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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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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Cardinals 6, Reds 4

I know you would have taken Bronson Arroyo out after the sixth. But can you blame Jerry Narron for trying to get one more inning of him? Given the bullpen's ability to blow any lead, I can understand why Narron did what he did.

Arroyo was pretty good until the seventh. "I tried to freeze Albert (Pujols) with a heater in. It stayed middle-away." Pujols hit it 412 to left-center. It was Arroyo's 119th pitch of the night.

He said he felt normal going into the seventh.

“I felt fine, about average for what you feel going out for the seventh inning,” Arroyo said. “I was a little tired. Once you get up over 100 pitches, you’re going to a little tired.”

The other thing of note was Marcus McBeth's debut. He pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, a rare thing for the Reds. Nine pitches, seven strikes -- 92 mph fastballs, 82, 83 mph chane-ups.

The Reds need a roster spot Friday for Homer Bailey. Sending McBeth back to Louisville would empty the bandwagon of the few fans still riding it. The Reds better do some roster magic with Jared Burton or something. When the bullpen's ERA is close to 5.00, you've got to keep a guy who appears to have good stuff and isn't afraid to throw in the strike zone -- even if that's based on one big league outing.


22 Comments:

at 1:49 AM Blogger Redsheart said...

Overworking starting pitcher is NOT the best thing. I just want Narron to use the bullpen rightly. He can't do it, they are broken.

 
at 2:04 AM Blogger kingseyeland said...

John - Apologies if this has been covered and/or is a dead issue, but did the Reds ever get the second PTBNL in the Denorfia trade? By now, can't Krivsky work a deal for Burton and then send him to AAA to sharpen up? Don't want to lose the kid but he doesn't seem ready yet.

 
at 2:50 AM Blogger Chris at Redleg Nation said...

This bullpen is a mess, but I think it's a mess of the Reds (Narron's) creation. These guys aren't that bad of pitchers, but the constant jerking around of every single guy (save Weathers) has to have hurt their confidence.

If a guy pitches well, Narron rides him into the dirt. If he pitches poorly, it's off to the doghouse indefinitely. And who the hell knows what the problem was with Salmon, Burton, and McBeth.

I've said this four times: Narron and Wayne Krivsky need to get on the same page. Krivsky needs to either insist that Narron use the roster he's been given, or he needs to give in, and find some guy that Narron is willing to use.

 
at 3:07 AM Blogger RedwoodsSteve said...

"I know you would have taken Bronson Arroyo out after the sixth. But can you blame Jerry Narron for trying to get one more inning of him? Given the bullpen's ability to blow any lead, I can understand why Narron did what he did."

I can certainly understand it, and empathize with it. But wearing out a good starter due to a weak pen is something you do in the last game of the World Series, not during a regular season game. Unless.... unless you're feeling a huge amount of pressure to win... perhaps because your job is in danger. This decision to stick with Arroyo strikes me as saying more about Narron's current attitude than about his managerial abilities.

 
at 7:39 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris - agree 1000%. This is the most misused bullpen I have ever seen in 50 years of watching baseball.

When a pitcher is struggling to get outs and has a close lead, never leave him in to take the loss. As a manager you have to know when the gas tank is empty.

 
at 7:46 AM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

The no opportunity to lose left behind gang needs a new manager, period.

If a starter can't go 7 innings every time out (and without the wheels coming off) he shouldn't be in the major leagues.

 
at 8:13 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't blame this loss on our bullpen - I put 100% of the blame on Arroyo. He has been average to poor this year. The fact that he threw 120 pitches and couldn't get out of the seventh inning is his problem.

 
at 8:40 AM Blogger Dan H said...

I certainly hope the Reds find a way to keep McBeth up and evaluate him after a few more outings. He did look in command of his pitches last nite. Jerry appears to have no confidence in Burton, so why keep him in the pen, either work something out or go thru the process of sending him to AAA and hope for the best he makes it.

 
at 8:57 AM Anonymous Bryan at WPAFB said...

As the two 'Morons with Microphones' (Welsh and Grande) said last night, "Arroyo should be professional enough to take himself out of the game." Sure, to a point, but ultimately that IS the manager's job.
Does our bullpen stink? Absolutely, but after letting Arroyo lose the game in the 9th inning in San Diego - and given his recent struggles - you'd think Narron would have him on a shorter leash. It appears the inmates have taken over the asylum.

 
at 9:01 AM Anonymous TGO said...

Also of note was Arroyo's 5th and 6th inning of work included a walk, 3 singles and a double. He was left in to face Pujols after already surrendering a homerun and a single in the 7th. Why leave him in again?

 
at 9:45 AM Blogger Zach said...

Misuse is only a fraction of the equation. How about these relievers aren't that good to begin with? I'm anything but a Jerry Narron apologist, but this Reds team has been a toxic mixture of poor coaching and below average talent all season. Negative plus negative equals negative. What a surprise.

 
at 9:49 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really have no clue as to what Narron has against McBeth. Why did it take so long to get him into a game? Coffey managed to get in the game the first day back from AAA. All I can say is this: I have attended 11 Reds games already this season, I have tickets for Friday and Saturday as well, but if they send McBeth back to AAA to make room for Homer, I am done with this team. I'll go watch the Florence Freedom where the beers aren't $6.50 and the cheese coneys aren't $3.25.

 
at 10:00 AM Anonymous redleg2420 said...

I know how you fix this. Drop Stanton. I am sorry, but he is done. He has been given every opportunity. I would rather see young guys getting an opportunity. McBeth, Salmon and Burton all deserve their shots.

 
at 10:10 AM Blogger Mark said...

Is it too early to start talking about working toward next season? I won't gripe about the decision to keep Arroyo in last night, given the bullpen woes. If anyone has the fortitude to deal with last night's loss, Bronson can handle it.

As for Mc Beth, glad to see him finally get into a game and show his stuff. I just hope Narron didn't think to himself, wow! I should have used him sooner! I think the best thing to happen would be to bring in a manager who can develop the young talent we have with an eye on next spring. Don't think the current manager can do the job.

And... I will continue to raise this issue- Why isn't Tom Hume being held accountable for bullpen flops??? Does he just sit in the pen or does he coach the bullpen? If he's just a baby sitter then we'll all just wink and give him a pass but if he's the coach, I say it's time to really turn up the heat! When he took over for Vern Ruhle last summer, I wasn't too impressed and I certainly think he contributes little to getting this team back on track. Hey, wasn't Graves under his care when he melted down before getting dumped? Hmmm... Tom should be dismissed ASAP!

 
at 10:33 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris, you hit the nail on the head. Great comment. Let's hope Krivsky wakes up sometime soon.

Just noticed that the game will be on FSN-HD tonight. Does anyone know if/when Time Warner is going to pick up that channel?

 
at 11:08 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, Arroyo is now just another guy in the rotation. He has finally become the pitcher Boston traded & not the imposter he was last season. Given how poorly he has pitched lately, hell yeah I can blame Narron for leaving him in so long last night. Recently, Bronson's ERA is worse than the bullpen's. And I totally agree with
RedwoodsSteve's comments. Very good take.

John Burroughs
Hyde Park

 
at 12:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would rather have Arroyo pitch to Pujols after 119 pitches than any pitcher in our pen. Our pen is absolutely horrendous. I'll take my chances with Arroyo being tired.

 
at 12:55 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

In the ongoing rage of Reds fans to find as many scapegoats as possible, perhaps the most ludicrous is the persisting notion that the failures of the bullpen are Hume-Hume Boom's fault.

You have no idea what a bullpen coaches does, do ya?

Of course not. The day a bullpen coach makes a difference in wins and losses is the day the music dies.

Bullpen coaches are assistants to the pitching coach, serving myriad administrative duties, sometimes throwing BP, but mostly communicating with the dugout during the game, getting the pitchers warmed for their appearance, being a counselor if needed, and perhaps sneaking out for some hot dogs between innings.

In other words, the bullpen coach has almost nil impact on the performance of the relievers. He's more of a shopkeeper for the pitching coach.

But if you want Hume-Hume Boom fired for his absolutely miserly 1983-'84, hey, no problem. As a bullpen coach? C'mon.

 
at 1:27 PM Anonymous Red Faced said...

An idea finally came to me that might solve a lot of the Reds' problems and open the slot for Bailey on the roster. Can we option Narron to Louisville? There he can work on his bullpen calls and game to game managerial decision making such as...

When to give guys day offs

When to pinch hit this guy or that one.

When to take a tired and overtaxed starter out of the game.

When not to stick with a reliever and bring in the next guy.

How to motivate an underachieving team.

You know basic stuff all managers should be able to do but Narrow can't seem to get any correct right now.

It's getting so bad now guys that I can hardly make myself even complain about it any more. The only thing worse than a disappointed fan people is one who just doesn't care any more. We are closely approaching that right now for a lot of die hard Reds fans which isn't good news for the team.

 
at 2:25 PM Blogger Tom said...

I wouldn't blame this loss on our bullpen - I put 100% of the blame on Arroyo. He has been average to poor this year. The fact that he threw 120 pitches and couldn't get out of the seventh inning is his problem.

True BA should be able to get to the 7th without 100 pitches, but it was clear as crystal he was done in the 6th. He was losing control and have problems getting the ball over the plate. By the 6th he had 50 pitches for strikes with only 25 for balls. But in the 6th out of his 26 pitches half (13) were balls. He went full on 3 hitters

He was out of gas everyone could see it but Narron

 
at 2:37 PM Anonymous Jeremy said...

Narron is a terrible manager, period. It's often hard to pinpoint his specific mistakes, but he clearly has a knack for doing exactly the wrong thing. If he leaves in a starter for one more inning, it's going to be one inning too many. If he brings in a reliever, it'll be the wrong one. Etc. But I think what's so irksome to many fans is that his decisions seem to be almost random. Yesterday, for example, he left Arroyo in just long enough to give up the lead, when it was pretty clear that Arroyo was spent, and then, once the game had been essentially lost, he made a pitching change. The question is: if Narron felt that Arroyo could pitch to Pujols in a tie game with a runner on base, why didn't he leave him in for the NEXT batter? Either he was healthy enough to pitch, in which case he should have remained in the game, or he wasn't, in which case he shouldn't have pitched to Pujols. But Narron apparently lacks any ability to ANTICIPATE ANYTHING. He judges a pitcher's ability on the results of his pitching rather than any sort of managerial instinct or an ability to predict outcomes. Anyone with any baseball sense whatsoever could probably have guessed that Arroyo was going to give up runs in that inning (I did), but Narron apparently couldn't see it coming until after the fact. And then he reacted in his typical knee-jerk way by replacing the pitcher in whom he had JUST expressed absolute confidence by leaving him in to face Pujols. Today he'll no doubt shuffle the lineup for the 50th time, which further illustrates a chaotic decision-making process that's devoid of any underlying reason or logic. It's obvious that he lacks baseball intelligence -- he has no ability to read his players and doesn't seem to grasp the nuances of the game. (Has this team even attempted a hit-and-run yet? Or a squeeze play? Or anytyhing remotely creative?) I'd prefer to see the team managed by a series of coin-flips -- at least the coin would be right half the time.

 
at 9:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mr Redlegs! I just knew that YOU would know about the bullpen coach's duties. Thank you for your wonderful insights. I have been asking over and over what's Hume's role in all of this. Based on what you're saying then... seems Jerry Narron is the perfect choice for this slot on the team!!!

Thanks Mr Knowledge~ You are SIMPLY the Greatest! Hey everybody needs to shut up and just sit at the feet of Mr Redlegs because he is definitely the greatest baseball mind around here;)

 
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