Originally Posted by Cant Touch This
You're fighting a losing battle. I'm neither a Dusty apologist nor hater, but it's unreasonable to blame this loss on him. The argument against bunting Phillips suggests that Phillips would, at minimum, get on base to set up Votto who would then have the opportunity to drive in runs -- as opposed to bunting to give Heisey a shot with runners on second and third with less than 2 outs, opening up many scoring possibilities that don't require a base hit.
The problem I see with this is: If Dusty let Phillips hit, who's to say Brandon doesn't decide to try to drive the ball the other way as he is known to do in that scenario and end up grounding out to second, moving the runners to second and third anyway - or perhaps into a double play? If he moves the runners to 2nd and 3rd, avoiding the DP, then Scioscia walks Votto just the same.
Additionally - did you pay attention to Brandon at the plate yesterday? It was as if he couldn't even see the ball. Paul should have been picked off second base because Phillips couldn't make contact trying to bunt a waist-high fastball right over the heart of the plate. He looked out of sorts in every plate appearance - yet many believe he should have been asked to swing away.
It's not like Votto was looking like himself at the plate either. Fact is, nobody was in the zone. 3 for 42. Let that sink in...and then explain to me again why you support the argument that the Reds should have played for 2 hits in that situation (from players who went a combined 0 for 9 in the game) rather than a sac fly.
It would have taken 1 hit, not 2 to score the run and of all the Reds it is Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips that I would most want up there with the game on the line. The bat was taken out of both of their hands, and I wouldn't have done that. I don't blame the loss on Dusty though, Heisey needs to come through in that situation regardless and if he doesn't Bruce needs to pick him up.
But it is only 1 game of many.