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View Full Version : Two beefs with tonight's game that makes it so frustrating...



Legion of Dunn
04-11-2007, 02:17 AM
Totally "unnecessary" loss tonight.

(A) The pitch to Tracy in the first. No reason for it. Completely avoidable situation. Never, ever give in to the hitter in that situation. As much as I hated them, one thing that made those Braves staffs so great in the last 10-15 years was they never, ever gave in to the hitter. You were always going to hit their pitch and their pitch only, or the next batter would have to take his chances in that scenario.

(B) I just have no patience at all for major leaguers who can't bunt and/or managers that don't call for it. I'm not sure what happened there with the Encarnacion at-bat, but it was simply inexcusable.

I feel like I've wasted too many nights of my life on nights like these when the Reds head west. :bang:

Caveat Emperor
04-11-2007, 02:22 AM
(B) I just have no patience at all for major leaguers who can't bunt and/or managers that don't call for it. I'm not sure what happened there with the Encarnacion at-bat, but it was simply inexcusable.

Edwin Encarnacion is, allegedly, one of the guys the team was counting on to be a run-producer this year. He has power, OPS'd .832 last year, and is a middle-lineup hitter.

Once he worked himself into a hitters count (2-0), I have no problem with allowing him to swing away and attempt to drive the runners in on his own. He's a run producer -- that is what he is asked to do on a nightly basis. The fact that it didn't work out this particular time doesn't make it a bad choice.

You can second guess until you're blue in the face -- but it wasn't an awful or inexcusable decision, IMO. Just one that didn't work out.

reds44
04-11-2007, 02:24 AM
Eventually, players have to make plays.

The last 2 nights the Reds, mostly the hitters, haven't done that.

jimbo
04-11-2007, 02:30 AM
I know one thing, I only needed to see one game with Hamilton starting to realize he should be the everyday CF. It doesn't have anything to do with the home run, even though that was pretty awesome, but it has everything to do with the fact that even though JH has only one career start in the majors, he is a more disciplined hitter that most of the Reds lineup. He gives you a good at-bat everytime and has a great eye. I also think he has better potential in CF over Freel. Start him.

Legion of Dunn
04-11-2007, 02:37 AM
I know one thing, I only needed to see one game with Hamilton starting to realize he should be the everyday CF. It doesn't have anything to do with the home run, even though that was pretty awesome, but it has everything to do with the fact that even though JH has only one career start in the majors, he is a more disciplined hitter that most of the Reds lineup. He gives you a good at-bat everytime and has a great eye. I also think he has better potential in CF over Freel. Start him.

I could definitely live with that. I've never felt good about Freel as an everyday guy. Thing is, it's probably only a matter of time before both of them are.

Hamilton's plate discipline to lay off that one 3-2 pitch was very impressive.

forfreelin04
04-11-2007, 02:48 AM
Edwin Encarnacion is, allegedly, one of the guys the team was counting on to be a run-producer this year. He has power, OPS'd .832 last year, and is a middle-lineup hitter.

Once he worked himself into a hitters count (2-0), I have no problem with allowing him to swing away and attempt to drive the runners in on his own. He's a run producer -- that is what he is asked to do on a nightly basis. The fact that it didn't work out this particular time doesn't make it a bad choice.

You can second guess until you're blue in the face -- but it wasn't an awful or inexcusable decision, IMO. Just one that didn't work out.

I tend to agree with you there when the count went 2-0. But it is hard to switch gears as a hitter from bunting to knocking in the go ahead run. 2-0 I woulda went with the take sign if anything. Now if it was 3-0 I would have definitly went with the take sign. I'm of the opinion you can't change your approach totally midway through an at bat.

Razor Shines
04-11-2007, 02:52 AM
I tend to agree with you there when the count went 2-0. But it is hard to switch gears as a hitter from bunting to knocking in the go ahead run. 2-0 I woulda went with the take sign if anything. Now if it was 3-0 I would have definitly went with the take sign. I'm of the opinion you can't change your approach totally midway through an at bat.

I completely disagree with those two statements. It's not that hard, in fact it's not hard at all. The thought of it being hard shouldn't even cross the mind of a Major League hitter.

forfreelin04
04-11-2007, 02:53 AM
bottom line is folks.... Jerry is not the guy. He never will be. I don't care if Homer is up here mowing guys down like a firing squad, Loshe is pitching excellent baseball, and Matt Belisle becomes a reliable starter. jerry will find a way to cost us ball games. Your manager should maximize your success not hinder it with mindless batting lineup changes and freakish bullpen choices.

TOBTTReds
04-11-2007, 02:56 AM
I completely disagree with those two statements. It's not that hard, in fact it's not hard at all. The thought of it being hard shouldn't even cross the mind of a Major League hitter.

I'm with you. Woody Williams did it yesterday in the Cubs game. Got a single right up the middle after a couple bunt attempts.

forfreelin04
04-11-2007, 02:58 AM
I completely disagree with those two statements. It's not that hard, in fact it's not hard at all. The thought of it being hard shouldn't even cross the mind of a Major League hitter.

You'd think so because they ARE Major Leaguers. But preparing to bunt, when the infield knows your gonna do it and then changing to trying to hit something hard is two totally different things. It is easier to shorten up and his something Oppo because your still hitting. Bunting and then hitting is a totally different and more drastic change. You wouldnt ask a pitcher to intentionally walk a batter and then have them throw three pitches off the plate and then tell him to strike him out would you?

When you bunt, your doing a job. Your placing a ball far enough way from the fielders that the runners can advance thus sacrificing yourself for the good of the team. Now when you are hitting you are simply relying on your instincts seeing the ball where it is pitching and then hitting it with some sort of authority. They don't call bunting a lost art for nothing.

AtomicDumpling
04-11-2007, 02:58 AM
We are all giving Encarnacion grief for not getting the bunt down, but don't forget that Gonzalez looked even worse on his bunting attempts. He tried twice and looked awful both times. Then he grounded into a double play. That harmed the Reds' chances to win more than EE did.

I am not a big bunting fan. I like it if there is a pitcher or other poor hitter at the plate. I don't like it with no outs, two men on base (one of which is already in scoring position) and one of your better hitters at the plate. The point of a bunt is to advance a runner into scoring position. If there is already a runner in scoring position I would not have a good hitter try to make an out on purpose. Drive in the run!

Razor Shines
04-11-2007, 03:00 AM
bottom line is folks.... Jerry is not the guy. He never will be. I don't care if Homer is up here mowing guys down like a firing squad, Loshe is pitching excellent baseball, and Matt Belisle becomes a reliable starter. jerry will find a way to cost us ball games. Your manager should maximize your success not hinder it with mindless batting lineup changes and freakish bullpen choices.

Jerry's cost us games sure, but this one is on the players. They've got to perform. They had chances to get it done tonight and didn't.

forfreelin04
04-11-2007, 03:03 AM
I'm with you. Woody Williams did it yesterday in the Cubs game. Got a single right up the middle after a couple bunt attempts.

Woody Williams' job is to bunt. This is the only real criteria that a pitcher is asked to meet in a ball game. Hits are just added flavoring. Woody has probably bunted more in the cage then he has hit linedrives. Now Ede someone who bunts minimally and is maybe asked to do so ONCE a month is a totally different thing. He practices bunting maybe two or three times during BP and he is only doing it because that is the requirement. Very rarely do batting practice pitchers make the batter lay down 3 perfect sac bunts. The hitters just want to get to the hitting part.

So when he is asked to bunt. He is hearkening back to something he very rarely does but (no excuses) should know how to do.

forfreelin04
04-11-2007, 03:05 AM
Jerry's cost us games sure, but this one is on the players. They've got to perform. They had chances to get it done tonight and didn't.

You are very much correct it is on the players. But I don't think Jerry could manage even the best of MLB teams. We all must keep in mind the gentlemen who brought Jerry in.

Razor Shines
04-11-2007, 03:07 AM
You'd think so because they ARE Major Leaguers. But preparing to bunt, when the infield knows your gonna do it and then changing to trying to hit something hard is two totally different things. It is easier to shorten up and his something Oppo because your still hitting. Bunting and then hitting is a totally different and more drastic change. You wouldnt ask a pitcher to intentionally walk a batter and then have them throw three pitches off the plate and then tell him to strike him out would you?

When you bunt, your doing a job. Your placing a ball far enough way from the fielders that the runners can advance thus sacrificing yourself for the good of the team. Now when you are hitting you are simply relying on your instincts seeing the ball where it is pitching and then hitting it with some sort of authority. They don't call bunting a lost art for nothing.

I'm sorry I completely disagree. It's not that hard to go from bunting to hitting, it's just not. I could see what you were saying if you asked a guy to hit instead of bunt as the pitcher was releasing the ball, but asking him to bunt on 2-0 then taking it off and saying hit away is different.

And your situation with the pitcher is completely different. Having a pitcher go down 3-0 and then asking him to strike out a hitter is not the same as having a batter attempt a bunt on 2-0, then have him hit on 2-1.

AtomicDumpling
04-11-2007, 03:09 AM
I agree that Narron is a poor manager. He is a smallball manager in a powerball era. The sabermetricians have proven that small ball loses and powerball wins over the long haul.

Narron is clueless regarding how to handle a pitching staff.

He was hired by Dan O'Brien to deflect the heat off his butt. Narron came dirt cheap and was available in the middle of the season.

Why keep Narron when proven winners like Lou Piniella and Jim Leyland were available?

forfreelin04
04-11-2007, 03:09 AM
I'm sorry I completely disagree. It's not that hard to go from bunting to hitting, it's just not. I could see what you were saying if you asked a guy to hit instead of bunt as the pitcher was releasing the ball, but asking him to bunt on 2-0 then taking it off and saying hit away is different.

And your situation with the pitcher is completely different. Having a pitcher go down 3-0 and then asking him to strike out a hitter is not the same as having a batter attempt a bunt on 2-0, then have him hit on 2-1.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree brotha have a good night!

jimbo
04-11-2007, 03:23 AM
Now Ede someone who bunts minimally and is maybe asked to do so ONCE a month is a totally different thing.

That is absolutely no excuse. If you are a major league player, there is no excuse for not being able to lay down a bunt when asked. And this claiming that it's hard to go from trying to bunt to hitting in the same at-bat is just crap. These are major league players, if asking them to do that is too difficult, then there are deeper problems.

Narron is not the reason why this team lost tonight, or last night. It is simply a problem that this lineup is full of undisciplined hitters who cannot do the little things to win games.

TeamBoone
04-11-2007, 03:46 AM
I hate that he keeps replacing pitchers after getting one or two guys out. They were pretty much lights out tonight, and he yanked them.

This lefty/righty thing is way way overrated. You don't do it when your starter is in, and it's not always imperative to do it after he's relieved.

Drives me insane.

One of these nights he's going to run through the entire bullpen.

Guacarock
04-11-2007, 06:13 AM
The two straight, late-inning, heartbreaking losses in Arizona don't have me alarmed about any one particular player. But I have a nagging fear that we could be witnessing a trend in the making.

To wit, when you shift toward a small-ball team that relies more on pitching and defense to win as opposed to offense, then you can expect you'll be playing more games that are cliffhangers and nailbiters. But if that's going to be the case, you can't go with a bench that's as weak and limited as ours.

We don't need to be carrying three catchers. One of those spots on the roster should be filled by a deluxe pinch-hitter, preferably a seasoned utility-man who can reasonably play 2 or 3 positions, so we have more bench flexibility.

Maybe if Hamilton starts more often, Freel will get thrust into that role by default. We all know he's been there and done that before. Still, I'd like to see Krivsky and Narron stop hedging their bets and become more proactive about assembling a contending squad.

If they are going to embrace the small-ball strategy, then enter into the fray with the proper arsenal and construct the roster accordingly. Chuck a catcher. Give us a switch-hitting IF-OF, and maybe we'll compete a few more times in situations when games are close and late and on the line.

Maybe Bellhorn wasn't the answer, but he was in the right ballpark.

remdog
04-11-2007, 07:34 AM
That's a terrific summation, G-rock.

Rem

Highlifeman21
04-11-2007, 08:01 AM
bottom line is folks.... Jerry is not the guy. He never will be. I don't care if Homer is up here mowing guys down like a firing squad, Loshe is pitching excellent baseball, and Matt Belisle becomes a reliable starter. jerry will find a way to cost us ball games. Your manager should maximize your success not hinder it with mindless batting lineup changes and freakish bullpen choices.

I knew I wasn't the only one that can see we win in spite of Jerry Narron.

:fineprint

Redhook
04-11-2007, 08:09 AM
I know one thing, I only needed to see one game with Hamilton starting to realize he should be the everyday CF. It doesn't have anything to do with the home run, even though that was pretty awesome, but it has everything to do with the fact that even though JH has only one career start in the majors, he is a more disciplined hitter that most of the Reds lineup. He gives you a good at-bat everytime and has a great eye. I also think he has better potential in CF over Freel. Start him.

I completely agree. I've seen enough of Hamilton to know I want to see more. A lot more. I think he should start until he proves he can't, which, I don't think will happen. Like you've said, he gives great at-bats every time up to the plate.

In the last 20 years, I've only been really excited about 3 Reds. The first was Eric Davis. He was my favorite playing growing up. The second was Adam Dunn. And the third is Josh Hamilton. I want/need to see more of him. I just hope Narroon doesn't stump his growth by giving him 7 at-bats per week.

Ltlabner
04-11-2007, 08:31 AM
I hate that he keeps replacing pitchers after getting one or two guys out. They were pretty much lights out tonight, and he yanked them.

This lefty/righty thing is way way overrated. You don't do it when your starter is in, and it's not always imperative to do it after he's relieved.

Drives me insane.

One of these nights he's going to run through the entire bullpen.

I noticed that at last Saturday's game TB. All of a sudden he was pulling pitchers like Tony LaRussa mixed with Sparky and some chrystal meth thrown in for good measure.

I wonder if that is a Dick Pole inspired move or if Jerry has just decided he likes to tinker with the pitchers more so than usual.

SanDiegoRed
04-11-2007, 09:00 AM
The walk that Hamilton took late in the game was a work of art. He really does have great plate disipline. He really needs to be in the lineup on a consistent basis. Two really bad games to lose sleep over. Games that should hav been won.

hebroncougar
04-11-2007, 09:15 AM
I agree............Narron's managing is uninspiring. I can't blame him for pitching changes though.........when your bullpen buys seem to all be 40+ years, you really can't count on them to go for more than 45 innings or so. On the other hand, you know you have younger guys (Majewski, Bray, Coffey), but how much success can they have? That's one of the things that is just mind boggling about this offseason to me........signing Stanton, drafting Burton, keeping Santos (and I understand he had a great spring), when you gave up 2 everyday players, and a decently promising young arm, to get 2 young bullpen guys. The way the team is built, just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Now IMO, where Narron's managing really stinks is his lineup makeup and choices, and the [I]inconsistent[I] way he uses guys and roles in the pen, I can talk all darn day about that.

kaldaniels
04-11-2007, 10:04 AM
You'd think so because they ARE Major Leaguers. But preparing to bunt, when the infield knows your gonna do it and then changing to trying to hit something hard is two totally different things. It is easier to shorten up and his something Oppo because your still hitting. Bunting and then hitting is a totally different and more drastic change. You wouldnt ask a pitcher to intentionally walk a batter and then have them throw three pitches off the plate and then tell him to strike him out would you?

When you bunt, your doing a job. Your placing a ball far enough way from the fielders that the runners can advance thus sacrificing yourself for the good of the team. Now when you are hitting you are simply relying on your instincts seeing the ball where it is pitching and then hitting it with some sort of authority. They don't call bunting a lost art for nothing.

I'm no major leaguer but the players are. If the plan changes and you are going to swing away, step out of the box, take a few swings, refocus, and then go dig in. This "go up to the plate with one plan in mind and don't budge regardless" is just a perplexing statement. So, if there was a wild pitch on the 1st pitch and EE then had a poor AB you would blame it on the fact he went up to bunt???

BuckeyeRedleg
04-11-2007, 10:11 AM
I disagree with sending EE up there to bunt, and I especially disagree with the decision when he's up 2-0 in the count and Cruz had just walked the previous hitter.

He obviously looked uncomfortable in that situation. Scream all you want that he's a major leaguer and he should be able to lay down a bunt. The fact of the matter is that he can't and Jerry should know this. You have to know your players.

He is probably one of the best hitters to have up in that situation to get a hit. We already have the go-ahead run on 2nd. Why sacrifice an out (assuming he even lays down a good bunt) with one of your best hitters, only to have David Fricking Ross as your only hope to SAC that go-ahead run in. I tell you. I like my chances with EE getting a hit over David Ross not whiffing.

And I'm not trusting anyone on this team to get a clutch bunt. Especially Edwin Encarnacion.

Your setting yourself up for needing too many things to go right. I'd rather worry about Edwin tearing the cover off the ball then him laying down a bunt and then depending on Ross to hit anything but air against Cruz.

bucksfan2
04-11-2007, 10:12 AM
Like it or not this year Narron will get out managed quite a few times this year. Regardless of the outcome he does not put his team in the best position to win. EE is a run producer. I ask you what other 4-5 hole hitter is asked by his manager to bunt with a 2-0 count? Regardless of being a major league player it isn't as easy to bunt as people think it is.

As for the lineup and small ball drop Moeller and bring up Belhorn. Belhorn is that type of switch hitter who has some pop in his bat and can play multiple positions. It doesn't make sense to have a worthless 25th man on the roster on a team that it looks like will be in a lot of close games this year.

RichRed
04-11-2007, 10:26 AM
Like it or not this year Narron will get out managed quite a few times this year. Regardless of the outcome he does not put his team in the best position to win. EE is a run producer. I ask you what other 4-5 hole hitter is asked by his manager to bunt with a 2-0 count?

I could almost - almost - see it if they were at home and knew they only needed one run to win but in that situation, with Ross coming up next, it made zero sense.

Narron is out of his league as a major league manager.

Kc61
04-11-2007, 10:42 AM
IMO, Narron is not a particularly great strategic on-field manager, but the players have to perform. EE's at bat in the 11th inning was terrible. He couldn't lay down a bunt. Luckily for him, he is ahead 3-1 and gets to swing away. So he flails at a bad pitch and pops it up. He has no discipline right now and, you will recall, he didn't hit late last year.

EE's young and will suffer these periods but it's not Jerry Narron's fault that he's not hitting. The Reds have bolstered their pitching and defense, but clearly the offense needs work. Griffey presumably will come around but he's not hitting. EE is not hitting. Phillips belongs lower in the order. Freel -- as shown last year -- gets hot and cold. First base is a decent stop gap platoon but not a plus position. Ross is slumping. The only consistent guy right now is Dunn (who looks excellent so far).

Let's face it, the Reds' lineup is pretty ordinary right now. They do not have a single true .300-type hitter. Not one. Brandon Phillips hits third many nights. I can live with this as Krivsky builds a team. But let's not blame Narron because many of these guys don't hit.

BuckeyeRedleg
04-11-2007, 10:48 AM
IMO, Narron is not a particularly great strategic on-field manager, but the players have to perform. EE's at bat in the 11th inning was terrible. He couldn't lay down a bunt.

If I recall correctly, he only had one bunt attempt, when the count was 2-0.

What I think is terrible is to put certain players in a position to fail, then blame the poor decision on their lack of execution. I think Narron realized his mistake having EE bunt and gave him the swing away on 3-1. Why else would he have him bunt on 2-0 and then swing away on 3-1, unless he either realized the error in his decsion or EE missed a sign.

Yes, the pop up on 3-1 is disappointing, but it's not like we haven't seen our share of pop ups early on this season - from everyone.

Chip R
04-11-2007, 10:53 AM
I get a feeling EE may be seeing some pine tonight. Narron said the other day he wanted to get Castro a start. However Castro's been sick lately so it could be Freel is at 3rd tonight and Hamilton is in CF.

BuckeyeRedleg
04-11-2007, 10:57 AM
EE's young and will suffer these periods but it's not Jerry Narron's fault that he's not hitting.


It's still early. EE is 7 for 29 (.241). Going from "not hitting" to hitting is is only a matter of a couple of at-bat's at this stage in the season.

BRM
04-11-2007, 10:57 AM
I get a feeling EE may be seeing some pine tonight. Narron said the other day he wanted to get Castro a start. However Castro's been sick lately so it could be Freel is at 3rd tonight and Hamilton is in CF.

I could live with Freel at 3B tonight if it gets Hamilton another start. That looks much, much better than Castro at 3B.

Kc61
04-11-2007, 11:10 AM
If I recall correctly, he only had one bunt attempt, when the count was 2-0.

What I think is terrible is to put certain players in a position to fail, then blame the poor decision on their lack of execution. I think Narron realized his mistake having EE bunt and gave him the swing away on 3-1. Why else would he have him bunt on 2-0 and then swing away on 3-1, unless he either realized the error in his decsion or EE missed a sign.

Yes, the pop up on 3-1 is disappointing, but it's not like we haven't seen our share of pop ups early on this season - from everyone.

I've seen hundreds of baseball ABs where a guy goes up to bunt and then, later in the count, swings away. Not an unusual spot for a hitter to be in, EE just didn't execute. And it isn't Narron's mistake that EE had absolutely no clue how to bunt earlier in the count. A manager expects a player -- even if not a great bunter -- to give a better effort than that.

I blame Narron frequently when the Reds fail. For example, David Weathers showed last year that he virtually always melts down in his second inning of work. He is strictly a one inning reliever. There is no way he should have gone two innings and probably Santos was the right choice for that spot, saving Weathers for a potential save.

But I can't blame Narron for the fact that with a 3 and 1 count, key spot, EE flailed away and popped up to the catcher. As I posted yesterday before the game, EE didn't hit late last year and isn't hitting now. He seems to be swinging at a lot of bad pitches and needs some work with the hitting coach.

BuckeyeRedleg
04-11-2007, 11:20 AM
And it isn't Narron's mistake that EE had absolutely no clue how to bunt. A manager expects a player -- even if not a great bunter -- to give a better effort than that.

First of all, EE attempted one bunt. One.

Second. The manager's responsibilty is to know what his players can and cannot do. It should not have taken the one bunt attempt for Jerry to realize "Gee whiz, that kid cannot bunt." He's been his manager for three years now. He should not need to see it to already know what the kid's got.

I have seen plenty of people look pretty stupid on bunt attempts on one pitch only to lay down a nice one on the next try. EE only got one attempt. Sure it looked bad, but like I said, if the manager knew he had no clue, why have him waste a hitter's count of 2-0 by making him try in the first place? Was the bunt attempt on 2-0 some sort of epiphany for Narron?

And again, who is to say that EE doesn't lay one down on 3-1? He never got the chance because the manager and his wishy-washy ways prevented it from happening.

M2
04-11-2007, 11:21 AM
The two straight, late-inning, heartbreaking losses in Arizona don't have me alarmed about any one particular player. But I have a nagging fear that we could be witnessing a trend in the making.

To wit, when you shift toward a small-ball team that relies more on pitching and defense to win as opposed to offense, then you can expect you'll be playing more games that are cliffhangers and nailbiters. But if that's going to be the case, you can't go with a bench that's as weak and limited as ours.

We don't need to be carrying three catchers. One of those spots on the roster should be filled by a deluxe pinch-hitter, preferably a seasoned utility-man who can reasonably play 2 or 3 positions, so we have more bench flexibility.

Maybe if Hamilton starts more often, Freel will get thrust into that role by default. We all know he's been there and done that before. Still, I'd like to see Krivsky and Narron stop hedging their bets and become more proactive about assembling a contending squad.

If they are going to embrace the small-ball strategy, then enter into the fray with the proper arsenal and construct the roster accordingly. Chuck a catcher. Give us a switch-hitting IF-OF, and maybe we'll compete a few more times in situations when games are close and late and on the line.

Maybe Bellhorn wasn't the answer, but he was in the right ballpark.

Yep, this bench is awful and it becomes a critical factor in close games like the last two nights. If you're going to play on a slim margin (though I'm not sure this team ultimately will be playing on a slim margin) then you need some weapons on that bench to swing those close games.

Kc61
04-11-2007, 11:43 AM
First of all, EE attempted one bunt. One.

Second. The manager's responsibilty is to know what his players can and cannot do. It should not have taken the one bunt attempt for Jerry to realize "Gee whiz, that kid cannot bunt." He's been his manager for three years now. He should not need to see it to already know what the kid's got.

I have seen plenty of people look pretty stupid on bunt attempts on one pitch only to lay down a nice one on the next try. EE only got one attempt. Sure it looked bad, but like I said, if the manager knew he had no clue, why have him waste a hitter's count of 2-0 by making him try in the first place? Was the bunt attempt on 2-0 some sort of epiphany for Narron?

And again, who is to say that EE doesn't lay one down on 3-1? He never got the chance because the manager and his wishy-washy ways prevented it from happening.

Not to belabor it, but even on the first two (balls) pitches it was obvious that EE was going to have trouble bunting. He didn't square around, he just stuck out the bat, a recipe for disaster. When he fouled off the next pitch, Narron changed his mind. Ahead in the count, he decided to let EE swing.

On the 2-1 pitch, EE was no longer bunting. He took a pitch and then popped up. He had plenty of time to adjust to swinging away, and he had a very good opportunity to do so, with a favorable count.

It's not as if Narron's early bunt sign put EE in a hole. He wasn't suddenly told to swing away 0 and 2. He had a favorable count, took ball 3, then popped up on a lousy pitch with two men on. IMO, the blame for Narron on this one is slight; the blame is primarily EE's. He just isn't hitting.

membengal
04-11-2007, 11:49 AM
I can't underscore enough how dead on Guacarock's post is. WK's move toward pitching and defense is understandable, but still makes me itchy. Still, it's not like the Reds were winning the other way (hitting bombs, no pitching, not much D), so I am fine with the shift in emphasis. BUT, if that is going to be the way the team is made, the manner in which he has arranged the bench on this team is deplorable. In any given night, there are really only two decent hitters available, whoever doesn't start between Mr. Hatte and Conine, and whichever is sitting between Hamilton, Freel and Jr. That's it. That's the extent of the real bench help in terms of a competent stick. It is not near enough, and it is a glaring problem when you have set your team up to play close games. It HAs to be addressed, and soon. Get rid of the third catcher. Get a fifth outfielder with some pop in the bat. Preferably a right handed pop in the bat guy. Do it now and give this team more of a chance in late innings than it has right now. The short bench, coupled with Narron's hyper-active changes late in games, is running this team short on options painfully early in games...

forfreelin04
04-11-2007, 12:03 PM
I can't underscore enough how dead on Guacarock's post is. WK's move toward pitching and defense is understandable, but still makes me itchy. Still, it's not like the Reds were winning the other way (hitting bombs, no pitching, not much D), so I am fine with the shift in emphasis. BUT, if that is going to be the way the team is made, the manner in which he has arranged the bench on this team is deplorable. In any given night, there is really only two decent hitters available, whoever doesn't start between Mr. Hatte and Conine, and whichever is sitting between Hamilton, Freel and Jr. That's it. That's the extent of the real bench help in terms of a competent stick. It is not near enough, and it is a glaring problem when you have set your team up to play close games. It HAs to be addressed, and soon. Get rid of the third catcher. Get a fifth outfielder with some pop in the bat. Preferably a right handed pop in the bat guy. Do it now and give this team more of a chance in late innings than it has right now. The short bench, coupled with Narron's hyper-active changes late in games, is running this team short on options painfully early in games...

The bunting situation aside, I totally agree as well. Wayne K's defense and pitching approach is a novel idea considering a high powered offense and poor pitching and defense has not exactly cut the cake the past few years. We all should have expected such a thing from a man coming from Minnesota. However, like many have stated pitching and defensive teams must learn to win the one run games with relative ease to have some serious success. Of course, this takes well disciplined hitters with skills like bunting, hitting behind the runner, and baserunning. This team does not have this!! There is no speed guy on the bench and past Hatteberg/Conine I don't like our pinch hitting options. Hamilton is better served by starting since pinch hitting requires supreme discipline to come in cold off the bench and get a hit. (Not that he couldnt do this either probably haha)
The pitching has been remarkably better this early and the season and we are a .500 team. I hate to see what happens when 3,4, and 5 go south for us. Lookout when the team is asked to score 7 or 8 runs three/four times a week!

Falls City Beer
04-11-2007, 12:12 PM
The two straight, late-inning, heartbreaking losses in Arizona don't have me alarmed about any one particular player. But I have a nagging fear that we could be witnessing a trend in the making.

To wit, when you shift toward a small-ball team that relies more on pitching and defense to win as opposed to offense, then you can expect you'll be playing more games that are cliffhangers and nailbiters. But if that's going to be the case, you can't go with a bench that's as weak and limited as ours.

We don't need to be carrying three catchers. One of those spots on the roster should be filled by a deluxe pinch-hitter, preferably a seasoned utility-man who can reasonably play 2 or 3 positions, so we have more bench flexibility.

Maybe if Hamilton starts more often, Freel will get thrust into that role by default. We all know he's been there and done that before. Still, I'd like to see Krivsky and Narron stop hedging their bets and become more proactive about assembling a contending squad.
If they are going to embrace the small-ball strategy, then enter into the fray with the proper arsenal and construct the roster accordingly. Chuck a catcher. Give us a switch-hitting IF-OF, and maybe we'll compete a few more times in situations when games are close and late and on the line.

Maybe Bellhorn wasn't the answer, but he was in the right ballpark.

This post, particularly the bolded part, is one of the most cogent statements about this club and FO that I've read in a while.

You don't chime in often Guac (definitely not often enough), but when you do you clear the bases.

BuckeyeRedleg
04-11-2007, 12:47 PM
Not to belabor it, but even on the first two (balls) pitches it was obvious that EE was going to have trouble bunting. He didn't square around, he just stuck out the bat, a recipe for disaster. When he fouled off the next pitch, Narron changed his mind. Ahead in the count, he decided to let EE swing.

Exactly. You know your guy does not bunt well and he you know looked rather clueless on the first two pitches against a pitcher throwing serious heat.

Why have him square around again on 2-0? Why not:

1. Give him the green light in an obvious hitter's count.
2. Take a strike (Cruz had just walked the previous hitter).

I do agree EE took looked bad on 3-1, but I think by then he was screwed up by the bunt attempt.

I'm not blaming the loss on Narron. This team has failed miserably on several occasions in clutch and situational hitting. I just don't agree with his decision to bunt EE in that situation.

BuckeyeRedleg
04-11-2007, 12:52 PM
It's not as if Narron's early bunt sign put EE in a hole. He wasn't suddenly told to swing away 0 and 2. He had a favorable count, took ball 3, then popped up on a lousy pitch with two men on. IMO, the blame for Narron on this one is slight; the blame is primarily EE's. He just isn't hitting.

The decision to have him bunt limited him to one decent pitch to hit in the at bat instead of two. He may have hever gotten to the point to pop up the 3-1 pitch if he's allowed to swing away on 2-0. Maybe he pops out on 2-0 as well, but it doesn't change the fact that Narron made a decision that he wasn't sure of with EE.

REDREAD
04-11-2007, 01:00 PM
I was wondering why they'd even have Edwin bunt with guys on first and second with Ross on deck?

That seemed like a dumb call to me. There's already a guy in scoring position. Let EdE try to drive him in.

Sure, if EdE gets the bunt down, then all Ross needs is a sac fly, but we're talking about Ross here.. I don't have any confidence in him.

In contrast, I do have confidence in EdE hitting with runners in scoring position. That's what he's paid to do, don't take the bat out of his hands.

Redsland
04-11-2007, 01:02 PM
All of a sudden he was pulling pitchers like Tony LaRussa mixed with Sparky and some chrystal meth thrown in for good measure.

I wonder if that is a Dick Pole inspired move or if Jerry has just decided he likes to tinker with the pitchers more so than usual.
I think he got burned by his bullpen last year, and has "learned" not to trust it.


Edwin Encarnacion is, allegedly, one of the guys the team was counting on to be a run-producer this year. He has power, OPS'd .832 last year, and is a middle-lineup hitter.

Once he worked himself into a hitters count (2-0), I have no problem with allowing him to swing away and attempt to drive the runners in on his own. He's a run producer -- that is what he is asked to do on a nightly basis.
and...

The manager's responsibilty is to know what his players can and cannot do. It should not have taken the one bunt attempt for Jerry to realize "Gee whiz, that kid cannot bunt." He's been his manager for three years now. He should not need to see it to already know what the kid's got.
Yep. And, as Narron probably should have known, his 3/4/5 hitter has a total of zero sacrifices in his major league career.

gonelong
04-11-2007, 01:50 PM
I am APPALLED at how consistenly Narron puts his players in a position to fail instead of a position to succeed.

One job of the manager is to evaluate players. He needs to let players know what he expects of them, what they are doing well, and what they could use some work on.

The larger job of the manager is to put those same players in a position to be successful. It servers the organization best.

I deal with this on a daily basis. I put people in a position to do things well for our organization. Around here if you can't figure out how to deploy your resources in a favorable manner you don't last long.

That's not to say that you don't identify weaknesses and assist that person in strengthening those areas ... you do ... but what you don't do is put them in a position where their weaknesses cost the organization. You bring them along slowly in low pressure situations and eventually give them more and more responsibility. This is even more important with the younger guys.

Narron puts a guy like Encarnacion out there to bunt. Assuming EE is not a very good bunter or at least very inexperienced (How many times over the course of EE's career do you think he has been asked to sacrafice runners over? My guess is little to none.) you have a kid out there that predictably fails.

Arguably Narron has taken the bat out of the hands of one of his best RBI guys and traded that opportunity for a bunt from one of his lesser bunters. Brilliant.

GL

BuckeyeRedleg
04-11-2007, 01:55 PM
I am APPALLED at how consistenly Narron puts his players in a position to fail instead of a position to succeed.

One job of the manager is to evaluate players. He needs to let players know what he expects of them, what they are doing well, and what they could use some work on.

The larger job of the manager is to put those same players in a position to be successful. It servers the organization best.

I deal with this on a daily basis. I put people in a position to do things well for our organization. Around here if you can't figure out how to deploy your resources in a favorable manner you don't last long.

That's not to say that you don't identify weaknesses and assist that person in strengthening those areas ... you do ... but what you don't do is put them in a position where their weaknesses cost the organization. You bring them along slowly in low pressure situations and eventually give them more and more responsibility. This is even more important with the younger guys.

Narron puts a guy like Encarnacion out there to bunt. Assuming EE is not a very good bunter or at least very inexperienced (How many times over the course of EE's career do you think he has been asked to sacrafice runners over? My guess is little to none.) you have a kid out there that predictably fails.

Arguably Narron has taken the bat out of the hands of one of his best RBI guys and traded that opportunity for a bunt from one of his lesser bunters. Brilliant.

GL

Well said.

Caveat Emperor
04-11-2007, 01:59 PM
In any given night, there are really only two decent hitters available, whoever doesn't start between Mr. Hatte and Conine, and whichever is sitting between Hamilton, Freel and Jr.

Mildly mitigating is the fact that Chris Denorfia went down to injury so late in spring training. He could've given the team options late in the game and some decent production with the stick. And, I'll be the first to say it -- I hope someone in the front office regrets giving Jason LaRue his walking papers. If they're going to carry 3 catchers, why not carry 1 that has a proven ML track record of hitting?

Joey Votto could see this roster sooner rather than later, because this team is going to falter and die unless they get some bats with pop into the lineup. Right now, this offense is Adam Dunn and a whole lot of maybe.

RBA
04-11-2007, 02:07 PM
What disappointed me the most is that the D'Backs seem like they were the more mature team despite being one of the youngest in the league. The Reds seem like they are in AAAA mode and the D'Backs looks like veterans.

M2
04-11-2007, 02:43 PM
However, like many have stated pitching and defensive teams must learn to win the one run games with relative ease to have some serious success. Of course, this takes well disciplined hitters with skills like bunting, hitting behind the runner, and baserunning.

I think there's a number of faulty assumptions in this statement. The first one is that this pitching/defense is materially different from the club that surrendered 801 runs last year. Maybe, if all its stars align, this club will only surrender 750 runs this season. That's not a "pitching and defense" team. That's a team that needs a fairly robust offense to overcome mediocre pitching and defense. You need to claw down into the 600s before you can make the "pitching and defense" claim and this Reds team is going to end up well into the 700s, perhaps even the 800s.

So smallball isn't going to work. The Reds need to score five runs a game, at a minimum, if the current enterprise is to enjoy any success. That involves getting on base and banging the baseball. If this team thinks it's going to bunt its way to success it's going to learn a hard lesson about losing baseball.

Also, this isn't a play-for-one-run bullpen. The Reds aren't going to excel at closing down the opposition. Clawing for one run is often going to be a break even proposition. So the team needs players like Dunn, Griffey and Encarnacion to deliver big hits, not bunt runners over for the likes of Ross and Gonzalez to deliver. The Reds don't have a lot of guys with knockout talents. When one gets to the plate with runners on base, Narron needs to let him swing.

Aside from that, when asking a guy to advance runners, a manager needs to be definitive. Seemed like Encarnacion went up looking to swing, got the bunt signal at 2-0 and then got the swing away signal again. Is it any wonder he didn't lay down a successful bunt given those circumstances? Here's a guy who's never laid down a sac in the majors and Narron yo-yoed him. Encarnacion should have sent to the plate with a clear understanding of what his job was. Often poor execution can be traced back to confused management.

forfreelin04
04-11-2007, 02:56 PM
I think there's a number of faulty assumptions in this statement. The first one is that this pitching/defense is materially different from the club that surrendered 801 runs last year. Maybe, if all its stars align, this club will only surrender 750 runs this season. That's not a "pitching and defense" team. That's a team that needs a fairly robust offense to overcome mediocre pitching and defense. You need to claw down into the 600s before you can make the "pitching and defense" claim and this Reds team is going to end up well into the 700s, perhaps even the 800s.

So smallball isn't going to work. The Reds need to score five runs a game, at a minimum, if the current enterprise is to enjoy any success. That involves getting on base and banging the baseball. If this team thinks it's going to bunt its way to success it's going to learn a hard lesson about losing baseball.

Also, this isn't a play-for-one-run bullpen. The Reds aren't going to excel at closing down the opposition. Clawing for one run is often going to be a break even proposition. So the team needs players like Dunn, Griffey and Encarnacion to deliver big hits, not bunt runners over for the likes of Ross and Gonzalez to deliver. The Reds don't have a lot of guys with knockout talents. When one gets to the plate with runners on base, Narron needs to let him swing.

Aside from that, when asking a guy to advance runners, a manager needs to be definitive. Seemed like Encarnacion went up looking to swing, got the bunt signal at 2-0 and then got the swing away signal again. Is it any wonder he didn't lay down a successful bunt given those circumstances? Here's a guy who's never laid down a sac in the majors and Narron yo-yoed him. Encarnacion should have sent to the plate with a clear understanding of what his job was. Often poor execution can be traced back to confused management.

I agree with everything you have stated. The final paragraph eludes to what I was saying about having a hitter do two different things in one at bat. The point I was trying to make about a pitching/defense oriented team was a simple one. If this is what the team is now or is supposed to be then they need to work on their bunting, contact hitting, baserunning etc. I have yet to see much improvement from this team in that department. Granted the season is still young and we may have another big bopping no pitching and poor defensive team on our hands. But, I must say the defense looks better and the pitching is much improved so far. (Even the bullpen has looked good barring a few bad pitches here or there certainly not an entirely bad inning) If this is the case, the Reds need to win these one run games to be successful. The hitting is simply not what it used to be. Winning these tight games is a mark of a playoff team. St. Louis got the job done last night when given the opportunity to do so. The Reds did not. As long as this continues to happen, we will constantly be looking up to them through a glass ceiling.

Kc61
04-11-2007, 03:12 PM
I think there's a number of faulty assumptions in this statement.

Aside from that, when asking a guy to advance runners, a manager needs to be definitive. Seemed like Encarnacion went up looking to swing, got the bunt signal at 2-0 and then got the swing away signal again. Is it any wonder he didn't lay down a successful bunt given those circumstances? Often poor execution can be traced back to confused management.

EE was not sent up to swing. He was going to bunt from the outset. He stuck the bat out as if to bunt on the first pitch and took it for a ball. Same with the second. He bunted the third pitch foul. Then he got the hit sign.

Just don't buy into this notion that a major league hitter can't be switched from bunt to hit. A major league player should be able to handle that situation.

EE is one of the beloved guys on RedsZone so I don't expect any criticism of him. But so far this year his fielding is much better but his plate appearances leave much to be desired.

coachw513
04-11-2007, 03:29 PM
He obviously looked uncomfortable in that situation. Scream all you want that he's a major leaguer and he should be able to lay down a bunt. The fact of the matter is that he can't and Jerry should know this. You have to know your players.

He is probably one of the best hitters to have up in that situation to get a hit. We already have the go-ahead run on 2nd. Why sacrifice an out (assuming he even lays down a good bunt) with one of your best hitters, only to have David Fricking Ross as your only hope to SAC that go-ahead run in.

Good post...

A couple of points...first, Narron is screwed either way...he doesn't try to bunt with Hatteberg on Monday, and he tries last night with EE...now we can debate whether he simply doesn't have the necessary "feel" you want your manager to have or whether or not the strategy simply didn't work out...

I must confess to crashing when it got to the 10th so I didn't see the finish...but I personally want EE to be a run producer...if he bunts the runners over, they walk the 6 hitter, then it comes down to Gonzalez and Ross...I too would rather it come down to EE getting the hit...sample size indicates he's better served to get this big hit...

But I will admit that it's incredibly disappointing that any major league hitter is uncomfortable or unable to bunt IF asked...that does indeed mystify me...but I guess we shouldn't be surprised that ML baseball players have lesser fundamental skills today just as NBA players are less skilled than their predecessors...

M2
04-11-2007, 03:38 PM
If this is what the team is now or is supposed to be then they need to work on their bunting, contact hitting, baserunning etc. I have yet to see much improvement from this team in that department. Granted the season is still young and we may have another big bopping no pitching and poor defensive team on our hands. But, I must say the defense looks better and the pitching is much improved so far. (Even the bullpen has looked good barring a few bad pitches here or there certainly not an entirely bad inning) If this is the case, the Reds need to win these one run games to be successful. The hitting is simply not what it used to be. Winning these tight games is a mark of a playoff team. St. Louis got the job done last night when given the opportunity to do so. The Reds did not. As long as this continues to happen, we will constantly be looking up to them through a glass ceiling.

I'm all for improvement, but I'm not ever going to sweat the bunting skills of the guys in the middle lineup. Also, the uselessness of the bench is a far greater problem in close games than any inability to advance runners with outs. Also, a lot of this stuff revolves around personnel. Brandon Phillips is a speedy contact hitter who can lay down a bunt. Ryan Freel fits into that category too. Alex Gonzalez, not so much. He whiffs more, he's not a great bunter and he's pretty slow. So you've got to understand who you're asking to do what. If the model is to have a team full of guys who can be chameleons at the plate then the team is going to have to grow them on the farm because you aren't going to find many of them through acquisition.

As for "if this is what the team is now," I once again feel the need to mention that the team is what it is, not what a catchphrase would have it be. This team doesn't have the luxury of thinking one-run leads are safe. Having one of the bigger bats in the lineup bunt in front of two awful hitters is a strategic mistake. The offense can't afford to give away potential big hits. This isn't a "big bopper" team and it's not a "pitching and defense" team. It's a fairly non-descript tweener club. One that needs to ride its prime talents as far as they can take the club.

TeamBoone
04-11-2007, 04:14 PM
Guacarock, you should email that post to Narron and cc Krivsky. If nothing else, it will give them both something to think about.

When each of you have good ideas (better than the manager), share them with him, especially when most everyone on the board agrees with you. Maybe Narron will too.

coachw513
04-11-2007, 04:19 PM
The short bench, coupled with Narron's hyper-active changes late in games, is running this team short on options painfully early in games...

Clearly I think we would've seen Deno had he not been injured...I also think when Hopper is healthy he'll be brought up...I simply don't see signs that the Reds are "married" to Moeller...I'm not so sure the issue isn't that Valentin is the premier type PH we need, though he did bring great PH power to the plate last year...

Spring~Fields
04-11-2007, 05:33 PM
I am APPALLED at how consistenly Narron puts his players in a position to fail instead of a position to succeed.

One job of the manager is to evaluate players. He needs to let players know what he expects of them, what they are doing well, and what they could use some work on.

The larger job of the manager is to put those same players in a position to be successful. It servers the organization best.

I deal with this on a daily basis. I put people in a position to do things well for our organization. Around here if you can't figure out how to deploy your resources in a favorable manner you don't last long.

That's not to say that you don't identify weaknesses and assist that person in strengthening those areas ... you do ... but what you don't do is put them in a position where their weaknesses cost the organization. You bring them along slowly in low pressure situations and eventually give them more and more responsibility. This is even more important with the younger guys.

Narron puts a guy like Encarnacion out there to bunt. Assuming EE is not a very good bunter or at least very inexperienced (How many times over the course of EE's career do you think he has been asked to sacrafice runners over? My guess is little to none.) you have a kid out there that predictably fails.

Arguably Narron has taken the bat out of the hands of one of his best RBI guys and traded that opportunity for a bunt from one of his lesser bunters. Brilliant.

GL

:clap: :clap: :clap:

UK Reds Fan
04-11-2007, 06:45 PM
I am APPALLED at how consistenly Narron puts his players in a position to fail instead of a position to succeed.

One job of the manager is to evaluate players. He needs to let players know what he expects of them, what they are doing well, and what they could use some work on.

The larger job of the manager is to put those same players in a position to be successful. It servers the organization best.

I deal with this on a daily basis. I put people in a position to do things well for our organization. Around here if you can't figure out how to deploy your resources in a favorable manner you don't last long.

That's not to say that you don't identify weaknesses and assist that person in strengthening those areas ... you do ... but what you don't do is put them in a position where their weaknesses cost the organization. You bring them along slowly in low pressure situations and eventually give them more and more responsibility. This is even more important with the younger guys.

Narron puts a guy like Encarnacion out there to bunt. Assuming EE is not a very good bunter or at least very inexperienced (How many times over the course of EE's career do you think he has been asked to sacrafice runners over? My guess is little to none.) you have a kid out there that predictably fails.

Arguably Narron has taken the bat out of the hands of one of his best RBI guys and traded that opportunity for a bunt from one of his lesser bunters. Brilliant.

GL


I just don't see how Narron puts EE in a situation to fail by having him bunt last night. If EE can't put a bunt down, that falls on him not Narron. If EE gets a bunt down, then it falls on Ross to get one of them in. Bottom-line EE crapped out in a situation that wasn't overly difficult and the next 2 batters didn't pick him up. How is that Narron's fault?

The only thing I can fault Narron for is the slow hook for Milton, Phillips batting a bit to high in the order and that is it. Nothing the man can do about Ross sucking, Milton, no RH bats outside of EE and a ridiculously bad bench.

M2
04-11-2007, 07:10 PM
EE was not sent up to swing. He was going to bunt from the outset. He stuck the bat out as if to bunt on the first pitch and took it for a ball. Same with the second. He bunted the third pitch foul. Then he got the hit sign.

Just don't buy into this notion that a major league hitter can't be switched from bunt to hit. A major league player should be able to handle that situation.

EE is one of the beloved guys on RedsZone so I don't expect any criticism of him. But so far this year his fielding is much better but his plate appearances leave much to be desired.

My bad, I thought he took two without offering a bunt at it. Though I still say that's stupid management. Encarnacion went up there to bunt against a pitcher who can be effectively wild. Ron Hunt would have trouble bunting against Juan Cruz. It's the first sac of his career and I have no doubt Encarnacion had his head wrapped around the task. Then Narron changes up on him and he's got to set his mind into hitting mode.

Cruz is tough enough for any hitter, let alone a younger guy, without the willy-nilly management. Blanket statements about what a major league hitter should be able to do mean nothing. The point of managing is to be cognizant of your matchups and the game situation. Acting like those things play no role is the antithesis of effective managing. Narron took a young hitter in a tough matchup and needlessly made the kid's job more difficult.

I've always thought Encarnacion is one of the better folks on the team when it comes to going to the plate with a plan. He's not having a stellar first week this season, but given his history, I'm not going to worry that Encarnacion is suddenly wanting in what's been an area of strength for him.

TC81190
04-11-2007, 09:43 PM
bottom line is folks.... Jerry is not the guy. He never will be. I don't care if Homer is up here mowing guys down like a firing squad, Loshe is pitching excellent baseball, and Matt Belisle becomes a reliable starter. jerry will find a way to cost us ball games. Your manager should maximize your success not hinder it with mindless batting lineup changes and freakish bullpen choices.

Don't forget failing to skip the 5th starter despite an off day (see:sunday.)

gonelong
04-11-2007, 10:16 PM
I just don't see how Narron puts EE in a situation to fail by having him bunt last night. If EE can't put a bunt down, that falls on him not Narron.

I think you answered it right there. If EE can't put a bunt down then a competent manager wouldn't ask him to. I doubt EE has been called on to bunt much, its not an obvious skill he has at this time.


If EE gets a bunt down, then it falls on Ross to get one of them in. Bottom-line EE crapped out in a situation that wasn't overly difficult and the next 2 batters didn't pick him up. How is that Narron's fault?

If Narron called on Ross to steal 2B and he was caught, who would you blame, Ross or Narron? I'd blame Narron ... it's not in his skill set to steal bases. I see the EE situation as no different.


The only thing I can fault Narron for is the slow hook for Milton, Phillips batting a bit to high in the order and that is it.

I agree on both of these, and they both fall in line with putting your resources in a position to succeed.


Nothing the man can do about Ross sucking, Milton, no RH bats outside of EE and a ridiculously bad bench.

He can use what he has available to him the best of their abilities.

Instead he manages according to how he thinks the game should be played and what he wishes the players could do rather than managing according to the talents of the players he has.

GL

BuckeyeRedleg
04-12-2007, 12:10 AM
Pitch one: EEs squares around to bunt...ball 1 (1-0)
Pitch two: EE squares around to bunt...ball 2 (2-0)
Pitch three: EE squares around to bunt...fouls it off. (2-1)
Pitch four: EE takes ball 3 (3-1)
Pitch five: EE gets the green light and pops up.

Someone please explain to me how EE "pathetically" failed to get the bunt down? He had one chance. Was it because he fouled his one attempt on a 95 mph pitch from a wild throwing Cruz? I'm not even sure his attempted bunt was a strike, but damned if a 2-0 count doesn't stop Jerry Narron from messing with a kid's head and giving him the bunt sign again. "Bunt Dammit - Just BUNT!!!!"

But 3-1 is "swing away". This team and it's "leadership" is so bi-polar.

UK Reds Fan
04-12-2007, 09:36 AM
I guess there is a basic level of baseball fundamental abilities I expect a major league player to have which I why I believe EE should be able to get a bunt down.

A player not having the speed to steal a base isn't a fundamental ability..it is a gift of talent. Being able to bunt a baseball isn't really a gift as much as a a learned skill.

In the end, Narron has no better options to bat at SS or Catcher or even 3rd base, which I don't think is our problem. Some of it is just the way it is and the manager doesn't win/lose as many games as many on here rant on about sometimes.

BuckeyeRedleg
04-12-2007, 10:40 AM
I guess there is a basic level of baseball fundamental abilities I expect a major league player to have which I why I believe EE should be able to get a bunt down.

A player not having the speed to steal a base isn't a fundamental ability..it is a gift of talent. Being able to bunt a baseball isn't really a gift as much as a a learned skill.

In the end, Narron has no better options to bat at SS or Catcher or even 3rd base, which I don't think is our problem. Some of it is just the way it is and the manager doesn't win/lose as many games as many on here rant on about sometimes.

Again, he tried once. One attempt (on 2-0). He fouled it off. He never got the chance to try again. I don't see the at bat as some colossal failure to lay down a bunt.

It was the wrong decision by Narron, whether EE gets the bunt down on 2-0 or not. He later proved it was the wrong decision by having him swing away on 3-1.

gonelong
04-12-2007, 03:10 PM
I guess there is a basic level of baseball fundamental abilities I expect a major league player to have which I why I believe EE should be able to get a bunt down.

A player not having the speed to steal a base isn't a fundamental ability..it is a gift of talent. Being able to bunt a baseball isn't really a gift as much as a a learned skill.

Plenty of guys with the wheels to steal bases aren't any good at it. (Freel)

How is any kid to learn to bunt if he is almost never asked to bunt in a game situation? You can't learn to bunt in a MLB game during batting practice any more than you can learn to putt at Augusta by practicing at the local putt-putt. He can practice all he wants during batting practice, but its not the same as having a MLB pitcher working location, speed, and movement on you while your trying to drop one down with the 1st and 3rb basemen charging at you.

EE barely has a handful of bunt attempts in 3,000+ professional ABs. There are likely two reasons he wasn't asked to bunt much:
1) He can rake
2) He isn't all that good at it.

GL

UK Reds Fan
04-12-2007, 04:27 PM
I'll admit it is unreasonable for a professional baseball player who has had years in the minor and plenty of time before games in batting practice to be sharp and brush up on the 'little' things.:rolleyes:

M2
04-12-2007, 04:42 PM
I'll admit it is unreasonable for a professional baseball player who has had years in the minor and plenty of time before games in batting practice to be sharp and brush up on the 'little' things.:rolleyes:

Who's to say he hasn't? All we know is he didn't successfully get a bunt down on that 2-0 pitch. I've seen a lot of good bunters need two or three bites at the apple to get the job done.

Will M
04-12-2007, 04:55 PM
The two straight, late-inning, heartbreaking losses in Arizona don't have me alarmed about any one particular player. But I have a nagging fear that we could be witnessing a trend in the making.

To wit, when you shift toward a small-ball team that relies more on pitching and defense to win as opposed to offense, then you can expect you'll be playing more games that are cliffhangers and nailbiters. But if that's going to be the case, you can't go with a bench that's as weak and limited as ours.

We don't need to be carrying three catchers. One of those spots on the roster should be filled by a deluxe pinch-hitter, preferably a seasoned utility-man who can reasonably play 2 or 3 positions, so we have more bench flexibility.

Maybe if Hamilton starts more often, Freel will get thrust into that role by default. We all know he's been there and done that before. Still, I'd like to see Krivsky and Narron stop hedging their bets and become more proactive about assembling a contending squad.

If they are going to embrace the small-ball strategy, then enter into the fray with the proper arsenal and construct the roster accordingly. Chuck a catcher. Give us a switch-hitting IF-OF, and maybe we'll compete a few more times in situations when games are close and late and on the line.

Maybe Bellhorn wasn't the answer, but he was in the right ballpark.

I agree.

Whatever happened to Keppinger? Any word on his injury and when he might be back? I'd rather see someone like him given a shot as a bench player than the 3rd catcher.

Freel will play even if Hamilton becomes the everyday CF. History tells us that Jr will be lucky to play 120 games.

Will M
04-12-2007, 04:58 PM
Mildly mitigating is the fact that Chris Denorfia went down to injury so late in spring training. He could've given the team options late in the game and some decent production with the stick. And, I'll be the first to say it -- I hope someone in the front office regrets giving Jason LaRue his walking papers. If they're going to carry 3 catchers, why not carry 1 that has a proven ML track record of hitting?

Joey Votto could see this roster sooner rather than later, because this team is going to falter and die unless they get some bats with pop into the lineup. Right now, this offense is Adam Dunn and a whole lot of maybe.

IMO LaRue was whiny, couldn't hit and couldn't catch the ball.
I for one am thrilled he is gone.

Now, I do agree with you on Votto. If Votto plays and is productive it strengthens the bench because both Conine AND Hatteberg are on the bench.

Will M
04-12-2007, 05:01 PM
It's still early. EE is 7 for 29 (.241). Going from "not hitting" to hitting is is only a matter of a couple of at-bat's at this stage in the season.

Yes, however EE is swinging at bad piches. It is ok to say 'if this guy throws a 1rst pitch fastball down the heart of the plate i am swinging' but there is no excuse to be swinging at bad pitches early in the count as EE has been doing. Teams will catch on quick that you don't have to throw strikes to get EE out.

gonelong
04-12-2007, 10:21 PM
I'll admit it is unreasonable for a professional baseball player who has had years in the minor and plenty of time before games in batting practice to be sharp and brush up on the 'little' things.:rolleyes:


He can practice all he wants during batting practice, but its not the same as having a MLB pitcher working location, speed, and movement on you while your trying to drop one down with the 1st and 3rb basemen charging at you.

You really have no idea if the kid can bunt or not. Likely you've only seen him attempt to bunt that one time.

GL