You win a third of your games, you lose a third of your games, it is the other third ...
I don't like Dusty as a manager ... I will preface that before everyone cites the team's record and so on. But I disagree, fundamentally with Dusty's managing tonight primarily with sitting Joey Votto.
You can look at the overload of consecutive righties. You can also look at the Pirates as a divisional opponent.
I have a problem with sitting Joey Votto tonight especially with Cueto pitching. I have no problem with the two consecutive days rest. I think mentally it won't feel like that much of a rest because he had to come in with the game on the line anyway. I also disagree with using him as a PHer over Frazier instead of Miggy.
But my main issue and reason I think it is Baker's fault we lost the game tonight is this:
When your best pitcher, especially a young developing pitcher, is on the mound you want to have your best team out there. I think Dusty thinks it is a good time to give Votto a break because you have your best pitcher out there and a good shot at a win. I disagree with this philosophy fundamentally. When your best pitcher is out there you want your best offense to support him.
1. Looking at the game in hindsight chances are the Reds would have won with Votto.
2. When you have your best pitcher out there against an average team with an average pitcher you are facing - you need to make sure you get that win.
3. When you put Cueto in that situation he might feel like he has to pitch perfect to overcome his best hitter not being in the line-up. Give him your best line-up and it allows him to ease his mind and pitch more at ease. Seasons are long for pitchers too. When you have to go out and pitch great every game it can wear your pitcher out.
4. In terms of wins and losses - try to make sure that your Ace is getting every opportunity to get a win. He is the one who needs the confidence when it comes to the postseason. Nothing is worse than seeing a guy with a 2.10 ERA have a record of 11-10.
5. Give Joey V. a rest on a day that the Reds are pitching their worst pitcher.
All in all I thought tonight's loss ultimately came down to Joey V. not being in the game. Managers aren't perfect and they have to make decisions, but I think tonight's decision to rest Votto against a division opponent with your Ace on the hill was a managerial flaw. And we lost the game not because of a mistake (there were many reasons that the Reds did not win the game) or a bad in game decision, I think we lost the game because a fundamental flaw in managing.