Baserunning, Bunting, Situational Hitting, An Other Fundamentals
Friday night's top of the 6th inning put an exclamation point on the liability that Freel and Patterson's base running bring to the Reds.
After Freel led off with a double, he got trapped off of 2nd base when Patterson's (non-pulled to the right side, BTW!) grounder was fielded by Estes. Of course Freel should have made sure that the grounder got past the pitcher before attempting to run to 3rd. Little League rule # 5 or #12 or whatever!
Later Patterson got caught trying to steal third -- making the 3rd out at 3rd base, another Little League no-no.
Perhaps the steal attempt was signaled by Spier, but either way it was against the book.
Because the Reds won, I'm afraid that the base running mistakes -- as well as the incompetent and pathetic bunting attempts by Votto, Bako, Janish, and Patterson (prompting the manager to take the bunt sign off immediately, in all four cases) -- will be forgotten.
I fear that it is an instance of a win being worse than a loss. That is, if the final score causes management to continue to ignore the lack of fundamentals and fundamental execution by this team.
The Reds might have been better off in the long run to have lost that one -- if the loss would have forced management to focus on and to try to correct just how poorly the Reds play this game.