Happy Monday? Not quite.

Not a whole lot to like from the Reds on Memorial Day during a 4-1 loss to the Pirates.

Click here for the game story on MLB.com

The Three Stars:

No. 3 star: Alfredo Simon — 3 ip, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K. This is for as much as Simon’s body of work this season as it was for saving the bullpen from wear and tear. Simon has given up only one earned run over his last 17 1/3 innings in 10 games.

“He’s done a great job for us,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “Other than that very first outing for us, he’s thrown the ball great. For him to go three innings, that’s what you want your long man to do. He saved our bullpen big time for tomorrow and the next day prior to our off day.”

No. 2 star: Pedro Alvarez — 2-for-4, 2 doubles, 1 RBI

No. 1 star: James McDonald, PIT — 8 ip, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 103 pitches/65 strikes.

“He’s got good stuff but he’s got the right amount of wildness to him,” Chris Heisey said. “He’s got good enough stuff that it keeps you off balance. You can sit on a pitch or location because he doesn’t hit his spots perfectly but has good enough stuff to get away with that. It’s to his advantage almost.”

McDonald has allowed only 2 HR over 65 1/3 innings this season. For the Reds, who have used 20 homers to score 31 of 47 runs while winning the previous 8 of 9 games…this was a big problem.

News and notes:

*The Reds were 1-for-8 RISP in the game, but were 0-for-7 against McDonald. Heisey hit a RBI single in the ninth. The biggest misstep was the top of the third with runners on first and second with no outs. Drew Stubbs didn’t get down a good bunt and it was a fielder’s choice to third base. The rally died from there.

*Bronson Arroyo wasn’t very good today. 4 ip, 8 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 1 K. All of Pittsburgh’s runs came with two outs.

7 Comments

The Reds only walked twice today – Votto in the ninth and Arroyo. The real problem was not getting enough runners on base. This is a chronic problem and the reason the Reds have a difficult time scoring runs when they don’t hit homers. RISP is a useless concept. Players basically hit the same RISP as they do their AVG over time. Elevated hitting with RISP is not a learnable, repeatable skill. But taking walks is, and also influence by organization-wide philosophy. Dusty Baker’s disdain for the walk and encouragement of hitters to swing early is one of the contributing factors to the Reds not walking and therefore being so low in getting on base. That’s the story.

How long will the Reds continue to use Mike Costanzo in important situations? Today, they could have used Frazier, Cozart, Ludwick or Mesoraco instead. Costanzo was absolutely the worst choice, sent up in the most important spot in the game. We do we keep using him? Please tell me it’s not because he’s left handed. Why can’t we find a better hitter somewhere else? Any chance someone asked Baker about that?

Perhaps it’s time to select someone else from AAA.

hey these young guys need rest. Because when we are out of the race in August we need them to be 100%. And these backups need playing time, when our young guys get hurt toward the end of the season from playing too much it will be worth it. Oh wait. That doesnt make sense…

Gotta love it. Win big for a week, no comments. Lose one in Pittsburgh and the sky is falling. We passed the Big Doggie line, 44 games into the season, so the gloves are off. And there’s lots to criticize about the team – but the Reds are in 1st place playing the ball we all hoped they would coming out of spring training. As much fun as it is to pretend we know more about baseball the Walt and Dusty, it’s more fun when the team wins. I’m enjoying the ride. Go Reds – get ‘em tonight!

I am enjoying it too. But I dont want to look back in August and say man if only we could have taken a couple more earlier. I hope none of this matters at all. I like Dusty and want him to succeed. I just question his thought process when it comes to the bench players. He plays them way too much and as soon as they are heating up he tries to play a cold player to try and get them heating up. Its crazy. The Reds are winning in spite of those weird decisions. I still think he is a good manager, just dont like this part of his tactics.

Monday was a key day for off day , normal day off at times..was expected, the season is not sprint but a marathon. i will take 1st place over anything

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