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From news of the day to news of the weird, John Fay provides a glimpse of what it’s like to cover the Cincinnati Reds

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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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Angels 9, Reds 7 (postscript)

You have to rank this game there with the finale in Colorado on the disappointing loss scale. The Reds didn't blow an six-run lead like they did in Denver, but had they won this one they would be feeling pretty good about themselves. Two of three from Angels, following two of from the Indians would have been something to build on.

But whenever the Reds get a little momentum going the bullpen sucks them back into the abyss.

I'm not sure what you do with Gary Majewski, he of the 15.88 ERA, but I wouldn't put him in a game that's close until he can get on some kind of roll in mop-up outings.


Homer Bailey did a lot of good things. The 1-2-3, 8-pitch first against the guys who beat up on the Reds in night before was impressive. Letting Orlando Cabrera walk to third with stolen base in the third was not.

“A young guy’s going to be inconsistent,” Jerry Narron said. “I’m sure over time he’ll nail it down. There’s a lot of things in Homer’s game he has to work on. He’s not quite a complete pitcher yet.”

Thursday Bailey’s fastball and change-up worked well. But his curveball got hit.


Chad Moeller, who caught Bailey, thinks he’ll get where he need to be.


“He’s very competitive,” Moeller said. “He’s got a great arm. I like the way his change-up is coming around. His curveball will be there in time. His competitiveness is the biggest thing. He wants to be out there and attack the hitters. I like that fact that he likes to work inside. Some pitchers are hesitant about it. He’s not.”


16 Comments:

at 7:13 PM Blogger Barry said...

Homer has looked impressive! If only the bullpen could make a huge improvement to mediocrity.

 
at 8:13 PM Blogger Redsheart said...

I can't get why Narron tend to use Majewski in a close game. To preserve Krivsky's honor? sigh. I know the Reds are already out of the loop on the pennant race. But I do want to watch a good game. Narron with the Reds organization don't even give us a dream.

 
at 8:46 PM Anonymous Rick Apante said...

They can't keep putting the same crap out there day in and day out..Sure the bullpen has a few good days, but you're right John, as soon as they start showing signs of Josephus going down hill, they have to turn around need to go right back up.

At what point do you say enough, I'm committed to winning here's what I'm going to do about it. I haven't heard jack from ownership. This is like the "grand experiment" all over again...You want to make a move, move on out three of the tired, dead arms in the bullpen and bring up the young ones from AAA, at least then there's an excuse for this..

 
at 8:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Krivsky's trade of Lopez and Kearns for Bill Bray and Gary Majewski continues to haunt the organization. Majewski should be designated for assignment. The pain is too much to endure. Narron compounds the problem by continuing to call on the guy. Awhile back, Narron complained about wanting power guys for the late innings. After he got some guys (such as Burton) he refused to use them. Today was a critical game for the team psychologically, given the Reds' gutsy comeback against Colon and an excellent Angels team, and the fact the Reds could have won the series with a victory. Instead of going with his only reliable reliever, David Weathers, Narron opts for the one guy everyone in the stadium knows is most likely to blow the lead. Thank goodness it's almost football season! Did you ever think you'd live to see the day when you'd say that in Cincinnati? Thanks, Wayne. Thanks, Jerry. Go Bengals!!!

 
at 9:16 PM Anonymous Edwin W. said...

Hey John, I know a closer is only supposed to be used in the last inning, but what about using your closer in a situation akin to the one the "Magic Man" was sent into? You know, the moment where a manager is required to decide to win or to lose a game? The next obvious question is: David Weathers? If I were Narron I would say, "Yes, David Weathers because he is the closer that my GM has provided me and I want to win ballgames" At this point, Narron has got to be managing like every game is the 7th game of the World Series. Especially a game like this: Homer Bailey starting (so you know any and all Reds fans left are paying attention)in a game that would take the series against a very good, upper echelon team like the LA Angels of Anaheim --or whatever they're called.

 
at 9:38 PM Blogger Ron said...

Who does Narron have in the bullpen? He only uses Santos in long situations and that is scarey. Majewski has an ERA that's out of sight. Coutlangas only pitches to one hitter at a time. Burton has a bad back. Stanton pitches to one or two batters at a time. McBeth is only used on occasion. Coffey pitches every day when he is not in Louisville. Weathers closes.
This is the reason I don't bring Bailey up. Why teach him to loose. Unitl the bullpen is straightened out and JN can figure out that Hopper belongs in the lineup everyday to provide a legitimate lead off hitter to put some pressure on opposing pitchers, it's useless to waste talent.
People have been asking about errors committed by inflielders in Cincinnati. It's Little League 101. The more walks given up, the more pitches per out, the more your infielders get back on their heels and aren't ready to make a play. Work fast, put the ball in play, keep your defense in the game, and errors disappear. It don't happen with pitchers who spend all day trying to find the magic corners of the plate where the umpire will give them a call.
And, a young stud like Bailey only learns to be frustrated because he will never get a call when he's pitching behind these other guys.

 
at 10:57 PM Blogger George said...

I think a reporter needs to ask Majewski if his "grip it and rip it" approach might be better replaced by something called pitching. He and others in the pen consistently come out on the mound and just throw.

 
at 9:08 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

15 games under .500. How long does Jerry Narron keeps his job? The bullpen sucks, but Narron's management of it is even worse. I wince everytime he runs Majewski/Stanton out there. I know you can't blame the manager for mistake pitches or errors in the field, but this team continues to underachieve...and since you can't dump everyone on your team, it falls back to the manager to straighten things out. Question still remains...how many games under .500 do we need to dip to see Jerry given his walking papers? - MB

 
at 9:35 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I realize that Majewski didn't do his job but Homer did seem to go wild at the beginning of that inning throwing a lot of balls and few strikes. Majewski took the ball with two men on and no outs going into the meat of the Angels line up. I was observing the game on-line so I don't know how Homer was being coached but I wonder if he was left in the game for too long.
I still have hope for this team as we are in the worst division with a total winning percentage of just above .450 as a league (yech!). I guess some people would call that competitive. But, with the brewers hurting and the reds (outside of a few games that have stunk) starting to play better, we could have a shot.

 
at 10:41 AM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

The reporter should ask Maj what he plans to do for a living later this summer.

 
at 11:46 AM Blogger Scott said...

Everyone seems to want to blame Narron. Not sure why. Certainly he's made a couple of mistakes but hasn't every single pitcher in that bullpen blown a whopping lead in one game or another. Where's he suppossed to turn? It's not Narron's fault that he has to work with the guys. These pitchers are just not performing. And please, enough with the Lopez/Kearns trade. Lopez is batting .233 with 3 HR and leads the team in strikeouts. Kearns is hitting .252 with a whopping 5 HR. The Reds shortstop has more than double that HR output. I'll take Gonzalez and Hamilton over Lopez and Kearns every single day!

 
at 2:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about this brilliant observation. The Reds have historically been mediocre in judging pitching talent. Might it be time to change the system and, perish the thought, spend a couple of extra bucks to hire someone away from the Braves or Dodgers organization who have proven they actually know how to judge talent!

 
at 2:43 PM Blogger concepcionsf said...

John,

I want to commend you for the professional work you do on a daily basis. Some other writers in Cincinnati feel compelled to burden us with their junior high antics of woman chasing, bar hopping and cool music guy wannabeing. You actually do research into the workings of the Reds and the organization.

What do you think is really going on with Hamilton? Is he sick or soft?

 
at 2:59 PM Blogger John Fay said...

One of Krivsky first hires was Scott Nethery, who worked for the Braves for a long time.

Hamilton's sick. The guy played through shin splints for two weeks or so during spring. If I'm the least bit dizzy, I'm not going up there to face Bartolo Colon when he's throwing 96.

 
at 2:59 PM Anonymous Sedi said...

Maybe they should do what Pinella suggested in his last year with Florida. Have your closers and middle relievers start the game and have your starters pick it up in the 3rd inning from then on, that way if you give up runs early, you've got time to make them up ;)

 
at 6:04 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

If the Reds wanted to save money they could have just cut Lopez and Kearns. I'm sick of hearing how that trade was good. It stunk. Just like Maj. The Reds need to stop sending players down and start cutting them and brining up new young players for their shot at the big leagues. Lopez is 27 and has many good years ahead of him in the big leagues with his speed and power. He's been underachieving the past 1.5 seasons but I'll bet you he has a better career than A-Gon.

So far, Lopez versus A-Gonzalez:

AGON: 3840 AB, 22 Triples, 102 HR, 24 SB, .247 AVG., .690 OPS

LOPEZ: 2383 AB, 26 Triples, 59 HR, 83 SB, .259 AVG., .740 OPS

Lopez averages one HR every 40.38 and thanks to A-Gon's fluke year his average AB/HR is down to 37.64 (before this year it was: 40.12) but apart from HR frequency (where they are largely equal) Lopez is the better offensive player.

For a leadoff hitter, Lopez has an edge.

A-GON has a career .293 OBP with 203 BB vs. 781 Ks

Lopez has a career .328 OBP with 244 BB vs. 556 Ks

We can argue stats all day long but if the Reds kept Lopez and spent the money on A-Gon on a good free-agent pitcher, we'd be better off OFFENSIVELY.

 
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