The Reds ran into another bump in the road last night at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The Bucs, with A.J. Burnett looking like a right-handed Randy Johnson, jumped on the Reds early and held on to beat them 6-5.
It will not be difficult, a discerning eye is not required, to pinpoint the cause of this loss. After Mike Leake blew up in the first two innings, he calmed down and pitched pretty well through five.
The Good Guys, fueled by two long balls by Brandon Phillips, clawed their way back in and tied the game in the seventh inning. J.J. Hoover made his sixth appearance in 10 games. He had already been tagged with two of the Reds first four losses. Three pitches in and he tossed a gopher ball to Andrew McCutchen giving the Pirates the go-ahead, and what would be the winning run.
There are many questions one could ask about the lack of effectiveness of Hoover’s pitching early in this season. What is he still doing up here and Jose Arredondo is not even on the 40-man roster? He has pitched well in the past and had a good spring. Good on ya’ J.J. You let me down again. If there are still Hoover fans left after this, please feel free to chime in on me.
Let us get out the microscope and take a closer look.
Statistics extracted from ESPN.com
The first thing that catches my eye is the amount of home runs the man has set free. Three in less than six innings. That is unacceptable and I do not care who you are. He was called in to do a job, specifically hold the Bucs and Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman can finish them off. Now, he is culpable, literally responsible for three of the Reds five losses. Come on.
It is time to send Hoover down to Triple-A Louisville or even Double-A Pensacola to have some work done at somebody else’s expense. Alot of talk going on about bringing southpaw Tony Cingrani up. I don’t care for that move unless he is planned on becoming a long reliever. With the way the Reds’ starters have been the last few games, it would be nice to have a man who can go three or four good innings from the left side. Heck, either side for that matter.
Had Phillips not had such a good night before the ninth, he may have been held partly responsible for the loss. He whiffed to end the game leaving Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto on base. That is no good, but since he did bring in three runs earlier, he is exonerated.
Now, directly to Hoover, “I brought you in because I felt you would be able to hold back the tide while our offense continued to shake the cobwebs. You didn’t do it, you and your ERA of almost 8 are more than I can stand. J.J. you’re fired.”
That is what Trump would tell him. He does however need to be banished from the kingdom.
The recipient of the second “Assigning the Blame” is none other than James Allen (J.J.) Hoover.
J.J., the tribe has spoken, give the man your torch.