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View Full Version : Back from the game-- observations



RedsManRick
04-13-2006, 07:30 PM
Perfect day for a ballgame out at Wrigley today. A couple of observations:

- Kearns is making solid contact and seems to not be as "lost" at the plate as he was in ST. Meanwhile, Hatteberg looks like he's happy to take a pitch because he knows he's better off walking than putting the ball in play. Kearns needs to be batting ahead of him.

- Brandon Phillips looks plain scared. Seems to have no real approach and just guessing at the plate.

- Milton has a very average fastball, but it hit 91-92 regulary according to the stadium gun -- which is a very good sign. His curve had guys way out in front and was getting 16 mph differential. He made his mistakes off the plate, except for the grooved fastball to Murton.

- Coffey made some people laugh with his sprint out to the mound, but I liked it. He had good velocity, touching 94 once. Zambrano never hit higher than 96, so I'm thinking the gun was pretty accurate -- may 1 or 2 mph fast.

- Mercker's fastball is straight as an arrow. He looks great against bad hitters, but I wouldn't want him pitching against good hitters in a clutch situation.

- The Cubs have nothing on the bench. Cry all you want about Rich Aurilia, the cubs pretty much have a handful of Tony Womacks -- no power on the bench whatsoever.

crazyredsfan
04-13-2006, 07:57 PM
one other observation from wrigley, Ross had three balls all within 3 ft of each other 2 were ground outs and one double. If that doesn't say dead pull hitter I don't know what does

SeeinRed
04-13-2006, 08:01 PM
RedsManRick, how did the hit that Milton took on that errant pickoff throw look to you. I heard him say on the postgame show on 700WLW that he thought it was a cheapshot, and the third baseman at the time went for his head. At least thats how I heard it. What did you think?

jredmo2
04-13-2006, 10:24 PM
RedsManRick, how did the hit that Milton took on that errant pickoff throw look to you. I heard him say on the postgame show on 700WLW that he thought it was a cheapshot, and the third baseman at the time went for his head. At least thats how I heard it. What did you think?

Yeah what was the deal? Why did Zambrano try to pick off Milton, a pitcher, twice? Once when Lee wasn't even holding him on and once when he was on third.. what?? Does Zambrano hate Milton as much as I do?

Caveat Emperor
04-13-2006, 10:38 PM
Yeah what was the deal? Why did Zambrano try to pick off Milton, a pitcher, twice? Once when Lee wasn't even holding him on and once when he was on third.. what?? Does Zambrano hate Milton as much as I do?

The first pick-off attempt at 1B that was ruled a balk looked like it was just a brain cramp by Zambrano. Man on 1st, 1 out with a good bunter (Freel) at the plate. I think he just lost his place in the batting order and forgot that it was a pitcher on first instead of a position player. Freel was no threat to bunt in that situation, but Zambrano didn't realize that.

The 2nd pick-off attempt at 3B, to me, seemed like it was a frustration move by Zambrano. He'd just given up a triple to the pitcher and he was probably eager to erase the baserunner and "make up" for the poor pitch that he gave Milton to hit. A little akin to how if you get a shot blocked in basketball, you come back to the defensive end really eager to make a steal or a good play to get the possession back.

reds44
04-13-2006, 10:40 PM
- Brandon Phillips looks plain scared. Seems to have no real approach and just guessing at the plate.



Woah woah woah, I came away with the complete opposite impression of him. Even though he went 0-4 today, he was robbed of a hit and combined that with his hit yesterday his offense impressed me.

Heath
04-13-2006, 11:18 PM
Woah woah woah, I came away with the complete opposite impression of him. Even though he went 0-4 today, he was robbed of a hit and combined that with his hit yesterday his offense impressed me.

I'd agree with the above assessment - Brandon needs a few at-bats and some confidence. I'm interested in his potential as a second sacker around here for a while - or a better Ray Olmedo.

RedsManRick
04-13-2006, 11:49 PM
Phillips just looked very instinctual to me -- hence the "guessing" comment. Perhaps scared wasn't the right choice of words. He did make solid contact, but there just wasn't consistency from one at bat to the next. Reminded me a bit of Pena in that regard. Could look real good sometimes, real bad others. Contrast that to a Freel who seems to have a good plate appearance every time up. Of course, sample size and all of that...

Re; the Milton pick off attempt -- the 3rd base coach blocked my view for the most part and didn't see if Perez hit/bumped him as he went past. I was about 12 rows up, the section left of directly behind home plate. The throw looked like Zambrano was just pissed that Milton was there in the first place and wanted to get rid of him. I wouldn't be surprised at all if that's what his thought process was -- dude is nuts. If he had seen Milton round 2b on his triple, he would've known that Milton would've been toast on home on any hard hit grounder.

LincolnparkRed
04-13-2006, 11:57 PM
I was sitting 10 row up even with third. If we were in the NFL Perez would have gotten 15-yard unecessary roughness call. His arm went up for the ball but somehow got Milton around the top of the head as it came down. He then seemed to pull down. Berry had to retrieve his batting helmet so Milton could walk to the plate with it.

As an additional note, the throw took out two people who must not have been paying attention to the game. Not sure but the guy was checking his watch/phone after it happened. This is now the second game in a row that someone within a few rows of the wife and I has been hit by a thrown ball. Last year Felo nailed a woman when he sailed a warmup toss.

TOBTTReds
04-14-2006, 12:15 AM
I'm guessing many of you watched it on TV, so you saw the pickoff play too. I didn't think it was a cheap shot at all. Sure he got drilled, but Zam just had such a horrible throw Perez was just trying to get to the ball any way possible. I don't think there was any reason for a cheap shot on him. Maybe Zam would have done it bc the guy is nuts, but I doubt Perez would do that.

icehole3
04-14-2006, 06:51 AM
Didnt Phillips after a decent spring have to sit out about 10 days, probably equal to going on the DL. He'll come around after another week of big league hitting. He wont lead the league in hitting, he'll contribute. I saw the pickoff and I dont think it was a cheapshot.

Chip R
04-14-2006, 10:06 AM
I'm guessing many of you watched it on TV, so you saw the pickoff play too. I didn't think it was a cheap shot at all. Sure he got drilled, but Zam just had such a horrible throw Perez was just trying to get to the ball any way possible. I don't think there was any reason for a cheap shot on him. Maybe Zam would have done it bc the guy is nuts, but I doubt Perez would do that.

Maybe Neffi was just trying to hit Milton any way he could. ;)

LincolnparkRed
04-14-2006, 10:48 AM
Maybe Neffi was just trying to hit Milton any way he could. ;)

The funny thing about that was I don't think Neifi took a full swing on a single pitch all day. I don't normally watch him bat but all he did was take these small quick swings with no power behind them. he looked like all he wanted to do was poke the ball just over the infield everytime.

Chip R
04-14-2006, 11:17 AM
The funny thing about that was I don't think Neifi took a full swing on a single pitch all day. I don't normally watch him bat but all he did was take these small quick swings with no power behind them. he looked like all he wanted to do was poke the ball just over the infield everytime.

A man's got to know his limitations - Dirty Harry

Crash Davis
04-14-2006, 11:31 AM
Perfect day for a ballgame out at Wrigley today. A couple of observations:

- Kearns is making solid contact and seems to not be as "lost" at the plate as he was in ST. Meanwhile, Hatteberg looks like he's happy to take a pitch because he knows he's better off walking than putting the ball in play. Kearns needs to be batting ahead of him.

If Hatteberg is happy to take a walk, why do you want him *behind* Kearns? If he takes a walk, Kearns can knock him in. When the Reds signed Hatteberg, I thought his function was to play the Joe Randa role in the lineup. With all of the high OBP and high K guys in the 2-5 holes, he's supposed to be a guy who balances out the lineup by giving a professional at bat without striking out so much with runners in scoring position. If his function is to improve the balance and situational hitting, then he should stay where he is until Kearns forces a move. I don't think Kearns has done that yet. I think Kearns has looked "lost" in quite a few at bats. What's his K/BB ratio right now? I haven't seen him take more than one walk yet, and I know he's struck out once a game.

I'll believe Kearns is all the way back when I see the strong plate discipline he showed early in his career. He's still a long ways away from that right now. I don't think he's as bad as the last couple of seasons when he would let all the good pitches go (especially with 2 strikes) and swing at the bad ones. But it's still not as good as he showed when he first arrived on the scene.


- Brandon Phillips looks plain scared. Seems to have no real approach and just guessing at the plate.

I couldn't agree more. What IS his approach at the plate? I can't figure that one out, but he certainly looks a bit unsure of himself up there to me.


- The Cubs have nothing on the bench. Cry all you want about Rich Aurilia, the cubs pretty much have a handful of Tony Womacks -- no power on the bench whatsoever.

Did you miss Mabry showing some power against the Reds last week when he sent one out to straight away center?

Point taken though. In case of injuries, break glass and employ...what, Pagan? Neifi? Bynum? Dusty clearly wanted more speed around, but his bench is the kind you take into the postseason -- not the kind you build to fill in for injuries throughout the regular season.

Good for him. Dusty has outlived his usefulness, but as long as the Cubs haven't realized that, it's one less team we'll have to worry about. Is that one annoying whiner of a manager, or what?

RedsManRick
04-14-2006, 12:22 PM
If Hatteberg is happy to take a walk, why do you want him *behind* Kearns? If he takes a walk, Kearns can knock him in. When the Reds signed Hatteberg, I thought his function was to play the Joe Randa role in the lineup. With all of the high OBP and high K guys in the 2-5 holes, he's supposed to be a guy who balances out the lineup by giving a professional at bat without striking out so much with runners in scoring position. If his function is to improve the balance and situational hitting, then he should stay where he is until Kearns forces a move. I don't think Kearns has done that yet. I think Kearns has looked "lost" in quite a few at bats. What's his K/BB ratio right now? I haven't seen him take more than one walk yet, and I know he's struck out once a game.

The gist of my comment wasn't that Hatteberg was willing to take a walk -- certainly I think that's a good thing. Rather it's that he was being over-selective. He watched a few good pitches to hit. It's like he knows he's better off trying to work the walk than trying to get a hit. I'll grant that this was a VERY limited sample and perhaps it was just a function of his approach in the 4 at bats I saw. However, I'd bat Kearns ahead of him for a few reasons:

1. Hatteberg is Casey-slow and probably wouldn't score from 1st on a double by Kearns in most cases. Kearns is no speed demon but definitely moves better.

2. Those guys batting low in the order should be driving in runs. Surely OBP matters and if he's 50 points better than Kearns, I'm happy to have him ahead. But if it's 15-20 points, I want the guy with the higher SLG% b/c he's more likely to turn baserunners in to runs even if he himself gets on base slighly less often. I'm not too worried about setting the table for the 8th hitter and the pitcher.

3. Protection. Yes, it's probably overrated, but I think Kearns would benefit more from having a "professional" hitter behind him. Perhaps he would feel more comfortable being more selective if he didn't feel like he was the last chance to get some runs driven in -- complete and utter speculation on my part.

#2 is really the big one for me. With two outs and a guy on first, I'd rather Kearns be there to drive him in than Hatteberg trying to work a walk and extend the inning. Unless Hatteberg is vastly superior at getting on base, I'll take Kearns.

reds44
04-14-2006, 01:32 PM
Didnt Phillips after a decent spring have to sit out about 10 days, probably equal to going on the DL. He'll come around after another week of big league hitting. He wont lead the league in hitting, he'll contribute. I saw the pickoff and I dont think it was a cheapshot.
Good point. Hard for a guy to come back and light it up after being out for a long period of time.

mound_patrol
04-14-2006, 02:11 PM
Regarding the pickoff to third. That was a set play called by either Baker or by the third baseman. We run the same play at my college. As we all saw Perez broke towards the bag as soon as Zambrano lifted his leg. I believe the Cubs were banking on the reds trying to squeeze and were just trying to catch Milton leaving early.

As for the other pickoff to first. Who knows. Maybe he wanted to see if Freel would show bunt or maybe he wanted to make Milton tired by having to slide back into the bag several times. Instead he made Milton's trip around the bags a leisurely one with the balk and then the HR.

I was watching Milton closely today and came away impressed with him. Even though he threw a lot of pitches he was pitching very aggressively. He was going after everyone except Lee all day. And when he missed he missed down and away or up out of the zone. The single to Murton that drove in a run was the only terrible pitch he threw and that's going to happen, just wish it would happen with no one on.