Overdone topic, I acknowledge that. However, tonight pushed me over the edge.
I am SOOOO tired of bad Reds managing that I'm nearing the point that I stop caring completely. Sure, I'll still watch now and again but, I will NOT invest myself in another Reds team until we have a COMPETENT MAJOR LEAGUE MANAGER. Not Ray Knight. Not Bob Boone. Not Dave Miley. Not Jerry Narron. A COMPETENT MAJOR LEAGUE MANAGER.
Just to head you pro-Narron guys and gals off at the pass, I acknowledge that JN has a poor bullpen with which to work. I also acknowledge that the right handed hitting is a weakness created by Wayne Krivsky.
I'm not even going to delve into the highly questionable lineup construction and it's constant manipulation. It honestly reminds me of my 8th grade Little League years..we used to anxiously await the lineup card because it reflected how our coach felt we practiced or played in the preceding days. It ain't like that in the majors. But, I promised I wouldn't delve into the lineup issues. I've already sorta lied.
Tonight's game is a microcosm of why Jerry Narron sucks. I doubt anyone who reads this post will argue that JM is a slave to dogmatic baseball decisions and generally accepted norms; ie: make sure you bat the righty against the lefty reliever or, make sure you pitch the righty against the lefty batter.
He played into the dogmatic baseball beliefs....pinch-hit the ridiculously incompetent on all levels Juan Castro in a 2 out, RBI situation in the 7th when he had two much better lefty bats on the bench. Quite predictably, Manos De Caca popped out, leaving David Ross stranded on 2nd. Actually, that outcome was not all THAT predictable, as most would have foretold that Mighty Casey would strike out.
JN again fell prey to Dogma in the bottom of the 8th, bringing in the slumping (or, perhaps, he just sucks) Mike "Hey! I'm fat and old but, I'm Still a Lefty!" Stanton in to face a few left handed batters. Stanton has not missed bats nor created any outs lately but, that doesn't matter - he is a left handed pitcher and he would be facing left handed batters. That's what matters.
3 batters later, the 'Stros are back in front. 3 ER for Mikey.
Shockingly enough, the Reds, down 2 runs in the top of the 9th, mount a bit of a rally. Hammy and Freel reach. 1st and 2nd, no outs, Reds down by 2, Brandon Phillips at the plate. Griffey & Co behind him.
THIS is the situation that truly causes one to HATE Jerry Narron.
Conventional baseball wisdom - aka baseball dogma - dictates that you have a guy like Brandon Phillips lay down a bunt here. Firstly, you have a guy at the plate who knows how to bunt. He is also fast. HE IS ALSO A RIGHTY FACING A RIGHTY - A SITUATION THAT JN IS WELL-DOCUMENTED TO HATE. A well placed bunt may actually cause the defense to have to make a good play to throw him out. Worst case scenario - 2nd and 3rd with one out. JR up next, righty/lefty, one out, hot hitter, 2 in scoring position.
Jerry elects to let Brandon, who is not exactly a contact hitter, swing away. He flies out, setting up a 1st and 3rd with one out and JR to the plate.
Honestly, if you didn't know what was coming next, you just don't know the Reds.
JR bounces into a Casey. Ballgame.
I guess what I want at this point is for someone to defend Narron. I completely loathe the guy. I have never seen a manager with lower baseball acumen. He just lacks a general feel for the game.
Tonight sucked and I am going to bed. I am sick of this.