PDA

View Full Version : Observations from Citi Field, 7.6.10



fearofpopvol1
07-07-2010, 02:18 AM
On the hottest day in NYC since 2001, I made the trek to Citi Field to watch the game. I have quite a few novice thoughts about what I saw.

A.) Pre-game, Brandon Phillips signed more autographs for little kids than any player of any team.

B.) 1st inning, Phillips doubles with no outs. Cabrera bunts him over to 3rd? Why? True, he could've struck out or flyed out but that just didn't seem productive to me to give away an out in that situation, even with Votto following him. Some may disagree.

C.) Matt Maloney. First time watching him pitch live. I had good seats. He has great command and he definitely knows how to work the corners...but to all of his supporters...he's not a guy you would want in the Reds rotation IMO. First off, Wood has much better stuff than he does and to be honest, I think Sam LeCure has better stuff than Maloney does too. Maloney gave up a ton of balls that either would've been out at GAB or off the wall. I do think he could be a BOR starter somewhere out west though and he's not a bad guy to have at AAA for depth, but I would not want Maloney in the rotation for the Reds. Also, a bad pitch can happen to anyone, but giving Santana his first career home run? Who is a LH batter? That seemed suspect. Chapman, Wood and LeCure are all better IMO.

D.) It wasn't that Santana was so great tonight, it was that the Reds did him a lot of favors. I don't know whose idea it was to hack early in the counts, but I think if the Reds had been more patient at the plate, they would've gotten better pitches to hit or would've forced more walks. The Mets also are currently very short in their pen and forcing their pen to pitch would have favored the Reds a lot. Instead, Santana throws a complete game 3 hit shutout. I just don't get the 1st pitch swinging. I don't think it resulted in a single hit the entire night. Brandon Phillips and oddly enough Corky Miller were the only ones I thought tonight who made great contact with his pitches.

E.) By far, the most damaging part of the evening was the 5th inning. Maloney was already around and then later above 100 pitches. He was laboring. The Mets had figured him out. Despite letting runners on base Maloney somehow managed to get 2 outs with runners at 2nd and 3rd and Bay up. The Mets only had 1 run at this point. Maloney was at I believe 104 pitches at this point and Bay was up, who had been hitting Maloney hard the whole night, just without results. I immediately said to myself...he should be replaced. This is a crucial time in the game, Maloney does not have the best stuff, get a high leverage arm in there. If you don't, it's going to end badly. What happens? Dusty leaves him in....boom. 2 run 2 out single. I know a lot of people dislike Dusty and his decisions...but the 1 I cannot understand for the life of me is Baker's obsession with letting pitchers finish the inning they started and then yanking the pitcher only after they explode and it's too late as the other team has put up a big crooked number. Maybe that's part of his MO in being a "player's manager," but it doesn't help the team. There is no reason he should have let Maloney pitch in that spot. Can anyone explain this to me? Has Dusty ever explained it? It's not like Maloney had the lead or anything and it's not like he wasn't having trouble. He was definitely having a bad inning. I just do not understand the long leash for pitchers in close games.

F.) Ondrusek looked really good. I've been critical of him in the past, but I'm starting to come around. He may be a useful guy in the pen.

G.) Honestly, Bray did not look that good to me. I know he's just coming back and he ended up doing okay on paper tonight, but I think he should be in low pressure situations for a while longer.

That's pretty much all I got. Did anyone else go?

nemesis
07-07-2010, 02:23 AM
E.)I know a lot of people dislike Dusty and his decisions...but the 1 I cannot understand for the life of me is Baker's obsession with letting pitchers finish the inning they started and then yanking the pitcher only after they explode and it's too late as the other team has put up a big crooked number. Maybe that's part of his MO in being a "player's manager," but it doesn't help the team. There is no reason he should have let Maloney pitch in that spot. Can anyone explain this to me? Has Dusty ever explained it? It's not like Maloney had the lead or anything and it's not like he wasn't having trouble. He was definitely having a bad inning. I just do not understand the long leash for pitchers in close games.

He wanted to get him a chance at the win in case they scored the next inning. Said it before, say it again, he manages for the what if and not the what is.

OnBaseMachine
07-07-2010, 02:39 AM
E.) By far, the most damaging part of the evening was the 5th inning. Maloney was already around and then later above 100 pitches. He was laboring. The Mets had figured him out. Despite letting runners on base Maloney somehow managed to get 2 outs with runners at 2nd and 3rd and Bay up. The Mets only had 1 run at this point. Maloney was at I believe 104 pitches at this point and Bay was up, who had been hitting Maloney hard the whole night, just without results. I immediately said to myself...he should be replaced. This is a crucial time in the game, Maloney does not have the best stuff, get a high leverage arm in there. If you don't, it's going to end badly. What happens? Dusty leaves him in....boom. 2 run 2 out single. I know a lot of people dislike Dusty and his decisions...but the 1 I cannot understand for the life of me is Baker's obsession with letting pitchers finish the inning they started and then yanking the pitcher only after they explode and it's too late as the other team has put up a big crooked number. Maybe that's part of his MO in being a "player's manager," but it doesn't help the team. There is no reason he should have let Maloney pitch in that spot. Can anyone explain this to me? Has Dusty ever explained it? It's not like Maloney had the lead or anything and it's not like he wasn't having trouble. He was definitely having a bad inning. I just do not understand the long leash for pitchers in close games.


First of all, nice post.

I agree with ya. I was surprised when Dusty didn't bring in Ondrusek to face Jason Bay. With the way Santana was pitching, the Reds had to hold the Mets to that one run and I thought Ondrusek gave them the best chance at keeping the Mets scoreless in that inning. Unfortunately, Dusty stuck with Maloney one batter too long and it come back to hurt him. Who knows, maybe Ondrusek would have allowed those two runs to score but I thought he was a better matchup vs Bay. I'll surely jinx him with this post but Logan Ondrusek has now retired the last 19 batters he's faced.

I also didn't like the sac bunt in the first inning. Phillips was already in scoring position, there's no need to give up an out in that situation, IMO.

Oh well, hopefully good Arroyo shows up Wednesday night and the Reds cap off another series win.

nemesis
07-07-2010, 06:17 AM
Oh well, hopefully good Arroyo shows up Wednesday night and the Reds cap off another series win.

Arroyo rules the Mets.

He walks past the Mets dugout during pregame and mouths the words "own you" while winking and pointing at them... LOL

OesterPoster
07-07-2010, 09:35 AM
E.) What happens? Dusty leaves him in....boom. 2 run 2 out single. I know a lot of people dislike Dusty and his decisions...but the 1 I cannot understand for the life of me is Baker's obsession with letting pitchers finish the inning they started and then yanking the pitcher only after they explode and it's too late as the other team has put up a big crooked number. Maybe that's part of his MO in being a "player's manager," but it doesn't help the team. There is no reason he should have let Maloney pitch in that spot. Can anyone explain this to me? Has Dusty ever explained it? It's not like Maloney had the lead or anything and it's not like he wasn't having trouble. He was definitely having a bad inning. I just do not understand the long leash for pitchers in close games.


I was listening on the radio during this segment, and Brantley/Marty did not like the decision to leave Maloney in...then take him out. Brantley referred to it as "closing the barn door after the horses already are out".

Falls City Beer
07-07-2010, 09:45 AM
I wasn't there, but I watched the first three innings. Maloney's got good control and that is it. Literally. No life or movement on the FB. Seems to know what to do, but he doesn't have MLB stuff. I agree with fearofpop.

Plus Plus
07-07-2010, 10:42 AM
G.) Honestly, Bray did not look that good to me. I know he's just coming back and he ended up doing okay on paper tonight, but I think he should be in low pressure situations for a while longer.

Interestingly, I had the complete polar opposite opinion of Bray after going to the Reds/Cubs game on Saturday 7/3/10. Bray looked very dominant, and struck out the side without a single good hack from a Cub. Given, the Mets offense is light years better than the Cubs, but interesting none the less.

Ghosts of 1990
07-07-2010, 10:42 AM
I wasn't there, but I watched the first three innings. Maloney's got good control and that is it. Literally. No life or movement on the FB. Seems to know what to do, but he doesn't have MLB stuff. I agree with fearofpop.

Agree. His stuff always screams AAAA to me. He's a fine AAA pitcher but when he gets to this level he is exposed. IMO we gave away a game last night; Lecure or Chapman give us more of a shot to win last night.

There really was no sense in signing Aroldis Chapman if we're going to throw away games by starting Matt Maloneys against Johan Santanas in a pennant race. Silly, silly move by the organization.

Plus Plus
07-07-2010, 10:44 AM
Agree. His stuff always screams AAAA to me. He's a fine AAA pitcher but when he gets to this level he is exposed. IMO we gave away a game last night; Lecure or Chapman give us more of a shot to win last night.

There really was no sense in signing Aroldis Chapman if we're going to throw away games by starting Matt Maloneys against Johan Santanas in a pennant race. Silly, silly move by the organization.

Options were very limited yesterday, as Harang went on the DL at something like 430pm...

bucksfan2
07-07-2010, 10:49 AM
Agree. His stuff always screams AAAA to me. He's a fine AAA pitcher but when he gets to this level he is exposed. IMO we gave away a game last night; Lecure or Chapman give us more of a shot to win last night.

There really was no sense in signing Aroldis Chapman if we're going to throw away games by starting Matt Maloneys against Johan Santanas in a pennant race. Silly, silly move by the organization.

I am fairly certain that the entire Reds organization does not thing Chapman is ready to start at the major league level. It was made even more evident when they put him in the pen this season. Comments like these make me scratch my head. It is unfortunate that Maloney had to start against Santana but that is the nature of MLB. You don't get to pick and choose when someone gets hurt and whose turn it is at the AAA level.

Benihana
07-07-2010, 11:30 AM
On the hottest day in NYC since 2001, I made the trek to Citi Field to watch the game. I have quite a few novice thoughts about what I saw.

A.) Pre-game, Brandon Phillips signed more autographs for little kids than any player of any team.

B.) 1st inning, Phillips doubles with no outs. Cabrera bunts him over to 3rd? Why? True, he could've struck out or flyed out but that just didn't seem productive to me to give away an out in that situation, even with Votto following him. Some may disagree.

C.) Matt Maloney. First time watching him pitch live. I had good seats. He has great command and he definitely knows how to work the corners...but to all of his supporters...he's not a guy you would want in the Reds rotation IMO. First off, Wood has much better stuff than he does and to be honest, I think Sam LeCure has better stuff than Maloney does too. Maloney gave up a ton of balls that either would've been out at GAB or off the wall. I do think he could be a BOR starter somewhere out west though and he's not a bad guy to have at AAA for depth, but I would not want Maloney in the rotation for the Reds. Also, a bad pitch can happen to anyone, but giving Santana his first career home run? Who is a LH batter? That seemed suspect. Chapman, Wood and LeCure are all better IMO.

D.) It wasn't that Santana was so great tonight, it was that the Reds did him a lot of favors. I don't know whose idea it was to hack early in the counts, but I think if the Reds had been more patient at the plate, they would've gotten better pitches to hit or would've forced more walks. The Mets also are currently very short in their pen and forcing their pen to pitch would have favored the Reds a lot. Instead, Santana throws a complete game 3 hit shutout. I just don't get the 1st pitch swinging. I don't think it resulted in a single hit the entire night. Brandon Phillips and oddly enough Corky Miller were the only ones I thought tonight who made great contact with his pitches.

E.) By far, the most damaging part of the evening was the 5th inning. Maloney was already around and then later above 100 pitches. He was laboring. The Mets had figured him out. Despite letting runners on base Maloney somehow managed to get 2 outs with runners at 2nd and 3rd and Bay up. The Mets only had 1 run at this point. Maloney was at I believe 104 pitches at this point and Bay was up, who had been hitting Maloney hard the whole night, just without results. I immediately said to myself...he should be replaced. This is a crucial time in the game, Maloney does not have the best stuff, get a high leverage arm in there. If you don't, it's going to end badly. What happens? Dusty leaves him in....boom. 2 run 2 out single. I know a lot of people dislike Dusty and his decisions...but the 1 I cannot understand for the life of me is Baker's obsession with letting pitchers finish the inning they started and then yanking the pitcher only after they explode and it's too late as the other team has put up a big crooked number. Maybe that's part of his MO in being a "player's manager," but it doesn't help the team. There is no reason he should have let Maloney pitch in that spot. Can anyone explain this to me? Has Dusty ever explained it? It's not like Maloney had the lead or anything and it's not like he wasn't having trouble. He was definitely having a bad inning. I just do not understand the long leash for pitchers in close games.

F.) Ondrusek looked really good. I've been critical of him in the past, but I'm starting to come around. He may be a useful guy in the pen.

G.) Honestly, Bray did not look that good to me. I know he's just coming back and he ended up doing okay on paper tonight, but I think he should be in low pressure situations for a while longer.

That's pretty much all I got. Did anyone else go?

I went last night also. Actually was my third Reds game this week (caught Saturday and Sunday at Wrigley)

Pretty much agree with your assessments. Maloney was hanging on by a thread all night, and I think his line looked better than the actual outing. He is a good spot starter/long reliever, nothing more- just like LeCure and Owings, although he is left-handed. He reminded me of the patchwork starters from the late Bowden years- a Bobby Basham or Josh Hall here, a Jose Acevedo or a Lance Davis there.

The Reds swinging on the first pitch of almost every at-bat really irked me. Ondrusek looked very good. Bray not so much.

yab1112
07-07-2010, 11:37 AM
I was there. It was like, 100 degrees out. I'll disagree with your D though. Santana was lights out. Yes the Reds were swinging early in the count, but you almost have to when Jo-Han is on his game. He forces the issue.

RichRed
07-07-2010, 11:39 AM
I didn't have much of a problem with Cabrera bunting Phillips to 3rd, but that's only because I figured he was going to make an out anyway (a .291 OBP will do that). Generally speaking though, I don't care for that strategy.

Chip R
07-07-2010, 11:50 AM
I didn't have much of a problem with Cabrera bunting Phillips to 3rd, but that's only because I figured he was going to make an out anyway (a .291 OBP will do that). Generally speaking though, I don't care for that strategy.


I could go either way on that. Dusty may have figured - correctly - that the Reds weren't going to score many runs off Santana and 1 run might have made the difference. I can't fault him too much there especially with Votto and Rolen coming up.

mbgrayson
07-07-2010, 02:34 PM
I could go either way on that. Dusty may have figured - correctly - that the Reds weren't going to score many runs off Santana and 1 run might have made the difference. I can't fault him too much there especially with Votto and Rolen coming up.

Last night I thought that Dusty made a bad decision to have Cabrerra bunt Phillips to third. Then, today, I looked up an interesting article on run proabability in bunt situations, and I'm not so sure. See the article HERE (http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2006/07/empirical_analy_1.php).

The general run expectancy for a runner on second with no outs is about 1.054, while the run expenctancy of a runner on third with one out is .907. So that means that IF the bunt succeeds, you will reduce the chance of scoring. Of course, if the bunt fails, you end up with a runner on second or first with one out, and the run expectancy declines even more. So from this standpoint, it looked like a bad call to bunt.

However, when you look at the likliehood of scoring one run, and you factor in the position in the batting order affected, the chance of scoring one run with the #2 hitter up with a runner on second and no outs is .659. The chances of scoring one run with a generic #3 hitter up and with a runner on third and one out is .696. So the chances of scoring one runner are a little higher IF the bunt works, which it did. Plus, Votto and Rolen may be above average as #3 and #4 hitters, while Cabrerra is likely below average as a #2 hitter although he is a good bunter, which make this way look a little better.

However, why would you play for one run in the first inning? That isn't really a very good strategy given that Santana has not been all that effective over his last six or seven starts. Even in view of all this statistical stuff, I wouldn't have given away that out.

reds1869
07-07-2010, 02:41 PM
One reason for leaving Maloney in is to try to squeeze a little bit more out of the starter before going to the pen. The staff is in a bad place right now as far as workload, and any chance Dusty has to save innings is a decent gamble imho. I also think it is unfair to say Dusty always leaves the pitcher in too long; he very clearly yanked Wood when he didn't want to. I haven't been a Dusty supporter in the past but have found myself liking his management of this club in 2010.

fearofpopvol1
07-07-2010, 02:46 PM
One reason for leaving Maloney in is to try to squeeze a little bit more out of the starter before going to the pen. The staff is in a bad place right now as far as workload, and any chance Dusty has to save innings is a decent gamble imho. I also think it is unfair to say Dusty always leaves the pitcher in too long; he very clearly yanked Wood when he didn't want to. I haven't been a Dusty supporter in the past but have found myself liking his management of this club in 2010.

The All Star break is coming up...the staff will get some time off real soon. Not to mention, did it matter? Dusty still pulled Maloney with 5.2 IP pitched. Does 1 out really make THAT big of a difference?

Dusty has historically had a major propensity to leave starting pitchers in the game too long. Of course, there are exceptions (a la Wood), but they are rare. It's the 1 thing about Dusty that I just cannot understand.

Chip R
07-07-2010, 02:57 PM
Last night I thought that Dusty made a bad decision to have Cabrerra bunt Phillips to third. Then, today, I looked up an interesting article on run proabability in bunt situations, and I'm not so sure. See the article HERE (http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2006/07/empirical_analy_1.php).

The general run expectancy for a runner on second with no outs is about 1.054, while the run expenctancy of a runner on third with one out is .907. So that means that IF the bunt succeeds, you will reduce the chance of scoring. Of course, if the bunt fails, you end up with a runner on second or first with one out, and the run expectancy declines even more. So from this standpoint, it looked like a bad call to bunt.

However, when you look at the likliehood of scoring one run, and you factor in the position in the batting order affected, the chance of scoring one run with the #2 hitter up with a runner on second and no outs is .659. The chances of scoring one run with a generic #3 hitter up and with a runner on third and one out is .696. So the chances of scoring one runner are a little higher IF the bunt works, which it did. Plus, Votto and Rolen may be above average as #3 and #4 hitters, while Cabrerra is likely below average as a #2 hitter although he is a good bunter, which make this way look a little better.

However, why would you play for one run in the first inning? That isn't really a very good strategy given that Santana has not been all that effective over his last six or seven starts. Even in view of all this statistical stuff, I wouldn't have given away that out.

Interesting stuff. Normally, I wouldn't play for 1 run in the 1st. And, like I said, I could see not bunting either. I understand why Dusty did it, though and if his main reason is that you aren't likely to get runs off Santana, then I can see his reasoning. All that was needed was a ground out to 2nd or SS or a fly ball of decent depth and that would have been a run. It would, most likely had taken 2 hits or a hit and a ground out or a sac fly or a passed ball/wild pitch to get Brandon home since they most likely would have held up Brandon at 3rd since you don't want to make the 1st out atr home.

Generally, though, I agree that playing for 1 run often gets you just that.

fearofpopvol1
07-08-2010, 03:43 AM
Went back for the game tonight and had a few other brief thoughts...

a.) I think it's the worst I've seen Rolen all year. He looked outmatched every AB against Niese. Votto didn't look so great either.

b.) Niese was asked about Phillips in the post-game and Niese was praising Phillips and saying what a good hitter he is. Niese mentioned that whether it's slow and offspeed or fast and hard, Phillips crushes it off of him.

c.) Arroyo was great. He did give up some hits and he gave up that early home run to Pagan, but I can tell you...the Mets fans do not like when Arroyo pitches. He has owned them and they know it. Alex Cora after the game said Arroyo just kills them every time they hit against him.

d.) When Heisey hit that home run, mets fans felt SO defeated. You would have thought the game was over and the Mets lost when that happened with all the sighs and complaining.

e.) I don't know if it's just Citi Field, but I have never been to another ballpark as annoying as this one with the sound effects. Literally, in between every pitch when the Mets are at bat, they play some sort of sound effect to try to rile up the crowd. I'm not exaggerating on this either.

f.) Mets fans are pretty classy. I went both last night and tonight (so during 1 win and 1 loss), in full Reds gear and hardly anyone gave me any mean spirited jazz (outside of 1 schmuck). Most Mets fans were pretty friendly and talked baseball. They're pretty knowledgeable fans too...definitely above average. There was actually a decent number of Reds fans there too.

g.) Phillips, Heisey and Arroyo were co-MVPs of the game by a mile.

h.) Stubbs has to learn to bunt more. I know he has the power and I don't want him bunting as often as Taveras or Hopper did, but there are times where he could have bunted down the 1B line during critical points during the game and made it by a mile tonight. I also think if he bunts a bit more, he will keep the defense more honest and it will concern them about how to play him.

i.) Gary Cohen is an awesome PBP guy (for the Mets). He's one of my favorites. I especially like when he's paired with Ron Darling. Cohen actually predicted at the beginning of the season the Reds would win the central and Keith Hernandez mentioned that on Monday that his prediction is looking good.

IslandRed
07-08-2010, 12:51 PM
There really was no sense in signing Aroldis Chapman if we're going to throw away games by starting Matt Maloneys against Johan Santanas in a pennant race. Silly, silly move by the organization.

We signed Chapman to hopefully be an ace lefthander for us for six years or so. It wasn't a move based on short-term thinking. If it was, we'd probably have thrown him to the wolves right out of spring training, seasoning be darned.

yab1112
07-08-2010, 01:14 PM
e.) I don't know if it's just Citi Field, but I have never been to another ballpark as annoying as this one with the sound effects. Literally, in between every pitch when the Mets are at bat, they play some sort of sound effect to try to rile up the crowd. I'm not exaggerating on this either.

And don't forget the sweet, soft serenade of the cowbell guy.

medford
07-08-2010, 02:09 PM
h.) Stubbs has to learn to bunt more. I know he has the power and I don't want him bunting as often as Taveras or Hopper did, but there are times where he could have bunted down the 1B line during critical points during the game and made it by a mile tonight. I also think if he bunts a bit more, he will keep the defense more honest and it will concern them about how to play him.


I agree with this. He has so much speed, that even for a right hander teams would have to play up on him at the corners ala Brett Butler in the 90s. I don't know how much blame should be placed on Stubbs and how much should be placed on the Reds development staff (and perhaps the Texas coaching staff) but how hard can it be to lay down a half decent bunt? Stubbs just seems so uncomfortable any time he tries to bunt. Hopefully somebody can convince him to practice 1,000 bunts a day during the offseason against some form of live pitching. Like you, I don't want to take away his power swing, but I wouldn't mind him trying to get a bunt base hit a couple times a week if the defense plays normal depth. Force them to cheat up and open up some gaps just beyond the infield.