Dusty Baker caught some flak for starting the third line in yesterday's game
They only mustered two runs on the aging Randy Wolf and couldn't get a very strong outing from Mat Latos to stand up. But Dusty counters that while they may have lost this battle, they are in a better position to win the war:
"You win as many games as you can," Baker said. "But you have to preserve. When you runs this race, if you make your kick too early, you run out of gas. Anyone who ever ran track knows that, especially in distance races. "You can play your guys into the ground, and they'll never return. You've got to run a strategic race. Guys like (Ryan) Ludwick. He's 34 and has a history of injuries. Your catchers. Your rookies, like Cozart and (Todd) Frazier. They're used to their season being over in 2 1/2 weeks at Aug. 31. I'm hoping an extra two months."
It's easy to blame the manager for losses like this. And quite frankly, much of the blame should be on him for sitting so many starters. But in the grand scheme of things, this loss isn't a big deal. Yeah, it'd be nice to have won it and snap the losing streak and keep as much a lead as possible on the Pirates, but come on. Baker has a legit point here. These guys will not hold up as well if they play every day. This team still has the second best record in baseball. So let's maybe not crucify the guy for every single little detail.
Cliff Corcoran handicaps the Rookie of the Year races
and our old buddy old pal Todd Frazier represents in a very close 3rd place. Wade Miley heads up the list for the NL, but if you ask me I think he's heading for a fall. His 2.85 ERA belies his ho-hum K/BB rate. He looks good though, there's no mistaking that. He has a strong ground ball rate and he seems very adept at suppressing home runs. Good for him.
Frazier is a very close 3rd with Norichika Aoki just ahead of him in 2nd. Aoki is a speedy lead off guy who steals bases and plays strong OF defense, and Frazier smacks extra-base hits and is defensively very versatile. They get it done in different ways, but get it done all the same. This will be a very interesting race to watch down the stretch.
Gregg Doyel at CBSSports thinks it's time to start talking about the Cy Young
and the conversation should start with Aroldis Chapman (well, and Craig Kimbrel, but he can go suck an egg). Doyel says, "Without telling them why, I asked four baseball writers at CBSSports.com and one at Yahoo Sports for their top-three Cy Young ballot if the season ended today. None of them named Chapman or Kimbrel. So I'm here to get the word out, start a conversation about the NL Cy Young, because the right thing must be done. And the right thing is for Chapman and Kimbrel to be sitting in the lead at this moment."
He lays out a pretty compelling argument, one centered around the Sega Genesis stats that Chapman (and Kimbrel, but he can go suck an egg) are putting up this year. My favorite: Chapman's ERA against the National League this season is 0.19.
Red Hot Mama is all in favor of Doyel's campaign for Chapman (and Kimbrel, but he can go suck an egg)
with one major caveat: that a strong Chapman candidacy does not split votes with Johnny Cueto and give the award to some other guy, who should most likely go suck an egg.
He slid on a pad a few times yesterday, ran the bases, and went through some agility drills. I'm assuming everything went as planned. Fay speculates that we'll see him back when the Mets come to Cincy next Tuesday, which would be about four weeks after the surgery. Sounds about right.
Devin Mesoraco will come off the DL today and catch tonight and tomorrow against the Cubs
Dusty wanted to give Ryan Hanigan plenty of time off since he's been catching so much recently. With Dioner Navarro catching yesterday, that will give Hanigan three full days in the row. Sounds about right.
Blog Red Machine interviewed a guy who is cycling across the country visiting every major league stadium this summer
Biking for Baseball is raising awareness for youth mentoring on this 11,000 mile trip, and will be making their swing through Cincinnati August 15th and 16th. Click through and read the interview. It's pr' cool.
August 17th is Elvis Fireworks Night at the ol' ball orchard, and to promote it a number of Reds players attempted their best impersonations of The King. Bronson Arroyo, Todd Frazier, and Logan Ondrusek all give spirited if uninspiring efforts, but Chris Heisey wins running away. He acts like he lost a bet.
Red Reposter NEWS FROM HELL
Russian all-girl punk band Pussy Riot is on trial for performing a song criticizing the PM Vladimir Putin. It has become an international news story because many think it is a prime example of the authoritarian censorship that Putin has exercised during his more-than-a-decade reign in Russian politics.
Erstwhile sex machine Madonna weighed in during her concert in Moscow on Tuesday night, expressing her support for the band and free speech in Russia. This led to the deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin to respond on Twitter saying, "Every former whore seeks to lecture everyone on morality as she gets older. Especially during tours and gigs abroad." He later added, "Either take off your cross, or put on your knickers."