Actually the bigger question may be “When to start?”. Seems like there may (and I say, may) have been a bit of sportsmanship going on last evening after the Reds-Cards game was stopped only 6 pitches after it started. Some have said that Dusty Baker was out-managed, others are saying the Cardinals took advantage of a rule. In reality, both have snippets of truth.
The start. Hmm. For the record, it IS the home team’s decision to start the game at the scheduled starting time. Once the first pitch is thrown, then the umpires have complete control over any game stoppages. The decision to start the game at its scheduled time, yet to be stopped so quickly, raised the ire of some Reds fans. It apparently didn’t sit too well with Baker either. And some referred to this decision as being bush league.
Via John Fay…
"“It was a really tough start,” Baker said. “There was information we received that probably wasn’t the information they received. We probably wouldn’t have started Volquez in the first place. We were told there was going to be a window. That window lasted about three minutes.”The Reds were told, Baker said, the window was 45 minutes to an hour.“Sometimes the weatherman’s wrong I guess,” he said. “When we went to the plate with umpires, they said the rain was going to come eventually, which we all knew. They said we’re going to play through it the best we can. It just didn’t last too long.”"
It was interesting to see that John Fay tweeted that this situation came up during the pregame. Shortly after Maloney began getting ready, this popped on my Twitter timeline.
So, it seems to me that the possibility was discussed, at least between Fay and Reds pitching coach Bryan Price. Still…
I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here when I say this. If the Reds had made this exact move, they would have been pummeled by the opposing media and fans. Gamemanship is all this was, but it worked as Baker had to dip into his pen before his starter threw pitch no. 1. Now, the Reds may be forced into a roster move before the start of the Brewers series as Baker used two-thirds of his pen for this one game.
Had he done what that dastardly TLR had done, things wouldn’t have shaken the Reds universe the way they did. Sure, he could have had his eventual “second” starter Matt Maloney warmup and kept Edinson Volquez “in reserve” much the same as TLR did with the Batista/McClellan deal. But you know something, that really did not determine the outcome of the game. In fact, it all had very little, if any, effect.
Why do I say that? 11 men left on base and 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position. That certain portion of the Reds fanbase can bitch and moan all they want about the pregame maneuvers and the starting pitching situation all they want. If you want to choose to brand this loss on Baker, I believe you’re lost and you only want to point at Dusty for everything and anything that does not go the way of the Reds.
I reiterate: 11 LOB. 1-for-13 RISP. Thats’s where the game was lost. Oh, and toss in a couple of baserunning gaffes as well. It’s an “L” that quite honestly should not be absorbed by any pitcher on that staff.
Which reminds me. Those that were scolding and scoffing the performance of Maloney, get your collective heads out of your assess. Seriously. He gets pinned with a loss that he shouldn’t have to show on his record. When he awoke yesterday, do you think he knew that he was going to get the ball before any other Reds pitcher? I think Maloney took an extremely tough and difficult situation and did what he could with it. He’ll not be applauded by some as he should.
And did anyone notice the two perfect innings from Nick Masset? The three solid innings from Jordan Smith? I don’t believe Maloney, Masset, and Smith will be available today. Bray could probably go a batter, maybe even another inning. That leaves the Reds with Aroldis Chapman, Logan Ondrusek and Francisco Cordero in the pen. Cincy needs Travis Wood to spin one today, which he did in an appearance in Busch last season.
In a few hours, game 2 of the series begins.