Phillips and Bruce celebrate after both scored on a third baseman The ToddFather (Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE)

A Massive Reds Meltdown

How would you even begin to describe the happenings at Great American Ball Park. I try to be as brief as possible.

The good stuff. Yes, believe it or not, there were some good thins to come out of the game. The trio of rookies each had a home run. That’s a positive, right? In fact, they accounted for all of the Reds runs. Todd Frazier, aka The ToddFather, got the scoring underway in the bottom of the 2nd inning with a single plating both Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce. Reds 2, Tigers 0.

Zack Cozart would hit his 7th home run of the season in the bottom of the 3rd. Reds 3, Tigers 0.

The 4th inning saw both teams score as a Ramon Santiago grounder was unable to be fielded by BP and and Prince Fielder scored. Reds 3, Tigers 1. The Reds countered with Devin Mesoraco hitting #4 on the season. Reds 4, Tigers 1. Austin Jackson hit a solo home run in the top of 5th and Frazier (Yes, Frazier, not Frasier. That was a sitcom with Kelsey Grammer.) added a two-run shot in the 6th. Fielder would drive in Quentin Berry in the top of the 7th. After all of this, Reds 6, Tigers 3.

But about that top of the 7th. This is where the wheels began to come off the ride.

Homer Bailey retired Matt Young and Austin Jackson before allowing a single to Quintin Berry. Dusty Baker visited the mound, talked to Bailey and decided to lift him. Bailey has thrown 112 pitches to that point. Maybe an even bigger positive side to Bailey’s performance was that 70 of those pitches were strikes. It was wasted, but Reds fans can’t forget the effort Bailey gave.

Enter Jose Arredondo to face Miguel Cabrera. Don’t get this. Arredondo is more effective against righties. Well, after Arredondo walked Cabrera on five, count ‘em, five pitches, Dusty emerged from the dugout again. Prince Fielder is due up so go get Marshall, you know, the whole lefty-lefty match-up.

Didn’t I just say Arredondo was more effective against lefties? Yep, lefties hit a whopping .068 against him. That’s simply deplorable. Meanwhile, lefties are .208 versus Marshall. And I add a question. Didn’t Fielder drive in the deciding run in the previous game with Marshall on the mound? He did. But, hey, it’s the matchups, right?

Whatever…

So Marshall proceeds to allow, for the second consecutive game, a hit to Prince. (Not the guy from Minneapolis. He’s a little shorter and a lot lighter.) Once again, Baker to the mound. Enter Logan Ondrusek to face Delmon Young. Thank goodness, Ondrusek struck out Young. Yes, the Reds are still up 6-3 at this point, but how in the blue blazes did we use three pitchers to get one freakin’ out? And yes, some of this can be put on #12, but if Arredondo or Marshall retire the one batter they were brought in to retire, most of this isn’t even an issue.

You look at the linescore and see that “4” for the Tigers in that inning and wonder what happened there. I’ll tell you what happened. Ondrusek walked Santiago to start the inning and Gerald Laird (yes Coco, he was playing) blooped a single into short center. Brennan Boesch is due up, a lefty. Aroldis Chapman has been warming up.

Hold up here. One, Chapman is warming up? A two-inning close? I know lefties are batting like -.478 against him, but Ondrusek BAA for lefties is .184. Yes, it’s better than Marshall’s.

We witnessed a Chapman we had yet to see in 2012. The madness would ensue…

Boesch: single, bases loaded.
M. Young: HBP, forces in Santiago. Reds 6, Tigers 4
Jackson: ground-rule double scoring two. Game tied at 6-6
Cabrera: Chapman unleashes a wild pitch scoring Young. Tigers 7, Reds 6

Then the good missile…

Cabrera: ground out to BP
Fielder: strikes out looking
D. Young: ground out.

Inning over, but it honestly felt like the game was over…and I despise that feeling.

Another disturbing thing…

When I hear ESPN announcers (and you all know I have an grand affection for those employed there) state that it sounded like it was a Tigers home game, or something along those lines, it’s not a positive picture of the fanbase. In the past I’ve been at GABP when the Cubs were in town (when the Cubs played a decent level of baseball and the Reds were somewhat of an afterthought) and those Cubs fans irritated the snot out of me. “Let’s go Cubbies”. Heard that crap in my sleep! You couldn’t walk anywhere without seeing a Cubs fan or hearing that cheer.

When I tried (in vain this time) to respond, Cubs fans drowned me out. That would change the next time I faced this situation.

Fast forward to a couple of years after that. The Red Sox were in town and their fans stated the old “Let’s go Red Sox” cheer. Well, seeing as I was seated amid many Red Sox fans (yes, a bunch of their fans were there and I think they have cloning machines), I took matters into my own hands.

(Note: This was easy to do this time because the Reds were winning, but let this be a motivational moment, please.)

There were maybe a dozen Red fans seated close to where I was seated. I started a cheer and prodded the other Reds fans to assist me. Whenever the Sawx fans started their unoriginal chant, we responded. Not with “Let’s go Redlegs”. No, that would have been just as unoriginal and might have been confused with their weak chant. Our response: Read the scoreboard. Other Reds fans walking by our section heard us, stopped if for even a few seconds, and joined us. Isn’t that part of going to GABP? Establishing a home field advantage?

After that top of the 8th inning, I know it’s a complete deflater. Sitting on your hands does nothing. It was still a winnable game.

In other words, GABP is our home, not any other team’s fans. Treat ‘em well as guests, but remind them they are visiting, not participating in a hostile takeover.

And another thing…

Angel Hernandez, you seriously need to find another means of employment. Does he got a beef with Ryan Ludwick? (For the record, it’s Ludwick, not Ludwig. Ryan Ludwick. Ludwig van Beethoven. See that at least half a dozen times on Twitter while a game is in progress.) I mean, the way Hernandez was calling a low strike zone, I thought Jose Altuve was batting. And if you don’t believe me, check out his “card” on BrooksBaseball.net. Look at these two images…and hang on after you look at them. I have more.

(courtesy BrooksBaseball.net)

(courtesy BrooksBaseball.net)

From BrooksBaseball.net, here’s an explanation for these Fastmaps.

“Fastmaps are Strikezone Maps drawn to the specifications of Mike Fast, a writer for Baseball Prospectus. Because strikezones vary for LHH and RHH, these are not available in combined maps.
These plots show the strikezones that Umpires actually call. The dashed lines around the black border show the typical deviations for LHH and RHH.”

Also, these maps are for strike and ball calls only. No other pitches are added. The shapes indicate the pitching team. Red denotes strikes and green denotes balls.

In looking at these, you now know where I got the Altuve comment. When you compare these to that of his card, you can assess why Hernandez is not a fan favorite (what ump is?). Reminds me of a video I saw where Hernandez ejected a fan from GABP…and if that person is reading this, you know what video I mean.

I’m in no way pointing a finger at Hernandez and stating he’s to blame for the Reds loss. Not even close to that.

Enjoy your Monday…

Tags: Aroldis Chapman Baseball Cincinnati Reds Detroit Tigers Devin Mesoraco Dusty Baker MLB Todd Frazier Zack Cozart

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