pirates. Combine Friday and Sunday, he’s allowed seven hits and five runs. (***update, I screwed up…I forgot about the leadoff walk.)
“It was not my best. I’m not pitching my best right now. It’s real disappointing,” Cordero said.
Everyone is naturally calling for Aroldis Chapman to be installed as the closer. Sure he throws 103 mph, but do you really want a 22-year-old with seven career big league games holding down the toughest job during the postseason? At this point, the Reds and Cordero are locked in together in the ninth inning and that’s not going to change, according to Dusty Baker.
“We all feel terrible for Coco. He’s a heck of a teammate and we need him,” Baker said. “We need him badly because he’s our closer. Nobody else is really ready to close. He’s our closer. I know people are hollering for this person and that person. What happens when the next person doesn’t do it? Then you’ll be hollering for somebody else. You can’t keep doing that. Look at Philadelphia that went to the World Series with Brad Lidge. You have to stick with him and we have to get him together. Nobody feels worse than him, nobody.”
Quick notes –
*Orlando Cabrera hurt his left heel scoring on Joey Votto’s RBI double in the fourth. He remained in the game until Paul Janish took over on defense in the ninth.
*Brandon Phillips went 0-for-4 and his hitless in his last 12 at-bats. He is 6-for-43 (.140) in seven games since returning from a hand injury.
*The Reds six-game home winning streak is over.
More quotes —
“You can’t really go down looking in that situation like I did. I got some pitches I should have hit and just didn’t get it done. We had the game won today. We had a chance and I had a chance to get us back to a tie or take the lead. I just didn’t pull through.” — Chris Heisey, who was caught looking at strike three with the bases loaded to end the game.
“That whole inning guys put together some pretty good at-bats. To get to Cordero twice in one series is not easy to do”. — Pirates manager John Russell on the top of the ninth.
“It’s not like I was pitching to my little boy. He is a big league hitter. He’s a pretty good hitter. He’s young but he’s a big league player.” — Francisco Cordero on Andrew McCutchen, who hit the three-run double in the ninth.
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