Dusty says he left Homer in the game yesterday to try to get him the win
In case you missed it, Homer started off the seventh inning by striking out Garret Jones, but then gave up a double to Mike McHenry. Homer's pitch count was up around 110 and it probably would have been a good idea to bring in J.J. Hoover.
Dusty stuck with Homer because he says he was really throwing well. No argument there, really. Homer pitched very well up to that point in the game. So okay, I mean, I would have pulled him if it were up to me. But I'm not going to crucify Dusty for keeping him in. Then Jordy Mercer knocked a seeing-eye single through the infield and McHenry scored. The Pirates took a 2-1 lead. Okay Homer, nice work today. You gave it your best but the offense didn't do much. Hit the sh ... wait, what? He left him in there? Oh boy.
Well, okay. It's just Clint Barmes. If Homer can take care ... nope Barmes singled, too. Okay, that's it th ... Well, horseshit. Dusty didn't go get him. Jose Tabata pinch-hit for the pitcher and drove in another run. And that did it.
Dusty's explanation is strained. He said he wanted to give Homer the chance to get the win. Everyone in baseball knows that's really, really dumb. The explanation is actually dumber than the move, in my opinion. See, if he had said he left Homer out there because he had thrown really well and he thought he had enough left to get out of the inning, I wouldn't argue too much. I mean, that's still probably the wrong call, but it at least has a shred of credibility. But to say Homer's individual win/loss record was the reasoning behind the decision is stupefying.
Look, I'm not naive enough to say that Dusty is exceptional when it comes to the bad managerial decisions he makes. I'd venture to guess that something like 30% of major-league managers would have kept Homer in at that point. But they would at least say that the reasoning behind the decision was that they thought Homer was the best man for the job at the moment. I don't begrudge Dusty's decision-making, I begrudge him his decision-making process.
Brian Kenny gave Dusty the ol' whut fer on the Twitter
Read through his timeline. He just goes on and on and on and on and on and on. He apparently did a bit on it on his radio show this morning, too.
Thom got caught again making off-the-air comments with the mic on.
Derrick Robinson had just drawn a four-pitch walk and Corky Miller was striding the plate. You can hear Thom spit, "this guy sucks." Now, some think he was describing Corky, the 37-year-old career back-up catcher with a career batting average of .185. Of course, if he were saying this about Corky, he could likely be run out of town. I mean, yeah, Corky Miller is not an All-Star at this point in his career (nor has he ever been), but saying Corky sucks is akin to mocking a war veteran for his limp. Nobody does it.
It's more likely, I think, that Thom's venom was aimed at pitcher Jeff Locke. Locke had just failed to throw a single strike to 98-pound weakling Derrick Robinson (Robinson does many things well as a baseball player, but dude has about as much power as a stiff breeze). It seems to me that Thom was assessing the merits of Locke's pitching ability. Of course, he did hold the Reds to one hit on the day. So take heart, Thom haters! By saying Locke sucks, he was really saying, "This pitcher sucks and he's one-hitting the Reds. That means the Reds realllllllly suck!" Which sounds more like the Thom we all know and love.
Good news regarding Ryan Ludwick
He will actually head out for a rehab assignment beginning on Wednesday. He's way ahead of schedule right now. Most figured he'd be back by mid-to-late August or so, but a good week of rehab games could have him ready to return to the bigs by the first of the month.
This is a positive development, but I'm still a bit weary. Shoulder injuries like the one he suffered are notorious for sapping a hitter's power. It's the same thing that declawed Scott Rolen in his later years. And for a guy like Ludwick, whose only offensive weapon is his ability to hit the ball hard, it could make him a bad hitter even if he feels healthy. The only thing to do is give him a shot, and I'll be really happy to see him back in the lineup. Lord knows how much this lineup needs a decent right-handed bat (Brandon Phillips and Todd Frazier are the best they have to offer, and both are hitting merely around league average). God speed, Ducky.
Greg Reynolds is gonna start the B-game of the double-header on Tuesday
"I think it's more gratifying this time around," Reynolds said on Sunday morning from a locker at Great American Ball Park after arriving from Triple-A Louisville. "I definitely had to fight my way to get back. I'm excited about this opportunity. I'm glad the Reds are giving it to me. I will give them everything I've got." Reynolds grew up in Pacifica, which sounds made up. He also went to Stanford. So starting in San Francisco is going to be a pretty cool thing for the dude.
Tim Lincecum is going to fail at tieing Johnny Vander Meer's record for consecutive no-hitters
Due to the All-Star break, Lincecum has had a nice extended rest since throwing 148 pitches in his first-career no-hitter. Good for him and all and everyone in baseball is proud of him and whatevs, but the Reds will bury him.