A "thunder" lineup puts the best sticks in the game virtually regardless of their defensive capabilities. It might be the only way to consistently run up a big enough lead to allow Jerry to then turn the game over to the unreliable pen and meanwhile get his best gloves off the bench into the game to help protect the (in theory) lead.

For example:

1B - HATTEBERG
2B - PHILLIPS
SS - GONZALEZ
3B - CONINE
LF- DUNN
CF - HAMILTON
RF - GRIFFEY
C - VALENTIN (He might even be hitting better right-handed than Ross is presently)

The thunder lineup has so many good bats that even whoever is batting 7th in the order is assured decent "protection" by the # 8 guy.

The thunder lineup would never require pinch-hitting one position player off the bench for another position player; all that's required is that Hopper, Ross, Freel, Keppinger, and/or Castro be a better offensive threat than the Reds' pitchers for whom they would be hitting.

With a hypothetical lead -- I'll arbitrarily say a 4 run lead after perhaps 6/7 innings -- the defense could then include some of the following bench guys:

1B - HATTEBERG
2B - PHILLIPS
SS - GONZALEZ
3B - Castro
LF- Hopper
CF - Freel
RF - HAMILTON
C - Ross

Yes, with Conine at 3B (until EE gets back up) it's a desperation lineup, but these are desperate times for the Reds and Reds' fans.