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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Felipe 8, Reds 4

Felipe Lopez's grand slam against his old club had to be sweet. But he said the fact that it came against the Reds in Cincinnati didn't make it anymore special.

"It's just special to get a win," he said.

I don't believe that. This had to be extra special for Lopez.

The Reds still haven't won two in a row in the May.

The eighth inning continues to be the inning of horror for the Reds. They've given up 38 runs in the eighth over 46 games. Jon Coutlangus was Tuesday's victim. He had not allowed a run in his last eight appearances. He walked a batter, got an out, gave up two singles, then the Lopez slam.

Jerry Narron elected to stay with Coutlangus, a lefty, even though Lopez, a switch-hitter, was hitting .279 off lefties and .218 off righties this year. "When he was with us, we always thought of him as a better left-handed hitter," Narron said.

Stats back that: Lopez came into the year hitting .246 off lefties and .285 off righties.

Anyway, the eighth continues to be a problem. The way Gary Majewski's throwing -- 1 1/3 perfect innings Tuesday with two Ks -- it might be time for him to join the mix. But it might wise to wait until the Nats are gone.

By the way, Kirk Saarloos was sick enough (flu) that the Reds sent him home Monday. He pitched decently -- 5 1/3, six hits, three runs. He'll get another start, Narron said.


at 11:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add Narron's decision tonight to the list of bad decisions that cost the Reds bal games. Everyone in the stadium and listening on the radio could see that one coming. Narron knew Lopez was disaml against righties.

What a dope.

at 11:13 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...



Exhibit 28:

Jerry Narron elected to stay with Coutlangus, a lefty, even though Lopez, a switch-hitter, was hitting .279 off lefties and .218 off righties this year. "When he was with us, we always thought of him as a better left-handed hitter," Narron said.


at 11:55 PM Blogger Steven said...

More needs to be made about Coutlangus' inability to not only work ahead but retire the leadoff batter. Walking the leadoff batter is a cardinal sin in baseball. Every game the Reds have something go wrong. Hitting and the inability to retire the leadoff batter in the eighth came back to bite them.

at 12:34 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Justin... shut up, you're annoying on these blogs, plus it looks as if you have no life b/c you have 50 comments on every one every single day!

at 12:36 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh yeah, go manage a baseball game and see how easy it is...i'm sure it's harder than it looks

at 12:37 AM Blogger Redsheart said...

Well, I think Coutlangus had been overwork. They should replace Stanton with a young arm. His ERA is 8.22 this month... We shouldn't make the same mistakes.
The good thing is Griffey is still hot!

at 7:46 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You could see it coming. Coutlangus was struggling last night. He had pitched 4 of the 5 last games. Once he loaded the bases, you have to go get him. I too remembered that Lopez seemed to hit for more power from the left side, but lets go with this year Jerry. You bring in Burton or Weathers and shut them down, possibly holding them to one or less runs.

I realize that Jerry can't buy a break right now, but this has to be added to the list of bonehead moves that once again cost the Reds another game. Its time for Jerry to go.

I read the the list recently of how many of the Reds managers had been hired mid-season. I see it happening again....but...Note to Bob Castellini...You DO NOT have to automatically renew or extend the new manager's contract. We can do an exhaustive search in the off-season for a manager regardless of the results of the remainder of this season. Either way, get Narron out of here soon, while there is still faint hope. -MB

at 9:30 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The previous posts are from morons. It is sooooo easy to manage a game AFTER the FACT.

Too many Monday morning quarterbacks out there.

at 10:19 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is Narron's infatuation with Chad Moeller? This isnt armchair qb'ing i said this at the time it happened but why use him to pinch hit against a righty? He couldn't hit in AAA what makes him think he can hit in the bigs?

at 11:17 AM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

Stats also back firing Narron.

Sure, it's unfair to criticize Narron for the Lopez slam. Especially when Lopez would be wearing red and white if it weren't for a hasty trade for relievers that, even if healthy, STUNK.

And yet the morons cut Hermanson. I'll still never understand how a PROVEN TOP CLOSER has a great spring but slumps towards the end, and the Reds cut him. Look at how many chances Byung Dung Kim and Jorge Gopher Julio have been given this year, to name but two FAR LESS TALENTED pitchers than Hermanson that other major league teams, with BETTER RECORDS than the Reds, have given multiple chances to.

You don't just dump a player who is slumping. Baseball is full of slumps. But you do have to dump a player or manager when it becomes apparent that it's more than a slump.

If Albert Pujols hit .089 the rest of the way this season, by July or August there would be no more rest of the way, he'd be Carlos Pena'd to the minors, or at least benched a few games.

That's baseball.

Produce or sit.

Hermanson deserved to be on the Reds at least as long as Narron.

We have to give proven dregs like Milton and Stanton repeated chances to rise to their very limited potential, why? Dustin has more talent and potential than any reliever on the Reds. If his back injury became a factor again, after early spring success, that wasn't explained fully by anyone (team or media).

By the time Fast Eddie G returns, the Reds should be 25-30 games under .500 unless ownership does a few things they're presently sounding quite unwilling to do.

And that's too bad because fan abandonment of a team happens not just because of losses but because of the appearance of incompetence and stupidity at the top.

Sorry, appearances matter.

If the Reds were lossing a little less, and a little less in a fashion that suggests Narron is part of the problem, then no fans ought to be fair weather about them.

It's more than changing pitchers to face Lopez, it's far more than Narron's experience, temperment, or knowledge.

The problem is that this team needs a change of manager, and change in attitude (or personnel) in the front office.

When that happens, I'll resume spending my entertainment dollars on the Reds, and not a moment sooner.

at 11:20 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone knew it before it happened, even Thom Brennaman pointed out that Coutlangus had pitched in 3 or 4 straight games. He shouldn't have been warming up, much less entering the game again. Jerry just doesn't get it. Put together a few good outings, and then get overused and go back to sucking, just like Chris Hammond last June. Clueless manager.

at 11:42 AM Blogger Palm Dry Gum On said...

I think the results that we are seeing this season has been more a product of the talent we have on the field than the manager.

This isn't to say that Jerry Narron hasn't cost us a game or two here and there. But in all honesty, how many games can a manager win/lose for a ballclub based solely on his decisions? It isn't more than 3 or 4 games a year. The bottom line is that the Reds aren't as bad as they are playing. The Reds will bounce back from where they are now -- hopefully a healthy Bray and Maj will help, and at this point there is absolutely no reason to think that they can't.

As for Hermanson -- he's out of baseball right now. No team is picking him up. He isn't a desired commodity. I don't know what the Reds would gain by paying money for him when they have more capable relievers on their roster.

at 11:47 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most,and I mean most comments positive and negative are made w/out any real knowledge of the game. If Jerry Narron is a dope,moron, terrible manager etc give suggestions to the solution not just critisize what's being done. Most people dont know it's mainly a lack of quality pitching not the inability to put someone better in there to pitch. If we had someome to come outta the pen don't you think Narron would bring him out. He may not be the best mgr. but he sure aint a dope. W/out the quality of ballplayers Sparky had how great of a mgr would he have been? The only thing narron has said this yr. I disagree w/ is his assesment of the bullpen guys having the ability to pitch....yeah they did it in the first few wks. of April but that's like sayin I can shoot an 85 but it only happens once outta evry 30 rounds. If the pattern shows you aint doin it consistently then you can do it.

at 12:00 PM Blogger longtime said...

Might seem like a minor point, but why bring in Burton to pitch the 9th last night? Salmon threw 8 pitches in the top of the 8th and was not pinch hit for in the bottom of the inning!!! Why could he not pitch the 9th??? Just another example of a wasted inning for a reliever who could have been saved for the rest of the series. Blame the pitchers for their inability to get people out, but blame Narron for not having a clue how or when to use them (or when not to).

at 12:38 PM Blogger cincikid said...

So much for the Reds fans have knowledge theory.

You all couldn't be further from the truth. Hell, Castellini is closer to extending Narron rather than firing him. Wanting Narron and brother to watch over the prize child in Hamilton.

Do you all think the Castellini actually is there with those machines picked the heads of lettuce out of the fields. No. But he will put "Farm Fresh" on the produce.

My point is this team was never a playoff team. Everyone out of Cincinnati was predicting last place in the Division. Now that it's happening everyone acts shocked and it must be the Managers fault. It's Krivsky's fault. It's the stinkin bullpen. It' yayayayay yadddydddyy.

Mr. Castellini said he wanted to win now. Well everyone is acting like they are cheated. No crap, who doesn't want to win now? He is a business man and a salesman. A very smart one at that. His statement where primarily meant to get the fans excited agian so that we may come to the stadium and buy some hotdogs and beer. I do believe that one day the Reds will be competitive agian. And I believe that Castellini and Krivsky. Will take us there. Wether Narron will be there or not it won't be because of this season or probably next. SO CHILL THE HELL OUT! YOU ALL CRY LIKE A BUNCH OF LITTLE YANKEE FANS.

at 1:54 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its not Narron's fault that the club strikes out to much and the pen cant get a man out. He's not swing the bat and he's not throwing the 85 mph fastball down broadway, he is stuck with what he has and has to work to the best of there abilities!!! Im not Narron fan, but there is nothing wrong with insisiting you play hard or go home!!
Maj needs to be in the Bullpen by the time pitts gets here and if Lohse has another dismal start like he has over the past 4 or 5 games its time to give Baily or Dumariat (sp) a chance! I love hatty and connine, but one of them has to be worth somthing to sombody and Votto must get a chance before the all star break, the man is nearly hitting .500!!!!!!

at 1:59 PM Anonymous mikec said...

Narron continues to overuse the bullpen.

But to me more disconcerting than going to Coutlangus and then leaving him in when he clearly didn't have good stuff is Narron's reaction to Lopez's grand slam.

Mr. Castellini, Mr. Krivsky go back and watch the footage. Narron just watches and then walks over to have someone phone the bullpen.

It's no wonder this team has no sense of urgency, no fire to win, no "losing is not acceptable" attitude. Narron just watched his reliver give up a grand slam, slamming the door on a potential win and he didn't show one shred of emotion. What would a La Russa, a Pinella or a Leyland do in that situation? I guarantee they would blow up. To me Narron is sending a message to the players that it's OK to lose. And he's the one sending the message to the fans that this team isn't serious about competing. As a fan, I was far more upset by Narron's reaction than by his decision making. Sure he's one of the worst in-game managers I've ever seen, but if he just had some fire in him I think he could get this team jump-started.

at 3:26 PM Blogger Robert said...

From reading all the comments from Justin Fernandez...everyone sucks on this team, they need to be DFA'd, and we shouldn't have released Hermanson.

Justin...the guy wasn't even throwing 90 mph during Spring Training. He threw in the mid 90's (94-96) when he closed with the White Sox. That was the reason he got cut.

Let's get with the program...please! This team is exactly the same from last year, and we ended the season competing for the NL Central and Wild Card titles. This team will come around eventually. It's just a matter of time.

at 4:16 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Narron isn't an emotional powderkeg like Sweet Lou. Big deal.

For those who keep whining about Narron not showing any emotion, consider this: when's the last time you saw Joe Torre blow a gasket in New York? Last I checked, he won four world series and didn't go ballistic during those winning seasons.

at 4:50 PM Blogger Palm Dry Gum On said...

Maybe I'm wrong but I don't think LaRussa is a hothead. He might blow up once in a while but I find it hard to imagine him throwing and breaking things over an 8th inning grandslam in the first half of the season.

On the other hand, I could completely see sweet Lou doing that and breaking Derek Lee's arm in the process.

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