A lost series in Houston, really?

Dropping two of three to the team with the worst record in baseball? In the voice of Wallace Shawn’s character Vizzini in “The Princess Bride” …. inconceivable!

I remember walking to Minute Maid Park Monday seeing a crane remove a huge Hunter Pence banner outside the stadium. The Astros were reeling from losing two stars in deadline trades and having to start young players — some straight from Double-A. Not winning this series seemed like something that wouldn’t happen to the Reds, or even couldn’t.

Happen it did as the 5-4 loss on Wednesday meant the Reds dropped two of three in the series to fall 7 1/2 games out of first place.

“It’s another tough loss,” pitcher Dontrelle Willis said. “We’re going to continue to work hard and continue to battle but this one hurt tonight.”

Notes:

*It was Willis’ seventh inning homer that gave the Reds a 3-2 lead. It was Willis’ ninth career homer and his first since 8/29/07 vs. ATL while playing for the Marlins.

*Nick Masset was charged with his first blown save since April 13, and it was a doozy. Masset faced five batters and couldn’t notch an out. Starting his seventh inning with a four-pitch walk was a big problem. Two bad plays on bunts compounded it.

*Many wondered why Willis didn’t stick around after the sixth with only 77 pitches. In six innings, he allowed two runs and eight hits with one walk and two strikeouts.

“He really wasn’t sharp all night,” manager Dusty Baker said. “They were hitting some balls hard off of him. We felt fortunate to get as deep in the game as we did. I don’t know if you noticed, they were hitting some balls hard off of him tonight, which they didn’t do earlier against Dontrelle. That was far enough.”

*Willis is 0-1 with a 3.68 ERA in five starts for the Reds.

*Joey Votto was 3-for-4. His Minute Maid Park hitting streak is 18 games.

*Astros starter Jordan Lyles, the youngest player in the Majors at 20 years old, earned his first big league win after beginning his career 0-6.

Quotes:

“Honestly, I really felt like I didn’t have good command. Once again, our defense and the talent we have around me picked me up today. Ramon did a good job of calling the right pitches to get me out of those jams. It was a team effort to get me out of those jams and keep us in the ballgame. That’s what they’ve been doing the whole time since I’ve been up.” — Dontrelle Willis

“We had a couple of messed up bunt plays without an out. You just can’t give away that many outs. This game isn’t made for five outs. You have to take the outs when you get them.” — Dusty Baker

10 Comments

One thing I’ve noticed about Nick Masset’s appearances (and this is purely anecdotal. I don’t have the stats to back it up) is that if they start bad they usually get worse. He doesn’t seem to be the kind of pitcher that can bear down and get the outs in a tough situation that he has created. It’s almost as if he gains or loses confidence within each appearance. The upside is he doesn’t carry bad appearances to the next appearance. I’ve seen Cordero give up base hits to the first two batters then get a strikeout and a double play. I don’t remember seeing Nick do that. Just an observation. Hopefully better times await in the Windy City.

I’ll say it again, is Chapman hurt? He was only used in the ninth during a 5-1 game on Tuesday. The other games where we actually needed a zero on the board to get a win, he is no where to be found. It’s baffling. Your two best relievers are Chapman and Cordero right now, and they aren’t even getting ready to see the field. There has to be something else to it, there just has to be. Are these double A guys going to score off of Aroldis? Uh, doubt it.
Curt

Ok Ok Ok… Unite we must. BP is having a great year, JV is having a great year. Rolen is out, but thats ok. something needs to bring that club ALL together. if only hernandez was a few years younger. my fellow red faithful, it is over for the year. we must now look to the future.

Let’s face it, Masset is just an average reliever. Never will be a closer, never should be a setup man. He needs to be traded in the off season.

I’m so sick of hearing excuses from Dusty Baker. “They were hitting some balls hard off of him. We felt fortunate to get as deep in the game as we did.” So was it unfortunate when your tired bullpen blows another lead. It was a bad decision to pull Willis early own up to it as a manager. He has made excuses for this team all year and that’s exactly how they play. The Reds have played with no sense of urgency since their downfall after the Cardinals sweep in mid-May, believing Dusty’s mindset of excuses of bad luck or his favorite quote “things will turn around.”

Can’t wait for September callups maybe the Reds can option Dusty Baker and callup Ryne Sandberg from AAA…

More than just a lost series. 2011 is a lost year!

Time to bring up Dave Sappelt and Devin Mesoraco. Time to start getting ready for 2012.

I totally agree with my fellow Reds fans’ comments. Its time for Dusty to own up to HIS shortfalls. He has mismanaged games all season long and played the cold hand until my patience resembles pulled pork BBQ. My faith in this team has been exhausted and my confidence is frayed. Lets get ready for 2012 and maybe Walt can scream some sense into Dusty over the winter.

I was glad to see Willis not come out to pitch the 7th, since I’ve been complaining that Dusty’s left him in just liong enough to lose. I don’t get Masset. The question the radio broadcaster;s were asking when Masset came in was, where’s Lecure? Now, my son and I have a bet. I say Dusty’s back next year, in fact gets renewed before the season’s over. My son says there’s a new manager next year. A lunch rides on it. Who eats free?

Also .. Radio guys announced duting the game that Texas has cut Arthur Rhodes. I guess that was part of the fallout from the relievers they picked up at the deadline. His ERA was in the mid 4’s.

Dusty would not he with team in ’11 if team had not won Central in ’10 forcing the team to extend him. I predict DB finishes season but is not brought back for ’12 . Reds eat the contract but occasionally that happens. The big question is who? Easy to say now but Hurdle would have been perfect. I don’t think Sandberg is the answer here. Who could be available that has some fire and proven managerial skills? Bob Brenly seems like a good fit and good choice.

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