Swept away by a juggernaut

Read about the 6-4 Reds loss to the Phillies here.

Philadelphia has started to take on a Yankee-esque feeling when they play the Reds, who are now 12-30 against them over the last six seasons — including 1-7 this year. Like the Yankees when they meet some small-market clubs, there are probably teams that the Phillies play which put out a vibe of feeling outmatched before the bus reaches the ballpark. The Reds seem to be one of them.

While the Phillies have that tremendous starting pitching and a tough lineup, that outmatched  feeling is something the Reds have to ditch before they meet them again next season. The Phils have lost 46 games this season and there is no reason why the Reds couldn’t have been responsible for more than one of them.

Still, if the Phillies don’t make the World Series, something will have seriously gone wrong for them in the NLDS or NLCS. They are very, very good. If nothing else, this week should have provided the Reds with a refresher of what they will need to do to get back to the next level again, and beyond.

Notes:

*The Reds were outscored, 21-6, by the Phillies in the four-game sweep. Their scoreless streak ended at 21 innings on Joey Votto’s sacrifice fly in the third.

*Of Vance Worley’s seven strikeouts against the Reds, six were called.

*This was the second time the Reds were handed a four-game sweep this season. Another NL East club, the Mets, did it July 25-28.

*Chris Heisey’s three-run homer in the seventh was his second as a pinch-hitter this season and seventh PH homer for the Reds this season.

Quotes:

“I hope I finish the year. I still feel good. I hope they don’t shut me down. Nothing has been discussed with me yet. I don’t know if they’re talking or what.” — Mike Leake, who has 158 innings pitched this season between the big leagues and Triple-A.

“What really hurt was that two-run homer by Martinez. That was the difference in the ballgame.” — Dusty Baker

“Any time when you’re down to get three at one time, to get us back in it was big for the team. Unfortunately, we couldn’t come back the whole way. This series kind of leaves a bitter taste in our mouth but we have to go have a good road trip and get right back up to .500 and hopefully beyond.” — Chris Heisey

“If you don’t capitalize on opportunities, which are rare, you don’t score. If they score early or quite a few runs, it’s hard to bunch a lot of hits against them. The fact is they don’t walk many guys to put you in position to rally if you fall behind. That’s their key.”  — Baker on the Phillies

5 Comments

I understand Mesoraco spending a couple of days in the bullpen – but not why he wasn’t pinch hitting in the ninth yesterday. On the pregame interview, Dusty told Marty the Reds weren’t conducting ‘try-outs’ – they were playing to win. I disagree. It’s extended spring training. That’s what the fans want. Can we pretend to care if the Reds win? They have a lot of offseason decisions to make – in the outfield, at first base, at third base, at catcher, in the bullpen and rotation. Get some data now. Dusty loves data: ‘so-and-so is 4 for 12 against such-and-such pitcher’. Well, get our new so-and-so’s some ab’s! Go 0-for-September, we don’t care. But if Rentaria starts another game, or Hernandez, I may run Northbound on Southbound I75 in protest!

To maxblue: I tend to agree. But we have to recognize one big factor: it doesn’t line up with proper baseball decorum. What you prescribe is selfish and, of course, as fans, most of us are right there with you. But you still have to field, over the final month, the team that gives you the best chance to win. That’s what striving to be the spoiler is all about. This preserves the integrity of the game. I’m sure Brewer people would not like to see us field a spring training lineup this weekend against the Cards now that they have injected new hope, for themselves, into the Central race. Play hard. Play to win. Play with your best (that might include the occasional rook), but leave all the rest to next spring. That’s what spring traini ng is for.

Denny, I always enjoy your comments. However … what’s left to spoil? Do we play Arizona or San Fran? The Brewers have shown their self-reliant; they’ll win it themselves. They don’t need the Reds’ help. And some decisions can’t wait until Spring. Play hard, by all means. But the ‘occasional rook’? What are they here for – to learn the way to the clubhouse? Eat the post-game buffet? Put them in games – put them in against the Cards, the only meaningful games left on the schedule. And while we’re on the subject … is Alonso fated to play every position but CF, SS and starting pitcher? This is like a movie where the family is trying to drive the heiress insane so they can get her money, Does the clubhouse guy switch Alonso’s glove in his locker between games? Can a guy get any more screwed with than he has? Trade the poor SOB or find hm a position. (Why the heoll did they bring him up?)

The spoiler role is front and center this very weekend. The Cards created for themselves, much to my chagrin and that of most Reds fans, a remaining if slim chance. Sparky used to say if you were within five as September commences, you still have a shot. Seven is not impossible, especially if the law of averages begins to catch up with, until recently, torrid Milwaukee. Tonight’s starting line-up reflects what I’m talking about. Only Alonso would qualify as part of the youth movement. I Bet you Baker will fill out similar line-ups until the games mean absolutely nothing to either team.

I like your movie analogy, but the craziness here stems from his defensive ineptitude. And he’s here because of the bat. With all that in mind, I wouldn’t mind seeing that bat on a regular basis over the final month. If nothing else, it would allow a decision to be made: find him some position or trade him to the AL for DH purposes. But until the games become totally meaningless, he should be about the only one commanding regular playing time.

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