Reds 4, Dodgers 3: It Helps To Use Fast Guys to Run

wilson_2013-09-07If you thought that Zack Greinke against Mat Latos was going to be a matchup of two of the National League’s best pitchers, you might have been considerably surprised by how this game got started. Latos allowed four to reach in the first inning and two more in the second, including Yasiel Puig‘s 15th homer of the season; Greinke gave up four singles to the Reds in the bottom of the first, scoring two.

But for both starters, that was really it. Greinke pitched through the sixth, and Latos through the seventh, without allowing any further damage, with Greinke adding nine strikeouts against just a single walk. For Greinke, that runs his streak of allowing two runs or fewer to eight in a row and 11 of his last 12.

Unfortunately, Greinke was replaced by Paco Rodriguez, pitching for the sixth time since last Friday, and again it didn’t go well. Rodriguez squandered the lead by allowing a single and then a double to Cesar Izturis — yes, that Cesar Izturis — before being saved by Ronald Belisario. Rodriguez has been wonderful all season, and carried a .182/.265/.318 line against since August 1 into this game, so it’s not like he’s turned into Russ Ortiz or anything, but he’s had a tough enough last few outings that I think we can all agree a nice long rest is exactly what he needs.

By the way, as much as some like to complain about Don Mattingly, thank whatever deity you prefer every single day that Dusty Baker is not your manager. In the bottom of the ninth, J.P. Howell walked leadoff man Chris Heisey. Baker then took the bat out of Shin-Soo Choo‘s hands (and gave the Dodgers a precious out) by having him sacrifice in order to get to Izturis, of all people. When Izturis failed to reach, Joey Votto was intentionally walked, so Baker successfully avoided having either of his two best hitters swinging the bat. Thanks, Dusty!

Of course, Mattingly isn’t without his own negatives, and the entire tenth inning showed exactly why. After Adrian Gonzalez led off with a single to center, he came out for a pinch runner, as you’d expect. But it wasn’t Dee Gordon, who exists on this planet for no other reason than to pinch run, it was Nick Punto. (Gordon was not suffering from the effects of being hit by a throw yesterday, as some suggested.) With expanded September rosters, you don’t have to worry about using extra players if you didn’t want to let Gordon field, because you could still put Punto in at third base and move Michael Young to first, as Mattingly did. Punto ended the inning standing on first as none of the three hitters following were able to move him, wasting a great chance for Gordon to attempt to steal and generate some fastballs.

In the bottom of the tenth, Brian Wilson — who looked absolutely atrocious, to the point that Mattingly and the trainers came out to check on him — walked Ryan Ludwick to start the inning. Baker countered by sending out his own speedy guy who can’t do anything other than run in Billy Hamilton, who immediately stole second. That ended up proving crucial once Todd Frazier singled to right, where even a strong throw by Puig wasn’t close to preventing Hamilton from scoring the winning run.

That’s now three losses in a row, and no, no matter what you hear elsewhere, it’s not time to panic or anything close to it. But I would like it if the bats would decide to start hitting again, because great pitching will take you only so far. Fortunately, there’s still three weeks until the playoffs, so time enough to work that out.

1458 comments
*VND*
*VND*

I'm not really a Dodger fan guys

*VND*
*VND*

hehehehehehehhehehehheehehheheehhehehhhehheeeehhehehehe

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

Good to see ole friend Johnny Jolly doing well

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

Embarrassed to admit how much I enjoyed "Rock of Ages" on Broadway. Also really, really ready for the in-laws to head home.

FreeDK
FreeDK

Where's DK to predict a slight cooling trend?

FreeDK
FreeDK

Now blah make sure you don't masturbate in the shower as you will clog the drains!! And you are very brave if you try to shave down there, i've only trimmed for the lulz and even that was a bit too risky for comfort......wait this isn't he late shift my bad!


DavidGriffBecerra
DavidGriffBecerra

Came up on some perfect heirloom tomatoes at the farmers market, now what to do with them. Thinking pizza

KMT59
KMT59

@Mike Petriello when my in-laws come they stay for months...Come from either Morocco or Belgium

P_F_P
P_F_P

Def Leppard plays Broadway now?

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

@Hoze i am no longer assuming he gets to play again this season. in 10 days, the hammy could be the same. i would almost - ALMOST- prefer they shut him down. my emotional and irrational side wants him on the team. 

P_F_P
P_F_P

@Hoze I'd settle for just seeing him in that final home series against COL

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

@Disgruntled Goat @Hoze Hamstrings are tricky but it shouldn't effect his offseason workout routine. Frankly, I think it's worth it to wait and see what happens

Blue Collar
Blue Collar

@Hoze I'm playing an MLB 13 the Show season with injuries turned off, so that I can have Kemp and Billingsley.

DavidGriffBecerra
DavidGriffBecerra

I don't have any good olive oil unfortunately. But caprese is basically heaven on a plate

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

@Disgruntled Goat @DavidBecerra I chop up one plus an avocado plus some jicama and toss it all with some ginger salad dressing (sometimes adding several tiny slices of precooked chicken sausages)... yum. A summer meal several times a week at my place.

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

@Disgruntled Goat @Hoze Not like the shoulder or Chad's elbow which had serious repercussions due to delaying (even though Kemp didn't know what was wrong)

Hoze
Hoze

@LA_Woman @Capnsparrow @Hoze @PuntoForPresident (PuigForPrimeMinister) @Disgruntled Goat I would go as far as having on the team (without playing at all), along with giving him days of rest between running but meanwhile hitting in the cages to get his timing back, just so that the team finally uses on the DH in the World Series if ( maybe when? :) ) it gets there. In these next next 10 days we'll find out if he feels fine coming back. I really hope so

Hoze
Hoze

@PuntoForPresident (PuigForPrimeMinister) @Disgruntled Goat @Hoze Just by having him on the roster risks making his injuries worse than just shutting him down- but a part of me figures that he may be able to contribute somehow, and without getting hurt. Something like only using him to pinch hit, and if he gets on somehow pinch runs for him...