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coachw513
04-02-2007, 05:53 PM
Saw game...but away from computer...so...

1. After re-reading gamethread, it appears only 1 post of "oh my God, we're gonna win it all"...:rolleyes:

2. But surprisingly, many pages skewering Narron's decision to leave Harang in the game...:bang:

3. All joy for the Dunner...:thumbup:

4.And even a new nickname...Bonzo Gonzo :D

Okay, some quick observations:

1. It doesn't matter how Harang pitched in the 7th...it doesn't matter if those pitches were "non-stress"...it simply was a risk we didn't need to take...not only the risk of injury or fatigue, but also it risked Harang not leaving the game on a good note...I personally like Narron and major props to RedFanAlways1966 for his great post on Harang's pitch counts from last year, but it simply is a risk not needed, IMHO...however, this isn't nearly as insane as the Brewers were with Ben Sheets today...may they run him out there for extra innings every time they start him...

2. Bonzo Gonzo is the real deal defensively...that was a sensational play he made today...

3. Ole Farney makes it interesting, doesn't he???...wonder if Griffey wasn't saying "nice play" after the butchering of the play in the 5th??...but then again, Griff probably said "no way I get to that ball" on the one Freel caught in the 6th...

4. If the major worry of the day was EE not driving in runs with 2 based loaded chances, it's a good day...he'll be just fine...and yes, his defense continues to get better...

5. Thanks to Cincy fans for their reception to Josh Hamilton...the smile never left his face...may he always remember the victories it took to get here!!

6. Saarloos looked sharp...nice to see!!:thumbup:

7. Is the worst day of the year the day preceeding the All-star game (when there are literally no sporting events to enjoy), or tommorrow when the Reds always have the day off?????:angry:

Extra Note: Baseball Tonite phone interview with Steve Phillips:

a. Harang was "sensational"
b. Reds defense is "definitely better" with Freel in center, noting the diving catch..."I don't think Griffey could get to that"....also, "the defense will be better because of Gonzalez at SS"
c. He doesn't mind Dunn batting 2nd..."if he makes more contact"..."he can really help an offense as a #2 hitter driving in runs"...he gave credit to Brooks Jacoby...

Mario-Rijo
04-02-2007, 06:12 PM
Gonzo looked better at the plate than expected. He stayed fairly disciplined and made contact. To me that will be a major key for him this year.

edabbs44
04-02-2007, 06:18 PM
1. It doesn't matter how Harang pitched in the 7th...it doesn't matter if those pitches were "non-stress"...it simply was a risk we didn't need to take...not only the risk of injury or fatigue, but also it risked Harang not leaving the game on a good note...I personally like Narron and major props to RedFanAlways1966 for his great post on Harang's pitch counts from last year, but it simply is a risk not needed, IMHO...however, this isn't nearly as insane as the Brewers were with Ben Sheets today...may they run him out there for extra innings every time they start him...

Agree 100%, except when you said "I personally like Narron." Not necessary at all to ring up over 100 pitches today in a game that wasn't exactly tight. But as I said in the game thread, when you drop millions on some new, (in WK's mind) shiny toys for the bullpen, why not use them today? Stanton and Cormier couldn't be used? How about Burton?

That's my only issue...if Narron was scared to use them, then this team isn't very different from last year. Especially when talking about the bullpen.

Otherwise, great game today. So glad I took the day off. Dunn lhad a nice day at the plate and Freel had his moments in the field and on the basepaths. Hamilton had a nice piece of hitting in his one AB, though Murton stole a hit from him. Jr looked good in right and Gonzalez looked good at SS.

Col_ IN Reds fan
04-02-2007, 06:28 PM
Well I Kind of disagree. Harang is the Reds best pitcher. He was sailing along.
What were to happen if the BP collapsed in the 7th? Would people be saying
he didn't stay in long enough? Back in the day pitchers were expected to go 9 innings.

RedsManRick
04-02-2007, 06:46 PM
While I know Zambrano is wild, especially when he gets worked up, I love that we drew 6 walks today. The walks from Phillips and Gonzalez were particularly good to see.

As for Freel, what happened when he got thrown out on the basepaths? Everybody likes to talk about speed on the bases and look at SB, but from what I've seen, his aggressiveness on the basepaths hurts as much as it helps. Given that, would you put a guy with a .280/.360/.360 line at the top of your order? Not that we have a better option with Deno down, but particularly with Dunn behind him, Freel needs to not take extra risks.

Crosley68
04-02-2007, 06:58 PM
I listened to the radio for the first 4 innings and the TV side The last couple. Thom sounded very very good. The play-by-play was excellent. It was also very nice to hear Joe......made me misty eyed.

coachw513
04-02-2007, 06:58 PM
What were to happen if the BP collapsed in the 7th? Would people be saying
he didn't stay in long enough?

Personally, no...in fact, I'm glad I can make this argument because it doesn't look like I'm 2nd guessing (Harang rolled thru the 7th inning with no problems)...I'd be saying the bullpen didn't get it done and should get better...it's never a legitimate excuse to expose your ace to potential overuse/injury/fatigue simply because of a lack of confidence in your bullpen on April 2nd...

edabbs44
04-02-2007, 07:02 PM
Personally, no...in fact, I'm glad I can make this argument because it doesn't look like I'm 2nd guessing (Harang rolled thru the 7th inning with no problems)...I'd be saying the bullpen didn't get it done and should get better...it's never a legitimate excuse to expose your ace to potential overuse/injury/fatigue simply because of a lack of confidence in your bullpen on April 2nd...

Exactly...and why would Jerry have a lack of confidence in the bullpen? WK and that guy from Extreme Makeover spent millions over the past year adding and dropping relievers like they were crackhead fantasy owners. The bullpen should be airtight by now.

Razor Shines
04-02-2007, 07:03 PM
While I was kind of hoping that Harang would be pinch hit for his last AB, I don't think that it was a horrible decision. He doesn't have a history of arm trouble, he's proven in the past he can throw a lot of innings and it didn't look like his mechanics were suffering too much, I think all those things should have been and probably were taken into consideration, also the fact that the Cubs' hitters are apparently stupid. He has a very compact and effortless motion, I think he's one of the few guys who can get away with throwing a lot of pitches and I don't think 113 is too many.

Neither EE nor BP looked very patient at the plate, but it was probably just being a little anxious for the first game. I fully expect EE to be more patient this season, I'm not yet sure about Phillips.

Patrick Bateman
04-02-2007, 07:03 PM
As for Freel, what happened when he got thrown out on the basepaths? Everybody likes to talk about speed on the bases and look at SB, but from what I've seen, his aggressiveness on the basepaths hurts as much as it helps. Given that, would you put a guy with a .280/.360/.360 line at the top of your order? Not that we have a better option with Deno down, but particularly with Dunn behind him, Freel needs to not take extra risks.

I generally agree with you Rick, but this particular play was more based off bad luck.

I'm not sure if you saw it, but the ball was thrown away on his infield single and Freel had to make a quick judgment call on whether to try for the extra base. If he doesn't move fast, then he has no chance for it. On that play, Freel will be safe at least 90% of the time, it was unfortunate that the ball bounced right to Lee, otherwise Freel is safe without a throw. This was a case of a really unfortunate bounce rather than Freel's usual careless baserunning.

Razor Shines
04-02-2007, 07:07 PM
Exactly...and why would Jerry have a lack of confidence in the bullpen? WK and that guy from Extreme Makeover spent a year adding and dropping relievers like they were crackhead fantasy owners. The bullpen should be airtight by now.

Whether it should be or not, we all know it isn't, and I'm sure WK and Narron also know it's not, even if they don't talk about it publicly. I don't mind throwing Harang a little longer than other pitchers so we don't have to find out until other games. And no matter how good our bullpen is no one they bring in is going to be better than our ace and I don't think that 113 pitches is too many for Harang.

Patrick Bateman
04-02-2007, 07:07 PM
Exactly...and why would Jerry have a lack of confidence in the bullpen? WK and that guy from Extreme Makeover spent millions over the past year adding and dropping relievers like they were crackhead fantasy owners. The bullpen should be airtight by now.

This wasn't a lack of confidence in the bullpen. This was an example of your durable, ace pitcher cruising along. When people were clamouring for him to be removed he was getting outs comfortably. At no point was he laboring.

You can't be afraid to let a guy like Harang throw some pitches. He's a big guy, he can handle it. I know it's opening day, but Harang threw plenty in spring training and he was throwing the ball well. If Harang was having some trouble you would have seen Narron give him the hook much more quickly.

PuffyPig
04-02-2007, 07:08 PM
I don't have a problem with Freel's out at 2nd today. You have to make a split second decision, and Freel makes it easily unless the ball bounces off the camera right to Lee.

If he doesn't try there, you are basically telling him never to go in that situation.

Razor Shines
04-02-2007, 07:10 PM
I don't have a problem with Freel's out at 2nd today. You have to make a split second decision, and Freel makes it easily unless the ball bounces off the camera right to Lee.

If he doesn't try there, you are basically telling him never to go in that situation.

Yeah, I'm usually very critical of Freel's base running, but that was just dumb luck that the ball bounced right back to Lee.

guttle11
04-02-2007, 07:10 PM
Heard in the tunnel after the first pitch- "Mr Mallory, Jim Bowden on the phone..."

Always Red
04-02-2007, 07:13 PM
Well I Kind of disagree. Harang is the Reds best pitcher. He was sailing along.
What were to happen if the BP collapsed in the 7th? Would people be saying
he didn't stay in long enough? Back in the day pitchers were expected to go 9 innings.

I'm with you. I was at the game today, and am kind of shocked to read criticism of why Harang was left in the game to pitch the 7th.

Why not? He cruised. It was a no brainer to me. If you can get 7 out of your starter every single time, that's a great thing.

The strength of this team is Harang, Arroyo and Dunn. Go with your horses. It's not like he threw him for 10 innings or 140 pitches. The man threw 112 effortless pitches on a breezy spring day.

If Narron had taken Harang out after 6, and the bullpen got lit up, there would have been hell for him to pay here on this site, no question. Methinks this is partially a Narron witchhunt...

PuffyPig
04-02-2007, 07:13 PM
Most expects believe it's not the number of pitches thrown so much as how stressful those pitches are. Harang's pitches in the 6th and 7th innings were extremely stress free. he looked like he was playing catch with Ross, simply throwing the pitch in and daring them to hit it. It was his easiest 2 innings of the night.

Howw he handled those innings seems to suggest that Narron knew what he was doing. Harang certainly wasn't labouring.

redsmetz
04-02-2007, 07:30 PM
This wasn't a lack of confidence in the bullpen. This was an example of your durable, ace pitcher cruising along. When people were clamouring for him to be removed he was getting outs comfortably. At no point was he laboring.

You can't be afraid to let a guy like Harang throw some pitches. He's a big guy, he can handle it. I know it's opening day, but Harang threw plenty in spring training and he was throwing the ball well. If Harang was having some trouble you would have seen Narron give him the hook much more quickly.

I agree completely. The boxscore says it was 112 pitches, that doesn't strike me as an inordinate amount. He seemed to be working pretty free today.

Will M
04-02-2007, 07:33 PM
Overall the Reds defense was good today. EE made a couple of nice plays at 3B. Freel showed range in CF.
The Reds pitchers will really benefit from Gonzo & Griffey's move to RF.

Harang cruised. A lot of the hits the Cubs got were 'cheapies'.

Hat's weak grounder to 2B made me wish Votto was at 1B and Hat on the bench.

Murton made a nice play robbing Hamilton of his 1rst hit.

Griifey went the other way on 2 hits. Very nice to see him not trying to hit everything to RF.

Saarloos had good movement on his sinker.

Overall a great day!

Nugget
04-02-2007, 07:59 PM
The other point on Harang is that it was probably a bit of extended spring as well. I don't think he pitched much more than 70 in ST which means that it was probably a good chance for him to build up his pitch count in a low pressure situation so that when he has to pitch 113 to get through 5 innings its not going to be as much of a stretch.

Ltlabner
04-02-2007, 08:05 PM
I don't have a problem with Freel's out at 2nd today. You have to make a split second decision, and Freel makes it easily unless the ball bounces off the camera right to Lee.

If he doesn't try there, you are basically telling him never to go in that situation.

Exactly, it was a total freak play that the ball didn't bounce out of play, and that it happend to bounce right back into Lee's glove. Otherwise Freel is at 2nd. He did play a ball on a short hop that he might have dove after. We were in right-centerfield and you could see a very small pause in his step right when he was at the dive/don't dive decision making point. It seemed to imply that he was telling himself, "if you dive and miss the runner goes to 3rd". That's a good kind of restraint.

Dunn looked good today. He appears slimmer and his swing was nice and smooth. None of those big windmill deals where he tries to hit it to Mars. Ross, OTOH. Yeeech.

Gonzo's play (2nd perhaps) where he went to the right and stopped the ball Philips didn't get was very nice. He didn't get the out, but it kept the ball in the infield and the runner at 2B. Ultimatley it saved a run and kept the inning from getting ugly.

The reception for Hamilton was very nice. Murton made a great play but I thought it was a good move to give the kid a chance before a big crowd but not in some pressure packed situation.

Harang was sailing and got out of a jam when needed. Weathers *seemed* more confident (however you measure that from the outfield stands).

Nice game. Nice way to start the season off. Will be interesting to see if Narron sticks with this line up for more than just this one game.

Spike
04-02-2007, 08:08 PM
I watched the game today and remarked to my friend that Harang seemed to get stronger as the game went on. I was more shocked that they wasted Harang's at bat in the 6th than I was they let him go into the 7th.

paintmered
04-02-2007, 08:25 PM
Even though Gonzo couldn't record the out when he made the great pick up the middle, he prevented the baserunner from going to 3rd by keeping the ball in the infield.

The result? 1st and 2nd rather than 1st and 3rd.

EE looked solid in the field today. I don't think there are more than a half dozen 3rd basemen in the bigs that touch the ball that got by him (scored a hit, btw).

Caveat Emperor
04-02-2007, 08:31 PM
In hindsight, I have no problem with Harang going 113 pitches today. He's proven over the last 2 seasons that he is fully capable of shouldering the workload -- so why not let him go and do what he does best.

He labored early, but really settled into a groove near the end of the game. He didn't seem to ever need max velocity, so I doubt he was putting a ton of undue stress on the arm.

He didn't have his best stuff today, but he still dominated. Score another one for "spring training stats are overrated."

HumnHilghtFreel
04-02-2007, 08:32 PM
That standing O for Hamilton was great. I got chills watching him standing there waiting to step into the box just smiling ear to ear.

Edskin
04-02-2007, 08:36 PM
1. It doesn't matter how Harang pitched in the 7th...it doesn't matter if those pitches were "non-stress"...it simply was a risk we didn't need to take...not only the risk of injury or fatigue, but also it risked Harang not leaving the game on a good note...I personally like Narron and major props to RedFanAlways1966 for his great post on Harang's pitch counts from last year, but it simply is a risk not needed, IMHO...however, this isn't nearly as insane as the Brewers were with Ben Sheets today...may they run him out there for extra innings every time they start him...


Disagree. It's the one "new school" philosophy I don't buy. I thought pitching 7 full was exactly what Narron should have done this afternoon. I believe that pitch counts are watched a bit too closely thesedays, while mechanics probably aren't watched closely enough.

Our bullpen is shaky at best, I think Narron should avoid it as often as possible. I don't want him to go nuts-- I would NOT have attempted to let Harang go the distance today, but I like the idea of establishing our "ace" as a 7 inning minimum pitcher.

lollipopcurve
04-02-2007, 09:50 PM
Great game.

I like Griffey's patience at the plate -- he showed that last August before he got hurt, and it looks like he's carrying it into this year. Should help him a lot.

Nice swing from Hamilton against a tough lefthander.

Dunn -- wow. You can see the adjustment he's made with his hands. No more of that bat drooping over his back shoulder.

Topcat
04-03-2007, 12:40 AM
Raisor showed rust and Puffy came across as lazy but as the game went on Puffy seemed to find his stroke again.

buckeyenut
04-03-2007, 06:32 AM
Even though Gonzo couldn't record the out when he made the great pick up the middle, he prevented the baserunner from going to 3rd by keeping the ball in the infield.

The result? 1st and 2nd rather than 1st and 3rd.

EE looked solid in the field today. I don't think there are more than a half dozen 3rd basemen in the bigs that touch the ball that got by him (scored a hit, btw).


And, to be clear, Gonzo's play was also one that never shows up in the box score (or zone rating I think). Those hidden outs and hidden bases are a huge difference and I think we are going to be on the plus side of them this year.

membengal
04-03-2007, 06:35 AM
1. Nice to have a genuine ace at the top of the rotation. Couldn't help but direct a laugh in the direction of Tom Verducci as the game unfolded. Harang and Arroyo are why the Reds have at least a smidgen of a chance this year.

2. The last week has done a lot to erase much of my Narron and Krivsky wariness from last year. WK's cutting of Hermensan and going with Burton and Coutlangus on this team, while demoting Milton to 5th starter at best has addressed much of my fears about his being too much a vet deferential GM. Narron's batting Dunn 2nd is brilliant. Easy call for some of us on this board, but Narron, who has to deal with folks close to the club like the Brennemans in his ear every day about batting Alex G second because he can "move runners along", doing the smart thing and keeping Dunn in the 2-spot where he can be devastating is outstanding.

3. It was indeed a nice change not to have to hold one's breath on every ball hit to CF. I used to have that worry that each ball that involved even moderate movement in CF would result in a Jr. injury. That's less of a concren with Jr. in RF. And, as a bonus, having a CF who can get to a large number of balls in the gaps will make this team 3-5 games better from the outset. Again, props to management for helping this finally come to pass.

4. I remain thrilled that this team is in the Saarloos business. That 8th inning he turned in was clutch. With only a 5-1 lead, and the Chicago line-up with its most dangerous hitters due up, his getting through that by keeping the ball down and throwing strikes made the 9th inning a foregone conclusion. Too many times in the last half decade 5-1 leads get shaved down to 5-3 or 5-4 making the 9th inning problematic. I still would like to see Saarloos start for this team, but love how Narron deployed him yesterday.

5. That Hamilton made that kind of contact in that spot is a great sign. Nasty lefty he was up against. Great at-bat. I remain stunned at how valuable he is going to be to this team. The crowd's reaction and ovations for him were the highlight of a day full of highlights.

Really nice day.

redsmetz
04-03-2007, 07:35 AM
Disagree. It's the one "new school" philosophy I don't buy. I thought pitching 7 full was exactly what Narron should have done this afternoon. I believe that pitch counts are watched a bit too closely thesedays, while mechanics probably aren't watched closely enough.

Our bullpen is shaky at best, I think Narron should avoid it as often as possible. I don't want him to go nuts-- I would NOT have attempted to let Harang go the distance today, but I like the idea of establishing our "ace" as a 7 inning minimum pitcher.

I agree with you completely about Harrang and the "new school" philosophy. Pitchers should be going at least seven innings and 113 pitches shouldn't be considered abusive (no more than the entirely unnatural thing pitchers routinely do to their arms as it were).

With regards to the bullpen, I never had the sense that Narron put him out there one more inning due to being afraid of using the bullpen. Saarloos was fantastic and Weathers was smooth. I think this bullpen is night and day from last years. Not perfect, mind you, but considerably better and certainly more reliable.